Do I need specialist equipment to dispense keg lager, bitter or cider?
If it is going to be a paying bar where guests are charged for their drinks then we would strongly suggest contacting an outside bar company local to you who would be able to supply the equipment and usually the staff to dispense the product on the night.
The alternative to this would be to use a 'party pump' which we could hire out to you. These require no additional equipment to use, however they do not always pull a 'bar perfect' pint and so because of this we wouldn't recommend these for weddings - they are designed for house parties/barbecues and other small non-paying events. For a short YouTube video on how a party pump works, see the following link for a good demonstration - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePCuKCqv5Aw
If you wanted a permanent arrangement, for example if you are setting up a home bar, you will need to purchase a cooler, pipework and tap. We do not sell these ourselves but there are many suppliers who have shops or sell online depending on where you live. A local one to us in Shropshire is A1 Bar Stuff whose details can be found at the following link - www.a1barstuff.co.uk
NB For keg lager, bitter and cider, as long as you have the equipment to dispense the liquid, you can start pouring and drinking pints straight away.
What type of fitting do kegs have?
Kegs all have a coupler at the top which varies between products.
There are two main couplers – Sankey or “S” fitting and Grundy or “G” fitting. Most kegs are either one or the other apart from Stella and Boddingtons which use a Universal or “U” type fitting. The other exception is Guinness which uses a unique fitting.
We hire out party pumps with Sankey, Grundy and Universal fittings. Please give us a call to discuss if you are looking to purchase a Guinness keg.
The list below shows which keg has which coupler:
Charles Wells Triple Hop
Strongbow Dark Fruit
What is the cost to hire a party pump?
The hire cost of each party pump is £30 including VAT.
There is also a deposit payable of £60 incl. VAT if you are local to us (within 25 miles of our depot) or £156 incl. VAT if further afield. This deposit will be refunded to you once the party pump is received back in good working order. It seems a lot of money to pay if you are not local to us, but this enables us to replace the pump should it not be returned.
The deposit can be refunded via a cheque, cash, or a card in person or over the phone.
Do I need to do anything to my cask before I drink it?
For cask ale, you will need to have the cask conditioned to prepare the ale for drinking.
If you purchase a cask of local ale (Hobsons, Salopian, Woods) we can get this pre-conditioned (or brighted) for you. This means that when you get the cask the ale is clear and “bright” and ready to drink. If the cask is not pre-conditioned, you will need to have the knowledge to do it yourself or a friend who knows what to do! Without conditioning the cask ale will be cloudy and not good to drink.
How do you dispense cask ale?
You can either purchase a wooden tap from us for the cost of £6 incl. VAT. You can then keep this as a ‘souvenir’ of your event. However, please note, they are sold from us as “single use only”.
Alternatively you can hire a metal and plastic tap from us for a refundable deposit of £24 incl. VAT. This would be refunded to you once we receive the tap back in good working order. In essence this means that the tap is free of charge!!
To set up the cask:
Your cask will need to be set up around a half hour before you plan on serving it as it needs to be allowed to settle. The cask is ‘ready to drink’ but needs a little time to sit after its journey to you.
1. Place it on the floor vertically with the keystone (the rubber bung on the top near the label) uppermost.
2. Set the tap to the closed position – the tap is at 90 degrees to the main body when it is closed.
3. If you have a metal tap, unscrew and remove the spout.
4. Hold the tap cone end downwards in the keystone and using a rubber mallet, knock the tap through the keystone so that it breaks the seal. Knock it in just far enough so that it holds firmly in place.
5. Place the cask where you will be serving the beer – the cask needs to be lying on its side with the shive (the small bung on the body of the cask) facing upwards. Use a stillage or two blocks to stop it rolling around. Stillages can be rented from us for a refundable deposit of £24 incl. VAT.
6. Knock the little wooden peg through the centre of the shive. Don’t drive it all the way in; it just needs to break the seal so that the vacuum inside the keg is released. You may hear a hiss as the gas escapes – don’t worry this is normal.
7. If you have a wooden tap, you are now ready to go, if you have a metal tap, you need to screw the spout back on.
8. Last but not least – drink and enjoy!
Do I need to keep the keg or cask cool?
The ideal temperature for a cask is about 10 degrees centigrade and kegs like it cooler than that.
If you are local to us, we keep all our cask beer in our cold store so this will come to you ready chilled.
As far as kegs are concerned, we are able to pre-chill items in our cold store for you before they are collected / delivered – simply mention this when you place your order.
For pallet deliveries, you will need to arrange to chill the kegs or casks yourself.
The pre-chilled kegs and casks will hold their temperature for a few hours at least, depending on the ambient temperature and their surroundings at your event. If you are using a party pump to dispense, a keg can be stood in a large bucket or ‘trug tub’ and ice poured around the sides to keep it cool. If you have all the bar kit, there will be a cooler which will do the job for you.
Casks are trickier to keep cool, but only need to be at 10-12 degrees, so if it is warm weather a towel soaked in iced water and draped over the cask will help keep the temperature down. In particular at garden parties, keep the cask in a shady spot. If you are inside, avoid radiators and fires in winter, and other hot spots like in front of windows if the sun is out. Alternatively, you can buy cask blankets from various online suppliers.
How long does everything last once opened?
Once opened, the ale will generally keep well for 24 – 48 hours. Beyond this, it will depend on the ale itself, the temperature and the conditions it is being kept in. For example, if the ale is for a party on a Saturday, any left on the Sunday will probably be fine, but by Monday it may have started to deteriorate. To ensure you have the best drinking experience possible, we would recommend planning to finish the cask on the day of the event!!
Kegs using a party pump:
Once a party pump has been fitted the keg will normally only last for 24 hours as air has been introduced to the system. If you are considering a keg for an event or to drink at home and you are planning to drink it over more than a day, please give us a call to discuss alternative options.
Cider BIBs will last up to 6 months once opened, as long as it is within the best before date.
Size – number of pints
Keg lager / cider / bitter:
11 gallon keg (equivalent to 50 litres) - contains 88 pints
30 litre keg - contains 52-53 pints
20 litre keg - contains 35 pints
Cask ale (real ale):
9 gallon cask - contains 72 pints
4.5 gallon cask - contains 35 pints
20 litre polypin - contains 35 pints
10 litre polypin - contains 18 pints
Size – dimensions
11 gallon - 56cm high by 39cm diameter
30 litres - 36.2cm high by 39cm diameter
20 litres – 41cm high by 31.5cm diameter
Do you have a Sale or Return Policy?
We can do sale or return on all products except cask ale that has been pre-conditioned and anything else that we have ordered in specifically for your event.
Wine and spirits can be returned by the bottle. Cases of bottles / soft drinks etc. must be returned in their original packaging, unopened and in a resalable condition.
As a guideline we will accept up to 25% of the order as returns. This can be negotiated depending on products and quantities. Please give us a ring or pop in and see us to discuss your requirements in more detail.
Can we collect?
Yes, you are more than welcome to collect from our warehouse in Shrewsbury.
Our opening hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.
What are the delivery options?
If the delivery address is within approximately 25 miles of our depot, we will deliver the goods free of charge using our own vans and drivers.
If you are further afield, there are a few different options.
• Collection can be made directly from our warehouse
• Smaller items and quantities can be dispatched via our website using a parcel courier at a cost of £9.95 inc. VAT for up to 15kg.
• Larger items such as kegs or larger quantities can be dispatched using a pallet courier company. Prices vary according to weight and postcode. Please call us for a quote.
Why does the website show a £100 delivery charge?
This is to prompt you to either ring our office (01743 467163) or email us (email@example.com) for a detailed quote.
The actual cost of delivery will depend on what you wish to order and your delivery address, so if you could let us know these details we can give you a quote for delivery. The standard delivery quoted for is weekday, next-day delivery. We are able to offer a Saturday delivery but there is an additional charge for this.
What if I can’t find what I am looking for on the website?
We will always try and source different products for our customers. So if you can’t find what you are looking for, please do not hesitate to ring us on 01743 467163 and we will do our best to help.
If you require us to do this for you, as much notice as possible would be appreciated.
Do I need to return my empty keg or cask?
If you are local to us we are always happy to collect the kegs and casks when they are empty. If you are further afield, generally if you speak to your local pub they are usually happy to take any empties you have to give back to their appropriate suppliers. They will then find their way back to their owners!
Do you supply cellar gas?
No, sorry we do not sell gas. There are cellar gas suppliers all over the UK, so we would suggest if you need to purchase gas, you search online for suppliers near to you. If you are local we are happy to point you in the right direction.
NB No gas is required with cask ales or when using our party pumps. It is only needed with the full dispensing equipment.
Do you do glass hire?
No sorry, we do not carry a supply of glasses.
We can recommend companies within our local area who hire out glassware as well as crockery etc. If you require more details, please give us a ring on 01743 467163 and we will do our best to help.
Got a question that isn’t answered here? Give us a call and we will do our best to help.