Tap King Wenceslas looked out…

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December 23, 2013 by 250 Beers

…on the yeast of Stephen.

That’s how the Christmas carol goes, right? Yes, I thought so. I don’t know who Stephen is though nor do I know if he actually possesses any brewing yeast. Oh, well.

Tap KingSo, Lion’s Tap King made its appearance a few months ago in Australia. It was billed as being a revolution to drinking beer in the home – draught beer in the home for the non-home brewer without a kegerator sure is revolutionary.

The launch had pub/hotel owners pulling their hair out. They were already downbeat at the falling numbers of patrons frequenting their venues. Studies show that people are turning their backs on pubs and opting to stay at home to do those things traditionally associated with the good old Aussie pub. Droves now watch their favoured sport in the comfort of their own armchair or lounge suite. Then there’s gambling. The most popular place to gamble (which is a ridiculously huge problem here in Australia in my opinion) is now in the home as more and more online gambling sites become accessible.

What about me and my demographic? I’m not a huge sports fan and I don’t gamble. I’m a guy that mainly drinks beer at home because, well, I’m at home a lot. I have a young family which means I’m not exploring the wonders of Brisbane’s awesomeness as often as I would like. That’s all fine by me as I love my wife and children way more than beer. I know that sometimes it might not appear that way but I do.

So, could a Tap King revolutionise the way I drink? Me. At home.

I was lucky enough to be able to research the question when a shiny new Tap King came my way courtesy of Lion via a friend. It was accompanied by a 3.2 litre bottle of James Squire The Chancer golden ale. Six beers from Lion’s stables (or should that be den?) have been made available in the 3.2l bottle format. If I had been asked which one I’d prefer to road-test my Tap King with then I would have chosen The Chancer over the others.

Tap KingThe bottle had been chilling in my beer fridge for some weeks before an opportune time arose to try the Tap King out. The fridge was stacked with some beauties but on one sweaty afternoon following three difficult hours in the yard mowing the time felt right to put the Tap King together and pour some draught beer.

Honestly, you’d have to be an idiot to fail at putting it all together. With the help of a nifty instruction leaflet I had an empty, chilled glass in my hand ready to pour within a minute of opening the box…and I Tap Kingpoured a perfect glass of beer at my first attempt.

Tap King is foolproof for sure. Although there was one thing that had me scratching my head; a statement in the instructions read “Do not tumble dry or iron” This is either somebody trying to be funny (it is kind of witty) or, for legal reasons, Lion have to include it – to cover their arses…in case some tit tries to tumble dry or iron their Tap King! If there are people out there doing this then the human race is in trouble.

The concept of Tap King is a pretty good one. There’s no question about that and if you’re a Squire’s fan, you’re laughing. After investing approximately $30 for the dispenser unit a pack of 2 x 3.2l refills will set you back $50.90. Compared with a similar quantity of the same beer sold in glass bottles (stubbies) there is a saving of $10.60¹.

My palate has changed dramatically since I first encountered a James Squire beer circa 2009. My taste buds crave more flavour than what the current range offers therefore I doubt I’ll be rushing out to buy refills any time soon. However…

IF 250 Beers HQ is the chosen host venue for a family gathering (which it often is) that consists of in-laws that are way, way beyond my craft beer preaching then I’d certainly entertain purchasing a refill for their consumption. This is assuming that the relatives arrive at 250 Beers HQ empty-handed/beerless.


IF Lion were to expand the variety of Tap King refill bottles to include the Little Creatures range well, now we’re talking. I’ll make no secret of the fact that Little Creatures Pale Ale is still a go-to beer of mine and my beer-of-choice after a mowing session is Creatures’ Bright Ale.

In summary, and in answer to Lionel Richie’s “Hello. Is it me you’re looking for?” during the Tap King TV ads…No, Lionel. Not quite. Not yet. Sort the availability of Little Creatures beers and we’ll talk.

¹This is based on purchasing 3 x 6 packs at $17.90 each and 2 x single 330ml bottles at $3.90 each. All prices were sourced from Dan Murphy’s and are correct at the time of publication.

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