Building a Keg Totem

After last year’s tailgating season, my friends and I started brainstorming ways to pay tribute to our game-day homebrew.  Slowly our ideas grew from a tap attached to a board sunk into the ground, to a way to contain the homebrew and dispense the beer.  After the Big Ten college football conference gained a member and divided into two divisions, the Legends (which the Iowa Hawkeyes are in) and the Leaders division, we decided to create a ‘totem’ pole that could hold two homebrew 5 gallon soda kegs, one stacked on top of the other.

Once we decided on our idea, the design was next.  What should we make it from?  How do we engineer it to dispense the homebrew?  After one of our designer friends took the idea and ran with it, we came up with the idea to use 12-inch diameter concrete forms.  Two of the tubes are 8 foot tall, and all it took was some engineering to make it all work.  The bottom tube is secured with 6-inch L-brackets with removable bolts.  The top section has long beams that are secured with bolts, and has a notched hole-less peg board for wings of the top figure.  The bottom section contains two gas lines, one for each keg, and the top section has two beer lines, hooking up to tower-style shanks.  After several months of planning and design, we unveiled the keg totem at opening day weekend!

The Concrete Forms, Before Painting
The Concrete Forms, Before Painting
Full Mockup
Full Mockup
Primed Tubes
Primed Tubes
Applying the First Coat of Paint
Applying the First Coat of Paint
Bottom of the Totem After the First Coat
Bottom of the Totem After the First Coat
Sizing Up the Wings
Sizing Up the Wings
Completed Totem
Completed Totem
Set Up at the Tailgate
Set Up at the Tailgate
The Inaugural Pour
The Inaugural Pour

3 Replies to “Building a Keg Totem”

  1. Awesome job and design! Is the totem fairly durable or do you have to be careful with factors like weight and moisture? Did you also build one for the Leaders division of the Big 10?

  2. The totem is pretty strong, and I’ve found that Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work wonders to make scuffs go away. We talked about this year creating the Leaders Keg Totem, but I need to get the designers on board. The painting was a pretty daunting task, and I know they were pretty fed up with it by the 4th or 5th weekend of painting. Not giving up hope though!

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