Newcastle DraughtKeg

Is the Newcastle DraughtKeg a Good Way to Enjoy Beer?

Newcastle Brown Ale is a good beer that you can rely on because it's available almost everywhere beer is sold. What happens when you want a good draught of Newcastle at home? Turn to the DraughtKeg and enjoy the freshest pour of this popular beer available outside a bar.

The Newcastle DraughtKeg

You've probably seen those mini-kegs at your favorite beer store. They hold 5 liters and have some sort of tapping doohickey so you can cram them in your fridge or cooler and pour yourself a beer or three.

While the idea is great, the big question is, are they worth your time and money?

In 2009, Heineken USA (owners of Newcastle) released the DraughtKeg for both Newcastle and their Heineken lager. Priced less than $25, it's a good deal if you're a fan of either beer or need to entertain a group of beer drinkers on the cheap.

  • The beer stays fresh for 30 days after tapping.
  • 5 liters gets you about 10 pints or the equivalent to 14 12-ounce bottles.
  • The DraughtKeg is compatible with the Krups BeerTender.
  • The keg is recyclable.

Review of the Newcastle DraughtKeg

On the whole, the DraughtKeg is handy because you can pour as little or as much beer as you like. Newcastle is a great beer to cook with, so drawing only a cup or two at a time is very nice.

After the recommended 10 hours cooling time in the refrigerator, it assembled easily. I didn't use the BeerTender, opting for the little plastic components that came with the keg instead.

The two pieces snapped on easily and it was ready to roll.

In trying to push the little plastic spigot into the keg, I accidentally squirted quite a lot of beer on myself, the counter, and the kitchen floor. And I was thus introduced to my biggest complaint about the DraughtKeg — it's messy.

Every pour required a wipe up for one reason or another.

The plastic spout stayed full of beer after pouring and would drip. Beer also leaked out of the top where the spout attached. It wasn't much but it tended to build up and slosh over the sides if the keg moved. By the end of the week, it was a big, sticky mess.

Did the Beer Stay Fresh?

The beer stayed in good condition for an entire week and it's easy to believe Newcastle's promise that the beer stays fresh for 30 days. However, there was some degradation in quality over time.

The issue was with the beer's carbonation. As the beer level went down, the pours tended to be more and more ​head and less and less beer. It still tasted as good, but once the massive head gave way, the beer was pretty flat. This was tolerable until the last couple glasses of beer.

Recommended: Yes or No?

Despite this setback, I would recommend the DraughtKeg, especially for parties or large gatherings. The price isn't remarkably different than buying bottles, but the beer is better. It would be great for a barbecue where the metal keg would protect the beer from the sun and drips and spills wouldn't be a problem.

In the average home fridge, the Newcastle DraughtKeg may be a little bulky and the spills a little too messy. Yet, if you have a dedicated beer fridge and can work around the mess, it's not a bad way to get a fresh draught whenever you want.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.