One of the first ‘must haves’ when drawing the plans for my man cave was a home bar where I could hang out with friends whilst playing or watching sports. Having a freshly poured ‘cold’ beer like you get in a bar, rather than drinking from a bottle or can of beer, is in my opinion a better way to enjoy a pint of your favorite tipple.
Normally to get that fresh pint you’d have to head down to the local watering hole, however with a kegerator you can get that same flavor and style from the comfort of your own home or in my case ‘the man cave’.
There are other benefits too. Not only does it look, feel and taste more authentic, it can help reduce the number of bottles and cans you throw out, especially if you have a number of friends coming over to enjoy a beer or three.
I don’t know about you, but when we have a party, the recycle bin fills up pretty quickly.
Top Kegerator Reviews
1. EdgeStar Full Size Kegerator
- Holds a 1/2 barrel (full size) or 2, 1/6 barrel kegs.
- Size: 48.5 x 20 x 24.75 (including draft tower).
- 2 color options to choose from – I prefer the stainless.
- Beer components included.
- Reversible door.
- 90 day warranty on labor and 1 year on parts.
- Excellent value for money.
- CO2 tank mounts on the back so you can’t position it flush to the wall.
- Does not fit oversized kegs
The Edgestar is what I would term a ‘budget kegerator’. But don’t let that put you off. This Kegerator is a bestseller for a reason.
It’s great at keeping kegs cool. This model from EdgeStar gives you the ability to use both full-sized kegs and smaller options and comes with a Sankey coupler.
However, it is important to note that this option will not work with kegs from Coors or Millers and other rubberized or oversized kegs.
This EdgeStar is freestanding only, and comes with castor wheels so you can maneuver it easily. This is great if you want to use the kegerator in different locations, depending on the occasion.
It comes with a drip tray as standard so you know it won’t make a mess with spillage and over fills and is easy to clean.
And what about looks? well you have two options to choose from depending on your preference.
There is a black or stainless model and you also have the option to go with a single tap handle or a dual tap. The door opening is also reversible so you can open the door from the left or the right side, depending on where the kegerator is situated.
It also comes with a beer component pack to get you started, including an empty CO2 tank and regulator.
This is just one of several EdgeStar Kegerators. They also provide 2 tap versions, full size versions and models that accommodates the gas cylinder inside the unit.
2. Kegco Kegerator
- Digital temperature control makes switching temps simple.
- Size: 33″ H x 23.75″ W x 24″ D.
- Forced air fan allows to the unit to reach even cooler temperatures.
- Accommodates full kegs including Miller, Coors & rubber Kegs.
- Option to use as a refrigerator.
- Can be set as high as 75 F to be used as a fermentation chamber.
- Faucets are not made from stainless steel.
The Kegco range of kegerators offers something for everyone. They have a number of single and dual tap options with Sankey and home brewing couplers to choose from.
This model comes with a digital display operated by push button so you can increase and decrease the kegs temperature with a push of a button. The display can be set to Celsius or Fahrenheit.
Extremely sleek and stylish, you can also use the Kegco as a refrigerator when you are not using it as a kegerator. Simply add the shelves that come with your purchase.
It comes with Kegco’s premium set-up kit including, gas cylinder, Sankey coupler and regulator – you will just need to purchase gas for the cylinder.
Unlike the Edgestar, the Kegco can accommodate the larger Coors, Millers and rugger kegs so you have a greater option of beers to choose from. On top there is a simple to clean, removable drip tray and guard rail so you won’t have problems with beer glasses falling off the edge.
For maneuverability there are castors that lock into place making this a very sturdy kegerator.
Do you want a similar model but with two taps? No problem, Kegco has you covered.
Do you want a home-brew coupler? Again, no problem – Kegco has ball lock options.
3. Nostalgia Kegerator
- Easy to set up and use.
- Holds a 1/2 barrel.
- Spring loaded tap.
- Size: 32 x 20 x 26 (excluding 13″ tap).
- 2 color options – black is cheaper.
- CO2 tank, regulator and keg coupler.
- Castors can be removed for self-levelling feet.
- Keeps beer very cold
- Comes with a 2.5 pound CO2 tank instead of a 5 pound tank.
- Won’t fit Coors style kegs
The next single tap kegerator on our list is the Nostalgia KRS2150. Similar in price to the EdgeStar, this model from Nostalgia is based on a 5.1 cubic foot fridge that lets you store up to a full size keg.
The set up has a stainless steel drip tray to catch any wayward droplets when pouring your beer.
It comes with a Sankey style keg adapter and is set up to be able to store your CO2 tank inside your kegerator, rather than on the outside like the Nostalgia. The CO2 tank with this one is a 2.5 pound tank, this should last for a couple kegs, but it is a bit smaller than other models out there.
Some purchasers, have completed a bot of DIY and drilled a hole in the back so they can attach a larger external gas cylinder. We wouldn’t recommend this unless you know what you are doing.
The Nostalgia, also has two color options, black and stainless. The black often being the cheaper of the two. It also sports castors for easy mobility.
4. Marvel Outdoor Kegerator
- Made to stay outside.
- Built in or stand alone options.
- Size: 37.5 x 24 x 24.
- Can keep beer cold even into triple digit temperatures.
- Converts from kegerator to storage fridge.
- Sankey D-type attachments
- More expensive that the models above
Like the Marvel Superheroes, there is no denying that Marvel know what they’re doing and make quality kegerators and this is reflected in the price. This offering from Marvel has a different trick up its sleeve as it is a kegerator that is for outside usage and has versions that can be built into an outside bar.
This one is large enough to handle a half barrel keg, but can also convert quickly with a shelf to store bottles and cans. If you’re looking for the best outdoor kegerator, the Marvel brand has years of experience in this field.
The built-in version comes with a single or double tap option and was not made to move, so there are no castors attached. It does come with 1 inch floor levellers to ensure the kegerator is level with your bar surface.
The standalone version has castors for easy maneuverability. They also lock if required.
What about keeping your beer cold in the outside sun? The temperature controls make it easy to keep your beer between 34 and 46 F even if it is up to 115 F outside.
You also have your option as to which way the door will swing, so that you can get the one that will best fit your space. Oh, and the door locks so you can keep your beers secure.
Home Kegerator Buying Guide
Before we get to my review list of what I consider are the best kegerators for home use, I thought it would be useful to put together a kegerator reviews buying guide. A few points for you to consider that will help you with your research before you make a purchase.
What is a Kegerator?
Rather simply put, a kegerator is a refrigerator that has been designed to hold a keg (normally of beer) and has a tap handle to dispense the beer to your pint glass. This is where it gets its name – ‘Keg‘ ‘Refrigerator‘.
There are a number of styles based on the size of keg you’d like to buy, where you want to store it and where you want the beer tap to be. Most models feature a small hotel size fridge that has a tap handle and set up on top.
The lower cost kegerators often come with just 1 tap option. There are a number of 2 tap kegerators and if you’re willing to up your budget, there are 3 tap options.
When making a decision on the number of taps, you will need to decide if you want more than 1 keg and 1 type of beer. If you don’t, then 1 tap is enough.
Personally, my home bar has 2 taps, because I like having the option of beer and cider on tap.
A keg coupler is the connection that attaches the beer pump / tap line and the gas line to your keg. Surprisingly, different beer kegs require different couplers depending on the brand of beer and whether you are using a home brewing keg or a commercial keg.
Home brewing kegs generally require a ball lock and commercial kegs will require a Sankey connection. There are several versions of the Sankey coupler, depending on the beer brand you use.
For example, many popular American beers use the American Sankey (D) and there are European versions for European brands (S) (G) & (U). I have the Sankey connection as I do not brew my own beer and use commercial kegs.
Controls and Dials
A refrigerator is made to keep things cold, but not all beers behave best at the same temperature. You’ll want to look at how easy it is to set a temperature and then you’ll need some way to ensure that your system is truly holding that temperature.
Some kegerators come with push button digital displays that make this easy.
Additionally, you’ll need a way to control the CO2. This is used to pump your cold beer from the keg to the tap and is handled by a regulator.
The regulator is there to gauge the amount of pressure in the keg and the tap and compressed gas tank (Co2). Some Kegerators may come as a bundle or you will need to purchase the regulator and tank separately.
Also, the kegerator will require a power source to keep the keg cool. Here is a great video on how to set-up your kegerator with the regulator and gas tank.
What Size Kegerator Should I Get?
When it comes to considering size, the first thing to look at is the size keg you want to work with. The smallest is a micro-keg.
These are about 5 liters, so the kegerators that can work with these are often table top models and the CO2 comes in small capsules like those used in an air gun. The downside to these is that only a few companies make this size keg, so your options for drinks will be limited.
Moving up, if you’re in the US there are three other popular sizes of keg that you can work with. One is called a sixth of a barrel, one is a quarter barrel and one is a half a barrel.
The table below provides a quick guide to the number of gallons and pints each size holds.
|USA||Mini Keg||Sixth Barrel||Qtr (short)||Qtr (slim)||Half Barrel|
|Size||10″ x 7″||23″ x 9″||14″ x 16″||23″ x 11″||23″ x 16″|
When it comes to your kegerator, if you look for a model that can handle a half barrel keg it will generally be able to store 3 sixth gallon kegs as an alternative. This means that you have more options when choosing your beer.
Some models will even have 2+ beer taps, which can let you hook up to 3 different kegs at a time.
Another consideration that you need to look at is where you plan to place your kegerator. If you are looking to slide it up against a wall in a game room or a man cave you’ll want to look into the venting requirements.
Some models will need to have a small gap between the back of the unit and the wall, others can be placed flush against the wall. Also – remember that power socket.
You don’t want extension leads everywhere, so make sure there is a power source near where the kegerator will be positioned.
If you are looking to put your unit in a garage or in an outdoor area, you’ll want to make sure you go with an outdoor model. These styles are made to keep your beer at a constant temperature while the outside temperature fluctuates.
These models will also be able to stand up to rain and other weather.
The cost of a kegerator can vary depending on a number factors. These include, size, number of taps, whether it’s inside or outside kegerator and what is included in the price.
An example range would be anything from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. How I make purchasing decision is to choose a budget range that I am comfortable with, research my options and then proceed with the purchase.
Build or Buy
There are some people who want to make their own set ups. Other people want to make a purchase and pull it out of the box and have it ready.
There are a number of considerations to ponder when you are looking at this option. The first is to think what materials you will need.
Some people think that building their own will save money, only to find that after tracking down all the parts and pieces that you need and then the time it will take to assemble one it would have been much cheaper and easier to make a purchase of a completed unit.
Another consideration in this arena is if you want to pull it out of the box and just have to put a keg in or if you are willing to make some connections. Some purchased models will require you to do a little bit of assembly.
The video above shows you how to do this.
Best Kegerator Brands
Now this can be subjective and will depend on your requirements. For example, BMW and Mercedes-Benz cars are both fantastic brands, but one person may prefer one over the other.
With that in mind, I have listed a number of brands that are definitely worth considering.
Please note this is not an exhaustive list. Just a list of the brands on my radar.
- Edgestar – Since 2004 Edgestar have been making specialist appliances. Based in the USA they have a number of home and commercial kegerator options ranging from several hundred dollars to 4 figures depending on the size and requirements. Well known in the industry, Edgestar is a reputable brand if you’re looking for a kegerator.
- Danby – Is one of leading North American refrigeration and specialist appliance companies. Stylish looking, a Danby kegerator will make a great addition to any man cave. They offer kegerators in a similar price bracket to Edgestar.
- Kegco – is the beer dispensing arm of Cydea Inc. They offer a wide range of single and multi tap kegerators for the home and commercial market with a price range similar to Edgestar and Danby.
- Summit – Have been trading in the refrigeration industry since 1969. A US manufacturer based in the Bronx, Summit offers a wide range of kegerator options that look extremely sleek and modern.
- Marvel – Started in the refrigeration industry 125 years ago so you know you will be purchasing from a company with experience of keeping your beer cool. A premium brand costing several thousand dollars, they have a number of built-in, mobile and outdoor kegerator options to choose from.
- Igloo – Is a company that began back in 1947 making ice chests and coolers. Although better known for their hard and soft coolers, they also supply kegerators.
- Nostalgia – Is a maker of family entertainment and appliance products. many of their products have that vintage look to them and thus the name Nostalgia, really works as a brand name.
Wrapping Things Up
At this point you should have all the information that you’ll need to pick the best kegerator for your set up. We started off by providing kegerator reviews of some top kegerators offering a mixture of single tap, dual tap, indoor and outdoor kegerators for different price points.
We have provided a handy tips kegerator buying guide and a list of some of the best kegerator brands. At the end of the day the right option will depend on the type of kegs you will use, how many kegs you want to have on tap at the same time and where you’d like to place it.
Hopefully our list of top rated kegerators should provide you with the answer. So, the final question is, which option did you end up going with? Cheers.