Yes, you can, and you can save yourself money and maximize your beer cooler floor space with keg stackers. I've worked on many commercial beer jobs involving breweries, tap houses, and pubs for about 9 years. In my experience, stackers maximize cooler floor space and help the user.
In this article I am going to talk about a few things:
- What are keg stackers and how do they work
- Why you should buy a keg stacker
- The different sizes of keg stackers
- Pros and Cons of using stackers
- Where you can buy them
What are keg stackers and how do they work?
Stackers are used in beer coolers to maximize floor space and tap two kegs stacked on top of one another. These are great for smaller coolers where a rack might take up too much room.
They work by taking a keg and placing a keg stacker on top of that keg. Lift the second keg on top of the keg with the stacker and there you go. There's enough clearance between the two kegs provided by the keg stacker. Allowing the bottom keg to be tapped.
Why You Should Buy a Keg Stacker?
You should buy keg stackers if you have a smaller cooler. Because if you put keg racks inside it will eat up a lot of space. Secondly, keg stackers are a lot cheaper to buy and you can tap two kegs in the place of one.
Direct Draw systems are great for these keg stackers because you can stack the kegs just below the shanks two high. While keeping the backup kegs right behind them. For example, I did a job the other day in Portland, Oregon. It was a 20 tap direct draw beer system. The cooler was a 6'X6'x8'. Racks wouldn't have allowed enough reserve kegs inside. Setting the kegs on the floor wouldn't allow enough room for reserve kegs either. With the help of keg stackers. We were able to add reserves and backups for the 20 kegs because we maximized floor space.
Different Sizes of Stackers
There are two main sizes of stackers. One size is for your 1/2 barrel kegs and the other is for 1/6 barrel kegs. Actually, I believe there are some for 1/4 slimms now but I am not 100 percent sure. I usually just use the sixth and half barrel stackers.
There are also keg dollys that have casters on the bottom so you can move around 1/2 barrel or full keg easily in a walk-in without having to carry it.
Pros and Cons of Stackers
I've talked about the pros above, but it's worth reiterating keg stackers save space in a cooler and a much cheaper option than racks. However there are is a con to using them and that is you need to lift a keg on top of another.
1/2 barrels can weigh around 150+ pounds when filled. So I would recommend having two people lift the kegs on top of one another. That's pretty much the knock-on keg stackers, but to solve this issue get two people to lift a full keg.
Where Can You Buy Them?
You can find keg stackers from kitchen equipment companies and Micro Matic. I've used those and also ones found online at Amazon from Stack Co. I'd recommend the ones from Stack Co. they are solid.
So we covered keg stackers save you floor space inside of a beer walk-in, as well as money. They are a cheaper option than keg racks and can really benefit a smaller cooler. The main con against them is you need to lift kegs, but can do that with two people. There are different sizes of stackers for 1/2 barrels and 1/6 barrels.
Lastly, if you are looking to add keg stackers to your establishment check out these links here.
There is also a recommended products page I encourage you to look at.
For more information on draft beer equipment head over to my blog. I've got a bunch of different articles talking about equipment and best practices.