The beer drip tray is an overlooked part of draft beer dispensing equipment. It’s designed to catch dripping beer from a beer faucet after pouring.
Having the right drip tray will make sure beer doesn't leak on the bar counter top, and there's no extra clean up.
Beer drip trays come in many variations; surface mount, recessed or flush mount, with glass rinsers and all sorts of shapes.
Yet, after reading this you’ll know which drip trays are best for different scenarios. As well as the main categories they come in. Let's go...
Beer Drip Tray With Drain
Most drip trays come with a drain in the center. The drain can be a welded piece of tubing ½” to ¾” long.
You can slide a piece of tubing over the drain and put the end piece into a drain bottle, bucket, or floor drain.
Another way is a threaded piece that screws into the bottom of the drip dray. This threaded drain piece is around 3.5 inches long by 1/2 “ wide.
Once the shaft threads in. There’s usually a panel washer nut and washer assembly that will hold the drip tray under the counter.
This is another popular drain assembly with drip trays.
Keep in mind sometimes the shaft of the drain may need to be longer depending on the thickness of the counter top. It all depends on where the drip tray will rest and the thickness of the counter top.
Surface Mount Drip Tray
These drip trays are great to use on kegerators or draft beer towers with 1-3 beer taps. They will vary in size but are somewhere around 12 inches in length.
On the bottom of the trays rubber or silicone stoppers are there so they don’t slide. The beer trays sit on top of the counter or kegerator. There is no drain with these. Surface mounts are very easy to clean.
One popular model is the cutout surface mount drip tray. The cutout piece allows a small draft beer tower to rest inside. This is typically a 3" coloumn. The cutout also picks up the splashing and dripping from beer faucets. Here's a great option from Amazon below.
To clean, pull out the drip tray insert. Carry the tub part of the tray to a sink and dump down the drain. Wash with a cleaning soap like Dawn to clean the drip tray. Dry after, the drip tray is clean and ready.
Again, a great alternative for someone that has a few taps. Great for home kegerators and establishments. Quick to clean, but also a reliable drip tray if you don’t need to plumb up a drain system.
Wall Mount Drip Tray
These are great for direct draw beer systems. Where beer faucets are coming out of the wall or off a refrigerator that converted to a beer kegerator.
These drip trays can come with screw holes that make it easy to install. Usually set up for 2 or 3 beer taps. Custom mounts can be made but there is also another option. This option is usually for many beer faucets.
These wall mount drip trays can also incorporate beer taps, backsplash and drip tray all in one. This is usually the more popular of the the two. Also used at home, as well as breweries and commercial establishments.
Beer Glass Rinser Drip Tray
These drip trays give users the opportunity to rinse and cool a beer glass before beer pours into it. Glass rinsers are more common in the commercial side of things.
Glass rinsers also prevent beer from foaming on a warm glass surface. It’s nice to have these built into drip trays.
Most of the beer glass rinsers come pre-built into the drip trays, and purchased off the shelf. Also added separately when needed.
Most of the time the rinsers rest outside the farthest beer tap.
From experience this seems to be the best location. If beer rinsers sit in the center of a drip tray they tend to malfunction more often. It could be because of the beer falling on the rinser and drying up. I've seen occasions where bar tenders go to rinse a glass and it gets stuck spraying water. This is usually related to neglect of equipment if anything else.
It also could be wear and tear from bartenders using the glass rinsers.
From my experience it seems the outside glass rinsers seem to last longer. Compared to rinsers placed in the center of a drip tray.
One thing to keep in mind is the rinser itself will need a replacement.. Like any other piece of equipment in constant use wear and tear will take its toll.
Working with pubs and breweries it seemed these rinsers were being replaced annually. The nice thing about the rinsers is they aren't too difficult to replace.
Overall, a great drip tray that has more capability than a standard drip tray we’ve talked about above.
Flush Mount Beer Drip Tray
Flush mount or recessed drip trays keep the drip tray flush with the existing countertop. These drip trays look the best aesthetically in my opinion .
The tough thing about these trays is you’ll need to cut into the countertop or bartop. This requires cutting into stone or stainless steel. I’d always have contractors do this on my commercial projects, but it can be done with someone having the right tools.
The cut needs to be slightly bigger than the footprint of the drip tray. This will allow the drip tray to slide into the cut and the flanged surface will the drip tray in place. With these flush mount drip trays. I’d always recommend glass rinsers too. This gives the user a clean and professional drip tray. With the ability to prep glasses before beer pours.
I'd recommend looking at Micro Matic for these trays.
There are different styles of drip trays out there, but we can break most of them down into categories.
Surface mount drip trays with no drain, flush mount drip drays and drip trays with glass rinsers.
Each has it’s pros and cons and after reading this article you now know which drip tray is best to use. Whether you are using it in a commercial setting or simply using it at home.
For more information check out the rest of our articles at Draft Beer Dispense Blog. If you have any further questions you can get a hold of us here. And if you are looking for some other professional draft dispensing products. I encourage you to visit our recommended products page. Cheers!