In a hurry? Here’s our top pick...
EdgeStar KC2000SS Full Size Kegerator and Keg Beer Cooler
- Temps range from low 30s to mid 40s
- Drip tray is both functional and easy to clean
- Easy to assemble
- Low price tag
If you’re a beer lover, you probably enjoy a lively social scene. With a home kegerator, you can have that scene anytime you want! Here’s a guide to help you seek out the best product on the current market.
Why Buy a Kegerator?
There’s a certain ceremony to draft beer that bottles and cans could never match. However, you shouldn’t make the purchase for aesthetic value alone. There are plenty of other reasons to consider adding a kegerator to your home bar area. Here are a few of the most valid ones.
Drinking at home is cheaper than going out, and drinking keg beer can save even more money. When you do the math, it’s always less expensive to drink from the tap. While it’s true that the upfront cost of the product can be daunting, you’ll be able to recoup those costs in about two to three years (depending on how much beer you usually drink).
They’re more environmentally sound.
If there’s one thing we dislike about beer drinking, it’s the amount of waste that it generates. It can be a real pain to truck all those bottles and cans to the recycling facility. By drinking from the keg, you can eliminate that step, thereby taking it easier on the planet as well. Social consciousness and great beer—what’s not to like?
They discourage drinking and driving.
The allure of a freshly pulled pint is difficult to resist. When you can get fresh draft beer in your own home, there’s no need to get behind the wheel in order to scratch that itch. The only drawback? You might find yourself hosting more parties than you anticipated, as your social circle grows.
Things To Think About Before Shopping
Of course, there are other considerations to take into account. First of all, you’ll need to make sure that you have the space to accommodate a beer cooler before bringing one into the home. A single-draft system will require at least three square feet of floor space to accommodate the keg. Additionally, the draft tower can bring the overall height up to four feet. The area also needs to be easily accessible, preferably on a floor that has an outside entrance (so there’s no need to haul full kegs up or down the stairs), and away from any vent fans that might prevent the unit from cooling properly.
Also, think about whether you have enough time to maintain the system. Clean draft lines are essential to a great-tasting draft. You should also have some awareness regarding the correct pressure, or the beer will emerge either flat or overly foamy.
Important Features & Benefits
Beer coolers typically come in one of four standard door finishes, although customized versions may also be available. Before choosing, think about which finish would best complement your chosen space.
- Black—Basic, unobtrusive, and easy to find
- Stainless steel—Sophisticated, matches many other home appliances
- Brass—Eye-catching and elegant
- Diamond—Textured and vibrant
If the beer cooler comes equipped with a drip tray, look for one that’s constructed out of stainless steel rather than plastic. These will last longer, look nicer, and be easier to clean. If there’s a drain hole included, don’t forget to place a receptacle beneath it—and empty the receptacle periodically.
Most units will feature a manual knob that can be set from one (coldest) to ten (warmest), just like a regular fridge. Some of the high-tech models might offer a digital control panel, which can be set to a specific temperature.
Most premium beer is best served at temperatures between 42 and 48 degrees Fahrenheit, although many American palates are used to drinking it colder. Look for a unit that can easily maintain temperatures from the high 30s to about 50 degrees.
Best Kegerator for the Home: Product Review Guide
EdgeStar KC2000SS Full Size Kegerator and Keg Beer Cooler
This model earns the top spot for several reasons. First of all, the temps range from the low 30s to the mid 40s, and remain consistent throughout use. Second, the drip tray is both functional and easy to clean. Perhaps most importantly, it's easy to assemble, even if you've never purchased anything like it before. If you have a keg on hand, you can be enjoying freshly poured draft beer on the same day this unit is delivered. These benefits, coupled with the low price tag, make the EdgeStar KC2000SS a slam-dunk.
Kegco 309SS 1 Keg Dispenser
This offering from Kegco comes at a slightly higher price point, but it's also capable of holding Miller and Coors kegs, as well as rubber kegs (something that the EdgeStar unit can't claim). The digital temperature control panel is user-friendly and ranges from 32 to 75 degrees, meaning you can use this model to ferment your own home brew.
HomeCraft BK49BS Full-Size Kegerator
This stylish unit comes equipped with a black door and tap tower, removable drip tray, and a manual knob thermostat. Though the affordable price gives us enough reason to recommend this one, we're even bigger fans of the removable wire shelves.
EdgeStar KC1500BL Built-In Kegerator
The KC1500BL features a reversible black door with a built-in safety lock, as well as a digital thermostat and attractive LED lighting. Be forewarned that this is a pricier unit than the KC2000SS, and that it's not large enough to hold traditional 1/2 barrels—you'll have to stick with 1/6 barrels, slim quarters, or Cornelius kegs.
EdgeStar KC7000SSOD Stainless Steel Built-In Outdoor Kegerator
If we won the lottery, this is the unit we would buy to celebrate our winnings. With its professionally appointed handle, air-cooled beer tower, and roomy interior, it represents the pinnacle of the home draft beer experience. Other goodies include interior LED lighting, a reversible door with a safety lock, and a digital thermostat. However, since it's designed for outdoor use only, and is too expensive to suit most budgets, we can't award it the top spot just yet.
We hope you enjoy your new home draft system for many festive seasons to come! Cheers!