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    keg tap information

    Not all brands of draft beer use the same type of valve in the keg. Each distinct "system" requires matching the appropriate keg coupler to the keg valve. In the U.S., there are eight different "systems" in use:

    "D" System (American Sankey)
    The most common system available in the U.S., also known as the American Sankey. Used by all the major breweries: Anheuser-Busch, Miller, Molson-Coors, and Labatt and most craft breweries.

    VIDEO: How to use a D or S System coupler.

    "S" System (European Sankey)
    Many European breweries use this system, also known as European Sankey. Distinguished by its longer, narrower probe than the D System. Used by breweries such as Heineken, Becks, Amstel Light, and Pilsner Urquell.

    VIDEO: How to use a D or S System coupler and basic differentiation.

    "A" System (German Slider)
    Commonly referred to as the German Slider because it slides onto the valve face. Used by breweries such as Hoegaarden, Paulaner, Spaten, and Warsteiner.

    VIDEO: How to use an A System coupler.

    "M" System
    Recently introduced to the U.S. market. The body is the same as the German Slider, but the probe configuration is unique. Used by breweries such as Schneider, Aventinus, and Einbecker.

    VIDEO: How to use an M System coupler.

    "G" System
    This system gets its name from the English developer, Grundy. The valve face can be thought of as a circle with three sides cut off. Used by breweries such as Bass, Boddington's, Caffrey’s, and Anchor Steam (50-liter kegs).

    VIDEO: How to use a G System coupler.

    "U" System
    This system takes its name from the English manufacturer UEC. Used by breweries such as Guinness and Harp.

    VIDEO: How to use a U System coupler.

    This system is in limited use by some regional craft breweries.

    KeyKeg System
    One-way keg valve system utilized by import and craft breweries.

    Home Brew
    Two-piece ball-loc fittings and connection for homebrew (Cornelius) tanks.

    Coupler "Keg Taps" Basics

    The new "single valve" keg couplers are simple and easy to use. Attach coupler to keg, depress handle to engage, the pressure is allowed to enter the keg, and beer is pushed out. Most couplers have a built-in PRV (pressure relief valve) to allow over-pressurized (55 PSI) gas to escape before entering the keg.

    Pressure Inlet: Attach 5/16" I.D. gas hose to the exposed 5/16" I.D. inlet nipple. Clamp it securely to prevent gas leaks.  

    Beer Outlet: Attach beer line fittings to the threads on the beer outlet. Use a hex nut (874), tailpiece (usually 3/16" I.D. 526A), and seal it with a neoprene washer (759) under the hex nut.  

    Care & Cleaning: Always inspect the coupler before tapping a new keg. Check the bottom seal washer (where the coupler connects to the keg) for cracks, chips, or wear. A worn bottom seal will allow gas to escape and air to be drawn in, resulting in foamy beer dispensed.  

    It is a good practice to clean the beer line and fittings between each keg. If the handle action is sticky and the coupler is difficult to engage - it probably needs a good cleaning. Disassemble the coupler, clean and then lightly re-lube (FT101L) the probe for easier action. Proper beer dispensing depends on the keg coupler functioning correctly.  

    Can't find the answer? Want access to the experts? Try the Beer Dispensing Discussion Forum. It's easy and a great way to communicate!


    As there are literally tens of thousands of breweries and brands of beer available, it's simply not possible for Micro Matic to maintain a listing of the sizes of keg or area in which each brand of draft beer is available. For those brands of beer not covered in our listing, we recommend simply inquiring about the keg coupler system with the company you are purchasing your kegs from. If they do not know, they can make a quick call to the beer distributor or brewery to find out this information for you.

    Click here to view our Beer Brand-Keg Coupler Directory


    For over 60 years, Micro Matic has been recognized as one of the world’s leading suppliers of draft beer equipment. Specializing in keg-to-glass technology, we offer a total solution for meeting your draft beer equipment needs. Our dedication to customer service is supported by four regional sales and distribution centers, the Micro Matic Dispense Institute for training and education, and a Certified Installer Network for draft beer installations. If you don't see what you're looking for or not sure how to put all this hardware together, please call us toll-free at (866) 327-4159 or send us an email at