The beer faucet is the main attraction of a kegerator after all this is where the beer comes out...Right?
Just like most kegerator parts, you have several options when it comes to buying a faucet. There are different finishes, different styles and different designs to choose from.
Faucets are made of either brass or stainless steel and both come in either a polished Chrome (or Stainless) or polished brass finish.
The least expensive faucets are made from brass. These faucets work fine for home use but over time they will wear and may contribute to off flavor. The stainless faucets definitely cost more but they will last a long time in a home beer dispensing system.
There are three main kegerator faucet styles.
This is most common beer faucet used. It can be used for any ale or lager beer. You just pull the handle forward to open the faucet and push back to close it.
A creamer faucet functions much like a standard faucet. Pull the faucet forward to open the valve and pour a beer.
The difference is that you can push back on the faucet to add a creamy head to your draft beer. It is used mostly for cream ales or any beer that you want to add a creamy head to.
The stout faucet is designed specifically to pour nitrogen stout beers like Guinness. You pull forward to open the valve and pour the beer. Then push back on the faucet to finish with a creamy head.
On most stout faucets, you can remove the restrictor disk used for stouts and pour ales and lagers.
Those are the typical beer faucets that have been used for years, but now there is a new design to consider.
In the past few years the forward seal design has become available.
All of the faucets talked about above have a rear seal inside the faucet. With a rear seal, beer around the valve is exposed to air. When the valve dries out it creates a "sticky faucet" and becomes prone to bacteria. After only a day or so the faucet can stick and be very difficult to open.
The forward seal is big change from the standard faucet design. They are made entirely of stainless steel and the valve seals in front of the beer. This key feature eliminates "sticky faucet" and leaves no place for mold or bacteria growth.
Forward seal kegerator faucets do cost a little more than a standard faucet but will save you a lot of headaches.
I have recently replaced the faucets in my kegerator. I started with standard chrome plated brass faucets. They worked well and were cheap but after a couple years of fighting sticky faucets I had enough. It was time to upgrade to forward seal faucets (I should have spent the extra money upfront).
This is one upgrade that I definitely recommend.
Spend the extra money on your beer faucet and get a forward seal, you won't be disappointed.