Our research vessel was dispatched and it picked up a Draftmark tap system from Anheuser-Busch to analyze and experiment with. Their press release states: “The Draftmark tap system is a refrigerator-based system that takes up about the same amount of space as a “fridge pack” of soda. It uses one-gallon refills that feature bottle-in-bottle technology to ensure the beer inside never touches air until it touches a beer glass, helping keep the beer fresh for 30 days once tapped.”
“If you love fresh draught beer you will love Draftmark,” said Pat McGauley, vice president of innovation at Anheuser-Busch. “Draftmark takes draught beer to the next level by offering simplicity and convenience that is unmatched by any other home keg systems. It raises the bar for beer.”
Once we opened the box, we were immediately impressed with the packaging. Everything was in a compartment and the owners manual was clear and concise. Inside the box you will find the Draftmark system, a battery and battery charger and some magnetic tap handle badges. The refill kit we received was a Shocktop Pumpkin Wheat. Each refill kit contains the beer container and a new spout.
Setup is extremely easy and very well documented in the manual. You simply charge the battery with the provided charger while you chill your refill. We left our refill in the box while it chilled. Once the battery was charged and the refill was nice and cold, it was time to put it all together. Remember, the Draftmark system does not use CO2 and nothing else is needed besides the Draft system and a refill.
First, place the battery into the slot in the back. Then you simply open the front of the Draftmark system by pushing the release button and place the spout from the refill box into the Draftmark system. Lock the spout in place and then, you place the refill into the Draftmark system and turn it until it locks. Next, you close the front of the Draftmark system and you are ready to go. That was easy.
Get an appropriate beer glass for the style of beer in the refill and draw your beer using the handle on the front of the Draftmark system. Be sure to pull the handle all the way open in a quick movement for best results. If you have trouble, the user manual has a lot of troubleshooting tips.
When you run out of beer, simply push the release button, flip the spout lock open and remove the empty refill, spout and all. The spout becomes a permanent part of the refill once you install the refill which is why each refill comes with a new spout. Simply discard the empty refill and replace with your next choice.
Overall, the Draftmark system delivers on what it promises. The beer is fresh and tastes as good as the same beer on draft at a bar. Anheuser-Busch claim that the refills will stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to 30 days, so you will have plenty of time to enjoy the beer.
- Easy to set up
- Easy to use
- No mess/clean up
- Easy disposal of refills
- Can’t switch beers. If you remove a refill, you can’t put it back
- Currently, there is a limited selection of beers available. As of this review, the following beers are available: Budweiser, Shock Top (various varieties), Michelob Amberbock, Bass, Goose Island (various varieties)
Rating: 5/5. The Draftmark system is easy to use and provides beer as tasty as the same brand would be in a bar.
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