Are you a fan of draft beer? Then a kegerator might be something to consider buying. A kegerator is basically a refrigerated keg (a keg is a small barrel that is normally used to store beer or carbonated drinks). The kegerator keeps your beer chilled, so you can store it for longer periods of time without compromising freshness or quality.
Some kegerators are small, and some are large or ‘full-size.’ The full-size versions contain a tank of pressurized carbon dioxide and a gadget that, when pressed, pushes the beer from the refrigerated area to the kegerator’s faucet so you can pour it. Kegerators enable you to serve your beer the way it was meant to be enjoyed – fresh and cold! They come in a wide variety of sizes, styles, and functions, with accessories to make them even more appealing.
Let’s find out about some of the best kegerator brands available on the market today.
Best overall kegerator: Kegco K309 Keg Dispenser
The Kegco K309 Keg Dispenser is a higher end model that boasts modern features and digital programming. This full-service machine can keep your beer cold, at the perfect temperature, for weeks. It has a 33 x 24 x 25 inch fridge, making it bigger than other kegerators, and it can fit full-size keg.
While some kegerator users want the flexibility of customizing their keg, and thus buy the various parts separately, the Kegco K309 is ‘all-in-one’, which means it is ready-to-go once it arrives at your destination.
It features a complete keg tapping kit, and single faucet dispenser system including all the components, such as a red, glossy, aluminum carbon dioxide tank with a dual gauge regulator. The tank is shipped to you empty, and you fill it with carbon dioxide once it arrives. The unit also includes a keg coupler that makes tapping easy.
On the front of the machine, there is a modern digital screen where you can change the temperature easily. And here’s a bonus: If you’re in a hurry for a cold beer, you can use the deep chill function, and then the machine’s powerful cooling system will rapidly drop the temperature, much faster than other kegerators. Its deep chill feature can bring the temperature down to just above freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit), if you wish.
This model has a removable, easy-to-clean tray to catch drips. It is set on rolling caster wheels and thus can be moved around easily. It includes a sturdy guard rail made of chrome, where you can rest your glasses and beer mugs.
This model has one tap; however, for a slight upgrade in price, you can get a dual tap model so you can serve two kegs at a time.
- Modern features and digital programming
- Larger than other models and can fit a full-size keg
- ‘All-in-one’ – no need to buy separate parts
- Powerful cooling system with deep chill feature
- Choice of one tap or two
Best mini kegerator: SPT Mini Kegerator
Like all full size kegerators, a mini version stores, chills and can dispense your beer anytime.
This attractive little kegerator is housed in a sturdy black and stainless steel exterior. It uses high performance thermoelectric cooling technology to keep your beer frosty, and you can adjust the temperature with its LED display. It can keep your beverages cold for long periods of time. Pressure control is provided using carbon dioxide, and the unit comes with three carbon dioxide cartridges included. It also has a removable drip tray, which catches extra liquid so there is no mess.
There are two types of mini kegs – pressurized and non-pressurized. Most commercialized mini kegs you buy in the store are pressurized, while some other types of beer are not. Mini kegerators tend to only dispense one type of mini keg, and require the purchase of an additional kit to dispense the other type. However, the SPT mini kegerator can dispense both, which gives you more variety in the types of beer you can serve.
Because it is small, you can easily transport this kegerator. However, some users have found it be more noisy than other kegerators.
Users have also found it can cause excessive foaming at first, which you can avoid by allowing your keg to chill before pouring. If you use it as soon as it arrives, you will experience foaming, so let it sit for a day before using.
- Attractive black and stainless steel exterior
- Similar functionality as full size kegerators
- Can dispense both pressurized and non-pressurized kegs
- High performance thermoelectric cooling technology with LED display
- Easily transported
- Compressor is always running
Best value: EdgeStar KC2000 Kegerator
The EdgeStar KC2000 Kegerator is a popular brand and very cost-effective. It is reliable and long-lasting. It is quite attractive with its slim and simple design, sleek black glossy exterior, and stainless steel interior. Its slim width allows you to fit it into a narrow area, and thus it is a good choice for a small space like an apartment. It is mounted on wheels so you can move it around easily, which comes in handy when you’re having a party.
At 25 x 35 x 20 inches, it is big enough to hold a full keg, although, even that is not large enough to hold a Coors or Miller keg, or other similar sized kegs. Still, it does a good job of chilling your beer – to a respectable 34 degrees Fahrenheit – and keeps it cold.
This machine has fewer parts than the previously profiled models, but it still includes everything you need to store, chill, and serve your draft beer at home.
The EdgeStar KC2000 arrives ready to use and includes all the components you might need. It provides a central spot for your couplers, carbon dioxide gas canister, and faucets. The carbon dioxide canister is shipped to you empty, and you’ll need to fill it up locally. It also includes your tower, beer line, regulator, drip tray, tap and faucet handle.
This model is easy to operate and maintain. It foregoes digital technology and instead has a simple analog temperature switch. It comes with an easy to read pressure gauge. It is insulated, which makes sure your beer lines are maintained at an even temperature.
One feature of this model is you have the option of mounting the carbon dioxide canister inside or outside the fridge. The ability to mount the carbon dioxide tank outside can save you up to twice the carbon dioxide. These options make it quite versatile.
This model comes with a single tap but for a slight upgrade in price you can choose the KC2000TWIN model which has two taps – this allows you to serve two beers at a time. Also, if you decide not to use your EdgeStar KC2000 to store and serve beer, it can be converted into a refrigerator. It comes with extra shelving so you can store your beverages, fruits, and vegetables in the converted fridge.
- Cost-effective and reliable
- Easy to set up
- Slim width with full size capacity
- Carbon dioxide tank can be mounted on outside of fridge which saves the amount of carbon dioxide you need to use
- Can be converted to a refrigerator
- A bit noisy
- Does not use digital technology
Best for outdoors: EdgeStar Outdoor Kegerator
For a nice, luxurious touch, the EdgeStar Outdoor Kegerator is a model you would have built into your outdoor kitchen. It is manufactured to weather the elements – sun, sleet, snow – with its reinforced, durable stainless steel construction. It is safety-approved for the outdoors and electrically rated, so you can use it in any season of the year.
At 15 inches wide (26 inches deep x 33 inches high), it holds a smaller amount of beer than the other models profiled. However, it is equipped with forced air refrigeration technology and an electronic control panel, and can cool your beer down to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, regardless of how warm it is outside. The control panel allows you to easily adjust the temperature, which can come in handy with unpredictable weather changes.
- Built in for outdoor kitchen
- Durable in all weather conditions
- Safety approved for outdoors
- Electronic control panel
- Holds a smaller quantity of beer
- Only can be used outdoors
Most portable: Igloo Coldbreak Jockey Box
If you need something that you can transport anywhere, the Igloo Coldbreak Jockey Box may be the choice for you. This ‘jockey box’ model is small (18 x 12 x 17 inches) and can be hauled around, so it is great for camping, festivals, or a backyard BBQ. It can cool your beer down to 38 degrees Fahrenheit.
This model uses a carbon dioxide system to keep the kegs pressurized, just like the other kegerators do. There is no electricity required – just the carbon dioxide tank and some ice.
Keep in mind this is not an ‘all-in-one’ model. Rather, the jockey box, dispensing equipment, hose, and tanks are sold separate from each other.
- Transport anywhere
- Great for camping or festivals
- Uses carbon dioxide system – no electricity required
- Main components are all sold separate from each other
Frequently asked questions
What should I consider when choosing a kegerator?
You need to consider the amount of space you have. A small space may require a compact device, whereas if you have lots of space you are not limited at all. Your budget is another consideration. You should also think about whether you have the time and energy to dedicate to maintaining the kegerator, as there is cleaning involved.
How do I tap my keg?
If you have a kegerator, all you have to do is fill the carbon dioxide tank and supply a keg of beer.
What is the best temperature to store my beer?
This depends on the type of beer and what you prefer. Most beers taste best when stored between 36 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and they will maintain the carbonation at this temperature. You may prefer cooler beer in the summer.
Can I use my indoor kegerator outdoors?
No. An indoor kegerator should be kept inside. Moving it outdoors will stress out the machine’s compressor and it will not chill beer very efficiently. It will break down more quickly. Indoor kegerators work best at room temperature.
How do I defrost my kegerator?
You should not need to do this. If ice builds up, it defrosts automatically when the compressor shuts off. The water drip tray will collect any defrosted water, which will later evaporate. If for some reason too much ice accumulates, you can turn the kegerator off after the keg is empty and let the ice melt away. You will need a towel handy to soak up any extra water.
How do I clean my kegerator?
You can use a kegerator cleaning kit. This will clean out your beer lines, faucet, and coupler. You should probably do this whenever you finish a keg. The manufacturer will provide more information about cleaning your device.