Kegco K309SS-2 Kegerator Digital Beer Keg Cooler
Best kegerator for big parties
A fantastic kegerator designed to transform you into the star of the show.
1 Kegco K309SS-2 Review
Whether it’s for your home or your buddy’s cookout, you’ll be the star of the party if you bring this kegerator. It costs a bit more than our other models, but it packs a wealth of features that made it our favorite.
For instance, its dual tap system gives you access to two delicious brews at a time, and its interior is big enough to hold a Coors, Miller, or other oversized keg.
Thanks to its forced fan cooling feature, it can keep your beer really chill, and as long as you don’t open the door, it does an excellent job in maintaining a cold temperature when unplugged from its outlet.
It even has rolling casters, so you can easily move the kegerator from the kitchen to the patio.
We also like its digital thermostat and deep chill function that are constant reminders that this is the best kegerator on the market.
EdgeStar KC2000 Full Size Kegerator and Keg Beer Cooler
Fabulous value for money
This versatile kegerator chills beer to ice-cold temperature and is easy to convert into a mini-fridge.
2 EdgeStar KC2000 Review
If you want an ice-cold beer but don’t want to break the bank, the EdgeStar KC2000 could be the kegerator you want. It’s a full-size appliance designed to hold up to ½ barrel keg size.
With a temperature range from 30°F to mid-40°F, this unit comes with all the equipment you need to start chilling your beer straight out of the box. A stylish draft tower will look great in your kitchen and will surely become the focal point of any gathering.
Keep in mind though that this kegerator is designed for stationary, freestanding use. It does come with casters, but you should only use them sporadically.
It also comes with a drip tray to catch spills and contain messes. Ideal for the beer enthusiast or the beginner, this kegerator brings unrivaled value for money.
EdgeStar KC2000SS Full Size Kegerator and Keg Beer Cooler
An excellent alternative
Its stylish stainless steel finish makes it perfect for your kitchen, living room bar, or small business.
3 EdgeStar KC2000SS Review
If you like our best value but aren’t so fond of its dull, black finish, the EdgeStar KC2000SS could be the best kegerator for you. Essentially, it is the same model but made from stainless steel.
This small detail brings higher aesthetic value, making it more suitable to place somewhere exposed. For instance, it’s perfect for a living room, game room, or pool bar. The tap tower also pairs perfectly with the sleek door finish, boosting its design even more.
Apart from that, you can expect the same features and performance as seen in the KC2000 model. And if you want to turn the fun one notch higher, know that this kegerator also comes in a dual tap variant.
Homecraft CBD5BS Stainless Steel 5-Liter Tap Mini Kegerator
A cheap mini kegerator
This small beverage dispenser fits on a countertop and is a great choice for small homes or for parties.
4 Homecraft CBD5BS Review
Do you want to impress your guests at the next backyard party? Or perhaps need a small kegerator to fit in your studio apartment? If you want to keep your beer ice cold but don’t have loads of space or don’t want to break the bank, the Homecraft CBD5BS could be the best kegerator for you.
This compact beer dispenser is designed to use with small, 5-liter pressurized or non-pressurized kegs. It fits easily on a countertop or table and even in a kitchen cabinet if you want to store it out of sight when not in use.
Besides beer-filled commercial kegs, you can also use it with a reusable growler keg. The dispenser even comes with one, so all you have to do is fill it with your favorite beverage to get the party started. Just make sure to read the instructions before using it to prevent mishaps.
Suitable for dispensing much more than beer, this kegerator features an intuitive control panel and adjustable temperature controls. No doubt, an excellent choice for occasional use or small homes.
Best Kegerator 2021 Buying Guide
What is a kegerator?
A kegerator is a home appliance designed to dispense fresh beer on tap. The name derives from the word keg and the word refrigerator, as the unit consists of a refrigerated cabinet where it stores the beer keg. Most kegerators also have a draft tower that connects to the keg with a coupler.
A pressurized carbon dioxide tank is used to push the brew out of the keg and into your glass, working in a similar fashion to the bar draft beer machines.
Types of kegerators
Buying a kegerator starts with deciding what type you want. Like most refrigerators, they come in three types.
- Countertop kegerators: Are small and inexpensive appliances designed to sit on your countertop, just as an air fryer or electric griddle. These units are ideal for those who want beer on tap now and then but don’t want to invest or don’t have space for a freestanding or built-in kegerator. However, they usually only work with 5-liter kegs, which are quite hard to find.
- Freestanding kegerators: Come in various sizes, from small to big, and you can find models that can accommodate all keg types. They are similar to the traditional refrigerators but have a few additional components, such as a CO2 tank, couplers, and a draft tower with one or multiple taps. These units usually use a compressor to refrigerate the air inside the cabinet and keep your beer fresh. Due to the variety of models available, you can find freestanding kegerators at a variety of price points. Furthermore, you can also choose between indoor and outdoor units, and most of them are portable.
- Built-in kegerators: Come in multiple sizes and have a front ventilation system, a design feature that allows you to place the unit next to a wall, build it into a cabinet, or place it under the counter. These units are ideal if you want to make a fixed home bar area because placing the draft tower will require you to alter the countertop.
Buy vs. DIY kegerators
The three types above are ready-to-buy kegerators that usually come with all the accessories you need to create your home bar, including couplers, pressure regulators, CO2 tanks, tower and faucets, and all other items needed to assemble the unit and start dispensing beer straight out of the box.
However, if you have an unused mini fridge and want to unleash your talents, you can make a kegerator yourself.
All you need is spare time, patience, and a conversion kit. There are many tutorials on how to build a kegerator you can follow, and you’ll end up with a custom-made beer dispenser.
Kegerator tower and taps
If you don’t really want to spend hours building a kegerator, the first thing to check before buying – after you’ve decided the type – is the draft tower and its taps.
Tower configuration and elbow shank
The draft tower can have multiple configurations, from single to quadruple. The most common for home kegerators are single and double, although you can choose whatever configuration fits you best, depending on how many types of beer you want to be able to dispense at the same time.
These towers are usually equipped with a twist mount that allows easy, no-tool installation, and sit on top of the appliance.
Regarding the elbow shank, you can choose from a one-piece or multiple-piece types. One-piece models have a longer lifespan but are usually more expensive.
Best kegerator taps
You should also decide what types of taps you want. Most kegerators have either chromed brass or stainless steel taps.
- Chrome plated brass taps: Are quite cheap, but the chrome layer tends to chip over time, exposing the brass. Rust and corrosion will eventually occur.
- Stainless-steel taps: Are more expensive but virtually rust-proof and corrosion resistant. Because there is no coating involved, they are also unlikely to chip. Overall, they have a longer lifespan, and investing in them will pay off in the long run.
Size and keg compatibility
Kegerators come in a wide range of sizes, and you should decide which is best for you based on your available space and the type of kegs you want to use.
Most appliances are compatible with standard half-barrel kegs or smaller. Some popular beer producers, however, use oversized kegs that are hard to fit in small and even in some full-size kegerators.
If your favorite beer comes in such keg, check if it will fit into the appliance before buying your kegerator.
Kegerator temperature range and control
While the actual temperature range may vary from one model to another, most kegerators have ranges between the low 30°F and mid-40°F. Some units even have dual temperature zones; these are ideal if you want to dispense more than beer on tap. For instance, if you want to have both beer and wine on tap.
Regarding the temperature control, you can choose from analog and digital thermostats.
- Analog thermostats: Are simple and inexpensive. They consist of a knob you can turn to select the desired temperature level. These thermostats are very easy to use, but you won’t be able to set an exact temperature if you want to.
- Digital thermostats: Have plus and minus buttons you can use to set an exact temperature within the unit’s range. You will usually be able to see your selection on an LCD screen. On the same screen, you can also monitor any temperature fluctuations that may compromise the quality of your beer.
Kegerator door features
Another important component of your kegerator is the door. Apart from subjective considerations regarding its color, finish, or style, you should look for a door that is:
- Reversible: Allows you to choose between a right- or left-hand swing, giving you more flexibility when integrating the appliance into your kitchen or home bar.
- Lockable: If you want to restrict access to the kegs, a door lock will help you do so.
- Fitted with an alarm: Another essential feature is a door alarm that will alert you if you’ve left the door open for too long.
Other features to consider
Neither of the features below is a deal-breaker, but they can enhance your user experience.
- Drip tray: Collects spills and prevents messes, a great thing to have if you don’t want to wipe clean the kegerator’s worktop constantly.
- Portability: Most freestanding units come with roller casters that allow you to move the appliance from your home to the porch; some models even have thick walls to maintain the temperature until you plug them back in.
- Battery pack: Some countertop and freestanding kegerators are also compatible with battery packs; a great thing for camping, tailgating, or outdoor parties in areas with no access to an outlet.
You might now know what to consider before buying a kegerator; nevertheless, you might still have further questions. We answer a few of the most common below.
Q: How does a kegerator work?
A: The refrigerator part of the kegerator works just like a normal fridge. The dispenser part utilizes a gas, usually carbon dioxide or nitrogen (depending on the beverage) to apply pressure on the beverage in the keg and push it out. The cylinder shape of the keg allows the gas to create an even pressure while you’re tapping, maintaining the consistency of the drink and its carbonation.
Q: How long does beer last in a kegerator?
A: While it is hard to give a definitive answer, your beer will usually last for about 6 to 8 weeks in a kegerator that uses CO2.
Q: How to clean a kegerator?
A: The easiest way to clean beer residues from your kegerator is with a cleaning kit readily available on the market. These kits usually consist of a keg with a cleansing solution; you will have to connect this keg to your kegerator, run the cleaner through it, flush with clean water, and put back your beer keg; rinse with some beer and you’re good to go. User manuals coming with the kits usually contain detailed step-by-step instructions.
Q: Where to fill CO2 tank for a kegerator
A: Kegerators using a CO2 tank are usually delivered with an empty tank you will have to fill at a local supplier. Most local brew shops, welding supply stores, and locations that fill fire extinguishers should be able to help.