Les pompes à bière sont-elles aussi des pompes à fric ?

Les pompes à bière sont-elles aussi des pompes à fric ?


Beer taps use large capacity containers to work. The price per liter of beverage served in this way should be more advantageous for the consumer than with cans or bottles. The reality is much more nuanced.

Something for everyone, but…

©Getty Images

We often tend to think that buying wholesale is cheaper than retail. And indeed it is often the case; per litre, the price of a drink sold in a large 2 liter bottle, for example, is lower than that of the same drink in a 33cl can.

However, on the occasion of an article on home beer dispensers, we discovered that these devices used large-capacity kegs (5 or 6 l, depending on the brand). So we wonder if the consumer could expect to make some savings from these larger volumes. To do this, we choose some beers and compare the prices per liter in barrels and per bottle.

If you have read our dossier carefully, you will know that the market for home dispensers is divided into two major players: the Heineken group (at the origin of the Beertender machine) and Anheuser-Busch InBev (which developed the Perfect Draft pump). The two competitors produce different beers and therefore it is impossible to compare Strict sense the prices of a Beertender keg and a Perfect Draft keg. Therefore, we draw on beers that we believe to be relatively close to one another for this article.

In Beertender

Bartender kegs are the easiest to find in physical stores.

Credit where credit is due, we are starting this comparison with Heineken beer. In the same brand, the 5-litre barrel costs €17.39, or €3.48 per litre. In bottles, prices vary between €3.08 and €2.23 per liter depending on the container (beer or can) and quantity. The price difference starts at €0.40 per liter and ends at €1.25, which is quite a lot.

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beer offer

A gesture not as cheap as that…

© Krups

Then we chose La Goudale, a slightly less well-known but fairly well distributed beer. You have to part with €25.10 to buy a 5-litre keg, or €5.02 per litre. In bottles and cans, prices range between €3.94 per liter and €3.13, that is, a difference of more than one euro at least (€1.06 precisely) and €1.89 at most.

in perfect shot

First observation, Perfect Draft kegs are quite rare on the shelves of our supermarkets and hypermarkets. So we turned to a well-established (and very good SEO) website to find out the prices of a beer that we think is fairly close to Heineken and readily available, the classic blonde Leffe. Excluding shipping costs, the 6-litre keg is therefore sold at €31.50 or €5.25 per litre. Let’s go back to where we found our Heineken bottles: prices range from €3.49 per liter to €2.60. The price difference, therefore, goes from €1.76 to €2.65. In the latter case, the cost is multiplied by two.

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perfect eraser

6-liter barrels are not cheaper than 5-liter ones.

© PerfectDraft

So we set our sights on the Tripel Karmeliet, sold at €40.90 per 6-litre barrel, or €6.82 per litre. In the bottle, this beer costs €5.61 per litre, so you save €1.21 per litre.

the secondary case

Sub Torps live up to their name very well, as they will literally torpedo your beer budget. In this format, two liters of Heineken will cost you €8.99, or almost €4.50 per litre! As a reminder, this beer is sold at €3.48 per liter in 5-litre barrels; bottled, the most expensive costs €3.08 per liter and the least expensive €2.23 per litre. Once again, the drink costs twice as much as bottled.

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krups the submarine

The Chesterfield in the background is arguably cheaper than the torpedo contained in the shooter.

© Krups

And for slightly more exclusive beers (without being extremely rare, let’s be clear), we can reasonably speak of truandage: €18.99 for two liters of Delirium Tremens! €9.50 per litre! At this price, you might as well buy the brewery.

To compare prices under equal conditions, we have not taken into account shipping costs.

Non-pressurized drums, a possible solution?

These barrels are used in universal machines that need CO2 cartridges to create the pressure, less known and less widespread among us. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to find compatible batteries, but you can do it by searching here and there. You can get an entry level barrel of blond for €20. To this we must add the price of the cartridge that is enough to empty a barrel or fill 20 glasses, and that costs more or less one euro depending on the quantities.

On the other hand, it is very difficult to compare prices between barrels and bottles, the latter being even worse distributed than barrels in the French market.

With these few examples, we realize that buying a beer dispenser is not synonymous with savings. Its acquisition is rather part of a festive approach to give a little flavor (and foam) to a family barbecue or a football evening… or on the condition that you are an ardent and exclusive supporter of draft beer. Do not forget that alcohol abuse is dangerous to health and should be consumed in moderation.

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