A soda gun or bar gun is a device used by bars to serve various types of carbonated and non-carbonated drinks. A soda gun has the ability to serve any beverage that is some combination of syrup, water and carbon dioxide. This includes soft drinks, iced tea, carbonated water, and plain water. When served from a soda gun, these are often known as fountain drinks.
Soda guns have buttons corresponding to the drink to be served. Each button is generally labelled with one letter; the meanings of these letters are almost universal.
|Q||Tonic water (contains Quinine) or sQuash in Australia|
|T||Tab (soft drink) (or Diet Coke); Tonic Water (Q is for sQuash) in Australia|
|L||Lemon-lime (7-Up, Sprite, Sierra Mist Mountain Dew)|
|P||Pineapple juice OR Pepsi|
|C||Cranberry soda (rare, as 'C' is cola)|
Comparison with bottled drinks
The advantages of dispensing from a bar gun instead of bottles include lower cost of transport (because water is added at the point of sale), convenience (no need to locate and open bottles or cans; a single canister contains much more product than a bottle), and a freshly carbonated drink for the consumer. Postmix systems result in significantly decreased greenhouse gas emissions due to reduced weight in the supply of the concentrated bag-in-box syrup versus supply and recycling of bottled beverages.
If the system is not properly maintained it will serve an inferior drink. If the bar owner chooses, he or she can set the ratio of syrup to water to a lower than optimal value, thus saving the bar or restaurant money in syrup costs but resulting in an inferior drink.
Post mix soda gun
A post mix soda gun combines concentrated syrup from a bag-in-box and mixes it with filtered tap water, either carbonated or non-carbonated at the point of expense. For a post mix soda gun to function it must be connected to a bag-in-box system, including pumps, a chiller, water filtration system and a carbonator. Due to the complexity and expense of purchasing and configuring the entire system that runs the soda gun, in most cases the restaurant relies on their beverage supplier to supply the equipment and handle the installation and maintenance. A post-mix soda gun is able to supply any beverage product that can be dispensed in bag-in-box form that does not have pulp.
Pre mix soda gun
Premix soda guns are connected to a simpler system that closely resembles a draft beer system. The drink is supplied to a restaurant in pressurized canisters that are connected to the premix soda gun. Premix soda guns are primarily used in countries where the supply of water cannot easily be filtered to a level suitable for use in a restaurant.
- "Hydraulic Post-Mix". Retrieved 28 May 2013.