The Shipyard Brewing Company
Federal Jack's Restaurant and Brew Pub Unveils State-Of-The-Art Draft System in Kennebunk
KENNEBUNK, MAINE - (April 20, 2004) Federal Jack's Restaurant and Brew Pub has updated their draft beer systems with the very latest technology in the industry.
"Our old system was good," noted Jim Bunting, operations manager. "This new system is excellent and brings our tap lines to the next level. Our beers are brewed to exact specifications and our new draft system allows us to maintain those exact specifications all the way through to the tap lines. This new system gives our head brewer, Mike Haley, as much control over the way the beer is poured in the pub as he has over the selection of the ingredients that go into making the beer. It gives him the maximum level of control over the product he can possibly have."
This winter, Haley attended an intensive Advanced Draft Workshop instructed by the MICRO-MATIC Dispense Services Company in Allentown, PA. In this workshop, students learn the intricacies of line cleaning, gas blending, and installation of draft beer systems. MICRO-MATIC offers basic and advanced training courses on how to install and service draft beer. They have invested one million dollars developing training centers in Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, and California.
Prior to becoming head brewer at KBC six years ago, Haley was a brewer at The Shipyard Brewing Company.
"When I worked at Shipyard, my job was simply to make the beer. I didn't have to be concerned with tap lines and draft systems," noted Haley. "When I shifted positions from Shipyard to Federal Jack's, it became a big part of my job to maintain the draft system at the brew pub as well."
The new draft system at Federal Jack's took two full days to install and the restaurant had to completely close down during that time. The bulk of the time was spent on the installation of glycol-cooled draft lines. The glycol acts as a refrigerant and maintains a constant temperature that keeps the beers served at Federal Jack's the same exact temperature at which they are stored.
"Having a consistent temperature from the holding tanks downstairs to the towers up in the restaurant results in consistent carbonation and provides an excellent draft product with the very best flavor possible," stated Haley.
Federal Jack's also replaced the vinyl draft towers with new stainless steel models. This also assists in maintaining a balanced temperature. The stainless steel transfers the coolant's effects more efficiency than vinyl. Haley also added a foam shut-off mechanism. This device shuts off the beer from the tanks when it empties, keeping the lines filled with beer and preventing unnecessary foaming. The end result is not only a better quality beer in the glass but also a significant reduction in loss of product.
The draft system at Federal Jack's uses a mixture of 60% carbon dioxide and 40% nitrogen to pressurize the flow of its ales.
"The nitrogen provides the necessary pressure without over-carbonating the beers," instructed Haley. "The nature of Nitrogen requires a much higher pressure to inject itself into the beers than what is present in the draft lines. Finding the proper balance between CO2 and nitrogen will allow your beer to be served at a proper carbonation level and flow rate."
Prior to the installation of this new state-of-the-art system, every holding tank had its own pressure tank. Under the new system, all the ales are pressurized by one tank. This eliminates the possibility of pressure and carbonation variance among the various types of ales served at Federal Jack's.
In addition, Federal Jack's will soon be opening its satellite outdoor porch bar for the influx of summer visitors to Kennebunkport.
"In the past, the beer we served on the porch was stored in kegs kept in the kitchen," remarked Chris Gordon, executive chef and general manager of Federal Jack's. "By running 120 feet of glycol cooled lines directly to the bar outside from the tanks downstairs, we've freed up 18 keg spots in the coolers which is a significant amount of space that we can now utilize for the restaurant. This is quite a system Mike has rigged up for us!"
"This system was a big investment," remarked Haley. "The hope is to both reduce beer loss due to improper carbonation levels, and maintain a heightened level of consistency for our customers."
Federal Jack's currently serves 9 varieties of hand-crafted ales.