How do I build a Jockey Box?

This Month’s Question:  How do I build a Jockey Box?


Answer: The simple answer to this is to join us on Jockey Box Day, Saturday, June 26th at Mike Steinberg’s house.   You bring a cooler, and we’ll bring a bunch of supplies, so at the end of the day you can head home with a new portable beer serving system.  Let us know ahead of time how many taps you want, so we can plan accordingly.  We’ll have a sign-up sheet at the May Club meeting on Thursday, May 20thBuild your own on Jockey Box Day June 26th.

Tom Rierson has come up with the lightest and simplest jockey box concept I’ve seen.  It also happens to be inexpensive to build.  Best of all, in the blink of an eye, it can go back to just being a cooler.  As shown here, it has three taps, though it can easily accommodate six taps and even more if you have a bigger box.   The box will be at the club meeting so you can see the whole setup.

The heart of the system is a zig-zag piece of stainless steel tubing that neatly fits into the bottom of the cooler.  We’ll be bending these up on jockey box day to exactly fit your cooler.  Multiple coils can fit easily at the bottom of the box.  Then, some flexible hose connects up to ball lock or pin lock (whichever type your keg has).  The outlet as shown here is a set of cobra taps, mounted in a piece of insulation.  Tom has done some temperature studies to show that in fact your beer will come out cold even on a hot day.

Cost of each line is about $35, depending on what options you want to add.  If you already have ball locks hose clamps and tubing, you can just get the stainless tube.  A popular, but somewhat pricey option is to build in feed-though shanks and put in a set standard faucet taps.  We’ll have the 7/8” circle-saw cutter on hand if you want to go with this option.

As part of the construction project, we will be working on a couple of jockey boxes to expand the capacity of the Club Dispenser System by another 12 taps.  As many of you know, we have been struggling to get everything on tap at some of the bigger club events.  We plan to unveil the expansion at the Summer Party on August 14th.  Speaking of which, it would be a tremendous help if you can bring your newly-built jockey boxes to these events.  Even with the expansion, we still will have only 22 taps.  Well over 40 kegs typically appear at the summer party, so a fleet of new jockey boxes will greatly appreciated.

We will be serving a light lunch.  And, of course, were gonna need some kegs of beer to test out the new lines!

Mike Steinberg’s house is at 10754 Barman Ave in Culver City, just a few blocks east of the brewshop.

Got a question for the Brewmaster?  Drop me a line at [email protected].  Also, an archive of prior questions can be found at the Picobrewery website at