Best Kegerators

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

36 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
423 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best kegerators

Last Updated November 2019

A kegerator, or beer dispenser, offers a way to keep beer fresh and serve it with style and ease. If you are a frequent beer drinker, this is one of the most convenient and environmentally friendly ways to enjoy your favorite beverage.

Kegerators may be designed for indoor or outdoor use, and they may be freestanding or built-in in design. In addition to being a classy way to serve beer, a kegerator gives you more control over the temperature of your beer so you can enjoy it at its best and keep it fresh longer. Kegerators vary in size, which determines the keg size — and therefore the variety of beers — you’re able to store. As long as your kegerator is kept at the proper temperature, you can expect it to preserve a keg of beer for several months.

Any kegerator is an investment, but you’re likely to save money by purchasing beer in kegs (or brewing it yourself) and reducing the energy and space needed to keep beer cold. To learn more about kegerators and their features, read our buying guide.

If you are looking to start home brewing beer, a kegerator is a great way to keep your latest brew cold and serve it with class.

Key considerations

When you’re looking for a kegerator for your home or business, you should decide how much beer you plan to store and where you plan to store it. Kegerators are, as the name implies, refrigerators designed to hold one or more kegs and dispense beer with a tap. Rather than pressurizing the beverage with air, which can alter the flavor, a CO2 tank creates pressure and serves up beer in a true draft style.

Size

The interior size of a kegerator determines the size and number of kegs it is capable of storing.

First, let’s go over keg sizes:

Mini kegs are the smallest size and hold five liters.

Cornelius kegs are a common choice among home brewers and hold five gallons.

Slim barrel kegs are narrow in design and can often be used with multiple-tap kegerators. They hold 5.16 gallons.

Quarter barrel kegs and slim quarter kegs hold 7.75 gallons. Quarter barrel kegs are commonly called “pony kegs.”

Half barrel kegs are the largest commonly available size and hold 15.5 gallons.

Manufacturers generally list exactly which kegs can fit in their kegerators, so there is no need to measure the interior dimensions. In most cases, a kegerator that can hold a large keg can also hold smaller kegs.

A large indoor or outdoor kegerator

With enough interior space for a full keg, this is an ideal kegerator for backyard parties. Pair this with smooth casters and precise digital controls and you have a reliable kegerator that customers love.

Indoor or outdoor

To keep your beer at the right temperature, you need a kegerator that is equipped for the job.

An indoor kegerator is designed to operate at room temperature. While you can use some indoor kegerators outdoors if the climate in your area permits, you run the risk of pouring a glass that is on the warm side.

An outdoor kegerator can handle temperature swings within a certain range. If you want to enjoy draft beer on your back porch whether it’s summer or winter, you need an outdoor kegerator that can keep beer at the perfect 38℉ no matter the temperature.

Kegerator styles

Kegerators can be broken down into three types: freestanding, built-in, and mini (or countertop) kegerators. Each has its advantages and should be placed in a different location in your home.

Freestanding kegerators: These models are the most common design and can be placed anywhere indoors or outdoors. Their only limitation is that they require proper ventilation. Many freestanding kegerators have vents on the rear that need a few inches of space to operate efficiently.

Built-in kegerators: If you want a tap right on your countertop or bar top, you need a built-in kegerator. These slightly more expensive kegerators are more challenging to install, but the result is a sleek tap that blends in with your décor.

Mini kegerators: These compact kegerators are designed to sit right on your countertop and are often cylindrical in design. Only mini kegs are compatible with this size.

EXPERT TIP

A kegerator is designed to keep your beer at the perfect temperature — usually between 38° and 40°F.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Appearance

Just like refrigerators, kegerators come in a range of styles. They may be a classic black or white, or they may be made of stainless steel. Consider your preferences and décor when choosing a kegerator. Many companies offer a few different styles.

Casters

If you don’t plan to park your kegerator in one spot, casters allow you to easily relocate it. These things can be quite heavy, so having a convenient way to move them is a plus.

Display and controls

Some kegerators have an analog dial, while others have buttons and a digital display. In general, digital control systems are far more accurate and reliable.

Taps

While most kegerators only have one tap, they may have two or three to connect to multiple kegs. When storing multiple kegs at different pressures, you need a secondary regulator to control the two pressures individually.

EXPERT TIP

Not only is a kegerator a fun appliance to have in your home, but it also frees up space in your regular fridge that would otherwise be used for beer.


Staff  | BestReviews

Kegerator prices

Inexpensive: Kegerators for $150 to $500 are usually mini kegerators or small single-tap models designed for home use. These may have small interior capacity, but some models can store up to half barrel kegs. Kegerators in this price range are usually freestanding and rarely have digital controls.

Mid-range: For $500 to $1,000 are a variety of freestanding and built-in models that may have one, two, or three taps. Digital controls are more common in this price range.

Expensive: Kegerators for $1,000 and above are extremely precise and are the top choice for beer enthusiasts and businesses.

EXPERT TIP

Beer doesn’t go bad or skunk from warming up, but a kegerator is a reliable way to keep it at the perfect serving temperature.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

Most kegerators simply need an outlet and a canister of CO2, but there are a few tricks that can improve your beer storing and sipping experience.

  • Before you buy, have a space in mind. Take into consideration not only the dimensions of a kegerator but also the additional space needed for ventilation.
  • If you plan to keep your kegerator in your garage, you want an outdoor model to take changing temperatures into account.
  • Cleaning the lines is no joke. There are kegerator cleaning kits available that help you remove debris from the line and keep your beer tasting exactly as it should. This should be done every two to three weeks.
  • If your beer is coming out too quickly or has an unusually cloudy appearance, the problem is likely the pressure. Check the manual of your kegerator to find out how to adjust the pressure of the CO2 tank appropriately.

Countertop convenience

If you are hesitant to make the leap to a large kegerator for storing half- or full-size kegs, this mini kegerator is a great starting point. Setup is straightforward, though you need available counter space — which may not appeal to those with small homes or apartments with limited space.

Other products we considered

While we believe our top picks are among the best kegerators available, there are a few other models worth discussing. For a popular built-in model with up to full keg capacity, the Summit 24” Built-in Beer Dispenser is an expensive but reliable option. The stainless steel door can be outfitted with a panel to match your decor. If you’re looking for a mini kegerator, the Vinotemp VT-BD is a good countertop option that can hold up to five-liter mini kegs. For a sleek and durable dual-tap model, there’s the Danby 21” Kegerator, which features a drip tray and chrome guard rail. Though the temperature controls are manual rather than digital, they are precise and easy to use.

Beer is far less expensive by the keg than it is by the six-pack or case. Though a kegerator is an investment, it is easy to save money on this appliance that may last you for decades.

FAQ

Q. How often do I have to refill my CO2 tank?
A.
Check the indicator gauge to determine how much is left. On average, a five-pound CO2 tank should last about eight half-barrels.

Q.  My beer is too foamy. How do I fix this?
A.
This is generally because your CO2 pressure is too high or the beer is too cold — or a combination of the two. Getting this just right may take a bit of experimenting, but the result should be a perfectly carbonated beer with a solid head.

Q. Do kegerators come assembled?
A.
Not usually. There are many components to a kegerator, from the draft tower to the CO2 tank to the beer line, and you probably need to put them all together. Treat this as a learning experience, as you have to partially disassemble your kegerator in order to clean it properly.

The team that worked on this review
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Peter
    Peter
    Writer

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