It’s no secret here at TailgatingIdeas.com that we like beer… craft beer especially. Needless to say when the folks at TrailKeg approached us to test and review a double wall, stainless steel, vacuum insulated, pressurized growler… in other words, a growler that allows you to bring fresh craft beer on tap to your tailgate party, we were pretty excited.
The major problem with traditional, glass growlers is that, well, they’re made of glass. There are four problems with glass growlers when it comes to tailgating:
1 – Fragile: Glass can break and shatter. Glass has been getting more and more scarce in the tailgating parking lots because many stadiums are banning glass bottles and vessels over safety concerns.
2 – Oxygen: If you know the science of beer, you understand that oxygen is the enemy of good tasting beer. As soon as a glass growler is opened in the open air, oxygen is getting into your beer. With time, the oxygen will make your beer taste different and not as good as when you filled your growler at the brewery. That’s why you are encouraged to finish your growler or share it with friends within a short amount of time after opening it to ensure the beer still tastes good.
3 – Heat: If you leave a glass growler sitting out on your tailgating table, depending on the ambient temperature, your last few pints could be warm. Although craft beer is typically served a bit warmer than your run of the mill macro brews, you don’t want that IPA or Milk Stout hovering around 72 degrees.
4 – Pressure: We all can agree that draft beer just tastes better. Whether it is the fact that CO2 is pushing the beer out of the vessel or just mentally you associate better tasting beer coming from a tap, draft beer is just better. Also how cool is it to have a tapped growler at your tailgate party? Pretty damn cool.
Traditional glass growlers are all susceptible to oxygen, heat, lack of pressure and fragility. The TrailKeg eliminates all four of those issues associated with a traditional glass growler.
As you can see in the above image, the TrailKeg is a mini keg complete with a tap and CO2 pressure system. What makes it better than a traditional keg is that the insulated walls allow you to set it out and it stays cold. No need to put it back into the cooler when someone isn’t pouring. Because CO2 is pushing the beer up and out of the TrailKeg, now worries about oxygen ruining the taste of your beer.
We received the gallon size TrailKeg as a sample to test out and brought it to the Rose Bowl January 1st for the Georgia vs. Oklahoma college football playoff game. We filled it with Pale Ale from Black Cock Brewing Company in Orange, Calif. and tested it out while tailgating prior to the Rose Bowl.
(Disclaimer: We received a sample of the TrailKeg free of charge. The fact this sample was provided to us for free in no way influenced our opinion of the product nor did it impact our ability to test and review the product fairly and objectively.)
As you saw in the video, it takes less than two minutes to have fresh craft beer on tap and flowing at your tailgate party. The Black Cock Pale Ale was the second fill using the TrailKeg for us. We tested it at home with Lagerithm from Bottle Logic Brewing and then after the Rose Bowl with some Ballast Point Barometer Drop, a Baltic Porter. All three times the beer was fresh and tapping the TrailKeg was quick and easy.
TrailKeg comes in two sizes, the traditional growler size, 64 oz. and the full gallon, 128 oz. The Gallon TrailKeg Package starts at $149.00 and includes the vessel and the tapping system complete with CO2 cartridge. The 64 oz. TrailKeg package starts at $126.00 and includes the same components.
After testing the TrailKeg at home (twice) and while out tailgating, the TrailKeg is Tailgating Ideas “Tailgate Approved”. Eliminating all the inherent problems of regular glass growlers, the TrailKeg is by far the best way to bring craft beer to a tailgate party. If you like craft beer on tap and tailgating, the TrailKeg is a must. It’s like bringing your local brewery to your parking space.