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Beer is one of the great global touchstones; disparate cultures the world over can come together over their love of the foamy, brown, and bitter substance.
Some people though take that love a step beyond. Not content sipping a domestic light beer on the weekends, true beer aficionados will have favorite brands or microbrews, or maybe even brew their own. And for those people simply refrigerating some bottles isn’t enough. You’ve got to buy your favorites by the keg so they’re always on tap.
That’s where kegerators come in, a portmanteau of “keg” and “refrigerator”, it’s exactly what it sounds like. You slot a keg into it and it keeps it nice and cold for you, so your favorite beer is always available when and where you need it.
Finding the right one is somewhat difficult; there are a lot of them out there, and what makes one good for you can highly vary based on your needs. Let’s go over some of the criteria right quick.
Our Top Choice...
10 Best Kegerators That You Can Buy
1. Kegco K309SS-2 Kegerator
This is a pretty great mid to high range model. It’s a bit pricy but you really get what you pay for. Freestanding with the size to hold a full barrel keg: including Miller and Coors kegs (which are notoriously wider than other kegs from various brands).
It looks pretty nice, with dual tap capability and a good guardrail around the top that prevents your glasses from sliding off. The construction is sturdy stainless steel and glides well on its wheels, while still being easy to slide the kegs in and out.
An easy to read digital temperature display is always nice, and can be set down to 32 degrees, with a “deep chill” function for rapidly cooling your keg by running the fans for up to 24 hours.
All in all it’s a great model that’s not out of the realm of reason for most budgets.
2. EdgeStar KC2000SSTWIN Full Size Stainless Steel Dual Tap Kegerator
This is a good model closer to the lower end of the scale in price. It’s got a nice dual tap setup which you can plug a pair of sixth barrel kegs into (it also fits a single full sized half shell keg if you have a singular favorite you like). Unlike some it won’t hold oversized kegs (like Miller kegs).
The construction is simple and not much to look at, but good. Stainless steel is an excellent material and it glides across the floor easily when you need it to move. The chrome guardrails are nice to have as well, of course, and the temperature range is quite good (low 30’s to mid 40’s, perfect for pretty much any kind of beer served below room temperatures).
It’s a simple one with no real ‘killer app’, but for the price that’s perfectly fine.
3. EdgeStar KC2000SS Full Size Kegerator and Keg Beer Cooler
A smaller version of the other Edge Star model. For about $100 cheaper you get a decidedly inferior model. I honestly don’t think it’s worth the tradeoff. It holds a single half keg or quarter keg, no full sized or (obviously) oversized kegs.
As a result it’s also just a single tap, reducing its utility even more.
On the bright side it has most of the same other specs. Stainless steel construction, good cooling (low 30s to mid 40s), and great casters for rolling around.
The basics are good for the most part but the size deficiency really brings this one down.
4. EdgeStar KC3000SS Full Size Kegerator
The first of several Edge Star models we’ll be looking at today, this one is probably my favorite.
This is the largest model, and the priciest but not exorbitantly so. It’s huge, and fits full sized kegs and even oversized kegs with ease, so you can jam anything you like in there.
Construction is good, a nice dark stainless steel finish that looks good almost anywhere and isn’t overly large so it’s hard to store.
My only major gripe is that despite the size (and ability to easily store multiple kegs) it’s only a single tap, which means in at least one way the smaller model (the KC 2000SSTWIN) is both better and less expensive.
Still, everything else is great. Temperature range is good (low 30s to mid 40s), and it has a nice digital temperature display for controlling it with a “deep chill’” function to quickly refrigerate your kegs overnight.
5. Kegco XCK-1S-2 Selective Slow Cooker
I might like this one if it wasn’t so ludicrously expensive. This thing is costed as a kegerator about 3 to 4 times as good as what this one offers.
It has a very large interior, I’ll give it that. It holds a single full size keg, but can fit up to four 5 gallon barrels (and comes with variants for 3 and 4 taps as well, so it can service all of them). Despite this it still manages to be fairly trim and not take up a ton of space.
The construction is overall solid, with stainless steel casing and good insulation, but does not look good at all. Even in places with a stainless steel aesthetic (like some modern kitchens) it doesn’t really fit, having a flat gray texture that does not go well with the more silver chrome played aesthetic most stainless steel appliances have.
The top is also strangely designed, with a very short half guardrail and zero slip protection whatsoever. The guardrail is low enough that beer glasses, being as top heavy as they are, could still tip over the edge of them.
The wheels are fine but nothing special, and the door handle is odd and annoying to use compared to other models.
Overall nothing but the spacious interior really recommends this model to me.
6. Kegco Kegerator Commercial Three Keg Beer Cooler Refrigerator
This is a huge, 3 tap cabinet model that is definitely pricey, but provides a lot.
It’s spacious underneath, with room for three full size kegs or numerous smaller kegs, though with still only 3 taps to work with, there’s less reason to use smaller kegs. The construction is solid, a lot of stainless steel to make the whole affair sturdy and rigid, with solid insulation.
Refrigeration is honestly a bit lacking for my tastes, with a temperature range of 32 degrees to 41 degrees Fahrenheit. I prefer ones with the larger range for different beers that are better drunk at warmer temperatures (but not room temperature). There’s a lot of good stuff out there meant to be drunk chilled but not cold.
I’m not a huge fan of the overall design here. Ventilation all to one side, poor handles on the cabinet, and two of the taps scrunched together on one thing.
Overall it’s pretty good, but hard to swallow the price that comes with a model like this, which is about twice as expensive as our top pick (and that isn’t even including installation costs).
7. Kegco HK38BSU-2 BF MPHK38BSU-2 Keg Dispenser
On paper this one seems…fine. Great size, with a pretty slim profile while still having a spacious interior; enough for a full size, 2 quarter kegs, or three 5 gallon kegs.
The cooling is top notch, going as low as 21 degrees Fahrenheit, making this ideal not just for beer but potentially other things like wine or kombucha if you don’t have a wine cooler.
The dual tap setup is nice, and I like the fridge handle being an actual fridge handle instead of the weird drawer style handle many others on the list has.
Unfortunately this model has two crippling problems that go hand in hand: being overpriced and having quality control issues.
It seems the price was jacked up considerably because this can be used as a cabinet model as well, installed into any existing cabinetry similar to a dishwasher or similar appliance. This in itself is an issue since the quality doesn’t really warrant a doubling of the price over a nearly identical freestanding model from the same brand, but the quality control is a bigger concern.
Many users report this unit breaks down after a bit over a year, or just doesn’t function properly in the first place. That’s a death knell for an appliance like this.
8. Smad Full Size Beer Kegerator
Pound for pound this is one of the best budget models around. It’s relatively inexpensive, with quite a large interior. It holds one full size kegs or a pair of 5 gallon kegs, with a great dual tap setup.
Construction is excellent with a nice matte black finish that makes it look almost like a rolling safe, keeping your “amber treasure” safe and cold until you need it. The temperature range is top notch, being adjustable between 32 degrees and 50 degrees Fahrenheit (perfect for anything from the lightest beer to the heaviest lager or stout, which are better enjoyed a bit warmer)
The top is a little less slippery than some other models, but still includes guardrails in case of accidents, and provides easy clean up.
This Smad finishes things off by having some of the sturdiest casters I’ve seen on one of these kegerators, with four heavy duty wheels that glide easily and shouldn’t be prone to sticking in the long term so long as you keep them clean.
It’s hard to find anything to complain about here save that it lacks a digital display; a very small downside in the grand scheme.
9. SMETA Dual Tap Tower Full Size Keg Beer
This is a pretty solid midrange price model. It holds a half keg barrel or up to two of the smaller size kegs. With a dual tap setup that gives you plenty of beer in your two favorite varieties so you can keep around something like your favorite lager and a good stout for cooking at the same time if you please.
Construction is solid stainless steel; good insulation, easy rolling on the quite good wheels, easy to open and close, and easy to clean.
The kegerator lacks a digital display which is unfortunate, but it still has a great temperature range (32 degrees to 50 degrees Fahrenheit) as well as the deep chill and a rapid cooling function (to quickly chill a single glass’ worth of beer), so that’s nice to have on tap.
There’s nothing particularly special about this one, but nothing glaringly wrong with it either.
10. Kegco MPK199SS-G Guinness Dispensing Kegerator
This is an excellent single tap unit, similar to the Kegco K309SS above in most specs (beside sits lack of a second tap). It’s well constructed of stainless steel with good insulation and a spacious interior. It holds full size kegs as wells as half and quarter kegs, with a good temperature range.
You may have noticed this is called a “Guinness Dispensing Kegerator”. What makes that different from a regular model? There are two main things: the first (and biggest) is that it is compatible with U system kegs, commonly used by English breweries like Guinness and Kilkenny, as opposed to the more standard D and S systems (the American and European Sankey systems) used by brewers like Anheuser-Busch or Heineken respectively.
Without that compatibility, you can’t even tap a U system keg. Just as important to the quality though, it has a pull forward tap handle with a restrictor disc in the spout; this slows the flow of the stout from the tap, and ensures a great pull with that distinctive Guinness foam on top.
The restrictor disc is removable for whenever you want to use a different kind of beer inside, don’t worry.
The keg is overall very good, mainly suffering from just being a single tap, but perfect if you’re like me and prefer stouts over most other beers.
I like almost every model here. The Smadunit up top is clearly excellent for most users, but many of the Kegco models are great as well, and I like the addition of the Guinness dispensing model.
Many of the EdgeStar units are fine as well, and cheap, but suffer a bit in performance for that drop in price, often lacking extra features like a digital display or wider temperature ranges.
Stay far away from the Kegco HK38 of everything here. It simply does not justify the performance for the price even before you factor in the back breaker of the horrific quality control reports.
What Do You Look For In a Kegerator?
The first thing you’ll want to decide is the type you’re looking for. There are three basic types for a kegerator: mini, freestanding, and built-in (with a subset of full sized bar style counter models).
Different types of Kegerators?
Most people are probably going to want the freestanding variant, as they are the best mix of price, size, and performance, while built-in models are far more expensive, though can free up a bunch of space if you want to make dedicated room for it. Mini kegerators are a bit awkward, as most brewers simply do not make mini kegs. You could buy a keg that fits it and manually fill it with whatever you like, but this sidesteps some of the advantages of a kegerator (like making less waste from used bottles or cans) and will also change the quality of the beer, which will be a little different once canned or bottled and then poured rather than kegged and shipped.
What size keg will fit in my kegerator?
Within those sets there’s also a variety of sizes and tap configurations with different kegerators being able to hold multiple kegs (or only part of a keg) or some mix of the two (having multiple hookups but room for only one full sized keg, so you could fit say a trio of fourth barrels).
This really depends on your consumption and preference for variety. If you only drink one kind of beer at a time, you really only need a single tap kegerator (though most come with 2 anyway). If you drink a lot of it and can’t easily get more, one that hold a full barrel sized keg is ideal, whereas if you drink less or can more easily buy more and get it to you quickly, you could save some money on a smaller kegerator that maybe only holds a half barrel.
Keeping up with Kegerator: Tool and Accessory Kit
If you’re opening a bar you’ll need the whole set; bar stools, tables, glasses, and most especially a good kegerator. Performance is also key when getting a kegerator. You want to look for a model which is energy efficient and consistently hits the optimal temperature: 38 degrees Fahrenheit. A kegerator that properly pressurizes its contents (if they aren’t already) is also important.
Aside those key factors, having various extras is always nice. Things like digital displays or options for pressurizing multiple barrels differently, or more quality of life benefits like simply running more quietly are always nice.
As always, keep an eye on the price and keep in mind your budget. Kegerators run the gamut on price, with the average for a freestanding model being around $500 to $1000, but high end models costing thousands of dollars. What is “best” is going to depend not just on the absolute quality of the kegerator, but how much you’re willing and able to pay for it.