Your bar counter is where your permanent bar taps will be. These taps have the best position in your bar and offer labels for prime marketing positions. You can sell this advertisement space to local breweries and micro-breweries. They’ll pay for you to market their beer and organize the branding and specials. Some will provide you with branded chillers to place on top of your bar counter. The more space you have for advertisement, the more additional revenue you’ll receive.
This guide provides a clear overview on what to consider when spacing your bar counter.
A well-spaced bar counter makes it easy for people to move around your space. It creates easy access for your barman to take orders and follow through with service for patrons.
Serving customers over beer taps may become problematic if there are too many taps cluttering the counter. An alternative is to place your taps behind your bar. While this leave less room for large advertisements on the wall space, you could accommodate additional advertisements on the front of your bar. Prime position however, is counter service taps so definitely keep that available for craft beers. The remaining taps can go behind the bar.
When you are building your bar counter, you should consider:
- How many taps you want to start with?
- How many taps would you like to increase to in the future?
- Are your suppliers giving you chillers? If yes, then what are the sizes and how much space do you have for how many?
Consider the diagram below:
- Keg tubes feed into the chiller where beer is cooled to a lower temperature than that of your chilling room.
- What you want to avoid is too many taps and not enough counter space for your patrons.
- Remember to leave room for suppliers approaching you to have their labels on the tap as well.
- It’s not just the taps that need space. You will need to consider the space for your taps, chiller and CO2 +N2 tanks.
For smaller bars: kegs under the counter
Some brewers will give you a chiller (with their branding) with enough space for 2 or 3 kegs for you to have inside. Every keg in the chiller has a tap. Leave 30 cm spacing between each taps and the chiller.
Take into account the space underneath the bar:
- You will need at least 40cm at the bottom of your bar for each keg width. If the chiller is underneath the bar then the taps can be next to each on the top. The taps can each be 10cm apart.
- Keg sizes range from 3 – 15.5 gallons (5 for microbreweries storage). The diameter of these kegs can range up to 16 /8” (standard kegs are 23×16 inches)
- House enough space for your carbon dioxide and nitrogen canisters
Note: On average in American bars, most have +50 taps. There are over 200 craft breweries. Larger bar taps are behind the bar with a large chilling room directly behind the bar.