Posted by Andrew on 6/22/2016
One of the questions we are most often asked is: what is the difference between all of the different types of cask taps?
You may notice, we stock several types of cask taps and accessories that fit them - including "Y-thread", "L-thread", and "BSP thread (3/4")". What is the functional difference between these three?
The answer is: there is no real difference. These three types of taps are simply different conventions for how cask taps are made. It's like different languages: whether you say 'I want a beer" in English, "Ich möchte ein Bier" in German, or "Quiero una cerveza" in Spanish, all three phrases mean the same thing. Similarly, all three types of cask taps will dispense delicious beer from your cask, at the same rate. It's just a question of which type you want to go with.
Regarding the "BSP" type tap, this acronym stands for "British Standard Pipe" thread and simply includes a standard size and thread shape, commonly used in the United Kingdom. If you're just starting out with cask beer, we recommend that you purchase a 3/4" BSP tap - since cask beer is British, you might as well use the British standard. Which tap you buy today will inform which size replacement parts you need to buy later.
Y-thread and L-thread taps are both 1/2" wide - for that reason, some tap accessories work with both Y-thread and L-thread taps (like hop filters and tailpieces). The difference between the two lies in the threading itself - it's just a difference in thread shape and depth. This is why an L-thread tap nut will not thread onto a Y-thread tap, despite being the same width. Although we encourage most buyers to choose BSP taps, we'll still stock replacement parts for those of you who have L- or Y-thread taps.