A man cave without beer is like summer without ice cream. You know you want it in there, and you know you want it cold.
So what are the options for keeping your brew chilled and ready? Sure, you can get a beer fridge, that is, if you’re looking to start collecting cans and bottles.
You could go for a full-size kegerator if you’d like to take up just as much space as a fridge and commit yourself to drink over 15 gallons of the same type of beer.
Or, you could try a mini kegerator that sits conveniently on your counter. Depending on the style you choose, these can dispense beer from mini kegs or can be filled up at your local brewery.
From your aching back’s point of view, mini-kegs are ideal as they only weigh 13 pounds and are 10 inches tall. Typically, a mini-keg will pour 13 normal glasses of beer, meaning you won’t end up with 13 cans that you keep forgetting to recycle. Many are portable, too, and make for a great idea for parties.
The Best Mini Kegerators for Your Man Cave
Here are our reviews of the four best mini kegerators (including pressurized growlers) that might be the addition your man cave needs.
1. Homecraft Easy Dispensing Tap Mini Kegerator
Easily making our list of best mini kegerators is the slick black stainless steel version made by Homecraft. This easy-to-use kegerator can be used to dispense any standard pressurized or non-pressurized five-liter mini keg and even comes with a reusable growler keg to fill at your favorite craft brewery.
Using standard threaded CO2/N2O cartridges (of which three are included), your beer will stay fresh for a whole month, thanks to this mini kegerator. What’s more, you can set the chill temperature using the adjustable gauge. Simply pour water into the cooling cavity, and within 24 hours, your mini keg can be anywhere you choose from 36 to 53 degrees.
You’ll pull the perfect glass of beer with this easy-pour handle, and a cleaning kit comes included for ensuring the lines stay fresh and clean.
Users recommend reading the instructions carefully (to ensure that everything is correctly installed) and to use the CO2 dial minimally, so you don’t end up with too much foam.
2. GrowlerWerks uKeg Carbonated Growler
Variety is the name of the game for GrowlerWerks Carbonated Growler. You can choose between stainless steel, black chrome, or a sharp copper look. In terms of design, it comes in two variants (64 or 128 ounces) and has an interchangeable tap handle if you’d like to change to a beer-branded handle.
This mini kegerator is not for hooking mini-kegs up to, but instead, you can fill it up at your favorite brewery or with your beer of choice. However, this growler does keep beer carbonated, fresh, and cold—so you’re still ending up with a glass of chilled brewski.
While it will look great on your man cave bar, this easily portable Carbonated Growler won’t be a chore to bring to a friend’s house or on any adventure that deserves a toast.
With a sight glass built into vacuum-insulated stainless steel, you can see just how much (or how little) brew you have left, and the easy-to-read pressure gauge lets you know how much pressure has built up inside the growler.
3. NutriChef Pressurized Growler
Another recommendation we have for keeping your beer chilled and ready for you in your Man Cave is NutriChef’s Pressurized Growler. This is a 128-ounce growler that is still compact and easily portable, perfect for filling with your homebrew or your precious craft beer.
This growler is ideal for novices, as it is easy to assemble and easy to operate with great results. The stainless steel construction is rustproof and uses standard threaded CO2 cartridges for pressure.
Users of this pressurized growler like that there are few connection points and note that there are no cheap plastic parts here. The pressure gauge helps keep the beer fresh and pours a bar-quality brew. Two other interesting features are the handle, which can be replaced if you’d like to support your local brewery, and an insulator sleeve to keep in the chill.
4. SPT Mini Kegerator and Dispenser
Rounding out our list of the best mini kegerators is this countertop dispenser from SPT. This is another option that works with standard five-liter mini-kegs from the grocery store or the brewery and is easy to both setup and use.
The SPT Dispenser comes with three (non-threaded) CO2 cartridges and adjustable pressure control. Elsewhere, the LED display on the front shows the chill temperature, which can be reached in 19 to 21 hours, and the removable drip tray makes cleaning up easy.
Your beer will stay fresh for up to 30 days in this mini kegerator and comes with everything needed to tap an unpressurized mini keg.
A man cave is all about ease and enjoyment. It’s not about spending time before the game lugging bags of ice into a cooler or collecting so many cans or bottles that you could build your own Eiffel Tower.
A mini-kegerator or a pressurized growler is the ideal way to have your favorite beer chilled, carbonated and ready, without taking up floor space.
If you are new to the world of mini-kegs, here are some things to remember:
- Keeping the beer colder will help reduce foaming, as will lower pressure
- Some people recommend putting the mini keg in the fridge first for faster cooling and/or using a chilled glass
- Using keg lube can help lessen any leakage or hissing from the connection to the keg tube
- Ensuring the line is pushed in tightly. Heineken is a popular mini keg choice, but these five-liter mini-kegs have carbon dioxide cartridges already built-in, so you won’t need to use your mini kegerator’s pressure system for that brew. If you find a leak, check the O-ring, and replace it if it’s worn, this is the most common problem
Lastly, the number one reason to try a kegerator is to enjoy your beer the way brewmasters intended it to be drunk: from a tap.