Not every beer keg is the same. It’s an old proverb. Some are made from stainless steel, and others are engineered from plastic. Different keg systems have a range of fun names from sankey to slider. They come in a wide variety of sizes from a half barrel to a slim sixth barrel. There’s that cool-looking metal cask, and there’s those low-noise, easy-to-handle rubber steel kegs. That’s a lot of keg choices. Just saying.
Along with this wonderful variety comes a number of tapping systems. The valve in the keg comes with a distinct system that requires matching the exact keg coupler to the right keg valve. In the United States, there are eight main systems.
Micro Matic knows this. It has been supplying quality beer equipment around the world for more than 50 years, and its website is full of great educational info about the draft experience. For starters, Micro Matic has an impressive keg coupler cross reference listing that will let you know what brand uses what type of system. The company has also produced these excellent videos explaining the six most popular systems, and here’s a quick reference for all eight from the Micro Matic website.
“D” System (American Sankey): Most North American beers. Used by breweries such as: Anheuser Busch / Inbev, MillerCoors, Labatt, Molson and domestic micro / craft breweries. Imports: Becks and Bass Ale.
“S” System (European Sankey): Many import beers. Used by breweries such as: Heineken, Stella, and Amstel Light
“A” System (German Slider): Many German beers. Used by breweries such as: Spaten, Warsteiner, and Paulaner.
“M” System: Is recently introduced to the U.S. market. Body is the same as the German Slider, but the probe configuration is unique. Used by breweries such as: Schneider Weisse, Aventinus, and Einbecker.
“G” System: This system gets its name from the English developer, Grundy. Used by breweries such as Boddingtons and Caffrey’s.
“U” System: This system takes its name from the English manufacturer UEC. Used by breweries such as Guinness and Harp.
Twin Probe: Limited use by some craft breweries.
Home Brew: Ball lock fittings used for homebrew tanks.
Visit Micro Matic to learn more. Now enjoy the rest of these excellent vids.