Beer Science: Learn How Your Beer Bar Specials Go From Keg to Glass

barman hand at beer tap pouring draught lager beer serving in a restaurant

Guzzling Pabst through a funnel while on spring break. Executing a flawless keg stand at a college frat party. Drilling shot after shot playing beer pong at that tailgate. You’ve created so many memories. Unfortunately, most are just a blur.

For you, drinking has always been an art. You’ve perfected your craft. But, it turns out there is much more science behind your beer than you realized.

It’s time to trade in your “beer goggles” for a pair of lab goggles.

The physics behind draft beer systems actually follows a familiar formula from your college days. One chilled keg plus one pumping device equals one red Solo cup foaming with beer. This simple set-up is the basic foundation used by the expert bartenders at Tap House Grills to pull beautiful draft beers for bar specials and more. (Without the wasted frat boy pumping the keg every 10 minutes.)

Draft beer systems operate via multiple working parts that operate in harmony, but there are six main components responsible for delivering that frothy, delicious beverage to your glass. Quench your thirst for knowledge by learning about them below.

Keeping it cold in the cooler

That ice-cold beer you’re holding while you enjoy one of Tap House’s grill specials had to start somewhere. Keeping your beer cold — from keg to glass — is key. And the effect goes beyond taste. Keeping beer at the proper temperature avoids excessive foaming, maintains the right carbonation levels and ultimately prevents the beverage from spoiling. We can’t serve up drink specials with skunky beer!

The keg: A metal barrel of love

Within our walk-in coolers, we have multiple rows of kegs varying in size and mostly made from stainless steel. To get the beer out, gas pressure is applied within the keg. This presses the liquid up from the bottom where it passes through a metal tube and out of a valve.

Gotta get some gas

When you pump a party keg, you draw in air from around you to introduce pressure into the keg to force the beer out. All that hard work is necessary, but actually spoils your beer, as the oxygen produces bacteria. It’s also an imprecise method, causing excess bubbles to form. For this reason, like most bars, Tap House Grills use pure bottled carbon dioxide with a regulated distribution to make sure the right amount of pressure enters the keg, and you end up with the perfect drink special beer.

The coupler’s dual purpose

The pump on top of the party kegs most of us know is a dumbed-down version of a coupler. Couplers provide the power for dispensing. Running out of the coupler are two tubes connected to valves — one to push carbon dioxide into the keg and another to let the beer flow out. It’s almost time for the bartender to serve up your bar specials!

Tubing makes the love connection

Tubes connect the kegs to the faucets, which are the “taps” you see when waiting for your bar specials at Tap House Grills. If the beer has to travel a long distance, the tubing may need to be chilled to keep the beer cold.

The function of the faucet

All that stands between you and hoppy bliss is the faucet. Ideally, this pours from the tap at a rate that forms a one- to two-finger head on the top. Faucets are meticulously cleaned on a regular basis to ensure a sanitary and perfect-tasting pour.

Tap House Grills serves up your favorite drink specials and bar specials

Now that you’ve done all this hard work learning about beer, it’s time to drink up! Come on in to Tap House Grills for monthly grill specials, drink specials, TapHouse beers, bar specials and other daily specials.

New Menu Items at Tap House Grills!

Our head chef Bob Zrenner is always looking for new and inventive tastes to delight our guests and keep our tastes fresh and ever evolving. With new dishes being dreamed up and served all the time, and reliable food specials and drink specials abounding, your options are limitless at Tap House Grills!

We’re rolling out four new entrees and two new creative cocktails during our Customer Appreciation event, which runs through May 28. Don’t miss out on your chance to try these new dishes as limited-time food specials. Pair it with a beer, one of our new cocktails, or any of our daily specials, and you’ll have a delicious meal to satisfy any appetite!

 

Check out our newest dishes:

MACARONI & BACON TACOS – Food special price: $9.99

Oh yeah, we went there! Chef Bob combined some of our favorite tastes into one incredible hand-held dish. These hard-shell tacos are stuffed with our signature 5-Cheese Mac ‘N Cheez, along with crispy bacon and diced onion, then kicked up with jalapen?os and salsa. Buckle up and grab a couple of napkins for this spicy and creamy delight!

DOUBLE BYPASS BURGER – Food special price: $12.99

Chef Bob got a little carried away with this one — in the best possible way! He tops our 8-ounce burger with a thick-cut onion ring, 4 ounces of slow-cooked pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, Merkts spreadable cheese sauce and pickles, stacking it all on a toasted brioche bun. You’ll probably need a nap after this grill special, but it’s worth it!

FISH TACO SALAD – Food special price: $11.99

This dish takes a West coast favorite and adapts it to make it even healthier and more delicious! A light and flaky grilled tilapia fillet lays atop of bed of mixed greens stocked with avocado, black beans, tomato, cucumber, corn salsa and crunchy tortilla strips, and finished with lime vinaigrette and chipotle sour cream. This combination of flavors, temperatures and textures is sure to delight your tastebuds.

THREE CHEESE GRILLED CHEESE – Food special price: $9.99

A cheese-lover’s dream, with ooey gooey goodness between two slices of bread! This grill special features Brie, Swiss and smoked Gouda cheeses melted on dark rye bread and layered with smoky caramelized onions, spicy arugula and zesty horseradish cream sauce. Don’t pass up this decadent version of a childhood favorite!

 

Drink specials to debut new cocktails:

THE BEACH COCKTAIL – Drink special price: $7

Imagine your toes in the sand, your butt in a beach chair and this cocktail in your hand. We mix up RumHaven Caribbean rum, pineapple juice and soda, and serve it in a Mason jar.

SALTED CARAMEL MARTINI – Drink special price: $8

This truly decadent cocktail is perfect for summer indulgences. It’s a dense and potent blend of Smirnoff Kissed Caramel vodka, RumChata and cream — the perfect treat for any sweet tooth.

A Lemont Brew Pub Serving Two American Favorites


If you’re looking for places to eat in Lemont, odds are you’ll find two types of restaurant options — something new or something familiar. At Tap House Grill Lemont, we offer both trusty favorites and innovative new dishes to try.

What we serve up most, though, are two perennial American favorites — burgers and tacos. But, why? What is it about these two dishes, so seemingly different, that brings our diners back to them time after time?

Burgers and tacos at our Lemont brew pub are versatile

One awesome thing about burgers and tacos is that you can top them with just about anything. Both start with a protein base and are contained within some kind of carbohydrate. Beyond that, the possibilities are endless!

Take our burger selection, for example. Diners can order a signature Tap House Brew Burger with their selection of cheese, for a truly traditional flavor. Or, they can try something a little different like The Farm Burger, topped with a fried egg, or the Orange Mallard Burger, flavored to perfection with duck bacon and brie. If you want to forget the meat altogether, order our black bean burger, a great vegetarian option.

Our vegetarian options don’t stop at burgers though. Our to-die-for fried avocado tacos are always a crowd pleaser and are a perfect complement to our other taco varieties featuring pork, steak, tilapia, shrimp and others.

Burgers and tacos are easy to eat at our sports bar

With one on a bun and the other folded into a tortilla, both burgers and tacos are portable and easy to eat. You might have to pick up a few fallen ingredients from your plate, but each meal requires no silverware. Eat with your hands to get up close and personal with every bite.

That’s part of the fun in ordering our burgers and tacos. Go ahead and play with your food, and get back to the basics of eating.

Affordable burgers and tacos, especially with grill specials!

Not only are burgers and tacos tasty, versatile and easy to eat, they’re also affordable at Tap House Grill. Most of our burger meals are priced around $12 or less, making them a great value, especially considering they feature Angus beef and high-quality ingredients. Likewise, our taco dinners each feature three tacos per plate, along with rice and beans on the side, and most are priced around $13.

How does this get even better? We offer grill specials on Tuesdays for Burger Night, when any signature Angus burger is only $5.99 after 5 p.m. On Wednesdays, come out to our Tap House Tacos night, when specialty tacos are half-price. Plus, enjoy Margarita Madness on Wednesdays, when signature margaritas are $5.

Get the best burgers and tacos at our Lemont brew pub

If you’re ready to order up some of the tastiest burgers and tacos you’ll ever have, come on out to Tap House Grill Lemont and check out our Lemont menu. We have other restaurant locations in Oswego, St. Charles, Plainfield, Des Plaines, Palatine and Westmont and coming soon to Hanover Park.

Customer Recipe Contest

Make your best dish or drink for a chance to have it featured on our Monthly Specials Menu!

Tap House Grill wants our customers to share their favorite food and cocktail recipes with us. Send us your unique recipe that you think would fit in well with our gastro-pub style menu. You might even decide to use beer in your food recipe.

• Incorporate craft brew in a stew!
• Use a lager glaze on a lamb loin!
• Marinate a steak in some stout!

Recipes will be judged on originality, ease of execution, visual appeal and overall flavor profile. A panel of experts — including our owners, general managers and our corporate chef — will choose the 10 winners. Each winner will receive these awesome prizes:

• $100 Tap House Grill gift card
• $50 Sur la Table gift card
• $50 The Wooden Spoon gift card
• Weekly Facebook Recognition

Enter your recipe today! Email your name, recipe name, ingredients, directions, and an optional original photo to menu@taphousegrills.com. You can also enter below. See below for full contest rules.

Accepting submissions 2/5/17-2/26/17 from 12:00 PM CST to 11:59 PM CST. Only one submission per person. Must be 21 & older to enter. Winners will be notified via email.

What Makes For the Best Sports Bar

All across Chicagoland, sports fans have high expectations for the perfect place to watch their favorite teams play on the field, court and ice. But sometimes sports bar rituals can get a little repetitive. In order to keep your sports bar visits new and exciting every time, visit Tap House Grills, a sports bar in Palatine and several other locations.

The Best Food and Drink Specials

You can’t drink and watch a whole game on an empty stomach! The best sports bars have great food specials that let you fill up on a budget. At Tap House Grill, we offer daily food and drink specials, so you can experience our chef-created gastro food and beer, wine and spirits for a reduced price.

Amazing Beer Selections

Great beer goes a long way, and craft beer lovers are willing to travel all over to get a new or favorite beer. A great beer selection is part of what drives a crowd to a sports bar, and we don’t call it Tap House for nothing! Tap House Grills sports club in Des Plaines and other locations offer a huge variety of beer selections and a Beer of the Month, and hosts many events for special beer tappings and limited time offers.

Exciting Special Events

Many can agree that there’s no better feeling than cheering on a big win with an enthusiastic crowd in a friendly, engaging environment. This past year, fans witnessed history being made as the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. The best sports bars all over the country experienced a high demand for customers looking for the right place to enjoy the momentous occasion.

Tap House Grills provides great service and an entertaining atmosphere during these exciting moments. Throughout the year, our restaurants host many special events to let you catch every moment of the game while you celebrate with friends. From the food and drink specials to raffles and prizes, Tap House makes your game-time an exciting and comfortable experience.

Whether you are stopping in to watch the Bulls after a long day of work or you’re bringing your #1 Blackhawks fans to a trusted, kid-friendly place to enjoy the game, you’ll find a great time at Tap House Grills. We also offer a customer rewards program to earn points and receive special offers when dining in with us.

Tap House Grill strives to provide a fun-spirited environment for people of all ages. If you’re looking for the best sports bar to kick back, have a cold one, and watch your favorite team with great company, Tap House Grills is the best sports bar around. Stop in at a location near you!

Book Your Party at Tap House Grill Gastro-Pub

Whether you’re looking for a private party room in Lemont or catering services in Westmont, Tap House Grill restaurants offer a comfortable setting with delicious, modern food and, of course, plenty of great beers, wines and drinks to choose from.

Special people, special events

Creating a wonderful special event starts with finding the people who are going to do everything they can to make everything go smoothly and make everyone happy. When you plan your event with Tap House Grills, you’ll have a personal Banquet Manager, who will help you plan you party, and attend to every detail. Your event will be staffed by our experienced, courteous and professional servers, ensuring your guests are impressed and well cared-for.

Delicious Catered Food in Oswego

You’ll love our wide selection of authentic chef-prepared menu items. You can choose from a la carte dishes and comprehensive menu packages, which allow you to customize your party with the food that you know will make your guests’ mouths water. We can cook up sumptuous chicken and beef dishes and serve up crisp, fresh salads and wraps. And don’t forget about dessert! Our sticky caramel doughnuts are the perfect end to every meal. Add in our full-service bars with an extensive selection of beer, spirits and wines, and your party is sure to be a success!

Private party room rentals in Lemont

We have rooms available for rent to suit any event for any occasion, whether you’re hosting a birthday party, graduation party, retirement party, baby shower, wedding shower, rehearsal dinner, quinceañera, bar/bat mitzvah or even a wedding reception! We work to make our event spaces warm and inviting, with classic place settings and adjustable lighting.

Restaurant for business events in St. Charles, Palatine

People planning business events will love the options from Tap House Grill. Our private party rooms are perfect for meetings, training sessions, client presentations, holiday parties and team-building events. You have plenty of work to do — let our experienced banquet managers help you set up your business gathering.

Book a party with Tap House Grill today!

Tap House Grill is your sports bar destination with great gastro-pub food in a warm and inviting atmosphere. We will do whatever we can to make your event a success! Our rooms book up fast, so contact us today!

Tap House Grill in Lemont, Ill., to Pack the House for Blackhawks Season Opener

Chicago Blackhawks season is nearly ready to drop the puck. Tap House Grill Addictive Foods Creative Brews wants to join you in kicking it off right with its upcoming Pack the House event at our taproom grill in Illinois! On Wed., Oct. 12, at 7 p.m., join Tap House Grill in Lemont for food and drink specials, raffles and more, all in honor of the game.

Featured specials:
• $2 Miller Lite drafts
• $3 Hat Trick shots
• $3.75 Modelo drafts
• $4 Bloody Marys
• $4 Captain “Toews” cocktails
• $4 Fireball shots
• $5 Bavarian “Hockey Sticks”
• $5 Curly “Kane” fries with chipotle ranch
• $6 Nachos

You can also enter our raffles for a chance to win several prizes:
• Two Blackhawks jerseys
• Three $10 Tap House Grill gift cards
• Five Tap House Grill app cards

As always, customers can enjoy Tap House Grill’s signature addictive food and creative brews as they cheer the Blackhawks on to another season of victory. Not a sports fan? Keep an eye out for our other upcoming events at our Illinois taproom grill, including Southern Tier Pumking flight night on Oct. 13 and Thursday Pint Night on Oct. 20.

Tap House Grill Addictive Food, Creative Brews is also pleased to announce our upcoming Meet the Brewer/Pint Night with Chicago’s own 5 Rabbit Cerveceria. Located in nearby Bedford Park, 5 Rabbit Cerveceria is the world’s first U.S.-based Latin American-inspired brewery. Enthusiasts nationwide appreciate 5 Rabbit Cerveceria for its fresh, flavorful take on quality beer. In fact, 5 Lizard—the first beer ever packaged at 5 Rabbit Cerveceria—has won multiple Great American Beer Festival medals, earning the respect of brewmasters from coast to coast. Come out and have a few with the minds behind this one-of-a-kind brand at Tap House Grill!

For more information about the Pack the House event and other upcoming events, call Tap House Grill Lemont at (630) 257-5992.

Founder’s Brewing Takes Over the Tap House Grill Des Plaines for October

Tap House Grill of Des Plaines is excited to welcome Michigan’s Founder’s Brewing Company to take over our taps in October. When we say we strive for addictive food and creative brews, we mean it!

Founder’s Brewing Co. is one of the highest-rated breweries in the world as ranked by Ratebeer.com and have several beers listed in the top 100 beers in the world on BeerAdvocate.com. Founder’s is the recipient of many honors, including medals from the World Beer Cup, European Beer Star and Great American Beer Festival.

At 6 p.m. on Oct. 13, Tap House Grill will bring that world-class expertise to our Des Plaines location, serving Founder’s Backwoods Bastard, Devil Dancer and Redankulous IPA – as well as all of Tap House Grill’s other creative brews.

Backwoods Bastard, a scotch ale aged in bourbon barrels for a year, boasts flavors of smoke, sweet caramel, roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice and a “scintilla of dark fruit.” With limited availability and a RateBeer rating of 100, this one is a must have.

Devil Dancer is no slouch with a RateBeer of 99. This triple IPA is dry-hopped with 10 hop varieties to reach a massive 112 IBUs. At an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 12 percent, you’d better be careful with this one!

Finally, the Redankulous IPA is a specialty imperial red IPA with a RateBeer of 99, as well. This strong IPA blends complex flavors from Chinook, Mosaic and Simcoe hops.

All three of these spectacular beers will be available on October 13, along with our other addictive food and creative brews. To find out about more programs coming to Tap House Grill locations near you, sign up for our rewards program. We look forward to serving you at our tap house in Des Plaines!

Top 10 Burger Toppings

Eating a hamburger without any kind of garnish is downright crazy, particularly at a place like top burger restaurant Tap House Grill. We offer a wide selection of toppings to garnish their Kobe beef burgers, stuffed burgers, boozy-glazed burgers and more.

According to crowdsource ranking site Ranker.com, visitors chose the following as their top 10 burger toppings. Check them out and see if you’d rather sink your teeth into something else.

10. Grilled onions: Bad breath notwithstanding, grilled onions are certainly a popular item in the Chicagoland area, even appearing on THG’s Kobe Beef Burger.

9. Mustard: An old standby, with its vinegar bite and spicy finish.

8. Mayonnaise: Maybe it’s more than a Midwest thing to like a smear of mayo on our buns.

7. Dill pickles: A little sour and salt add to the flavor of the beef, making for a dynamic duo.

6. Tomato: A thick, juicy slice of tomato adds a pop of freshness, especially to THG’s quarter-pound black bean burger.

5. Ketchup: Catsup, ketchup—however you spell it, the sweet and salty sauce has been a staple of burgers since the beginning.

4. Onion: Fresh beats grilled on the list. Raw onions kick up the flavor, while simultaneously kicking down the “likely to be kissed” factor.

3. Lettuce: For diners looking for a splash of health on their burger, this leafy topping adds a pleasant crunch.

2. Cheddar cheese: Another longtime standby, ranking over American and Swiss cheeses. Try this tangy, creamy cheese on top burger restaurant THG’s Tipsy Stout Burger.

1. Bacon. No surprise here, right? Bacon Mania is sweeping the nation, making the best meat topping another meat. Atop a burger, this rich, salty strip pushes even a boring burger into decadent territory. The Farm Burger at THG perfects the meaty mix, featuring applewood-smoked bacon slices and a bacon bun spread.

Now that you’re drooling for a gourmet burger, find all of these toppings and more on Tap House Grill’s addictive burgers. Head over to our menu page to find out more about the sizzling selections at this top burger restaurant!

Tap House Grill September Specials

Check out all our specials and events here!

Beer of the Month
Samuel Adams Octoberfest, $3.75 drafts, while supplies last.

Sept. 10
Bark in the Park: Tap House Oswego
Join us for the Bark in the Park from 2 to 4 p.m. at Hudson Crossing Park, across the street from our Tap House. We’ll be serving adult beverages and treats for the dogs.

Sept. 11
Patriot Day
All current and retired police officers and firefighters EAT FREE! When they buy a Sam Adams pint, they’ll also get a commemorative pint glass. Offer valid for dine-in meals only. If you’re looking for a Westmont, Ill., bar or a taproom near Highwood, come on in!

Looking ahead…
It’s not too early to think about hockey!
Join us at our Lemont beer house at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12, for the first Blackhawks game of the season, and enjoy lots of drink and food specials—including $2 Miller Lite drafts—and enter for a chance to win jerseys and gift cards.