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What is a Jockey Box?

What is a Jockey Box?

In its simplest terms, a jockey box is a portable draft system for dispensing your beverages of choice, pressurized by CO2. Chances are, you’ve seen one in use at a festival or outdoor event.

These are not the hand-pump taps you rented for house parties in college. Those force oxygen into your kegs, which speeds the process of oxidation, resulting in stale, off-flavors and aromas. It also usually causes mass frustration by overflowing your guests’ plastic cups with foam. Not fun. So, if you’re still using one, stop reading this right now and go throw it away.

Good, you’re back and still with us!

WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

Jockey boxes are generally constructed from insulated coolers, modified to accommodate the essential components required to transform them into sophisticated and reliable mobile draft units.

The key ingredients are our coils, shank plates, and faucets, all made from food-grade stainless steel. Whether you choose one of our 4-Tap, 2-Tap, or 1-Tap editions from our product lineup, as your beverage leaves its keg it circulates through 50’ of coil per draft line.

HOW IT WORKS

To answer a common question, no—jockey boxes don’t require electricity, batteries, or even WiFi. Just a CO2 tank and ice. This makes them convenient for indoor and outdoor use.

Cooling the coils by filling the jockey box with ice is what keeps your beverage cold while CO2 pressurizes the keg, pushing your beverage to flow through them. Faucets installed to the front of the jockey box dispense the beverage.

Our premium jockey boxes deliver a perfect pour and peace of mind every single time.

DO I NEED TO KEEP THE KEG COLD?

Jockey boxes are designed to chill the beer as it enters via beverage line and flows through the coils, so while prior refrigeration and icing the kegs is not necessary, it will help minimize ice melting inside the jockey box on extremely hot days.

Depending on your pouring scenario, our jockey boxes will chill your very first (and every subsequent) pour from a keg at room temperature (~ 70° F) down to a proper serving temperature, under 40° F. Consult our blog post to see the results of our temperature testing.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

Setting up and using jockey box can seem intimidating at first, but rest assured it's not that complicated once you break it down into its components:

  1. A jockey box
  2. Dispensing kit
  3. A 5 lb CO2 tank

If you’re new to the game and short on time, we have complete dispensing kits available that come with everything you’ll need to get started.

And, for a detailed, step-by-step description, check out our blog post on how to set up a jockey box.

Next article Different Types of Jockey Boxes