6 Best Outdoor Kegerators for Your Bar
When you can't meet up with friends at the bar, bring the bar to your backyard with an outdoor kegerator.
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Buying an Outdoor Kegerator
We’re all spending more time at home than before — but there’s just something special about sipping a cold draft beer. So to the bring the bar home, we’ve been looking at adding a kegerator to our backyard living space. A kegerator, as the name implies, is a refrigerator specifically built to serve beer from a keg.
If you’re going to use a kegerator outdoors, be sure to buy one specifically designed for outdoor use. A regular kegerator, much like a household refrigerator, is built to work best inside. That indoor kegerator could freeze up or not cool down properly depending on your outdoor temperature. An outdoor kegerator, however, will work beautifully no matter the weather, serving you the perfect pint every time.
Some kegerators may have multiple faucets for multiple beverages. If you choose a dual-tap model handling beer and cold-brew coffee, make certain everything that touches the liquids is stainless steel. Coffee is acidic, and over time it can wear away at chrome-plated brass faucets. A brass-flavored cup of joe is nobody’s idea of a good morning.
Also, all the kegerators we’ve listed can handle standard American-style beer kegs. If you’re partial to European brews or Guinness, these beers typically require a different adapter to fit the keg to the kegerator. Contact the manufacturer to see if they offer the appropriate adapter for your favorite draft.
Coldbreak Jockey Box
Remember college? Remember renting a cheap party tap that required you to pump frantically to get any beer out — but not too frantically, because all you’d end up with was foam? A jockey box is the sophisticated solution.
This Coldbreak jockey box is basically a beer cooler with a 50-foot-long coil of stainless-steel tubing inside. One end connects outside the cooler to the keg, while the other end connects to the tap. You don’t have to float the keg in ice, either. Just ice down the cooler and the beer will chill perfectly as it flows through the icy cooler.
The great thing about a jockey box? It uses carbon dioxide or beer gas to get the beer to flow. That old party tap introduced outside air into the keg, which meant the beer spoiled in a day or two. The gas will keep your beer fresh much, much longer.
Cal Flame Single-Tap Stainless Kegerator
This Cal Flame kegerator isn’t specifically rated as an outdoor kegerator; the manufacturer notes that it must be located in a covered area away from the elements. Reviewers, however, say it works fine on covered patios. This appears to be the best bargain-priced kegerator for outdoor entertaining, as long as it is protected. It will handle up to a pony keg, a.k.a. a quarter barrel, or a little more than seven gallons of beer.
EdgeStar 15-Inch Outdoor Kegerator
The EdgeStar 15-inch outdoor kegerator is a bit small, but looks to be the best-priced kegerator specifically rated for outdoor use. It can handle up to a one-sixth barrel or a slim quarter barrel depending on the width of the keg. This is perfectly sized to fit a Corny keg, the reclaimed five-gallon kegs so often used by home brewers. If you make big batches of your favorite homebrew, this is your solution to bottling.
Kegco Two-Faucet Kegerator
This Kegco two-faucet kegerator gives you the option of tapping two brews at once. It has enough room for a single full keg or two quarter slim barrels. Up to three Corny kegs will fit too, so you can tap your favorite homemade IPA and stout while the wheat beer chills. This Kegco has a digital temperature display so you can easily adjust the interior for the proper serving temperature.
Bull Outdoor Stainless Kegerator
The Bull Products outdoor kegerator has a tough, industrial look that will blend well with any decor. Bull Outdoor offers other outdoor appliances so you can build an outdoor kitchen with matching equipment. This big kegerator can handle a single half-barrel keg or a pair of smaller kegs. A double tap tower is sold separately.
Beverage-Air 79-Inch Beer Cooler
Make your deck the envy of the neighborhood with this restaurant-quality Beverage-Air Beer Cooler kegerator. With a pair of dual-tap beer towers, this big unit can handle four standard half-barrel kegs. Only go this route if you’ll be spending a lot of time entertaining. If you do, you’ll host the parties everyone remembers.