Ways to Serve your Wine On Tap
Although it may not seem like it, winery, bar, and restaurant closures are temporary. Even without a foreseeable opening date, businesses will reopen, and people will need the social interaction (arguably, more than ever).
Before your business reopens, you may want to take this extra time and create a wine-on-tap program that reflects your business goals. This type of program is ideal for any business that serves wine by the glass, because (on average) businesses save $0.05-$0.08/oz by serving wines-on-tap compared to the bottled equivalent.
Other benefits include a more streamlined wine program that can improve your operational efficiency (even with less staff). And, because there is no cork or cap, there are less points of contact when serving a glass of wine from a tap – making it a more hygienic and sanitary option.
During closures, businesses with current wine-on-tap programs are now offering wine in growlers for delivery and take out thanks to the rapidly changing alcohol laws. If these changes remain post-quarantine, some of those businesses will continue the wine-growler program.
If you’re interested in creating your own wine-on-tap program, we have compiled a list of dispense options to consider based on your budget, space, and wine selection. All options easily accommodate Free Flow’s reusable steel kegs.
Mobile Dispense Options
No-install, Bar-top Dispense
This unit can be placed on a standard countertop, table top, or bar. No refrigeration or installation are required; all you need is a standard outlet for electricity. The glycol tubing chills the wine to your desired temperature when it is poured. This is ideal for tasting rooms, bars, and restaurants with extra counter space and limited refrigeration space. Free Flow Wines offers a lease to own option and they start at $999. You can inquire about it here.
Unlike the bar-top option, this unit can refrigerate the keg. Kegerator units can come with 2-8 taps, in a variety of designs and aesthetics. Depending on the model, electricity may be required. If you have space behind the bar, it’s a great no-retrofit option for adding draft lines. A mobile kegerator is also ideal for businesses that host events and want the flexibility to incorporate wine-on-tap into their indoor or outdoor bar space.
Custom Mobile Dispense Units
Instead of electricity, these custom designs cool the wines as they pass through a cooling coil embedded in ice – similar to a jockey box. This is ideal for catering or businesses that don’t have access to electricity outdoors, but still need an option for draft wine.
Cutom Install Draft System Options
A direct draw setup places the taps immediately above the refrigeration and the steel kegs are located below or beside the taps. (If your business already has beer taps, they can easily be converted to wine taps.) This option is ideal for businesses that have space behind the bar to store tapped kegs within a close range to the tap faucet.
Long Draw draft systems store the tapped kegs away from the taps – often in another room. The wine flows from the keg through long, temperature-controlled lines to the taps. Long draw systems vary widely in their complexity and therefore costs can range greatly. This is ideal for businesses with a larger selection of wines or limited space behind the bar.
Touchless Pour and Self Serve
‘Touchless Pour’ and ‘Self Serve’ are becoming more popular in a post-COVID reality; there are less touchpoints, which means less cleaning and more hygienic. These draft systems are integrated with digital technology, so your customers get the exact drink they want without the wait or the help of a server.
Depending on the system, customers can use a key card, mobile app, foot pedal, or no-touch sensor to serve themselves. You program how many ounces each pour is per glass, and how many glasses each customer can consume. No one will be over-poured or overserved.
Many of these touchless draft systems track data and can help you analyze what your customers are drinking and when they are drinking it, to help you better strategize your wine program.
Wine On Tap Equipment Requirements
Any metal that comes in contact with the wine should be 304-grade stainless-steel. Additionally, all tubing should be wine grade to prevent oxidation.
To dispense the wine you should use 75% Nitrogen/ 25% CO2 blend (aka Beverage Gas or “Guinness Gas”) and the pressure gauge reading should be between 4-10 PSI.
Other Considerations for Adding Wine On Tap
Easy to Maintain!
Wine lines require less maintenance than beer lines. We recommend a cleaning every three months (quarterly) or after every product replacement.
There is no spoilage with wines-on-tap. Wine stays fresh for 18+ months untapped and up to three months once tapped. Steel kegs guarantee no oxygen or light will touch your wine – ensuring a quality glass to the last drop. Lastly, steel kegs never break or crack!
Wine in steel kegs should be stored in the same conditions as wine in bottles: in a cool, temperate space. Stainless steel kegs are 9.5” in diameter and easily stackable, so you can conserve storage space when transitioning to kegs for your by-the-glass wine program.
Free Flow Kegs are 100% reusable, which means there is nothing to recycle or throw away, making it a truly zero waste program.
Free Flow as Your Partner
Free Flow Wines manages all the logistics related to reusable kegs from filling and storage, to seamless return logistics.
Free Flow Wines is a big believer in wine-on-tap, because it’s fresher, greener and better. We want you to be a part of this revolution and have a successful program. To achieve this, we’ve put together an incredible consulting team to support your wine-on-tap program development: we will calculate your potential ROI, oversee project management and implementation, assist in staff training, and help you create a program that’s unique to your business.
To learn more about wine-on-tap, contact us below or call us at 855-keg-wine.
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