What Is A Keg Jockey Box?

G4 Kegs | March 5, 2024

A jockey box is a portable draft dispensing system that lets any business turn their beer into a mobile party. A typical, professional jockey box consists of an insulated ice cooler (like the one you use for backyard gatherings), retrofitted with food-grade stainless steel coils inside and faucets on the outside. From the jockey box, beverage lines connect to a chilled (or room-temperature) keg via standard beverage lines, along with a gas line to a CO2 tank and regulator, which uses that gas to push beer from its keg to the jockey box. The user fills the cooler with an ice bath to surround the coils, which chills the beer as it flows through the coils and is dispensed from the faucets. through the stainless steel coils, which. 

A jockey box relies solely on ice to keep the coils—and beverage—at the perfect serving temperature. This means you don’t need access to electricity or refrigeration to operate this type of beer draft system.

A jockey box is a portable draft dispensing system that lets any business turn their beer into a mobile party.

Jockey Boxes, worth the investment?

Whether you are having a summer block party, looking for ways to bring your favorite drinks on the go, or want to add an outdoor bar option to a business, a jockey box allows for a cold, perfect pour without the weight of equipment.

Benefits:

The main benefit of jockey boxes is their portability. Since there is no need for electrical outlets or large coolers (i.e., cold storage, walk-ins, etc.), jockey boxes can travel anywhere and still provide cold suds. In addition to mobility, jockey boxes are compact and easy to transport. Plus, since they’re “powered” by CO2 (the same gas used on-site at all of your favorite taprooms), the quality and carbonation of what you're pouring maintain the same integrity as the brewer intended. Unlike the old-school “party pumps” from your college days, professional jockey boxes do not force oxygen into your keg, ruining the precious liquid inside.

Things to Consider: 

Jockey boxes are designed for on-the-go usage, making them ideal for outdoor events. However, ambient temperature will influence its operation. On those hot summer days, make sure you have access to enough ice and water to keep your jockey box full. Once loaded up, and left to work its magic, jockey boxes can usually survive on one batch of ice and water for most four-to-six-hour, average-length beer fests and events. 

Another aspect of using jockey boxes is ensuring your team is trained on setup, tapping, and pouring. While the set-up and pouring are slightly different than a traditional keg, using a jockey box is a breeze to learn.

For a wealth of additional educational resources, check out these articles and videos from our G4 Kegs Alliance partner, Coldbreak. And, if you’re paying attention, you might see our marketing manager, Jason in a few of them.

How Do You Tap a Keg with a Jockey Box?

1. Gather Jockey Box Parts

The first step to using a jockey box is making sure you have all the necessary parts:

  • The jockey box itself
  • Keg or kegs of your choice
  • CO₂ tank
  • Dispensing kit, which contains a gas line and beer line tubing, a coupler, and a CO regulator

2. Set Up Your Jockey Box

Next is setting up your complete system.

  • The first step isn’t really a step but is critical advice. Never ice down your coils until after they’re fully set up. It will be easier to transport, and you’ll want to remove any preexisting moisture from the coils before cooling them down.
  • Attach your regulator to your CO₂ tank, and tighten with a crescent wrench. Check the top gauge to monitor the CO pressure. You’ll want to plan for 1lb for every ½ barrel keg.
  • With the regulator off, attach one end of the gas line to the regulator output and the end to the input on the side of the coupler. Join the beverage jumper to the jockey box input, then connect and run the beverage lines from the keg to the jockey box and attach them to the coils inside.
  • Connect the faucets and tighten them with a faucet wrench, then attach the coupler. Once your jockey box is fully assembled, run your beer through the lines to flush out the coils.
  • Ice down your coils and wait 15-20 minutes for the whole system to chill appropriately. Adjust the temperature and pressure settings as needed.
  • Pour the perfect pint from the tap handles.

Want to master jockey box set-ups and pours? Coldbreak’s 101 video takes you step-by-step through the entire process.

Finding the Right Keg Jockey Box 

Not all jockey boxes are created equal, so to keep your drinks cold and pouring great, you’ll want to ensure you have the best equipment.

At G4 Kegs, we stock the best jockey boxes from Coldbreak. They are designed for maximum portability and durability. Plus, they come in various models to help you take your beer “to-go.”

Contact us today for a full quote.