How do I know what keg coupler (tap) I need for my keg?

Believe it or not, different styles of beer and beverages come in different types of kegs and these kegs can have different styles of valves. The most common type of coupler in North America is the D System Coupler, also known as a Sankey D Coupler, but there are many other types available.

First, let's briefly discuss the different types of keg couplers available, this will likely give you a good idea of the type of keg coupler that you'll need for your specific keg.

  • D System coupler (also known as Sankey D coupler) is the most common type of coupler in North America. It fits most American kegs, such as Budweiser, Coors Light, and Miller Lite and most kegs from America's growing number of craft breweries.
  • U System coupler fits many European and Irish kegs such as Guinness, Smithwicks and Harp. The U coupler is often used with nitrogenated beers.
  • S System coupler fits many import kegs, such as Heineken, Becks, and Amstel Light. It is also known as European Sankey coupler.
  • A System coupler fits many German kegs, such as Spaten, Warsteiner, and Paulaner. It is also known as German Sankey coupler.
  • G System coupler fits some European kegs, such as Guinness. It is also known as Irish coupler.
  • M System coupler fits some German kegs, such as Schneider Weisse.
  • KeyKeg coupler fits KeyKeg kegs, which are a type of (disposable) plastic keg with an inner bladder that is becoming increasingly popular.

Why are there so many different types of keg couplers?

The different types of keg couplers came about because of the different brewing traditions in different parts of the world. In North America, the most common type of keg coupler is the D System coupler, which was developed by the Sankey Company in the early 1900s. In Europe, the most common type of keg coupler is the S System coupler, which was developed by the Cornelius Company in the late 1950s. There are also a number of other types of keg couplers, each with its own unique design.

There is no single standard for keg couplers because there is no single brewing industry. The brewing industry is made up of many different companies, each with its own unique needs and requirements. Some companies prefer to use keg couplers that are compatible with their own keg valves, while other companies prefer to use keg couplers that are compatible with a wider range of keg valves.

It is possible that there will eventually be a standard for keg couplers, but it is not likely to happen anytime soon. The brewing industry is very diverse, and it would be difficult to get all of the different companies to agree on a single standard.

Before we explore the differences between the keg couplers and valves, let's discuss some of the things that all keg couplers have in common.

While there are various types of keg couplers designed to fit specific keg styles and breweries, they all share a fundamental purpose and several common features:

  1. Connection to the Keg Valve: Keg couplers are designed to connect to the valve on top of the keg. This connection allows for the flow of beer from the keg to the beer dispensing system.
  2. Gas and Liquid Ports: Keg couplers typically have two ports – one for gas (usually carbon dioxide, nitrogen or a blend of the two gasses) and one for liquid (beer, wine, coffee, kombucha, etc). These ports are crucial for maintaining the right pressure inside the keg and dispensing beer smoothly.
  3. Pressure Relief Valve: Most keg couplers incorporate a pressure relief valve to release excess pressure from the keg for safety reasons. This valve prevents over-pressurization, which could lead to damage or even rupture of the keg.
  4. Handle or Lever: Keg couplers often feature a handle or lever that operators use to engage or disengage the coupler from the keg valve. This allows for easy attachment and removal of the coupler during keg changes.
  5. Sealing Mechanism: Keg couplers are designed to create a secure seal with the keg valve to prevent leaks and maintain the integrity of the beer inside the keg.
  6. Materials: Keg couplers are typically constructed from stainless steel or other food-grade materials to ensure durability and hygiene.

While these common features exist across most keg couplers, the specific design and configuration can vary significantly depending on the keg type (e.g., European or American Sankey) and the type of beer (e.g., ale, lager, stout) being dispensed. This diversity is why various coupler types exist to accommodate these differences and ensure a proper connection between the keg and the dispensing system.

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D System Couplers

D Abita Amber
D Abita Golden
D Abita Light
D Abita Purple Haze
D Abita Turbodog
D ACME Brown Ale
D ACME Pale Ale
D Alaskan Amber
D Alaskan ESB
D Alaskan Pale Ale
D Alaskan Smoked Porter
D Alaskan Stout
D Alaskan Winter Ale
D Alexander Keith
D Allagash Curieux
D Allagash Dubbel
D Allagash Four
D Allagash Grand Cru
D Allagash Musette
D Allagash Tripel
D Allagash Victoria Ale
D Allagash White
D Anderson Valley
D Avery
D Bad Frog
D Ballast Point
D Bass Ale
D BayHawk
D Bear Republic
D Binchoise Reserve
D Black Dog
D Blanche de Chambly
D Blue Moon
D Breckenridge
D Brooklyn
D Bruin Pale Ale
D Bud Ice
D Bud Light
D Budweiser
D Bull Falls
D Busch
D Caracole Nostradamus
D Carlton & United Breweries (CUB)
D Castle Maine
D Caybrew
D Celis
D Cider Jack
D Clipper City
D Columbia Brewing
D Coors
D Coors Light
D Corona
D Custom Brewcrafters
D Des Rocs Grand Cru
D Deschutes Brewery
D Deschutes Black Butte
D Devil Mountain
D Dogfish Head
D Dos Equis
D Duchesse de Bourgogne
D Eagle Creek Low Country Pale Ale
D Eel River Brewing
D Ellicottville
D Epic
D Eurobrew
D Fat Tire
D Firehouse
D Firestone
D Flying Dog
D Foret Org Sais Ale
D Fort Bend
D Foster's
D Founders
D Four Peaks
D Full Sail
D Genesee
D George Killian's Irish Red
D Goose Island
D Gordon
D Grant's
D Great Divide
D Green Flash
D Green Line Pale Ale
D Green Mountain Cidery
D Guadalupe Texas Honey Ale
D Hamm's
D Hard Core Cider
D Harpoon Brewery
D Henry Weinhard's
D High Falls
D High Hops
D Highland
D Hill Farmstead
D Holy Brew
D Holy Cow Red
D Holy City
D Hudson Valley Brewing Co.
D Humboldt Brewing
D Ice Harbor
D IceHouse
D Independence
D Indiana City
D Innis and Gunn
D Iron Shore Bock
D Jacob Leinenkugel
D J.G. Ale
D Junkyard Brewing
D Kane Brewing
D Kannah Creek
D Karbach
D Karl Strauss
D Kern River
D Killarney
D Killian's Red
D King Street Amber
D Kirin Ichiban
D Kokaneev
D Kona Long Board
D Labatt's
D Lafayette
D Lagunitas
D Lake Monster
D Lakefront
D Lakewood
D Lancaster
D Land Shark Lager
D Lands End Amber
D Latitude 42
D Lazy Magnolia
D Left Coast
D Left Hand
D Legend
D Leinenkugel
D Little Kings
D Live Oak
D Lone Pint
D Lost Coast Brewing
D Lowenbrau
D Lumberyard
D Mac & Jack's
D MachineHouse
D Mad River
D Madison
D Magic Hat
D Maine Beer Company
D Maudite
D Maui Brewing
D Miami Trail Brewing
D Michael Shea's
D Michelob
D Michelob Light
D Michelob Specialty
D Mickey's
D Middle Ages
D Midnight
D Miller
D Miller Genuine Draft
D Miller Lite
D Milwaukee's Best
D Milwaukee Brewing
D Modelo
D Molson
D Moonlight Brewing
D Moosehead
D Mother's Brewing
D Mystic Brewing
D Native Brewing
D Natural Ice
D Natural Light
D New Amsterdam
D New Belgium Fat Tire
D New England Brewing
D New Glarus
D New Helvetia Brewing
D New Holland Brewing
D New Jersey
D New Republic
D New Zeland Steinlager
D Night Shift Brewing
D Ninkasi
D No Label
D North Coast
D Northgate
D Northshire
D Nor'Wester
D Notch
D O'Connor Brewing
D O'Doul's
D O'Fallon
D Oak Creek
D Oakshire Brewing
D Odell
D Offbeat Brewing
D Offshore
D Old Bisbee
D Old Dominion
D Old Milwaukee
D Old Vienna
D Olde Burnside
D Olde Hickory
D Olde Main
D Olde Saratoga
D Omission
D Ore Dock
D Oregon
D Oregon Trail
D Orpheus Brewing
D Oskar Blues
D Our Brewing
D Oyster Bay
D Pabst
D Pacific Brewing
D Pacifico
D Pale Horse
D Palo Alto Brewing
D Payette Brewing
D Peace Tree
D Peak Organic
D Pecan Street
D Pedernales Brewing
D Penrose Brewing
D Pensacola Bay
D People's Brewing
D Peroni
D Petaluma Hills
D Pete's Seasonals
D Pete's Wicked Ale
D Peticolas Brewing
D Pig's Eye
D Pikes Peak
D Pinthouse Pizza
D Pipeworks The Lizard King
D Plank Town
D Pollyanna
D Poor House
D Port Jeff Brewing Schooner Ale
D Porter & Summerfest
D Portland Brewing
D Portsmouth
D Prescott Brewing
D Prohibition Brewing
D Prost Brewing
D Prohibition Brewing
D Prost Brewing
D Public House Brewing
D Purity Brewing
D Pyramid Ale
D Quaff
D Quarry Brewing
D Quest Brewing
D Rabbit Hole
D Raccoon River Bandit IPA
D Radius Brewing Low 5 Pale Ale
D Rahr & Sons
D Raleigh Brewing
D Ramapo Valley Honey Beer
D Rapp Brewing
D Raquette River
D Rare Form Sabbatical
D Rat Hole
D Razors Edge
D Real Ale
D Red Ale
D Red Dog
D Red Eye Thrust IPA
D Red Hare
D Red Hook
D Red Leg
D Red Lodge
D Red Oak
D Red Wing
D Red Wolf
D Redbeard
D Renegade
D Republic Brewing
D Resignation kCCO Black Lager
D Revolution
D Revolver
D Rhinegeist
D Riff Raff Stepchild American Red Ale
D Right Brain
D Right Proper Raised By Wolves Pale Ale
D Rinn Duin
D Rising Tide
D Ritual Brewing
D River Dog
D Riverbend Brewing
D Rivertown
D Roc Brewing
D Rock Art
D Rocket Republic
D Rocky River
D Rogness
D Rogue
D Rogue-Mogal
D Rolling Meadows
D Rolling Rock
D Rooster Fish Firehouse Blonde
D Roscoe Trout Town
D Roslyn
D Rough Draft
D RoughTail
D Round Guys
D Royal Oak
D Rubicon
D Ruckus Brewing
D Rush River
D Russian River
D Rusty Beaver
D Rusty Truck
D Sackets Harbor
D Saddle Mountain
D Saddelbock
D Sailfish
D Saint Arnold
D Saint Bernardus Abbot
D Saint Feuillein Cuvee de Noel
D Saint John Brewers island
D Sais Dup Farmhouse Ale
D Salish Sea
D Sale Creek
D Sam Adams
D San Diego Infinitude IPA
D San Luis Valley
D Sanitas
D Santa Barbara
D Santa Clara
D Santa Cruz Ale Works
D Santa Fe Java Stout
D SanTan
D Sapporo
D Saranac
D Sasquatch
D Saugatuck
D Saxer Brewing
D Scaldis
D Scarlet Lane
D Schlafly Bottleworks
D Schmitt's
D Scratchtown
D Scuttlebutt
D Seabright
D Sentinel Peak
D Service Brewing
D Seventh Son
D Shades of Pale Publican
D Shiner Bock
D Ship Bottom
D Ship Inn
D Shipyard
D Shock Top
D Shoreline
D Shorts Brewing
D Sideswipe
D Sierra Blanca
D Sierra Nevada
D Silver Moon
D Sisyphus Blonde Ale
D Ska Brewing
D Skagway
D Skookum
D Sky High
D Sleemans
D SLO Brewing
D Sly Fox
D Small Town
D Smog City
D Smuttynose
D Snitz Creek
D Solemn Oath
D Solid Rock
D South Austin
D South County
D Southbound Secrets
D Southern Star
D Southern Tier
D SouthPaw
D Spanish Peaks Black Dog
D Speakeasy Prohibition Ale
D Spinnaker Bay Fraid Knot Pale Ale
D Springfield Brewing Paul's Pale Ale
D Standing Stone
D Standing Wave Pale Ale
D Star City
D Steadfast
D Steel Toe
D Steelhead James Blonde
D Steinlager
D Stillmank
D Stone
D Stoudts
D Stoup
D Strohs
D Stumblefoot
D Summit
D Sun King
D Sunken City Dam Lager
D Sunriver Lazy River Lager
D Surly Bender Brown Ale
D Swamphead
D SweetWater
D Switchback Ale
D Sycamore Early Bird Blonde
D Tahoe Mountain
D Tallgrass
D Tampa Bay
D Taos Mesa
D Tap It Brewing IPA
D Taxman la Maison
D Telegraph
D Ten 55
D Tennessee Brew Works
D Terminal Brewhouse
D Terrapin
D Texian
D The Austin Beer Garden
D The Big Rip
D The Black Abbey
D The Bruery Humulus Lager
D The Commons
D The Dudes'
D The Hairless Hare
D The Hourglass Morlock
D The Mitten Brewing Country Strong IPA
D The Olde Mecklenburg Captain Jack Pilsner
D The Post Brewing
D The Rare Barrel
D The Tap Brewing
D The Traveler
D Thimble Island
D Third Street Aleworks
D Third Street Brewhouse
D Thirsty Planet
D Thirsty Bear
D Thomas
D Thorn Street
D Three Bros
D Three Creeks
D Three Floyds
D Three Pints
D Three Rivers
D Throwback
D Thunder Canyon
D Thunderhead
D Tighthead
D Tin Man
D Tin Mill Skyscraper Pilsner
D Tin Roof
D Tin Whiskers
D Tired Hands
D Titletown
D Tommyknocker Ornery Amber
D Toolbox Smells Like Nirvana
D Top Shelf Anytime Milk Stout
D Top Shelf Marathon IPA
D Tow Yard Goldie Hops
D Toxic Brew
D Track 7
D Trademark Brewing
D Tri-City
D Triple C
D Triton
D Tröegs
D Trois Pistoles
D Trophy Brewing
D TRVE Brewing
D Tuckahoe
D Tuckerman
D Tun Tavern
D Turtle Anarchy
D Turtle Mountain
D Tustin
D Twin Leaf Uproot ESB
D Twisted Pine
D Twisted X
D Two Goats
D Two Rascals
D Two Roads
D Tyranena
D Unibroue
D Val Dieu Grand Cru
D Victoria
D Victory
D Wasatch
D Weinhards
D Whitebread Ale
D White Tip
D Widmer
D Woodchuck Cider
D Wyder's
D Yuengling
D Zebra
D Zuma

U System Couplers

U Abby White
U Guinness
U Harp Lager
U Kilkenny
U Leffe
U Magners
U Smithwicks Irish Ale

S System Couplers

S Amstel
S Amstel Light
S Asahi
S Beck's
S Bellhaven
S Belle-Vue
S Bemish
S Cantillon Rose (Belgium)
S Corsendonk
S De Koninck Ale (Belgium)
S Delirium
S Dortmunder Union
S Double Diamond
S Erdinger Hefetrub Weisse
S Estrella Damm
S Gouden
S Hahn
S Heineken
S Hofbrau
S Hornsby's Cider
S John Courage
S Kasteel Biere du Chat Brown
S Lindeman's
S Lion Nathan
S Maredsous Abbey Ale (Belgium)
S Marston's Pedigree
S McEwan's
S Monk's Sour Ale
S Moretti Italian Pilsner
S Murphy's Irish
S Newcastle
S Pilsner Urquel
S Piraat
S Presidente
S Saint Pauli Girl
S Schofferhofer Hefeweizen
S Scottish & Newcastle
S Stella Artois
S Strongbow Cider
S Tecate
S Tetley's
S Tooheys
S Tucher
S Urthel
S Van Steenberge
S Wood Pecker Cider
S Young's

A System Couplers

A Ayinger
A Bitburger Pilsner
A Blanche De Brussels-Bier
A Bofferding
A Carlsberg
A Chimay
A Cuvee Meilleurs Voeux
A De Dolle
A Fischer
A Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse
A Hacker-Pschorr
A Hoegaarden
A Houblon Chouffe IPA Tripel
A Isenbeck
A JW Lee's Chouffe
A Krombacher
A Kronenbourg 1664
A La Chouffe
A La Gnomette
A McChouffe
A N'Ice Chouffe
A Palm
A Paulaner
A Samuel Smith
A Shmaltz Brewing
A Spaten
A Staropramen
A Starr Hill Brewery
A Steam Whistle
A Victoria Bitter
A Warsteiner
A Weihenstephan

G System Couplers

G Abbot Ale
G Anchor Liberty Ale
G Anchor Porter
G Anchor Steam
G Blackthorne Cider
G Boddington
G Caffrey's
G California Cider Ace Pear
G Dry Blackthorn
G Fuller's
G Grolsch
G O'Hara Irish Ale
G Old Speckeled Hen
G Scottish Tennents
G Sir Perry William's
G Tennent's
G Watney's
G Wexford Irish Cream Ale
G Whitney's

M System Couplers

M Aventinus
M Bavik Pilsner
M Einbecker
M Schneider
M Veltins
M Zywiec

KeyKeg System Couplers

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