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May 6, 2021

The Beer Shank An Important Tool For Draft Beer

Draft beer is an expensive investment for any bar or restaurant. The beer shank is a critical component of the draft beer system and should be treated as such. This post will cover all you need to know about beer shanks. Including how it works, what types there are, and how to tighten a beer shank as well as take off a beer faucet.

What is a Beer Shank?

 The beer shank is a stainless steel tube that pours beer from the keg to the draft faucet. One end of the beer shank can include a fixed hose fitting to connect product lines. 

Like what you would find on an air-cooled tower sitting on a back bar. Or the shank will need a beer nut, beer washer, and hose fitting attached to the back end.

On the opposite side of the shank is where a beer faucet attaches to. Whether it's a custom beer tower or mounted on the face of a cooler wall. The beer shank helps beer systems pour beer and are a necessity.

Different Types of Shanks

 There are 2 different types of beer shanks:

  • Fixed Shank 
  • Standard Beer Shanks

 Fixed Beer Shanks 

Have a fixed hose on the back end and sleeves on the front end are fixed to the shank. These sleeves keep the coupling nut from falling off when a beer faucet is removed from the shank. The nice thing about these fixed shanks it's one less place for beer to leak on the backend and the quality ones are made with stainless steel. Which is the only type of shank you should use, a stainless steel one.

 Standard Beer Shanks

Don't have the fixed sleeve to hold the beer faucet. Instead, they have a snap ring. These aren't as good of quality but can do the job.   To attach a product line to this shank. The user would also need a beer nut, beer washer, and right hose fitting. Usually a 1/4" tailpiece to connect to a  product line.

How To Remove A Beer Faucet From A Shank

 To remove a beer faucet from the shank. First, disconnect the coupler from the keg in the beer cooler. Next, grab a small bucket and pour out the beer into the bucket, or pour yourself a glass lol. You want to make sure the pressure and beer in the line is released. When beer is slowly dripping from the beer faucet. Take your spanner wrench and on one of the holes on a coupling nut. Turn the nut clockwise this will loosen the nut until you can spin it off by hand.

How To Tighten A Shank

To tighten a shank, you will need to have a spanner wrench, beer shank, and a beer faucet. Let's say you are setting up a direct draw system and you have shanks going through a cooler wall. Let's also assume you're going to use fixed beer shanks.

After you push the shank through the cooler wall. You will want to take a shank nut and spin it on the shank until it is flush against the wall hand tighten this. Next, you'll want to spin the coupling on the faucet hand tight and have someone hold the faucet while you tighten up the shank nut on the inside of the cooler.

Another thing to keep in mind. Is these wall mount shanks can start to loosen over time. An easy solution is to mount a spinstop mounting strip from micro-matic. This will keep the shanks from spinning.

As for tightening a shank on an air-cooled tower, or beer tower in general. You can hold the faucet and place a spanner wrench with a coupling wrench on the shank nut and turn it clockwise. By holding the faucet the nut will tighten. Therefore tightening the beer shank to the beer tower.


Hopefully by now you have a better understanding of shanks and why they are an important tool for draft beer. How they work and the different types of beer shanks.

Visit my blog for more information on draft beer dispensing equipment.  I also encourage you to take a look at my recommended products page and see what I recommend. Remember the products on my page have been tested or used in the field for commercial installs.


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About the author

I've been a draft beer technician for 9 years  building, designing, and installing large commercial beer systems. Through the years I've worked on breweries, tap houses, casinos and stadiums around the country.

I enjoy sharing my passion for draft beer dispensing by talking about it, recommending dispensing equipment I've used in commercial installs, or private settings. 


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