The QuikTap can be used at festivals, tailgates, banquet halls, satellite bars and 5K races. Courtesy quiktap.com
(As seen on WZZM TV 13) A Grand Rapids entrepreneur is tapping into the global beverage industry by bringing a new level of portability.
The QuikTap, a portable CO2 keg tap, promises an alternative to traditional keg systems by dispensing beverages “from keg to cup.”
The standard QuikTap features an all-stainless-steel pathway, including the coupler, 12-inch tap rod and faucet. The system also features a 12-ounce, refillable, food-grade CO2 tank, which can dispense roughly 15 gallons at 5 to 8 psi.
Dan DeKorne, owner of QuikTap LLC, acquired the business in 2017 from Brent Daniel, who invented the QuikTap system. He later moved the business to 702 Hall St. SW in Grand Rapids.
DeKorne said he came upon the QuikTap while surfing the internet for entrepreneurial opportunities. Although not a serious craft beer fan, he recognized the prospect a product like the QuikTap could bring to Grand Rapids’ beer industry.
“I just enjoy a craft beer here and there,” DeKorne said. “It wasn’t like a massive passion. It was more or less a business opportunity that made sense to bring to Grand Rapids.”
For the first year of business, DeKorne and his team started figuring out the best manufacturing practices to ensure the success of the QuikTap. In 2018, the company started getting out into the market.
“We were already in the market selling a couple here and there, but we really started figuring out how to buy smarter and get into the standard operating procedures of the business,” DeKorne said.
To get the word out, QuikTap has been exhibiting at events like the Craft Brewers Conference in Denver and the Michigan Brewers Guild trade show.
Recently, QuikTap set up its first distribution partner in Ontario, Canada. DeKorne also estimated the company has direct buyers in about a dozen different countries.
QuikTap was originally designed to work alongside or replace the traditional beer dispensing cooler, or “jockey box,” commonly seen at any festival where beer is served. Whereas jockey boxes have a complex system of hoses that run from the keg, through the cooler to the dispenser, the QuikTap can be installed directly on the keg.
“You’re pouring beer all day long, and the last thing you want to do is clean out a jockey box,” DeKorne said.
Although DeKorne only envisioned the QuikTap to be used at festivals, its application has expanded to people renting them out and using them at tailgates, banquet halls, satellite bars, 5K races and other events.
“It’s really about convenience and bringing craft to the people,” he said. “Portability is one of those things you think about whether you’re tailgating, at a festival or a wedding.”
The QuikTap also is useful for bars and breweries to host tap takeovers. Rather than changing out draft lines to introduce new brews, the bartender can just keep the keg behind the bar and tap it with a QuikTap with much less setup and maintenance, DeKorne said.
QuikTap’s biggest markets are on the East and West coasts, but the company is getting a lot of attention within Michigan. Locally, Creston Brewery in Grand Rapids was one of the first pioneers of the QuikTap, DeKorne said. Creston Brewery confirmed it does utilize the QuikTap, but head brewer Scott Schultz was unable to provide further comment at press time.
Although beer has been the main focus of the QuikTap, the company also has systems designed for dispensing wine, cider, spirits and coffee.
“If it goes into a keg, we can get it out for you and without electricity,” DeKorne said.
Other products include taps for European and imported kegs, nitro taps, festival packs and tabletop dispensers. QuikTap also has been utilizing its nitro dispenser to pour Ferris-brand coffee at several of its events, DeKorne said.