There is an ocean of iconic craft beers (as well as tasty cheap beers) available in cans and bottles, but nothing beats a good, heady pint served right from the tap – and with a kegerator, you can enjoy your favorite draft pour right at home. You may not have even known what a kegerator is until recently, but once you have a good one, it’s one of those things that can quickly become a beer lover’s best friend, and you might find yourself wondering how you lived without one.
Simply put, a kegerator is a refrigerator that keeps a keg of beer cold and fresh while allowing you to dispense the contents from a built-in pressurized tap system on top. It’s a pretty simple and straightforward idea, but as a relatively niche (and somewhat costly) appliance, it’s worth it to do a little research and spend money on a good one that will keep your beer fresh and last you a long time. Here, we’ve listed our top picks available on Amazon, from a portable miniature keg setup to multi-tap units that can serve up different beers at once.
If you’re on a hunt for the best no-nonsense, high-value kegerator out there right now, the EdgeStar KC2000 is the one. This sturdy kegerator comes with all the hardware you need right out of the box, including a five-pound CO2 canister – although you’ll need to get that filled yourself – and it can keep your beer cooled to as low as 34 degrees Fahrenheit. The fridge compartment itself is just over 20 inches wide and fits standard U.S. half barrel (and smaller) kegs.
The EdgeStar kegerator isn’t exactly portable, but it does have casters on the bottom for moving it around when you need to. The standard KC2000 comes with a single tap, or you can opt forwhich is all but identical save for a dual tap situated up top that lets you hook up a couple one-sixth kegs to dispense two different beers at the same time. At around $470 to $470 for the single-tap KC2000, the EdgeStar kegerator is an effective and long-lasting keg-dispensing system that won’t break the bank.
If you want something packing some more modern features than the EdgeStar KC200, the Kegco K309 is an excellent upgrade pick. This high-end unit boasts a digital thermometer on the temperature control panel along with a powerful cooling system that can chill beer down to just above freezing, and it does so much more quickly than other kegerators. It’s a bit larger than the EdgeStar, too, so it can fit rubberized kegs that are too bulky for the KC2000.
Like the EdgeStar, the standard Kegco K309 comes with one tap, but there isfor those who want the option to create a two-keg setup. The Kecgo would have easily been our top pick if not for its relatively steep sticker price: The single-tap K309 digital kegerator rings in at around $850, while the double-tap variant will set you back roughly $900 (if you’re spending this much, you might as well spring for the one with two taps).
You might be wondering, “Why couldn’t I just convert a mini-fridge into a kegerator?” Well, you actually can do just that with a good conversion kit like this one from Kegco. This setup is a solid alternative to a pre-built kegerator for dedicated do-it-yourselfers or any other handy drinkers building a custom keg dispenser setup. The Kegco Tower conversion kit is essentially the same pressurized dispenser system used in the company’s kegerators, featuring a five-pound CO2 tank, draft tower, pressure regulator, D-system coupler for use with American kegs, and all the piping and hardware needed to hook everything together.
Naturally, you’ll have to do the cutting, drilling, and other handiwork yourself to turn a refrigerator into a kegerator, but with complete single- and dual-tap kits available starting at around $225, the Kegco Tower conversion system is a superb do-it-yourself solution for building a custom kegerator for a home bar.
Kegerators are great for hosting parties at home with your beer-loving friends, but they’re not really built for portability. When you want to drink beer from the tap during camping trips, tailgating parties, and other on-the-go get-togethers, the Pyle NutriChef jockey box is what you need. The NutriChef isn’t technically a “kegerator” in that it doesn’t feature a refrigeration unit to cool the keg itself, but its purpose is similar – that is, it lets you enjoy cold, carbonated draft beer away from the bar.
What sets Pyle’s NutriChef apart from a simple mini-keg is that this little unit packs a proper tap with an adjustable CO2-powered pressure regulator. Rather than a refillable CO2 tank, this system utilizes a small disposable canister which provides enough carbonation for its 128oz capacity (eight U.S. pints). And, unlike a standard growler in which a beer will go flat relatively quickly, the NutriChef mini keg is great for keeping your beer fizzy and fresh for weeks or even a couple months.
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