When deciding between a beer dispenser with or without CO2, there are several factors to consider. Traditionally, CO2 is utilized to pour beer, pressurizing the keg and forcing the beer through the dispenser. This method offers the advantage of slower spoilage due to reduced exposure to air.

However, using CO2 also comes with drawbacks. For instance, the need for a CO2 cylinder at the tap location can be cumbersome, especially for mobile or rental setups. Additionally, safety concerns arise due to the potential dangers of CO2 in poorly ventilated spaces. Moreover, CO2 cylinders are expensive to deposit and prone to theft at events.

An alternative to CO2 is using air to tap beer, facilitated by a beer dispenser with a built-in air compressor. This eliminates the need for a CO2 cylinder, making the setup more compact and easier to transport. However, the downside is that the quality of the beer may deteriorate faster due to oxygen exposure, typically within 24 hours.

Ultimately, the choice between CO2 and air pressure depends on your specific needs and circumstances. Here’s a summary of the pros and cons:

Pouring with CO2 (Traditional Method):


– Longer beer shelf life (more than 48 hours)
– Reduced risk of spoilage due to absence of oxygen


– Expensive lease costs
– Vulnerable to theft
– Potential issues with broken pressure reducers and empty CO2 cylinders
– Requires well-ventilated storage and detection equipment
– Possibility of misuse by renters

Pouring based on Air Pressure:


– Easier and more compact in transport
– No broken pressure reducers or empty CO2 cylinders
– No deposit required
– Simplified storage
– No risk of CO2 leakage


– Beer quality begins to decline after 48 hours due to oxygen exposure

Ultimately, weigh these factors carefully to determine which method best suits your needs and preferences. Whether it’s the longevity of beer freshness or the ease of setup and transportation, understanding the pros and cons will help you make an informed decision for your beer dispensing setup.