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Direct-Draw vs. Long-Draw Beer Systems: Which One's Right for You?

Direct-Draw vs. Long-Draw Beer Systems: Which One's Right for You?

11th Apr 2024

When it comes to serving beer in a commercial setting, whether it's a bustling bar, a cozy pub, or a lively restaurant, choosing the right beer dispensing system is crucial. Two common options for this purpose are the direct-draw beer system and the long-draw beer system. While both systems are designed to deliver the perfect pint, they differ significantly in their setup and application. In this article, we'll explore the key differences between these two systems to help you make an informed decision for your establishment.

Direct-Draw Beer System: The direct-draw beer system, also known as the short-draw system, is a popular choice for smaller bars and restaurants where space is at a premium. Here's what you need to know about it:

  1. Proximity Matters: In direct-draw systems, the kegs are placed in close proximity to the tap. This means that the beer has a short distance to travel before it reaches your glass.
  2. Short and Sweet: The beer lines in direct-draw systems are relatively short, making them easier to clean and maintain. This is a significant advantage for establishments with limited space and staff resources.

Long-Draw Beer System: The long-draw beer system, often referred to as the remote system, is the go-to choice for larger venues with multiple taps and kegs stored at a distance from the serving area. Here's what sets it apart:

  1. Distance is Key: In long-draw systems, the kegs are typically stored far away from the tap, sometimes over 100 feet. This makes it ideal for venues where the kegs cannot be conveniently located near the serving area.
  2. Cooling Solutions: To ensure that beer quality is maintained over the extended distance, long-draw systems often incorporate glycol or air-cooled lines. These mechanisms help keep the beer at the perfect temperature as it travels through the lines.

Which System is Right for You? Choosing between a direct-draw and a long-draw beer system depends on several factors:

  1. Size of Establishment: If you're running a cozy neighborhood pub or a small restaurant, a direct-draw system may be the more practical choice due to its space efficiency.
  2. Layout: Consider the layout of your establishment. If your kegs can be conveniently located near the taps, a direct-draw system is likely sufficient. However, if your setup requires kegs to be placed far away, a long-draw system with cooling mechanisms is essential.
  3. Number of Taps: The number of beer taps you plan to have is also crucial. If you have a large number of taps, a long-draw system may be the only feasible option.

In the world of beer dispensing systems, the choice between direct-draw and long-draw isn't just a matter of preference; it's about practicality and space considerations. The direct-draw system excels in smaller venues with kegs nearby, offering simplicity and ease of maintenance. On the other hand, the long-draw system shines in larger establishments where multiple taps and remote keg storage are necessary, provided you're willing to invest in cooling solutions.

Ultimately, the right beer dispensing system for your establishment will depend on your specific needs, space constraints, and the overall experience you want to offer to your patrons. Make an informed choice, and you'll be well on your way to serving up the perfect pint every time.