#595 Anything on tap

Once upon a time my friend Chad went to college.

Now, Chad likes to tell people what made him decide to go to school and the reasons why he traded in a job at Best Buy for a few hard years of hitting the books.

See, on a whim one weekend Chad packed his trunk and cruised down the highway to visit our friend Mike who was away at school. They didn’t have any plans but spent a couple days going out for drinks and eating meals at the residence dining hall.

And it was in that dining hall that Chad first came face to face with a big beautiful stainless steel object of his desire. Yes, he glanced up slowly and realized in a stunning moment that he was staring straight at chocolate milk on tap.

His jaw dropped and his eyeballs flashed fireworks as he immediately filled three glasses with the sweet-flowing brown gold and let his brain reel with infinite possibilities.

“It’s like neverending chocolate milk,” he said at the time, his eyebrows furrowed and his head bobbing in quick nods. And then: “I gotta go to college!”

Yes, this really is a true story. Chocolate milk on tap convinced Chad to ditch his job and head down the highway the following year. Chocolate milk on tap changed his life because anything on tap is great.

Let’s count down some killer classics:

• Slurpees. Flip the switch sideways and let the crystal cola slide smoothly into your cup like a snake. For bonus points, mix and match flavors until your drink looks like the surface of Jupiter.

• Brown soda. Did you ever get behind an open bar at a wedding when you were a kid? Hey, if you remember mixing tall glasses full of fountain Coke, Sprite, Orange, and Root Beer into delightfully tangy swill, you had a great childhood.

• Beer at a keg party. Forget the bottles and cans for a night. Now it’s time for some foamy pumping. If you’re the one guy who actually knows how to tap the keg then you’re the official dude responsible for keeping everyone’s red plastic cups full tonight.

• Maple syrup. Just toss on your hiking boots in the dead of winter, walk silently to the middle of the forest, and tap that tree to get it done, son. It’s time to get sticky.

• Soft serve ice cream. Don’t you love it when your local all-you-can-eat buffet has that soft serve ice cream machine sitting right in the open? You can squeeze a little swirl into your warm, plastic wet-from-the-dishwasher bowl, or go cowboy and build the tallest, swirliest ice cream known to man.

• Water. If you’ve got a drink in the kitchen, clean hands in the bathroom, and a hot shower in the tub, then today’s your day to say thanks.

• Nacho cheese at 7-Eleven. Now here’s the heaviest hitter of all. When you swirl your salty 7-Eleven nachos under that hot pump of oozing cheese, you’re in for a good night. I once saw a guy fill up a Big Gulp cup with the stuff and take it home. The cashier was so surprised that she just charged him for a soft drink. Good deal, man.

People, listen up: when you come face to face with anything on tap all Coke cans and beer bottles fade to dark black. You grab control of the boat and start pumping nozzles and squeezing triggers with reckless abandon, breaking free of the tight shackles of portion control and sailing deeper and deeper into a shadowy paradise of no rules … no order … and no limits.


(Congrats to Frank on his upcoming PostSecret Tour! I’m going to go see him.)

Photos from: here, here, here, here, and here

70 thoughts on “#595 Anything on tap

  1. Ya, that’s pretty much how it went.

    I figured I would probably go to college, but that day at the chocolate fountain sold it.

    I do love everything on tap.

    As a grown adult, my eyes still light up when I see a soft serve machine at a buffet.

    In junior high, I used to buy crazy bread from Little Caesars and then a slurpee from 7-11 once a week for lunch. I always got the crazy bread first so I could pump liquid cheese into the bottom of the bag while I was getting my slurpee.

  2. Unique brands of soda on tap are the reason for two of my favorite chain food places:

    White Castle – Vault (had earlier tonight!)
    5 Guys Burgers – Mr. Pibb (mostly for the fact that it’s Mr. Pibb, and not Pibb Xtra)

    1. LOVE IT. I graduated from Xavier. I miss daiquiri shops. I still laugh about the DRIVE THRU…

      Of course, I would NEVER remove the circle on the straw insert while driving. Nope, not me.

  3. I’ve never heard of a chocolate milk tap machine.

    But I want one.


    (By the way, I’m not actually sure if you know, but was is a specific brand of milk? I’m not sure why I’m curious about that, but, I may as well ask.)

  4. He he, I remember when the trade school I went to would occasionally put chocolate milk in the milk dispenser. It made the cafeteria tolerable.

  5. Its true that having chocolate milk on tap is one of the best things about university life. Unfortunately, everyone recognizes that, and so it runs out all the time.

  6. OK, first of all, I’m sorry to call you out, but your suburban roots are showing. Tapping a tree IS totally awesome, and I love its inclusion on the list, but you don’t really want to drink what comes out. Unless you happen to like barky water with the *slightest* hint of sweetness. “Sticky” is about 3 days of boiling away. And yes, I know this from personal experience.

    Now I would like to add a couple more awesome things on tap:
    1. Coffee at work! You’ve found the holy grail of work places if your work place has a free coffee machine.
    2. Condiment pumps. Hello!! (Caution: may result in an unexpected “mustard opportunity”.)
    3. Gatorade at the game.

  7. My favorite tap of all time is still the hot chocolate machine at the camp I went to as a kid. None of the campers were allowed to touch it…and so I returned years later, as a counselor, mainly so I could try the hot chocolate. And, oh my God, it was good!

    1. I know right. Flowing chocolaty drinks can motivate a person like nothing else. You and I both achieved greater things because of our Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory dreams!

  8. Ketchup and/or fry sauch pumps at Wendy’s or other fast food places. So much better than a handful of crusty, smashed ketchup pouches. Except now they don’t even give you a handful, they give you one or two and look at you cross-eyed if you have the gall to ask for more.

  9. chocolate milk on tap is amazing. i used to go to this cheer camp that had the BEST chocolate milk i have ever tasted and it was on tap. at the end of cheer camp i would fill up bottles of the stuff to take home with me. DELICIOUS.

  10. Chocolate Milk on tap + Cap’n Crunch from a Bin dispenser = perfect cafeteria breakfast (or lunch, or dinner, or whatever).

    1. Every kid did it because it tasted AWESOME! We just very quickly outgrew the taste. Like those Puff cookies. The first time is heaven, the second is very very … fluffy, and the last time your teeth hurt. So you stop eating them. =)

  11. This is so true. At my university, we not only have chocolate milk on tap (as well as whole and skim) but we also have coffee and hot chocolate on tap. Can you say “cafeteria mocha”? greatest invention ever.

  12. Mmmmmmm I love milk on tap.

    That glass of chocolate milk looks delicious and I still love mixing all the different sodas together at a soda fountain machine thing. Wow great post!

  13. The only time I ever drink chocolate milk is when I’m at cadet camp and it’s on tap.
    So awesome (except when it’s hot out and we have a parade – milk’s a big no-no then).
    I love when it runs out and the mess hall worker comes out with a box with a giant bag of milk in it – Awesome!

  14. Woah, true story? And I though IIII loved choco. milk! Oh god, not again, now I want it! Good thing there is some in the refridgerator…..

  15. I missed chocolate milk on tap so much after I left college, that I got into a routine of buying 1 gallon of chocolate milk per week. This is a routine I happily continue to this day. I’ve got to tell you, the cashier at the grocery story always gives me a weird look when I’m doing my groceries, and I have a small carton of regular milk, and a giant gallon of chocolate milk heading towards her on the conveyer belt. Yup – I do love my chocolate milk.

    I wasted all of this comment talking about chocolate milk, and didn’t even get to sing the praises of soft-serve on tap. D’oh..

  16. my college dining hall did not have chocolate milk on tap, but the picture reminded me of the cereal at school which was awesome b/c i could mix multiple types of cereal and it was amazing! when i go visit my friend at school i always want to go to the dining hall to get cereal.

  17. That is so funny. For me it was lemon tea. I would visit my brother at college and loved the lemon tea in the cafeteria. I decided then and there that I wanted to go to college there. It took me a couple of years staying at home going to college in order to be able to afford to go away to school, but that is indeed where I went. Funny thing is I lived off-campus and never got to eat in the cafeteria! :)

  18. The chocolate milk on tap was actually the first thing I was very impressed with when I visited a university campus. It may not have been the reason I went, but it was definitely a HUGE bonus for me. I’ll miss it when it’s gone.

  19. The only killjoy in milk on tap at college dining halls is when the staff fails to notice the compass with the little arrow pointing at the RED DANGER ZONE, and in your A.M. sleepiness you fail to notice this too, and you begin your morning by taking in a cold mouthful of s0ur-ass chocolate milk.

  20. So Chad, how did college – and ultimately chocolate milk – change your life? My favorite thing on tap as an adult is undoubtedly hard cider. I’ve only been to one U.S. bar w/ it and my heart broke when the place closed. Americans have a lot to learn from the Irish and English, imo. As a child, my favorite thing on tap was the icee-ike – a pre 7-Eleven version of the Slurpee, except there were more syrup flavors to choose from. The daring among us chose “around the world” – the icee-ike version of swamp water.

    1. Mary,

      Chocolate Milk changed my life by confirming my desire to go to College.

      College changed my life because I realized there was more to taps than chocolate. There was beer and cider (as you mentioned). The was Tzatziki at the gyros cart. There was instant hot water for hot chocolate, oatmeal and tea. It really made me realize that this world has so many things to offer, on tap.

  21. Going to college because milk being on tap? Yes!
    I love that I have so many options… whole milk, 2%, skim, chocolate and all on tap.
    And what’s even better is the fact that I can easily and effortlessly mix 1/2 chocolate 1/2 regular. Perfection.

        1. As great as it is, we can all agree it’s not the most healthy beverage. So, here’s why I dilute it:

          1. Less sugar (health)
          2. Less sugar (taste)
          3. Less fat when mixed with skim milk
          4. Stretch the treasure so it lasts longer

          All of these are important when you have a daily commitment to chocolate milk.

  22. I love things from the fountain. There is a big difference in Taste from a “soda” out of a can or bottle, than a “Soda” from the Fountain. Whoever made Fountain drinks, I want to kiss you. They are much Stronger and thus i think the “FIZZ” last longer. I use to live in Germany, and the way you express how you felt when you saw Chocolate milk out of the “tap” i felt the same way when i saw McDonald’s Tap had “BEER”…Yes i said beer. My husband was like Free Refills on Beer, “YES” he was in heaven. in Europe, they enjoy and just about drink beer with everything so it’s amazing how a McDonald, pizza hut or burger king has to adapt to the culture they station the restaurant at. because you’ll most likely wont find a beer in the fountain the next time you go to fill your cup up with a fountain drink.

  23. The chocolate milk story made me giggle because I can somewhat relate to it. At the college which was my first choice out of all the ones I was applying to has chocolate milk on tap. That was part of the reason it was my first choice. Now I go there (Georgia College & Sate University) and it is amazing. The only bad part is that sometimes it will run out :-( But it is the most amazing thing to have soooo much chocolate milk!!! :)

  24. I’ll never forget going to the local donut shop with my gma and cousins…we’d eat jelly filled lady fingers and donut holes and drink chocolate milk from the tap and spin on the stools all while my gma would sit and drink coffee and smoke cigarettes and talk to everyone she knew…we had a great childhood!! It’s always the little things you never forget…I tell my gma I love her every time I see her…I’m pretty sure I’d go crazy without her and chocolate milk on tap of course!!

  25. I’ve been told that I have “no class” because of this, but I must admit…

    I prefer beer out of a bottle. I love Sam Adams, but if they only have it on tap, I will drink something else.

    I know beer is supposed to be served warmer than I like it, but… that’s the way I like it. And a bottle keeps it ICE COLD (like 33F) and that’s just AWESOME.

  26. I chose my grad school based on the fact that when they had “recruitment weekend” which is when they fly out all the potential newbies and give you beer and food all weekend to entice you to go there, they took us to a place that has about 8 really alcoholic slurpies on tap. They were delicious and the place was only a few blocks from campus. Now we have a kegerator in the student lounge so we no longer need outside booze.

  27. What an ridiculous assortment of effectively done articles, it looks like now-a-days everyone seems to be just copy/pasting and stealing content on a regular basis, but I guess there’s nonetheless hope in sincere blogging.

  28. Now I understand the whole “chocolate milk on tap, book signing party thing:D” Awesome!
    And now I see how many other things are on tap~I never even saw before~ like some retaurants ketchup and maple syrup, also awesome!
    For me, however; my all time favorite is gratitude for non-contaminated, holistically-healthy mountain, mineral hot spring water for body to soak in and crisp, clean, quality, quenching cool water, also to/for our bodies feeding and cleansing! Amazingingly awesome=D

  29. I love anything that comes out of a tap or machine and you realize that it is beside your house or anywhere close to you and you know you have that food or drink at your disposal forever!! And when that slushy drink it nacho cheese or whatever it is all I can say is… AWESOME!!!

  30. My Uni didn’t have chocolate milk on tap. Lucky!

    Oh I would love a tree that actually gave maple syrup! Maple trees give sap. While it is slightly sweet, I wouldn’t put it on my pancakes! Maple syrup is made by boiling sap for a very long time! I am from Vermont, I just had to set the record straight!

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