Posted on November 23, 2012 by Marina

Tim McAfee has been working with Steam Whistle Brewing for over 7 years “and lots of beers”. He started on the bottling line stacking skids, getting his foot in the door of the industry. He thought it was time for a change when  a fellow employee and he came to the realization that in his career he had stacked over three and a half million bottles!

Meet Tim – Steam Whistle’s kegging operator. 

“I consider myself lucky for joining Steam Whistles production team when the company was still some what young because it gave me a chance to watch it grow into what its become today.”

I never rose from my bed with such an over the top idea in my head, I was lucky to be in the right place and be surrounded by people willing to train me for the job I do now do.  Plus at the time I didn’t have a window in my bedroom.

The biggest kegs we fill are 50L, they are roughly 160 pounds when full, and there is about 106 pints in it.

I don’t know what other keg operators dream about but for me it’s the end of summer so I can take some time off to enjoy the fruits of my labour.

As for the maximum amount of kegs we’ve done in a shift I’m not sure. We do 20L 30L and 50L kegs so I would have to look into that. I can tell you we’ve done over 160 hectoliters in a shift and with 100 liters per hectoliter. That’s more beer than I will drink in my life time………most likely.

The difference between draught and bottles/cans for me is preference. Of course in a keg you don’t have to worry about the sun affecting your beer but some will argue a taste difference. I find the flavour jumps out a bit more with draught but others may disagree due to previous bad experiences in different establishments.*

*(Just an FYI, the beer going into cans, bottles and kegs is the same. The difference in taste often depends on the establishment’s draught systems and whether they use compressed air, CO2, nitrogen or mixed gas to push the draught through the system. To help out, we also have our folks at Team Clean who clean draught lines, check keg and bottle date codes as well as rotate stock so that your pint is exactly how Brewmaster Marek intended it to be!)


A lot of stuff can go wrong in kegging but due to the nature of the job it’s nothing that can affect the beer. We test the beer’s C02 among other things before sending it anywhere near the machine that puts it in the kegs.The stuff that goes wrong is machine related but quickly fixed by our brewery’s engineers Gord or Sergei. And there are never any severe rookie mistakes anyone new to the job works with someone who knows what there doing.

The kegs are returned to the brewery straight from the place they were consumed and everything is done in the machine we use.

Damn Sean that’s like 10 questions dude. As for pressure any of those reasons could be the cause, I would imagine it comes down to how you’re getting the job done and the machine you’re using. And as for keg couplers we go the the European route, it’s a tighter seal and everyone loves Europe.

At the end of the day do I kick back and have a beer? Really?

Come by to our brewery for a fresh sample and say hi to Good Beer Folk, Tim!