Tank beer: the bag-in-tank principle explained

Over the years, increasingly more pubs and breweries have adopted the newly developed bag-in-tank beer system. Why? Because of its numerous advantages, like better tasting beer, easier distribution and decreased costs. But what is the bag-in-tank beer principle? And how do you find out if it could be of value in your situation? On this page, you’ll learn all you need to know about the tank beer principle.

What is the bag-in-tank beer principle?

The bag-in-tank beer principle is based on a unique concept where the beer is stored in airtight bags in pressurised tanks. The system was originally developed for the distribution of pilsner beer produced by the major Dutch brands, and is stored in chilled cellars under pubs and bars. Over the years, however, the concept has been developed by Duotank and can now be used in a wide variety of applications.

The advantages of the tank beer concept have led it to being increasingly adopted by microbreweries and brewpubs. This popularity is partly due to the fact that the beer retains its flavour longer after being connected to the beer taps, (many major breweries guarantee up to 12 weeks!), making it ideal for the specialty beers that often have somewhat lower turnover. This is because no extra CO2 needs to be added to the beer, and the beer is kept at a constant temperature and pressure; these factors significantly help preserve the quality of the beer and increase customers’ enjoyment of the flavour.

Serving brewery-fresh beer in any pub

Beer should be drunk as the brewmaster has intended it: brewery-fresh. But how can you serve brewery-fresh beer outside of the brewery?

Keg beer vs. tank beer: pros & cons

If you want to serve draught beer in a bar, there are several options regarding the packaging and the draught beer equipment. To find out if bag-in-tank beer could be a valuable solution for your company, we’ve compared tank beer to the most commonly used solution out there: keg beer.

Keg beer
A keg cooler (or kegerator) is the simplest way to have draught beer in a bar. But besides the advantages, there are also a number of disadvantages you should take into account when opting for keg beer.

Pros

  • A keg cooler installation under the bar or in the cellar is the easiest way to have draught beer in a bar for the draught volume till 250 liter a week
  • The initial investment for draught beer with kegs is by far the lowest
  • Keg beer is interesting for the smaller breweries with lower volumes of production

Cons

  • Most commonly used keg sizes in Europe are the 50 liter and 20 liter kegs, you need to invest in a number of kegs to keep the beer flowing at the bar
  • The empty goods have to be returned to the brewery for cleaning and filling
  • CO2 is added to the beer, which affects the taste and freshness of the beer
  • The costs for filling, cleaning and transport of keg beer are much higher
  • Lots of beer loss, because of the longer beerlines to the bar
  • Kegs have a 30% larger carbon footprint  than tankbeer because here also CO2 is added to dispense the beer

Tank beer
The tank beer system has been developed with optimization and cost-efficiency in mind. For that reason, it offers its users a number of advantages.

Pros

  • Tank beer systems are developed to optimize the distribution of beer and therefore the system not only saves costs, but also ensures a much verifiable process. This means the best possible condition of the beer.
  • The beer tank system is developed to make the distribution of beer easier. Multiple labor intensive steps in the distribution process can be skipped when using a beer tank system.
  • The interiors of the tanks do not need to be hygienically polished, so they are much less expensive.
  • The beer tank system has been developed to decrease costs made during the distribution of beer. Because beer kegs are no longer used, all costs related to this are diminished. This can lead to savings up to 70%!
  • The beautifully finished (copper) tanks are a great way to promote your beer in a pub or bar. They give your beer and pub or bar their own identity, and an artisanal look.

Cons

  • The investment in tank beer is much higher than the other draught beer opportunities
  • The weight of a tankbeer installation is high, which sometimes causes extra costs because of new constructions

Is tank beer the right solution for your company?

Do the benefits of tank beer (better-preserved beer quality, increased shelf life, lower CO2 levels, and a better overall experience) have you wonder if it could be of value to your company? To know if the benefits truly outweigh the initial investment, you would have to calculate the numbers for your specific situation. Luckily, you do not have to do that alone.

Do you want to know more about tank beer or Duotank? Contact us

Our Duotank Experts have extensive experience in evaluating different draught beer solutions. Based on your specific situation, they can determine if the bag-in-tank principle can be of sufficient value to your company or if it’s better to choose a different solution.

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