Home Icon
lion-tapking-hands-on-11

Hands-on with the Tap King: is this the king of beer at home?

By Leigh D. Stark | 4:56 pm 02/08/2013

Beer. At home. From a keg in your fridge. For less than a hundred bucks. Could this be the dream of every ale lover?

I have a confession to make: I’ve never liked beer. I like cider, but not beer. In fact, up until this test, I didn’t like beer.

It might seem strange that a person who didn’t like beer should be reviewing the Tap King, a beer keg with replaceable beer canisters, but I found myself liking beer the more I pulled the beer from the keg, let it sit in the glass, and then let the foamy liquid make its way through my lips.

But was this because of Tap King is a genuinely good product, or because I was changing as a person, that my tastebuds were becoming more mature?

From the experience of the past few days, I suspect it was the latter, and based on what people around the office are telling me from their experiences, and based on my own newbie “hello, yes, I’m new to this whole beer drinking” thing, I can safely say that no, the Tap King isn’t fantastic.

Let me explain.

Over the past few weeks, Lion – the owners of Tooheys, Hahn, James Boag, and James Squire – have been advertising a product that allows you to store a micro keg in your fridge and pull a beer with ease.

It’s called the “Tap King,” and was built by Australian packaging company Visy after what Lion says was “two years of extensive research and refinement,” resulting in a product that is essentially the Nespresso of beer appliances.

We’re not kidding, either.

The Tap King is a plastic micro keg tap head that uses a latch system to connect to 3.2 litre bottles of beer.

There are six varieties of beer you can buy at this point, all of them owned by Lion, with XXXX Gold, James Boag’s Premium Lager, Tooheys New, Tooheys Extra Dry, Hahn SuperDry Premium Low Carb, and James Squire Golden Ale.

We were curious if cider was coming to the Tap King system, but haven’t heard back from Lion’s people yet.

Once you’ve selected your beverage, you take the bottle, pull the lid off to reveal the connections underneath, align the arrow on the back of the bottle with the arrow on the back of the micro keg tap, push it down, and pull the latch, locking the tap on the head of the beer.

From there, it’s a pretty simple operation: lie the bottle back in your fridge, chill it for between six to nine hours, and when it’s cold enough, pull yourself a beer, holding the glass at an angle. Easy.

You’ll need a decent amount of space in your fridge, mind you, as it’s a relatively large device, but we were able to take up an entire level in the GadgetGuy fridge by placing it diagonally on the shelf.

Pulling the beer is as simple as pushing against the tap with a glass held underneath.

For the Tap King, beer is made by pulling a flat beer from the bottle and mixing it with an injection of CO2, similar to what a Sodastream does, except inside a small bottle.

Do not puncture the CO2 canister. Do not state the obvious. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

In fact, every single Tap King replacement bottle contains 3.2 litres of alcohol – essentially ten 320ml drinks – with a carbon dioxide canister, and Lion includes a tool to help you remove the lid and CO2 canister for when you want to recycle the bottles. Nifty.

The most important part of the Tap King is flavour, so is it as good as a pub tap in your home?

Pages: 1 2

Latest reviews

  • Review: Jura Impressa F9

    Getting good coffee with personality out in your own home can need some complicated contraptions, but what if you could get seriously good coffee without needing to buy into…
  • AppMonday: Pac-man 256

    Endless runner games like “Temple Run” and “Flappy Bird” are certainly addictive, but what happens when you mix them with the old school retrolicious charm of 80s arcade gaming?
  • Review: Asus ZenBook UX305

    Ever since Apple rolled out the MacBook Air, companies have been trying to do their best at making something close, and in the UX305, Asus might finally have nailed…
  • Samsung’s best phone yet: the Galaxy Note 5 reviewed

    Samsung announced two big phones in August, with a phablet for every purpose: style and substance. We’ve done style, so let’s find out what Samsung’s answer to substance is…
  • Review: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2015)

    Don’t need the crème de la crème when it comes to your eReading experience? Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite does it with all the clarity of its Voyage sibling, but is…
  • AppMonday: Macronos

    Sonos owners are used to the constant evolution that is the Sonos app, but an app made exclusively for Android makes Sonos a little more playful with a one-touch…
  • Bigger, again: Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge+ reviewed

    Samsung’s next big thing is bigger, as the S6 Edge arrives with a plus-sized sibling, but is it more than just a big brother?
  • Review: Astell & Kern AK Jr

    You might think that media players are dead now that the smartphone has taken over, but if you like your audio high quality with support for 24-bit, there’s still…
  • AppMonday: Pixl

    Tired of the same old same old selfies and snapshots? Pixl changes the formula slightly by pixelating your images and bringing squares, triangles, half circles, and more.
  • Review: Sony Xperia M4 Aqua

    Sony’s phones frequently dabble in water proofing, but it’s usually only in the high-end. What happens when Sony brings water resistance to the mid-range?

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Which smartwatch are you interested in buying?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More