The 10 Best Kegerators
This wiki has been updated 30 times since it was first published in June of 2015. If you're planning to throw a party for the big game or you just want to keep cold beer on tap at all times, one of these handy kegerators will help to quench your thirst while allowing you to pay less per drink than you would for cans or bottles. Most come with single or dual taps and extend the life of any brew, while also ensuring it stays ice cold until it's poured into a frosted glass. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 07, 2021:
Kegerators are typically used to chill and dispense draught beer, but they can be used with equally good effect for wine and soft drinks, too. The most enticing aspect of owning a kegerator is the ability to enjoy bar-quality draught ales from the comfort of your own home. The primary function of a kegerator is to keep drinks at the ideal temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit, as too many temperature changes affect the beer's flavor dramatically. Beyond this, the capacity of the fridge and the additional accessories it comes with are other important considerations. During this update, we added a number of new models to the list to cover most home use requirements.
The largest model in the ranking was the KegCo 2472B, however, due to availability concerns we elected to switch it for the similar-sized Kitma 90, which can hold up to 3 full-size or 12 homebrew kegs, making it a good choice for commercial use, or for those who prefer to have a variety of beverages on hand. Also included was the Danby Keg Cooler, which is available with a single or double-tap and features a scratch-resistant countertop and optional casters. The Kuppet Full Size is notable for its dual stainless steel taps and drip tray and eye-catching chrome guardrail. It has a 6 cubic feet capacity and can hold one half-size keg or two 1/6 kegs at the same time, making it a good choice for home brewers. however, it is only supplied with a single keg coupler, so an additional one will need to be purchased to make use of both taps. Finally, we included the Coldbreak Jockey Box, which is a portable, 54-quart cooler that simply needs to be filled with ice. It has two separate lines and taps, meaning you can enjoy your favorite brew at barbeques or festivals, while the kids get cold soft drinks, too.
February 05, 2020:
When looking for a good kegerator, you can expect prices to range substantially depending on the capacity. On the low end of that spectrum is the Frigidaire EFRB200, which is a perfectly functional single-tap model that includes a dual-gauge regulator, actually a somewhat rare feature that helps you avoid running out of gas in the middle of a party. The EdgeStar KC2000 is a similarly priced dual-tap model. If you're willing to spend a bit more, you might prefer the KegCo HBK309, which is extremely well made -- outside of the taps, which some users decide to replace almost as soon as they set up the unit. The EdgeStar KC1000 and EdgeStar KC1500 are both slimmer than the full-size options; the difference between the two is that the KC1500 is designed for safe outdoor use, although you still won't want to leave it completely exposed to the elements. Also intended for patio bars is the KegCo KC7000, which is definitely a premium unit at a premium price. If you're looking for something for your new commercial bar, or you're intent on having several different types of beer on tap in your basement, check out the KegCo 2472B, which is incredibly expensive and doesn't come with a direct draw system, but can accommodate more kegs and varieties than most others.
If you really want to save money and you're handy with tools, you might be interested in the KegCo STCK-5T Conversion Kit. It calls for the cannibalization of a standard mini fridge, but if you have some DIY experience, you can make something every bit as effective as a store-bought unit. We've also spent some time researching dual-tap kegerators, which can be slightly more tricky due to the increased number of pressurized parts they use. Speaking of which, some users find that a high-quality and dual-dial CO2 regulator makes a big difference, and not all kegerators come with the best available. While you're at it, a good set of pint glasses is a must-have for any beer drinking experience, and if you want to try your own hand at brewing, we can point you toward some great homebrew kits.
Perlick Beer Dispensers If you want something crafted with excellent attention to detail and you don't mind spending a considerable amount, consider investing in a Perlick under-bar refrigeration and dispensing system. If you'd rather not make that plunge, their direct draw and faucet components would make a good upgrade to the budget-friendly or DIY kegerator to greatly enhance the experience without the need to purchase an entire high-end unit. perlick.com
True Undercounter Beverage Dispenser Their high-end refrigeration appliances are very often found in commercial kitchens, so you can trust that their residential line of beer dispensers are of very high quality. They are quite expensive, but they do come with a generous warranty as long as they're registered upon purchase and installed properly. true-residential.com
How Does A Kegerator Work?
One of this device's main benefits is its ability to keep beer fresh for extended periods of time.
To understand what a kegerator is, let's first deconstruct the word. We define the keg as a vessel that holds a large amount of beer, while a refrigerator is designed to keep anything inside it cool to prevent spoilage. The kegerator, then, is essentially a refrigerator with a protruding tap or faucet connected to an internal keg through which fresh beer may be dispensed.
Though one might suspect the kegerator is a complex system, the mechanics of its operation are quite simple. While kegerators come in a variety of shapes and sizes, they all have the same basic components. These components include a carbon dioxide cylinder, regulator, coupler, special tubing with a line for beer, the keg, faucet, and refrigerator itself.
Inside the fridge, a tap is hooked up to one hose, which is also hooked up to a keg, along with a coupler and a carbon dioxide tank (CO2). The CO2 tank is used to keep the pressure even, thereby preventing the beer from going flat. The kegerator ultimately applies carbon dioxide pressure to the keg itself, pushing the beer upward and out through a faucet.
One of this device's main benefits is its ability to keep beer fresh for extended periods of time. A well-pressurized keg, for example, can keep beer fresh for up to four months. The next obvious benefit is its ability to maintain consistent temperatures. Most varieties of beer taste ideal between thirty-six and forty degrees Fahrenheit, which is relatively easy work for a kegerator, particularly if it has advanced digital controls and deep chill functions to keep brew cold for days at a time.
What Do I Need To Know About A Kegerator Before I Buy?
The majority of what you need to know is common sense. Where do you plan on putting the fridge? Do you have enough space? What are the dimensions of the model that you have in mind? This is where you start. Once you've got those areas squared away, you need to consider whether you want a fridge that can fit a half keg, a quarter keg, less than that, or more.
If you plan on placing the fridge over a carpet, you'll want a model with a tap coming out of the top.
Certain top-of-the-line keg fridges come with two or three taps. But it's essential to point out that this almost never means that these fridges can accommodate anything more than one half keg, two quarter kegs, or three cornelius kegs (cornelius kegs hold 1/6 of a full keg's reserve). This isn't a big deal, as it still allows you to entertain with a decent bit of variety. But it is something you'll want to be aware of, just the same.
If you plan on placing the fridge over a carpet, you'll want a model with a tap coming out of the top. Any kegerator with a tap in the door might have a tendency to drip, regardless of whether there is a drip tray attached to the door or not. Also, consider whether you want to be able to move the refrigerator from place to place or not. Many keg fridges come with wheels or casters along the bottom, but this is not always the case.
Finally, decide whether you want to rent, buy, or build your own unit. For a one-time event, for example, it might be worth the rental expense, but if you plan to use it in your home all year, then buying or building one may be best. Many local retailers sell pre-made kits for easily modifying an existing fridge for use as a kegerator.
A Brief History Of The Keg Refrigerator In America
The domestic refrigerator was invented as a more efficient alternative to the icebox during the early 1900s. Over the next 30 years, there were several innovations, including Freon, The Kelvinator, and Frigidaire's self-contained unit, followed by the addition of a freezer.
You're likely to find at least one keg fridge in every frat house, and a lot more in shared apartments of collegiate undergrads.
Beer or ale, meanwhile, had been sold in wooden casks for centuries, usually to major restaurant or tavern owners. The majority of these establishments maintained some type of cooling system, whereas individual beer drinkers had no way to keep tapped kegs from going skunk. During the second half of the twentieth century, the household refrigerator became an everyday appliance, while the aluminum keg began to replace the more traditional wooden barrel.
The keg fridge has continued to evolve over the past fifty years, particularly with the proliferation of in-house gaming rooms and basement bars. You're likely to find at least one keg fridge in every frat house, and a lot more in shared apartments of collegiate undergrads. Beer fridges have become especially popular due to the fact that buying one keg is a lot less expensive - and easier to manage - than buying the equivalent (approximately seven cases) worth of cans.