3 Questions to Ask Before Outfitting Your Beer Cooler

Whether you're a seasoned operator or a first-time owner, it's crucial to ask a few critical questions to ensure your beer program -- and your walk-in -- is designed for profitability. As a general rule of thumb, storage plays a vital role in efficiency, so let's consider the three important storage questions that will help you outfit your beer cooler.

1) What are the dimensions of your kegs and cases?

Understanding the dimensions of the beer to be stored is paramount for efficient storage and inventory management. From kegs to bottles, each quantity and brand can come in different sizes, and knowing them can make a significant difference in optimizing your storage space. For instance, kegs are available in various sizes, such as half-barrels, quarter-barrels, and sixtels. Each size has its pros and cons in terms of storage capacity and turnover rate.

To illustrate, a standard half-barrel keg holds around 15.5 gallons of beer, equivalent to approximately 165 12-ounce servings. On the other hand, a quarter-barrel keg holds about 7.75 gallons or roughly 82 servings. Understanding the volume and dimensions of each keg size allows you to plan your storage space efficiently and minimize waste.

2) How much beer do I need to store?

The amount of beer you need to store depends on various factors, including your establishment's size, customer demand, and storage capabilities. While some operators may order beer from distributors as needed, others, such as breweries or large sports bars, may brew and store their own beer onsite.

To determine how much beer you need to store, it's essential to analyze historical sales data, anticipate seasonal fluctuations, and consider upcoming events or promotions. Additionally, understanding the popularity of different beer styles in your market can help you forecast demand more accurately.

3) How large a footprint do I need to store my desired volume of kegs and cases?

The size of the beer cooler’s footprint depends on the number of taps in the cooler, the sizes of kegs, and what you want to store in the beer cooler. Knowing what your draft list will be, along with the other storage needs, will better help you determine the footprint required. For example, while standard kegs have a uniform diameter of 16.2 inches wide, specialty kegs like Slim ¼’s measure 12 inches wide, and sixteen measure only 9 inches wide.

By understanding the most popular beer products in your area and estimating the space requirements for each brand and desired inventory levels, you can optimize the storage area required to ensure safe and easy access to your inventory. This knowledge is particularly crucial for establishments with limited storage space.

 

Bonus Question: Do You Know Your Operation's Beer Math?

By understanding the storage dimensions of kegs and bottles and then calculating those numbers through the lens of available shelving and storage space, the result is part of the formula we consider Beer Math. Beer Math allows operators to optimize storage spaces to ensure your beer program meets the demands of today's consumers efficiently and profitably.

Cooler Concepts Beer Math Call To Action

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