Interior of the Growler Filling Station bar at Kool Keg in Arlington Texas showing the unique look of the growler station and the package beer section to the right.
A Growler Filling Station Opens New Opportunities
Adding a Growler Filling Station to his fashionable Kool Keg beer and margarita rental business in Arlington, Texas, George Kramerov, can tap into a market not being served in the Dallas, Fort Worth, Metroplex.
A Growler Filling Station adds the ability to sell high-end beer such as aged craft beers, sours, imports, from Belgium and other locations, and barrel aged beer. This isn’t grocery store beer. This is craft beer to the next level.
In addition to filling growlers, Kool Keg also offers a high-end bottle shop for craft beer.
The 30 Beer 4 Growler Filling Station installed by RSI for Kool Keg in Arlington Texas.
According to George, “People want a Growler because they want a keg beer. It’s fresher; there are no preservatives. When you bottle beer, most of the time they put something in there for longevity. With Keg beer, there’s nothing added to it, so it’s fresh. They get a Growler of it; they take it home. We’ve taken it a step further. We’re doing Growlers, but our beer is just going to be this very, very rare exceptionally hard to get high-end craft beer.”
Our Growler Filling Station and Bar is on our premise, so we definitely want people to come over here and have some drinks, sit around, hang out with us, but then if you’re on the go, come, bring your Growler or buy one of ours, fill it up, off you go.
We offer exceptional customer service. A lot of people, don’t’ take care of their Growlers. They open it up, and the smell is terrible. They can come over here and not care. We’ll wash it for them. We’re one of the only Growler filler station places that I’ve ever seen. Nobody does it for you. They– even on their websites say– clean your shit; we’re not doing it for you.
The Growler Filling System
The thing with this Growler Filling Station system, I was looking for the purest way to fill a Growler and everywhere I looked, when you talk home brew, everybody says the right way to do it is to use a counter pressure system. For you to get a counter-pressure system and fill Growlers, it would take way too long.
The apparatus is just not conducive for speed. Looking through pages and hours and hours and hiring an attorney and all kinds of stuff to try to find the best way, we found these Pegas CrafTaps.
Instead of doing it all yourself like we did, Contact RSI and let them help you decide what you need. It will be much simpler and reduce your stress level.
The Pegas CrafTap 2.0 uses the same operation principles found in large bottling factories around the world, counter pressure the bottle with C02 before filling with beer. The result is less foam, less waste, and a better tasting, longer lasting Growler.
From Pagas CrafTap Literature
“I think the growler filling station we are installing here is the first one in Texas. We think it’s the biggest Growler Filling Station system to date that’s ever been done.”
It’s the biggest one in the world. It’s the only one of this kind in the world.
Pegas CrafTap Counter Pressure Growler Towers
We bought 4 Pegas CrafTap units. Once we had the Growler Filler units, I started looking at how we can get these drop fillers, Pegas drop taps to fill Growlers as fast as possible. We saw a video showing a 12 unit console system. That was the biggest one they had last year. I called them up, and they asked me what I wanted, I designed this, I sent it to them, six months later you’re looking at it. The only one in the world: One of a kind.
Now that you have all the parts, what company installed it for you?
“The best in the world is what I hear. It’s called RSI.”
Three people said you needed to go to these guy’s, RSI: Because I honestly was about to attempt to do it myself.
Like I said earlier, let RSI do it all instead of trying to do it all yourself.
They have the expertise and know what works together to get you the best system. Then you only have one company to deal with instead of having everyone blame the other guy when something goes wrong.
RSI Installs Dissimilar Products Into A Working One-Of-A-Kind System
RSI was able to take all the different pieces and build it into a complete Growler Filling Station system. They were able to make everything work together seamlessly and alleviate the customers concerns by providing one point of contact if there is ever an issue.
Chris Mitchell performed the install for RSI and explained the details of the system; what RSI had to do to tie it all together; and then tune it, so it works together as a single system.
“This system starts with a Perlick 4404 for the chiller. This is a glycol chiller. We are using a 50/50 blend on the gas to push it all. There are 15-beers per side, for a total of 30-different flavors available at one time. However, this requires 30 separate lines split using “Y” fittings. One line to the beer tap and one line to the Growler Filling Station. Each of these 30 lines has a regulator on it, so you have 30 regulators.”
30 beer lines of the Growler Filling Station inside the Keg cooler showing the regulators, “Y” fittings and the Perlick cooling lines.
In addition to the regulators and “Y” fittings, each beer line has Foam on Beer detector or FOB. This allows the line to stay primed when the keg is depleted and changed. This keeps air and turbulence out of the line that can induce excessive foam or wasted beer. The FOB’s also aide in saving beer by keeping the lines primed during regular maintenance and scheduled cleaning.
Details Of The Backend Install
Growler Filling Station Installation showing regulators, “Y” fittings, Glycol cooling, and restrictor lines on the beer feed lines for the growler and taps.
There are a number of identical manifolds mounted to the inside of the cooler. Each manifold has a pressure regulator to set the flow of each beer to the correct pressure. Lighter beers require less pressure to push than heavier beers and lagers.
This install incorporates a through-the-wall tap system which simplifies the configuration as no lines are going through a beer chase. This also keeps the lines shorter and requires less energy to maintain the beer colder as the lines are shorter and mainly reside inside the cooler.
At the top of the manifold the beer exits and is split using a “Y” fitting. One line goes to the Beer Faucet (or Tap), and the other line goes to the Growler Filling Station manifold on the bar side of the wall.
Once the lines split, then they need to be balanced based on the length of the line going from the pressure regulator to the Growler manifold or the faucet.
Growler Filling Station Requires Exactly 30 Lbs. Of Pressure
“The growler uses a precise 30 lbs. of pressure, so I balance this with 3/16th restrictor line to even that out to where you can pour a good beer. We determine how much restrictor line is required using a calculation.
It’s a math problem. We have an equation we use to balance the line based on some factors. Once we know the line length, the diameter, and the pressure, we can calculate the exact amount of restrictor line to use. This calculation gives us a balanced system and a good pour on each line.”
Getting The Right Line Balance Is Critical
“This was a little more complicated than most standard beer installs because they needed an accurate 30 pounds of pressure for the Growler Fillers. We had to match that exactly. We knew what line length was going to the Pegas CrafTap Towers already, so we used that in the equation. We had to go with a set point of 30 and work backward to do the math to see how much line we needed. In the end, it all comes out the same for the customer, but it is more of a headache to figure out and get it right.”
Growler Cleaning Stations
Showing the Growler Filling Station and the 30 Taps along with the Growler Cleaning Stations installed by RSI for Kool Keg of Arlington Texas.
Each Growler Filling Station has its own Cleaning Station with shampoo, a sanitizer, and a water rinse. To feed this cleaning station, RSI installed 3-Flow Jet pumps below each Growler Filling Station supplied by its own pressure regulator. One for cleaner, one for sanitizer, and one for water as a final rinse.
Close Up of the 3 pumps for the Growler Filling Station cleaning station during installation by RSI for kool Keg of Arlington Texas.
The shampoo and sanitizer supplies each have individual FOBs. This allows the line to stay primed when the shampoo or sanitizer feed is empty. It is not needed on the water line because water is a direct feed with no additional product added.
Each line goes up to a pressure plate built directly into the grate of the Growler Filling Station so the bartender can clean each growler before filling it in the Pegas CrafTap tower.
The system also provides cleaning access to the Growler manifold to clean the line to the Pegas CrafTap Tower on the Growler Filling Station. These are accessed through connectors on the growler manifold.
Growler Feed Manifold
Growler Filling Station showing the Pegas Craftap Growler Stations along with the manifolds for the 30 craft beers.
As you can see from the image above, each growler filling station has 2 Pegas CrafTap Towers, 15 beer taps, a manifold pressure gauge for the growler tower, a visual fill line to show product flow, and quick disconnects to allow quickly selecting the correct beer to send to the tower.
There are also individual disconnects for the cleaning process, so the line to the tower is cleaned before filling each growler. This improves the flavor and ensures the highest quality flavor for the customer.
The four quick disconnects on the top row from left to right are Growler Feed (left side), C02, Water, and Growler Feed (Right Side). Below these four disconnects are the 15 numbered connections corresponding to the 15 taps above.
How to Fill a Growler using the Growler Filling Station
Bartender Filling a Growler at the Growler Filling Station installed by RSI, at Kool Keg in Arlington Texas.
To fill a growler is a more complicated and time-consuming process than filling a beer mug. There is a particular process, and steps are required to be followed in the correct order to ensure a proper fill. By matching dissimilar systems together, RSI created a straightforward and functional system, which allows the bartender to create a unique customer service and provide something not available in Texas prior to this install.
- Clean the Growler
- Select the Proper Beer
- Connect the proper beer feed quick disconnect
- Connect the other end of quick disconnect to the growler feed
- Sit growler on to the Drip Tray platform in the CrafTap Tower
- Raise platform to seal the growler to the tap.
- Turn adjustment nut until bottle barely touches the silicon bumper
- Pull bottle fixing handle forward until the bottle is snug.
- Do not over tighten, just make it snug to get a good seal
- Close the door
- Pressurize the bottle with CO2 by pushing the flow switch handle backward for 3 seconds then return to neutral (middle) position.
- Start pouring the beer by pulling the flow switch handle forward
- Rotate the pressure release valve in a counter-clockwise direction to begin filling
- The farther the valve is open, the faster the pour.
- Faster pour = more foam
- Find the best pour speed by adjusting the release valve to control the foam
- Fill to the bottom of the fill line located on the neck of the Growler (labeled either 1.89L or 64 FL oz.)
- When Growler is filled, rotate the pressure release valve all the way back in a clockwise motion to stop the flow of beer.
- Purge line the Beer Line into the Growler
- Turn the beer line valve clockwise all the way to the off position
- Connect to the CO2 gas feed using the quick disconnect
- Return the flow switch handle to the neutral (middle) position.
- Slowly open the pressure release valve by turning counter clockwise to make a foam barrier
- Slowly close the pressure release valve by turning back in the clockwise position
- Lower the growler by slowly turning the bottle fixing handle backward
- Remove the growler and immediately screw on the growler cap.
- Seal the cap if mandatory by state regulations
The Advantage of Adding a Growler Filling Station To Your Bar
The current Growler and Craft Beer Menu. Live updates to the system update the board, website, and social media sites.
The benefit of adding a Growler Filling Station to your bar is that it produces a higher revenue stream because you are adding and selling higher-end products. Typically, Specialty Beers, Craft Beers, Aged Products, and products with limited availability. Additionally, you are selling a larger quantity while providing a service that not every bar offers. It offers exclusivity and differentiates you from the bar next-door. It helps you create brand awareness each time they have a drink at home because they know there is only one place, your place, to get their growler refilled.
The advantage for the customer is a keg beer for personal consumption that they have not been able to get before now.
The Growler beer will stay fresh much longer because no preservatives are added and the counter pressure of the Pegas CrafTap system keeps oxygen out of the growler during the fill process. This filling process is similar to the way a beer manufacturer fills their kegs and bottles. The customer is getting an exceptional product, exclusively from you, their local provider, which is the same quality as a large national or international beer provider.
Contact RSI Today To Discuss Your Growler Filling Station Needs
Please contact David Hester to discuss your Growler system needs. Regardless of your level of knowledge or understanding of a Growler Filling Station, we will help you determine your needs.
We’ll ask questions to understand your needs and wants before determining the best system and configuration to meet those needs. We get you the right system for your establishment and installation.
We also provide the professional installation using Factory Certified and CFESA Certified Technicians. With over 35 plus years in the business, our extensive knowledge and expertise get you the peace of mind you only wish for with other vendors.
Once we install your system, we can set you up with a preventative maintenance plan to keep the system and equipment in optimal working order for years to come. Our one stop, white glove service, lowers your operating costs while increasing the longevity of your equipment. We work with you to develop the schedule and plan that meets your needs.
So Call Marvin or David Hester, or send them an email. Even if you are not ready to make a decision today, let them help you make the right choices for your business.
Call Us Toll Free And Let Us Discuss Your Needs.
Toll-Free — 888-TOO-WARM (866-9276)
Phone — 972-279-3800 x3 (Service)
Fax — 888-349-2673
Alternatively, Email Us And Let Us Provide Insight On Your Needs.
Marvin Hester, (888) 866-9276 x103, firstname.lastname@example.org
David Hester, (888) 866-9276 x137, email@example.com