Here at Refrigerators Reviewed, we are fully aware of the fact that kegerators are beer necessities. We also know that finding the perfect kegerator may be a daunting task for you. That is why in this buying guide, we will let you in on what you need to know about kegerators, why you need one, the different types of kegerators, and how to find the best kegerator for you.
More so, because we know having a glass of beer at the snap of your finger is bliss to you, we’ll like to help you with a shopping experience that you’ll appreciate for many years.
Run a bar? Starting your own mini brewery? Want the thrills of having your own kegerator? Then stay with us a little longer for details on how you can find the perfect kegerator for you.
But first, let’s help you get a full understanding of what kegerators are and why you need them in the first place.
What’s a Kegerator?
First of all, you may have found out by now that the word “kegerator” sounds like the fusion of two words. These words describe what a kegerator basically does. The words? “Keg” and “refrigerator”.
There you go!
A kegerator is an appliance that keeps beer chilled. But much more than just cooling your favorite drink, kegerators come as dispensing systems. They are designed as dispensers for easy access to some of the finest and choicest beers that the average beer lover loves to have every now and then.
4 Reasons You Need to Buy a Kegerator
In the first place, a good kegerator is a wise and significant investment for beer businesses and beer lovers. However, there are five major reasons people buy kegerators for their homes and businesses.
Here are some of the top 4 reasons why you should have a kegerator in your kitchen or bar:
1. Kegerators Save Money.
Even though the initial cost of getting a good refrigerator may be quite high in some cases, think of buying a kegerator as an investment. Once you have a good kegerator, you can go to town with the kind of beer you want to be able to tap from it.
More so, kegerators don’t usually have high operating costs.
2. Kegerators Save Fridge Space.
The traditional way of storing beers is to have them in bottles and store them in refrigerators until they are needed. However, depending on the amount of beer you store per time, you may soon realize (that’s if it hasn’t happened already) that refrigerator spaces become small as more and more bottles are stored in it.
You really don’t need to overburden your refrigerator like that. More so, it will better if you store your food and other beverages in the refrigerator instead of beer bottles since kegerators already exist for them.
If you really want to maximize the space in your fridge, an effective way to get the job will be to go for a beer refrigerator. However, if you are in the market for an appliance that is exclusively designed for beer, then it will better to go for a kegerator.
3. Kegerators are Eco-friendly.
With bottles and cans, you may be hurting our precious planet without even knowing it. Consuming bottles and cans of beer means you’ll have more trash to deal with. Sadly, those bottles and cans will eventually end up at the bottom of the sea, somewhere in someone else’s drainage or in some landfill.
What to do? Protect the environment and go for a beer dispenser.
The reason kegs are eco-friendly is that they can be reused. The mugs, glasses, and cups you’ll be using to tap the beer are also reusable.
Bottles and cans are notorious defaulters in this regard and should be avoided as much as possible.
4. Kegerators offer Quick and Easy Access to Beer.
Beer cravings could hit anytime and you may not have the luxury of a nearby bar. On such days, you need a mug of beer within your reach.
Having a kegerator to your name means you can have your favorite beer whenever you want it and at the temperature you love it to be.
Found a strong reason to buy a kegerator yet? Then come along with us and let’s show you the different kegerator types.
Types of Kegerators
Knowing the kegerator types before you buy one will help you make an informed decision. Soon as you are able to determine the perfect type, then the search for the best model for you will be hassle-free.
A mini kegerator is a good choice for many reasons. One, it is a good investment. Two, it is perfect for those who have space constraints. The fact that it is a mini says it all.
Typically, a mini kegerator is designed to hold kegs with 5-Liter capacity and not more. But there’s nothing different about their function. In essence, they dispense beers just like the full-size models.
The other reason mini kegerators are easily picked is that owing to their size, they tend to fit into any space conveniently. For instance, you can have a mini kegerator on your counter or even have it with you wherever you go. A mini kegerator can also be easily stored in more private locations.
In fewer words, minis provide you with beer at an affordable cost without taking so much space.
Generally, the price of mini kegerators falls within $150 and $400. This is why they are perfect for those starting out in beer drafting. With minis, you don’t need to rob a bank to have one in your space.
Meanwhile, it is important to note that there are mini kegerators that will do well with a pressurized keg, while some others require non-pressurized kegs.
One downer though, there aren’t so many beers that come in 5-liter kegs. This may be shocking news to you if you love adventures with beers. You should probably go for a bigger kegerator if you are that person.
Freestanding kegerators are the most commonly used units. The reason that they are common is not far-fetched. Owing to their design, they can be kept in just about any place in a house. Only thing is, they must have direct access to a power outlet.
What’s more? Freestanding kegerators often feature wheels for easy mobility.
For ample ventilation, the design of these kegerators often requires a clearance of 2 to 3 inches all around the unit.
While freestanding kegerators are pricier than the mini kegerators, freestanding kegerators are actually not as pricey as the other larger models. The price range of freestanding kegerators is usually between $400 and $900.
As you narrow your search down to specific freestanding models you’ll notice that most of them are actually for indoor purposes. They may also feature multiple taps, digital displays, among others. You’ll also find the ones that are plain but functional.
Freestanding kegerators also come in different styles, shapes, finishes, and sizes.
As a side note, while built-in kegerators can be installed as freestanding units, the reverse is not the same. This is because freestanding models require clearance for adequate ventilation.
Some people love the neat and streamlined look that built-in appliances add to their kitchens. If you are in this category, then you may want to shop built-in kegerators.
These kegerators can be installed on top of your counter or between cabinets. However, installing built-in kegerators is not a walk in the park at all.
Unlike freestanding kegerators that only need to be connected to a power source, the built-in ones require more technical skills. However, if you are familiar with installations and connections, then getting a built-in kegerator shouldn’t be an issue.
Also, these kegerators tend to be pricier than the freestanding models because of their unique design. To allow ventilation and prevent overheating, the vents in these kegerators are usually in front.
If you’ll be needing a kegerator for outdoor settings, then you need an outdoor model. Outdoor kegerators are specifically designed to withstand the dynamism of the elements because they are often exposed to them.
Kegerators used in outdoor settings must be able to function well under changing weather and temperature conditions. However, their lifespan may be shortened if they are exposed to conditions that they are not designed to thrive in.
Outdoor kegerators also come in built-in and freestanding variants to cater to space needs.
A good outdoor kegerator will still serve you a chilled beer on hot summer afternoons. It should also be effective in the coldest months of the winter period.
When it comes to price, these kegerators are often costlier than the indoor kegerators.
These are gigantic kegerators that are commonly found in restaurants and bars. And because they are larger than all other kegerator types, they tend to be pricier as well.
Here’s the thing with commercial kegerators: they are actually designed to do much more than beer dispensing. They usually have kegs underneath and some refrigeration space sufficient for cans, bottles, mixers, and other things that the bar owner may need.
Now, because of the purpose they aim to serve, you can actually go for something with a lot of features. You can then leverage these features to boost sales and improve the quality of services you render.
But keep in mind that the bigger; the pricier.
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How to Choose the Best Kegerators
There are some important factors that we think you should consider before buying a kegerator. The best kegerators should dispense beer easily, be reliable, and fit into available space perfectly. But that’s not all to it.
Here are a few things to consider before:
You already know that mini kegerators are the smallest (and cheapest) while commercial kegerators are the largest(and most expensive). All other kegerators fall in between.
However, these sizes are relative and not specific. So, for instance, the fact that a kegerator is a mini doesn’t necessarily mean you have space for it. You’ve got to do your findings by checking the specifications for dimensions. Only then can you know exactly how much of your space your preferred kegerator will need.
That said, irrespective of the type you prefer, you should get adequate information about the size. For instance, you’ll need the interior and exterior size to get a full grasp of what to expect.
Exterior dimensions matter because they’ll help you determine how much of your space the kegerator will take. It is at this point that you want to know if you are better off with a built-in model or a freestanding one.
The interior dimensions, on the other hand, give an estimate of the capacity of the kegerator. And even though most beers come in the standard full-barrel keg, some brands make kegs that do not fit into the kegerator because of their size. Not to worry, this rarely occurs. However, it still helps to be mindful of this
Cost is probably one factor everyone is keen on. But there’s really no hard and fast rule to it because the price of kegerators varies widely. The price of a mini, for example, may be as low as $150. Larger ones with bells and whistles could cost $1,500 or even up to $4,500.
The reason for the price variation is related to the features that the kegerator has. That’s not to say you can’t find a good one for $500 or even slightly less.
The regular beer drinker may find a kegerator in this range okay enough. But if you draft your own beer, then we think a high-end model will be the best for you. This is because most kegerators on the high-end tend to offer much more flexibility that allows the free flow of your creative juices. This is not ruling out the possibility of finding a good and more affordable kegerator for your beer making adventures.
You also want to consider associated costs like electricity bills and the cost of buying the beer. Also, if you’ll be going for a used kegerator, you may have to replace CO2 tanks, regulators, and couplers.
You may also decide to go for a more affordable option – building a kegerator for yourself. With DIY skills, you can build a kegerator to your own taste.
When it comes to kegerators, there are single, double, and triple tap configurations available in the market. But the dual configuration is the most common of the 3 types. In essence, most customers are likely to go for a kegerator with that configuration easily.
However, someone who is completely sold out on a particular type of beer is likely to choose the single tap configuration.
Nonetheless, depending on the model and brand of the Kegerator you purchase, you may still be able to change your tap configuration later in the future.
Clearance and Ventilation
Clearance and ventilation have a lot to do with the size of the kegerator and the space you are willing to give up for the kegerator. As you may have learned by now, even the minis can take some of your space without any care.
This is why an idea of the installation location of the kegerator and its size is important. You may, in fact, decide on a freestanding model so that changing location is a lot easier and flexible. But you will need some space, say 2 inches, all around the kegerator. The idea is to allow ample ventilation so that you can avoid overworking the appliance.
Just so you know, poor ventilation makes it difficult to maintain the temperature inside the kegerator. And if this is not properly checked, you may reduce the lifespan of the appliance.
You may also consider models that are built-in if you are particular about the neat profile look. Just be sure that you have enough installation space.
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Maintenance and Cleaning
Using a kegerator after installation is not a big deal. Like, it has to be easy or why should you even buy it in the first place. But cleaning and maintaining it has the potential of being a real pain in the neck. Most kegerator users have had to deal with this pain. So remember that it is not a witch’s curse when you experience it.
It is hard to say that there are kegerators out there that are easier to clean. This is because there aren’t any. However, there are kegerator cleaning kits in the market that could make the task more bearable.
But, why exactly is cleaning a kegerator anything to bother yourself about? You should clean your kegerator regularly because poor maintenance and cleaning could lead to excessive foaming and flat-tasting beer. The last thing you want is to get to your keg one day and have it tasting awful.
Thankfully, cleaning kegerators gets easier with some getting used to. It’s the first few times that feel like a chore.
One reason customers double-check appliances is so that they can enjoy the appliance for a long time without maintenance issues. Kegerators are not left out. And while you may keep upgrading an old one, we think you should actually a kegerator without hassles.
This is where warranties come in. warranties will give you the manufacturer’s word on the durability of the kegerator. If you are averse to expensive repairs and risks, we think you should go for models that offer strong warranties.
Also, note that these warranties are only valid as long as they are used properly. For instance, you could make the warranty void if you use a commercial kegerator for residential purposes.
Now that you’ve learned how to find the best kegerator for yourself, go ahead and place an order for your most preferred kegerator and tap your favorite beer like you don’t care.