Thursday, August 24, 2006
End of an era: Keg box swap.
I’ve been given the go-ahead to purchase a new keg box for the bar at Rich O’s.
It will replace the very first pre-owned keg box we ever bought (“used” is an understatement) in 1992 for $300. The keg box housed Guinness, the first draft beer at Rich O’s, which was later joined by Carlsberg (soon usurped by Pilsner Urquell) and a “middle tap” that rotated. The first “middle tap” was Oldenberg Outrageous Bock, followed by (literally) a hundred others.
Sierra Nevada Porter was pouring from the “middle tap” when the beer writer Michael Jackson visited Rich O's in 1994.
Some time in the late 1990’s, the compressor died and was replaced, and my friend Kevin put a rectangle of sheet metal on the floor to augment the encroaching rust. Unfortunately, and surreptitiously, around this same time a leak developed in the drip tray, and several years of beer slowly leaking into the insulation exacerbated the aging process and has made necessary the box’s removal.
We think that the our heirloom keg box will remain functional if used only occasionally, and so we’re moving it into the back of the Prost special events room to be deployed when helpful to serve gatherings, parties and receptions.
The new keg box likely will have space for three full-size kegs, but it is my intention to outfit it with five spouts instead of three, so that during festivals, the steadily proliferating sixth-barrel keg size will permit us to have extra taps (two will fit in the space taken up by a customary American half-barrel keg). When the new box installed, we’ll have increased to 35 total taps.
Special thanks to handyman and NABC employee Troy Banaski, who came in very early last Saturday and artfully undid the work originally performed by the inimitable Barrie Ottersbach, who built a bar to last, and firmly embedded the keg box inside it in the process.