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Beer on TapTap beer or Beer in bottles?

This is a question we, at Zest Bars, get asked all the time. Whether the event be large with over a thousand people or an intimate affair with 40 guests. The  answer to this can also determine which type of Mobile bar to hire, or if you   need one at all!

It can also make a difference on the type of event it is, Wedding, corporate, birthday party and of course the resources of the venue.

With mobile bar hire and mobile beer dispensing unit hire, easily available, you can have beer on tap virtually anywhere, so for just about any type of event event, both options have to be considered. Another thing that makes the decision even harder is that there are so many beers available in the Keg or barrel (the name depends on which state you’re in). Not as many as are available in the bottle, of course, but it’s not lagging far behind.

There are quite a few smaller breweries that produce their beers in barrels and with the advent of beer and brewer expos, the choice keeps expanding and evolving!

With the amount of ciders now available in the bottle and keg, this definitely applies to the question of cider in bottles or kegs as well.

So, to the pro’s and con’s of each:

Beer in Kegs/ Barrels


  • Heavy to move
  • Need extra equipment to dispense the product (chiller, gas, taps etc)
  • With equipment is generally more expensive than slabs/ cases of beer
  • Definitely need glasses or cups to serve in
  • If the keg isn’t finished you need to have an afer party the next day to finish it (is this really a con?)


  • Once it’s empty, it can be taken away and is not your rubbish problem
  • Doesn’t generate a lot of empty containers/ bottles, rubbish once it’s drunk, don’t need the volume of bins at the venue
  • Quick to dispense
  • Served in pots at an event is smaller than bottles, so guests are constantly getting a fresh product
  • Beer on tap adds another dimension that can add to the atmosphere of your event.


Beer in Bottles/ Stubbies


  • Creates a lot of rubbish/ recycling to get rid of and clear from tables
  • If served into a glass, dispensing can be slow
  • When served in the bottle, there always seems to be a lot of waste – half bottles at the end of a night
  • Need a lot of fridge space or tubs with ice to keep cold


  • Cheaper to buy the product in general as no extra equipment is needed
  • More readily available
  • Massive choice of products
  • Left overs easy to store and use at a later date


These lists can be added to I’m sure, but I just wanted to give you a few things to think about when making the choice. For me the biggest one is rubbish/ recycling and cooling. For an event with over 70 people, I much prefer to have beer on tap. The space taken by having a couple of hundred or more bottles of beer being chilled down can be really impractical in small spaces, particularly those without a lot of refrigeration.

Also, I love a fresh beer or cider from the tap, so I’m biased.


I hope this helps when making the decision for your next event!



That Bar Guy