How To Tap A Fucking Keg

We asked Awl contributor Abe Sauer to write a profanity-filled, Spring Break-themed servicey piece, one that could be useful for both dopey sun-poisoned college kids and backyard BBQ enthusiasts. The Awl agreed to let us borrow its occasional series. Enjoy.

Because you didn't want to look like the neophyte that you are, you cavalierly told the liquor store dude you had "done it a hundred times" when he offered a quick tutorial on the process. Or worse, like an asshole, you told the party's host, "Oh yeah, I can tap the keg. No problem."

Knowing how to properly tap a keg is a skill no man or woman should go on Spring Break without. Here's how to fucking do it.

Don't just start stabbing that keg hole with the tap like a fucking teenager losing his virginity. That shit has to be set up properly.

Maybe you have to move that keg before fucking tapping it. Do that first. A keg shouldn't be moved after it's tapped unless absolutely fucking necessary. Why? Because if it's dropped and the tapper breaks, your party is fucked. Now, while you might be tempted to just pick that bitch up and carry it like a moose, don't. It's heavy as fuck and you might get a hernia. Hernias ruin Spring Break. Worse, you might drop it on some girl's foot. Anyway, know what percentage of single, horny, Spring Breaking women find a man's ability to lift a keg attractive? Yep, zero. Ok, so move the keg. For fuck's sake DO NOT RATTLE THE KEG AROUND. You ever shake up a soda can and then open it? Ex-fucking-actly.

Always roll a keg on its edge.

Is the keg in a big plastic bucket or some kind of lined container? Put it in one. Why be such a fucking Martha Stewart about it? Well, first of all, if you rattled that shit while moving it you're going to make a fucking mess. Also, it may come as a surprise, but drunks make a mess around the keg. And if this party is in a rented room, you'll save yourself the damage charges. That's money better spent on another keg. More importantly, when all the beer is gone, you are going to beg for just one more fucking drink. You know where you'll find that horribly watery tepid last beer? That's right, the keg swamp in the bottom of that container. Yeah, yeah, you say you won't drink that shit now ...

You will.

Once the keg is in the proper place and chilled ... wait, you did chill your keg right? Well, too fucking late now.

So take the tapper and ...

Imported? No, there is no different system for tapping a keg of imported beer. There are however different tap sizes. The guy who sold you the keg should have given you the correct tap. Anyway, this is Spring Break. Imported? What the fuck is wrong with you? ARE YOU EVEN PAYING ATTENTION?

Again, get the keg tap.

A keg tap looks like a little tire pump. A penis pump? Fine, it looks a little like a penis pump. Get it. The "ball" end is the pump and the other end with the cobra coming out is the coupler. Yes, it's very cool that it's called that. Yes, it's because it kinda looks like a cobra hood. Shut the fuck up and pay attention.

The coupler goes in the keg. If you're lucky you have a lever coupler. How will you know? IT HAS A FUCKING LEVER. Line up the indents on the tap coupler with the notches on the keg outlet. Push it in and rotate the tap clockwise about a quarter turn until it stops. Pull out the lever and then lock it down.

Do not make any kind of boisterous announcement about the keg being tapped. For Chrissake, especially not "BOO-YA." As Jules said, just be cool about it. Tap that keg like fucking Fonzie.

Now, if you are less lucky, or cheap, you have a goddamn wing coupler. How will you know you have a wing coupler? It does NOT have a fucking lever. Anyway, do the same fucking thing except instead of locking down the lever, give the wings another 90 degree clockwise turn. You'll feel it lock down. Unless of course, you fuck it up.

You will know you have not fucked up tapping that fucking keg if you are still dry.

If you got sprayed, take a breath and try again. Sprayed again? Give! Up! You are wasting fucking beer. Maybe being a useful person is just not your "thing."

No! Do not immediately pump that fucking tap! Christ. First, test the spigot. If you get a solid flow, it's carbonated enough. The No. 1 giveaway of a keg rookie is an overeagerness to pump the fuck out of the goddamn tap. Too much pumping just makes foam.

Did you pump too much or was the keg warm? You'll probably have to vet it for foam. The first few cups might be shitty head. Especially if you did not listen about moving the keg slowly. Wait, what are you doing? Don't throw it out, you dipshit. Eventually some of that will be drinkable. Set. It. Aside.

By now a line has certainly formed behind you. You may hear comments such as, "What the fuck is going on with the beer asshole?!" DO NOT LOOK UP. Just continue clearing the foam. If you make eye contact, that person will demand some. Ever been in a packed bar and notice the bartender just fucking ignores everyone? Well, now you know why.

If you're getting a clean flow, bravo. Without letting go of the cobra head, nab four cups. With four in one hand and the cobra in the other, fill them all up. Be fucking quick about it. Make absolutely no eye contact while doing this. OK, hand that hose to the next in line and clear out.

Hand two of those cups to whichever girl waiting in line catches your fancy. Smile. SAY NOTHING. Smile again. You are indeed a fucking Fonzie.

The other two beers are for you. You deserve them.