Beer: To Keg or Not To Keg?
Should you go with a keg for your event or just bottles and cans? Let’s weigh the pros and cons.
Kegs – Pros
The main pro of going with a keg of beer would be the simplicity. You just have to order the keg(s) and go pick it up. It usually comes with everything you need, the keg, a container to put the keg in and ice it down, usually a large trash can, and the keg hand pump.
Kegs – Cons
There are a few cons of using kegs instead of bottles/cans. One issue is the setup of the keg. The longer the keg sits and is allowed to chill on ice the better. The more the keg is moved or the warmer the keg is the more head (foam) the keg will pour. Getting the keg to the venue early enough, put in place and started chilling can cause issues if the venue doesn’t allow access early enough or if the delivery of the keg is delayed. Another is the possibility of the hand pump breaking/not working correctly. If the hand pump is malfunctioning or has a leak, the beer will not pour correctly from the keg, or may not pour at all. A third con is that pouring beer from a keg is much slower than just popping a top on a can or bottle. If you have a large number of guests this could cause the wait for drinks to be longer than necessary. Another con would be a lack of variety in beer selection. If you provide one or two kegs, the selection of beer would be very limited. A final con would be wasted beer. If you do not float the keg (pour all of the beer), that beer (and money paid) just goes to waste. You usually have to return the keg shortly after the event so you may not have the time to finish off the keg before then.
Bottles & Cans – Pros
The main pro of going with cans or bottles is selection! You can get many different styles of beer for your guests by getting cans or bottles. If you prefer Bud Light, your spouse prefers Dos XX, your bridesmaids are watching their carbs and only drink Michelob Ultra and your father-in-law is a Shiner man, that would be very hard to accommodate with kegs, but very easy with cans/bottles. Another pro would be leftover beers could easily be stored for your next party or even returned to the store if the case was never opened. The fact that there are no moving parts to bottles and cans of beer eliminates the issues you may have with a keg, as there isn’t much that can go wrong with a bottle or can of beer unless you drop it. Finally, there isn’t as much time needed to chill the bottles/cans before the event. As long as they are on ice no less than 20 mins before the event they will be plenty cold to serve when the event starts. Additionally, you could have koozies made for your event to advertise or as a memory of your event!
Bottles & Cans – Cons
The only con with cans or bottles would be the additional trash.