It seems that everyone loves growlers, us included. Especially then they are metal, shiny and look like mini kegs. And if that wasn’t enough, there are now tap systems to go with those kegs so you can have draft beer on the go. We recently got our hands on one of the ikegger 2 litre “Hummer” mini kegs and a flexi-tap system and put it through its paces.
The ikegger Hummer Growler
It arrived well packaged and in perfect shiny condition. The mini keg lookalike holds 2 litres with a robust screw top lid in the centre. A couple of handles make for easy carrying – especially when full. It looks deceptively small compared to other growlers but it really does hold 2 litres.
Having used the same design from other breweries we can say with some certainty that they are strong and robust and do bounce and roll when you drop them. And won’t lose a drop of precious beer.
The Flexi Tap
Described as the “cheap and cheerful” option, this arrived in its many pieces with the growler. Whilst it is fairly easy to assemble, an operating manual would’ve been useful, just to make sure you are getting everything in the right place. And that the hoses are the right length, and in the right place. (See Update below about the operating manual)
It is made of plastic, but doesn’t feel too flimsy. And fits nice and firmly into the mini keg screw opening. It’ll also fit the larger 4 litre “Johnson” ikegger mini keg.
Filling the Growler
To test our new shiny toy, we headed to one of the growler filling stations conveniently listed on the ikegger website. In this case it was the 10 Toes Brewery on the Sunshine Coast where we filled up with their new Dark Ale (4.2%). After all it is winter in Queensland. Not all breweries fill growlers that are not their own, so best check first.
Using a standard filling hose, the growler was easy to fill with not too much foam produced. A quick wipe down, attach the Flexi Tap and we were set for the real test.
Testing the System
Once the Flexi Tap is fixed to the growler you give a blast of CO2 by firmly pressing the button on top. Without a pressure gauge it’s hard to know how hard to press and for how long. Our first attempt saw far too much CO2 in the keg and the beer came out more froth than beer. You do get the feel of it after a few fills. Our advice is start light and quick, and build up until you get the right pressure. Maybe for version 2, a small gauge could be added.
The pouring tap is a simple lever tap where the harder you press, the faster the beer comes out. This is useful so you can get the right amount of head on your beer. Again the first few attempts resulted in lots of froth, but it doesn’t take too long to master the system.
A great system that ensures you get your takeaway beer served just like at the bar. And based on our testing with a few groups of people, it certainly makes a great topic of conversation as they were all really impressed.
There are a couple of things we’d like to see, which include an assembly and operating manual (see Update below) as well as a small pressure gauge to reduce the foaming and over use of CO2 – as the small canisters can only last a couple of refills.
And, based on our experience, make sure the tube that goes inside the keg is the right length for that keg and only just reaches the bottom. Ours arrived with one that was a little too long and curved up, which resulted on one test with an empty canister, and glass full of CO2 as the end of the hose had turned up above the level of the beer.
Win One and Deals!
ikegger are currently running a competition where you can win one each month. There’s a few steps you need to fulfil, and all are listed here.
There are also some package deals on offer at the moment that may entice you to make the leap.
When buying the growler and flexi tap you’ll normally be sent the instructions by email. Or you can read them here – Flexi Tap Instructions.