Keg couplers are an essential component of the beverage delivery process, enabling you to serve customers exactly what they want — a perfectly chilled, delicious drink. When connected to the keg’s valve, the components work together to ensure this process happens.
It’s imperative you use the right keg coupler though, otherwise your staff may not even be able to pour drinks. So, to keep your customers happy, the transfer from draught tap to glass needs to be flawless, and the keg coupler is a vital part of that process.
How does a keg coupler work
A keg coupler attaches to the fitting/valve at top of your keg, enabling pressurised gas to flow into the side of it through an air line from a CO2 or nitrogen tank. Think of the keg coupler as the key, and the fitting valve as the lock. This forces air into the keg which then allows beer to flow out through the beer line (this is essentially a tube that runs from the keg to the tap), producing a fresh pint.
Remember that your keg coupler needs to be the correct type to fit the valve. This video shows you how to connect a type A coupler to a Petainer keg, for instance.
The different types of keg couplers
There are common coupler types that can be used for a variety of keg styles and drinks. Many of these have been manufactured independently by specific beer and beverage companies. All keg couplers are similar in appearance and function, however, you must have the right one in order for your keg delivery system to work correctly. Keg couplers are designed specifically for certain types of valves, meaning there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Petainer Kegs come with standard fitting types A,S,D and G meaning that no specialised equipment is needed to be able to dispense.
Less commonly used in the UK, the A type coupler fits most German keg valves and is suitable for Guinness, Hoegaarden and Pimm's.
The D type coupler is designed to fit most US Sankey keg valves for beverages such as Corona, Coors and Budweiser.
This fits some European keg valves and is used for beers like Carling, Tennent’s and Old Speckled Hen.
Commonly used in the UK, the S type coupler is designed for leading brands including Carlsberg, Strongbow and Kronenbourg.
The keg coupler you require depends on the brand and style of beer (or other compatible beverages) you serve. As you can see, each keg coupler is suitable for a specific brand or country of manufacture. The American Sankey D coupler, for example, is the most popular for US beers. It fits all domestic brand kegs and 95% of all beers produced in the country. So, if you offer customers Coors, Budweiser or Goose Island, for instance, you’ll need the D coupler.
Why are there different types of keg couplers
Most couplers were independently designed by local beer producers for their local markets, it was only when demand grew for their products in other regions that the problem of different couplers became a problem. Sadly to this day, producers have been unable to agree on a universal keg fitting and coupler system.
Our 15L, 20L and 30L Hybrid Kegs are compatible with A, D, G and S type couplers, as are our Classic Kegs. These are suitable for most of the existing filling and tapping systems available on the market. Since there are a variety of keg coupler types available, it makes transitioning to a new keg brand simple and quick as the couplers suit many different types. This means you won’t incur any additional costs as a result.
Petainer Kegs can now be fitted with our patented Generation 4 Fitting with pressure relief. Generation 4 is the most advanced fitting on the market, with its patented pressure relief function. Protect your product reputation and those in the supply chain in bar with a pressure relief function that doesn’t re-close and works when coupled.