In this Guide
For the serious beer aficionado, kegerators are a great way to enjoy a perfectly poured pint in the comfort of your own home. They’re ideal for people who know a lot about beer, and drink it regularly. Plus, if you drink lots of artisan beer or craft brews, you’ll find that buying by the keg will save you lots of money (not to mention recyclables)!
However, a whole keg of nice beer is a lot to trust to an appliance. That’s why it’s so important to find a high-quality kegerator. With a lesser appliance, you’ll risk ruining a whole lot of beer in a hurry.
The best kegerators keep your beer conditioned exactly as needed, with precise temperature and CO2 controls. They also have well-made taps, which will pour you a perfect pint every time.
We’ve gone hunting for the best kegerators on the market today! We compared dozens of models, from lots of different brands. We looked for quality parts, reliable cooling, and convenient keg storage. And, of course, we looked for the best prices around!
In this special guide, we’ve compiled our own in-depth reviews of our three favorite kegerators. We’ll walk you through all the important details and standout features that we think make them the best on the market. Then, we’ll help you figure out which is the best choice for you!
Let’s start with a quick glance at our recommendations:
Best on a Budget
- Our Rating: 4.3
- Popularity: Low
- Our Rating: 4.5
- Popularity: Low
- Our Rating: 4.6
- Popularity: Low
- EdgeStar KC1000
- EdgeStar KC2000
- EdgeStar KC3000
- Kegco HK38BSC
This EdgeStar is our top pick for anyone who wants a compact kegerator. It’s all you need for storing and dispensing 1/6 or Cornelius keg sizes. The KC1000 is the most reliable, well-equipped unit in its category.
It’s built solidly. A lot of other compact units are super cheap, and they have components you’d need to replace to use them properly. That’s not true of the KC1000. It has a stainless steel tower, faucet, and D-coupler. The whole thing feels reassuringly heavy-duty for a non-commercial unit.
It’s designed very well to do what it’s supposed to. It holds a single 1/6 barrel or Cornelius keg in as little space as possible. There’s just room for a single keg and the CO2 tank. As a result, the EdgeStar takes up a very small footprint, and it runs very efficiently.
Since it’s so compact (32.7” H x 17.5″ W x 20.1″ D), you can fit it practically everywhere. This is a good choice for someone with a small lounge to supply, or for an office. It’s also something you could easily keep in the corner of your dining room without it looking absurd.
At this price, most of what you’ll find are simple mini fridges without fittings. The EdgeStar includes everything you need to get up and going (aside from a keg and CO2 to fill the tank). It comes with a single gauge regulator, a 2.5lb CO2 tank (empty), 2 different beer lines (3/16” and 5/16”) and a tower/faucet assembly.
You don’t have to be an expert to set this up. You can get it all connected and running in just a few minutes. The manual is helpful, and everything’s laid out logically.
It looks good, so you won’t feel iffy having this in your living space. It has a classy stainless steel door, internal LED lighting with a blue tint, and hidden controls.
The door’s reversible to suit your space and preference. That’s not a given at this price.
It cools well and keeps things consistent. The EdgeStar has precise digital controls, while most others at this price (and beyond) have control knobs which don’t allow you to choose specific temperatures. It also has a circulation fan to keep temperatures even inside.
You can set this as low as 32 degrees F. That’s low enough for lagers, although you shouldn’t expect it to get that low if you place it in sunlight or use it in a particularly warm spot.
Controls are located inside the door, so there’s no way you’ll accidentally mess up the settings by bumping into your kegerator.
It has a built-in lock, too. That’s important for family homes, as well as workplace installations.
A drip tray is included, so there’s no need to go out and buy one separately.
While it doesn’t quite have a spotless track record for reliability, this EdgeStar is a lot better than anything else at this size or price. It’s covered by a 1-year warranty, and extended policies are easy to add on when you follow the links in this review.
You can certainly use this with ball-lock home-brew kegs, but you’ll need to purchase an additional set of fittings.
This is a compact kegerator, so don’t think you can jimmy it to fit anything larger than a single 1/6 or Cornelius. If you want to use larger kegs, or have a few loaded at once, get one of our larger picks!
It’s not meant to be mounted on casters, or built into cabinets/countertops.
EdgeStar doesn’t have the best reputation for reliability. To be fair, nor do any other brand of kegerator. This one’s relatively problem-free, according to people who have owned it for a few years. We’ve heard a few reports of issues with the display, but nothing major. A few people also report that they’ve had issues getting this to go as cold as they wanted. Be sure to snag an extended warranty policy when you buy.
You’ll probably want to use this with a tower cooler if you drink lager. The EdgeStar fairly powerful, but this isn’t a high-end tower, and it can do with a bit of help.
2. EdgeStar KC2000
EdgeStar’s KC2000 is our midrange pick, for those who want to draw from larger kegs and have the space and funding to do so. It’s priced neatly in between our compact and high-end picks. The KC2000 is a good choice for someone who wants extra roominess and cooling power without spending a premium for something with digital controls.
You can get the KC2000 in both stainless steel and black finish options. There’s also the option to get it set up with either one or two taps. We’ve provided links to both the single and twin-tap models. You can choose your finish within each listing.
The KC2000 might look identical to the KC1000 on your computer, but it’s noticeably larger. This one’s roomy enough to hold all standard 1/2 and 1/4-size kegs. And if you go for the twin-tap model, you can have 2x 1/6/Cornelius kegs going at once!
Having extra room makes this much more versatile than the KC1000. The KC2000 is better for the beer lover who doesn’t want to worry about whether they can get their favorite brew in a 1/6 barrel keg. It’ll fit pretty much anything you can buy.
We also like that it’s completely open inside, so you can configure it however you like. That’ll probably depend on whether you’re getting the single or twin option, but it’s nice to not be limited. There’s no cutout for the CO2 cartridge, either. The canister is mounted at the back, so you have the entire interior to work with!
This model has a lot of the same features as the KC1000:
Stainless steel door, couplings, and tower
Compact design (48 1/2” x 20 1/10” x 24 13/16”)
Includes an empty CO2 canister (5 pound)
And as with the KC1000, it comes with everything you need, aside from CO2 and a keg. You’ll have all the hoses and fittings for average kegs, so only home brewers will need to buy extra components.
The KC2000 also has a few upgrades that you don’t get on the smaller EdgeStar. There’s a guard rail around the edges, to prevent glasses from being knocked over or falling. There’s also a protective floor plate for the interior. It helps you slide kegs around and protects the fridge unit. All in all, this one feels much more professional than the small KC1000.
It’s mounted on caster wheels, so it’s easy to move around your kitchen, lounge, or man cave. Given how large it is, that’s especially handy.
As with the smaller EdgeStar, this one’s covered by a 1-year warranty. It has a better reliability than other midsize options, too, even if it’s not perfect.
You do make some sacrifices to save money over the KC3000. For one thing, the KC2000 doesn’t have digital controls. It doesn’t have an interior light or door lock, either.
It takes a while to get the temperature right, since you can’t select exact temps. You have to use a dial to find an approximate setting that works for your beers. We suggest that you consider adding an external digital Johnson controller, if you’re a capable DIYer.
This isn’t compatible with absolutely everything: Coors, Miller, rubberized and oversized kegs need not apply.
You’ll need some extra fittings to use home-brew kegs.
Even though big units like this can seem perfect for building into home bars, this one can’t be built in. If that’s something you know you want to do, you’ll have to invest in the Kegco we suggest as a “See Also” pick.
Some people might not like having the CO2 on the outside. It means you’ll have to leave about 6” of clearance behind the unit, and the whole thing becomes less streamlined.
The KC2000 has a worse reliability record than the KC1000, though it’s no worse than others in its size/price bracket. That’s unfortunate, since EdgeStar is not known for being helpful with customer service. We still think this is the best midrange choice, but be absolutely sure to grab a third-party warranty when you buy!
As with the KC1000, you’re going to want a tower cooler.
There’s no fan at all inside, which does make this one a bit less even than the KC1000.
It’s loud. The compressor on this one makes a fair amount of noise, so don’t install it near where you sleep.
The fittings aren’t the greatest. The regulator in particular is subpar, so you may want to replace that if you’re very serious about your beers.
3. EdgeStar KC3000
EdgeStar’s KC3000 is our top recommendation for a kegerator, unless you’re planning to build a kegerator into a home bar (in which case, look at the Kegco below). It gives you all the room of the KC2000, with the digital precision and conveniences of the KC1000. This one’s also more reliable than either of the cheaper EdgeStar’s! We think it’s the ultimate for beer at home.
Like the KC2000, you can get the KC3000 in both single and double-tap versions.
It’s as roomy as the KC2000. In fact, it’s almost exactly the same size (33 1/2″ H x 23 5/8″ W x 23 3/8″ D without the tower or rail).
The KC3000 fits 1/2, 1/4, 1/6 and Cornelius kegs. You can double up on the smaller ones, if you’re using the twin-tap model. With some clever placement of your fittings you can even get three 1/6 or Cornelius kegs in here at a time!
The biggest difference is that this one’s designed to hold the awkward/oversized kegs which won’t fit in the KC2000! Short of full kegs, you can get pretty much anything in one of these.
It also includes many of the same features as the KC2000. There’s an aluminum plate to protect the floor and make switching kegs easier. There are caster wheels for mobility, and the
same guard rail, CO2 tank, drip tray, and finish options.
The interior is all the same, too, aside from the fact that this one also comes with two shelves that you can use to convert the kegerator into a beer cooler as needed.
It’ll go as cool as you like. This one goes down to 32 degrees, which is impressive for something so large.
It adds a deep chill mode, which helps bring kegs down to serving temperature faster. That’s not something most organized beer drinkers will actually need, but it could come in handy for an impromptu gathering (especially if you’ll be drinking lager).
Digital controls make this one much more of a precise appliance than the KC2000. We think they’re worth the difference in price, especially because you won’t have to experiment to get your settings right (and potentially waste kegs). Like the KC1000, the KC3000 allows you to dial in specific temperatures rather than fiddling with a dial.
The KC3000 doesn’t have a perfect track record for long term performance, but it’s a noticeably better investment than anything else at this size or price. We’ve only heard of the occasional lemon with this one, and some very affordable third-party warranties are available.
There’s no internal fan, which is a disappointment. We’re not sure why EdgeStar have bothered putting one in the compact KC1000 but not in their top-notch models.
You can definitely use the shelves to store cans or bottles, but we wouldn’t recommend it for food, since there’s no fan.
It’s a noisy unit.
As we noted in our review of the KC2000, you’ll probably want to upgrade the regulator in the KC3000. The included component does the trick, but it’s only single-gauge, so it’s not very helpful if you set up two taps.
Even though it’s more reliable than the KC2000 and anything else for the money, it’s hardly perfect. We’ve heard of a few cases where buyers received lemons. As with our other picks, we think it’s a very good idea to get a third-party warranty for one of these.
This is the largest unit we recommend, so make sure you have the space to install it. You’ll need at least 6” of clearance at the back, too, since the CO2 tank is mounted externally.
If you’ve read through this entire buying guide, you’ll probably have noticed that we recommend only EdgeStar kegerators at the moment. That’s not something we’ve intended to do in any way, but is simply a reflection of the market right now. Only 3 or 4 brands actually make kegerators, and EdgeStar’s happen to have the best reliability. When that changes, so will our recommendations!
There are certainly more expensive options than our recommendations. A lot of those pricier models may seem like they’re of higher quality, but we’ve found that they’re no more reliable than the inexpensive options. Given that, we don’t think you need to spend more than $1000 on a kegerator. Stick with our more affordable recommendations, and use some of the savings to get a solid extended warranty policy.
Likewise, don’t bother with countertop kegerators. They’re notoriously gimmicky and unreliable. We haven’t found any that we can recommend with confidence. You’re better off just getting a compact standalone model.
Best Built-in Kegerator
None of the models we recommend in our Top Three are designed to be built into cabinetry or countertops. If you have a home bar, or are planning to build one, you might be after a kegerator that can be built into it. In that case, check out this Kegco model:
The Kegco is meant for commercial use, but it’s also a spectacular kegerator for the most passionate home drinkers. It has a stainless steel interior, and room enough for a full-size keg! You can also get several smaller kegs in this at once, as well as the 5-pound CO2 canister.
As well as being spacious, the Kegco is powerful and efficient. It has a massive compressor, plus a circulation fan. So, not only does it get cool, but it cools evenly throughout the interior. It even forces cool air into the tower, so you don’t need a tower cooler.
The biggest difference between the Kegco and our other recommendations is the fact that you can build this thing into a home bar or your kitchen cabinetry. It has front-facing ventilation, and fits flush against a back wall.
These commercial units aren’t always more reliable than the consumer-grade models we recommend in our main picks, though. It’s also harder to find reliability data for them, since fewer people buy them in the first place. If you’re looking at this one, be sure to opt for the extended warranty coverage available through our links.
Which is the Best Beer Kegerator for You?
The EdgeStar KC1000 is the best choice for people who only need to store and pour from smaller kegs. It’s very compact, but it still makes a practical setup . While it’s not the cheapest kegerator on the market, we think it’s the lowest amount you can spend for an appliance that will really last.
The EdgeStar KC2000 is a better choice for people who want to use kegs as large as 1/2 and 1/4 size. It’s fairly basic, and doesn’t have the precision of digital controls, but it gives you lots of space to work with for a lower price than the KC3000. Plus, it offers the versatility of using either 1 or 2 taps.
If you want the best standalone unit, go for the EdgeStar KC3000. It’s not much larger than the KC2000, but it does allow you to get an extra small keg in there at a time. It’s much more precise than the KC2000, too, since you can control the temperature digitally. Just plan to spend a bit more for it.
Finally, if you’re intending to build a kegerator into your home bar or kitchen, go for the Kegco. It’s the only kegerator here that can be built in, and it’s a very well-made piece of equipment.
How to Shop for the Best Kegerator
Consider your budget:
Kegerators are available from around $300 to $2,000+. We’ve kept our recommendations in the lower half of that scale, since we know that most buyers can’t afford to spend $1,000+ on a new kegerator. Plus, more expensive options are not necessarily any more reliable.
We’ve found that the very cheapest kegerators tend to be fairly no-frills. They’re essentially converted refrigerators, and they don’t have very many features. We’ve also found them to be pretty unreliable.
The more expensive the kegerator, the more powerful it’ll be as a rule. More power means lower temperatures, and a steadier internal condition. You’ll also find better equipment and fittings on the high-end models, with upgraded taps, valves, and couplings. And, of course, the bigger the kegerator, the more it will cost.
The cheapest options are single-tap, single-keg models with smaller coolers and a single pouring station on the top. The most expensive options are wide, counter-style kegerators with several tap stations and a double-wide cooler for storing lots of kegs.
Think about your beers:
Before you start shopping, make sure you’re thinking about which beers you prefer to drink on a regular basis. Get a good idea of their ideal temperature, so you can find an appliance that will maintain those conditions.
Think about the keg sizes they come in, and which sizes you like to buy. That’ll also help you narrow down the options.
Also, you’ll want to be aware that some kegerators aren’t compatible with certain kegs. Generally, you’ll be fine for any local artisanal beers. It’s the larger companies and imports you’ll need to be careful about.
Think about quantity:
When you’re considering the size of your new home beer unit, you’ll want to think about the quantity of beer you consume on a regular basis. Think about how much beer you like to buy at once, so you can figure out how much room you need in your kegerator.
If you want to have multiple beers on tap at any given time, you’re probably better off with a dual-tap kegerator. Many dual-tap models are standard-sized, so you’ll be looking at storing a few smaller kegs at a given time. If you’re aiming to store multiple full-size kegs, you’ll need a double-wide kegerator.
Kegerators aren’t the most reliable products in the world, on the whole. They tend to have finicky thermostats, and some regulators can be a bit tricky to get a hang of. You’ll find that a lot of reviews cite problems with valves, regulators, and other conditioning-related issues more than the larger structural system.
While there are some faulty parts, you’ll want to be aware that a lot of problems come from people not having a real handle on how to calibrate their systems properly. With that being said, you could run into trouble with poorly built fittings, like plastic couplings or thin metal taps.
Focus on the important parts (i.e. cooling and CO2). You can always replace taps, and most people do at some point anyway. The same goes for the smaller couplings and brackets, since they’re nearly always standard size (look for UL/NSF listings to make sure all the fittings are standardized). You’ll want to focus on the parts you can’t replace when you make your initial purchase.
Overall, when you’re reading kegerator reviews, you’ll want to be careful to think about whether a complaint is actually about an issue with a model, or more to do with someone not knowing quite what they’re doing. Most kegerators will require some level of problem solving, so be prepared. You can always ask the manufacturer for help, and most companies provide helpful online videos and tutorials for getting you started.
One easy way to get some extra peace of mind these days is to grab some extra warranty coverage at the checkout. Most online retailers offer add-on plans for appliances like these. Even if your retailer doesn’t, companies like Square Trade offer policies that you can buy after the fact. While we wouldn’t say these are a necessity for wine coolers, they’re handy for kegerators, since they’re so much less reliable.
Consider expansion possibilities
As you’ve seen in our reviews, these appliances are a lot more modular than wine coolers, fridges, or other standard home cooling systems. You can tweak all sorts of components on a kegerator, from the gas mixing gear to the pouring station on top. So, if you find something that’s the right size and power class, but doesn’t have exactly the component set you want, don’t worry! You can always swap or expand later on.