Despite the name, I believe that the Man Can Beer mini kegs would also be perfectly suitable for female craft beer enthusiasts. The fact that I don’t know any women with a Man Can only proves that I need more female beer nerds as friends.
Stainless Steel Beer Growler / Mini Keg Beer Dispenser
Once you start kegging your beer, you quickly realize there is a sudden inability to take your beer to parties and events without needing to drag an entire Cornelius (i.e. homebrew) keg with you. Using mini-kegs, beer can be transported and served with ease and style, however you are likely to pay upwards of $200 unless you can get lucky in a second-hand purchase. Growlers, both glass and stainless steel, are another good option. However, you need a means of filling them without losing carbonation and you have to be committed to drinking the entire two liters in a single sitting.
The Man Can beer dispenser is an excellent solution. Stylish, innovative, practical and much more affordable, they provide all the convenience of a Cornelius keg with the portability of a growler.
Stainless Steel Growlers
Steel growlers have been a favorite of mine for some time, especially the jacketed ones which are against heat. They are robust, reusable, and aren’t too heavy on the pocket.
The only problem is carbonation. As you drink your way through a growler it becomes steadily less gassy. At a half gallon (two liters, for those of us using the metric system), one needs to be committed to drinking an entire six pack, or else face a seriously under-gassed beer at your next sitting.
Beer Mini Kegs
Mini-kegs are fantastic. With a couple of extra attachments, you can turn a mini-keg into a five liter wonder of the world, pouring your winning beer straight from the tap, absolutely anywhere. Bonus points apply if you have rigged up a custom chilly bin for the purpose.
There are two major issues with mini-kegs, however. One is the use of CO2 bulbs – most available chargers which fit the standard CO2 bulb do not have any way to attach a regulator. This means you are dispensing and/or carbonating your beer at randomly guessed pressures, which causes irregular results. It also causes your friends to bug you to “fix the beer” at every party you attend.
The second issue is the price. Mini-kegs are made of stainless steel and have been developed and manufactured almost exclusively for the homebrew market. Unlike Cornelius kegs, which were designed and heavily produced for soft drinks in the catering industry, you are unlikely to buy a mini keg (and all its fittings) brand new. Even if you buy a mini-keg on eBay, expect a hefty price tag.
The Man Can combines the ease, portability, and low cost of a stainless steel growler with the high performance serving capabilities of a completely regulated mini-keg beer dispenser setup. There are actually a few different models to choose from, which I suspect are irreverently named after the Commodore 64/128 computers of the 1980s. Gotta love beer nerds!
The coolest thing about the Man Can is their dispensing system. Once you attach the dispenser to any Man Can, it becomes a marvel of home brew technology, with different styles of taps to choose from.
What makes the system so amazing, though, is the Perfect Pour Regulator. Man Can have actually developed a tiny, two-stage regulator powered by CO2 bulbs that keeps unused beer completely gassed up and serving perfectly every time!
The Man Can 64 is a basic 1/2 gallon micro-keg with a sealed, no spill top. It has the same issue as growlers, in that you will lose carbonation unless you drink it quickly, but it is extremely rugged and fits in a fridge door. Plus, it is perfectly designed to accept the Man Can dispensing systems.
At just $40, it should be mandatory for every home brewer with a Cornelius keg, but it’s even better as the little brother to the existing Man Can 128, for when you want to take less beer around with you.
This is where things start to get interesting. The Flex kit includes the Man Can 128, a full 1 gallon (4 liter) mini-keg, complete with a picnic tap and Perfect Pour regulator. It also has enough CO2 and cleaning supplies to get you through the first couple of uses.
For $195, this beast holds one quarter of your standard 20 liter batch and does a much better job of it than any other mini-keg I have seen on the market.
Are you feeling a little un-manly? Beard not growing out right? The Machismo kit comes with 50% added Hipster to turn your Man Can 128 into the discerning, dapper gentleman’s must-have portable beverage assistant.
For $265, your Man Can comes with a gloriously polished 304 grade stainless steel bar tap and Perfect Pour regulator. It’s the Man Can 128, but much, much sexier.
Like What You See?
Head over to the Man Can Beer website and take a look. In addition to the unique approach to transporting small amounts of beer, they have all the extras you can think of.
These are truly spectacular mini-keg beer dispensers, so check them out. The clever scoundrels have even come up with a gift card system!
We’ve made some fun of hipsters today, and used the word “man” to such a degree that it has lost all meaning to me, but it’s all in the name of having a laugh, as well as sharing one of my favorite beer packaging/serving products available.
If you would like to know more, or you have any stories to share, please leave a comment below!