Beer Chilling Systems: Which Type Is Right for My Restaurant?

March 24, 2018

A refrigeration unit is integral to the functioning of any restaurant.

Beers are best served cold – there’s no questioning that! But which beer chilling system is the best? From reach-in coolers to glycol chillers, a beer chilling system is an important piece of restaurant equipment that completes your commercial kitchen, ensuring a positive experience for your customers. Thus, it must be selected carefully.

The right restaurant equipment is a must if you are to set up your commercial kitchen successfully. Before buying a refrigeration unit, consider your available space. Consideration also has to be given to your restaurant concept and style. We’ll dive into two major beer chilling restaurant equipment options to help you decide.

Reach-in Freezers and Coolers

A reach-in cooler can be carefully placed in the bar area of your restaurant. This restaurant equipment is usually low to the ground, and can be set to just the right temperature for your beer. Staff will have to reach into the freezer or coolers to retrieve the beer. Such restaurant equipment is best designed for storing bottled beers. Still, there are a few factors that must be considered before making the purchase for your commercial kitchen.

Size and Position: One of your most important considerations when buying a reach-in freezer or cooler is its size. The refrigerator will likely be positioned in the bar area of your restaurant. However, you want to ensure that this restaurant equipment is easily accessible and that the size is just right for its location.

Style: There are different styles and types of reach-in coolers. While some consist of a refrigeration unit and a freezer unit, you will likely need this restaurant equipment to be all refrigeration and no freezer. The door style – transparent or opaque – should also be considered.

Glycol Chillers

This restaurant equipment keeps the beer cold from the store room to the tap, allowing your customers to enjoy fresh, cold beer without opening a bottle.

Glycol chillers are essentially refrigerators that function in a draft system. This will require a cooler, kegs, pressure gas, tubing, and a faucet for direct serving. This restaurant equipment allows you enjoy reliable control over the temperature of the beer running out the faucet. A walk-in cooler houses all beer kegs.

With the right amount of gas pressure (usually a bottled combination of carbon dioxide and nitrogen), the gas is forced out of the keg through the tube and out through the faucet. Although this process might seem straightforward, there are certain considerations to be made when employing this restaurant equipment.

Pressure: The location of your walk-in freezer and tubing will impose some resistance against the free flow of beer. You must ensure that the right amount of gas pressure is applied to see the beer through to the faucet.

Carbonation and Temperature: How carbonated is the beer in the keg? The kind of beer you are selling and the temperature of your keg will have a major impact on the kind of gas combination needed to push it through. You want to be careful not to overly carbonate the beer; it could get too foamy or go super flat.

Your choice of restaurant equipment must be made with due consideration to the style and ambience of your restaurant and bar. Ultimately, you want to ensure that your chilling system leaves your customers feeling refreshed and satisfied. With the right amount of care and consideration, your restaurant equipment can sate their thirst for the perfect, cold beer.

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