Okay, you love beer and would like to drink draft beer at home, but maybe a full size keg is just too much for your needs and not practical. However, you still want the draft beer experience, from the flavor to the joy of self-pouring a cold frosty beer at home.
The best way to get this experience is with a mini kegerator or a countertop beer dispenser.
Mini kegerators are perfect for the small party, either inside or outside your home. And with their rise in popularity, an increasing number of breweries are offering their beer in a mini keg size, and can be purchased and filled nearly everywhere these days.
There are plenty of options on the market, and each have a number of different bells and whistles to suit your particular home beer drinking needs. These products can do far more than keep your beer cold. Before making your decision, you will need to consider which aspects are necessary for your home bar experience.
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7 Best Mini Kegerators and Beer Dispensers For Home Use
In this post, we are going to review 7 of the top mini kegerators and countertop beer dispensers, and help you choose the best fit for your needs.
But, if you don’t have a lot of time, and just want to jump to the best mini kegerator list, you can just click on one of the links below.
Lamtor Mini Keg Style Growler Barrel
This mini keg style growler barrel from Lamtor is simple, reliable, and a true mini keg, standing only 14 inches tall, but able to hold 120 ounces of your favorite beer.
This “Amazon’s Choice” stainless steel mini keg is light weight, has two carrying handles, making it easy to transport and take anywhere.
It includes a stainless steel cap with an integrated silicon O-ring locks in the freshness and for easy hookup and use. Just attach one of your home beer taps and enjoy your craft beer while tailgating or at a party.
- Lightweight and compact
- Stainless-steel construction
- One of the more affordable options available on the market
- No temperature control
- Not for long term storage
NutriChef Pressurized Growler Tap System
This NutriChef Pressurized Growler Tap System is a stainless steel beauty and a great option for your home draft beer experience. It can hold 128 ounces of beer, which is the same volume as one of the larger-sized growlers.
The best part is that it keeps your craft beer fresh and carbonated for up to two months, thanks to the CO2 cartridge. It has an upgraded adjustable regulator which fine tunes the pressure, allowing for the perfect head on your beer.
This mini kegger is made of high quality food-grade 304 stainless steel, which makes it extremely durable and easy to clean. It has a screw-on lid that also makes it easy to fill and transport without spilling. Also included is a neoprene Koozie and an upgraded regulator pressure gauge to fine tune and monitor the current psi.
- Easy to assemble, set up and use
- Keeps beer fresh up to 60 days
- CO2 cartridge NOT included
- Is top heavy and can tip over, especially when growler or keg is almost empty
Krups and Heineken B100 Beer Tender
A collaboration between Krups and Heineken, which is a high quality appliance company and a high quality European beer manufacturer, leads to this well-designed Heineken mini keg holder.
It has a cooling system that is very quiet and keeps beer fresh, and chilled for 30 days after you tap, and a drip tray to help eliminate messy spills.
It has an LED thermostat and maintains a temperature of a cool 37.4 degrees. Naturally, this product is designed for the Heineken family of beers (specifically Heineken, Heineken Premium Light, and Newcastle Brown Ale) so if you aren’t a fan and don’t enjoy this brand, this may not be the best mini for your needs.
- Good value
- Easy to use
- Two Year Warranty is longer than other similar products
- Requires a bit more space
- Doesn’t use traditional-sized growlers
- Limited selection of beer
Homecraft Easy Dispensing Tap/Mini-Keg Cooling System
Homecraft has made a versatile and classy black stainless steel model that fits neatly on your home countertop or bar. This easy dispensing tap and mini keg system works with all standardized 5-liter pressurized as well as non-pressurized gravity mini kegs, or a reusable growler.
It has a powerful thermoelectric cooling system that can cool to a wide range of temperatures, from 36° to 53° and keeps beer cold for up to 30 days. The LED temperature display will let you know exactly the temperature of your beer. It also features an easy to use pull handle and a removable drip tray for easy cleaning.
The CO2 pressure is adjustable for the perfect head on your beer, and also includes three threaded 16g CO2 cartridges. Without compression or vibration, this unit is quiet, sleek, and the perfect compliment to any home beer drinking environment.
- Elegant lookin
- Fits anywhere
- Very quiet
- Can takes 24 hours to chill a new keg to the right temperature.
- Can be difficult to adjust CO2 pressure
Fizzics FZ403 DraftPour Beer Dispenser
This ingenious product by Fizzics is for those who need flexibility and prefer simplicity in a draft beer dispenser. It converts almost any can or bottle, including bomber cans and 750ml bottles of your favorite craft beer into a mini beer tap, pouring fresh from a tap, and features Fizzic’s patented micro foam technology.
It is so simple to use, just open your can or bottle, insert it under the removable cover, and you are good to go. Use it at home, a backyard cookout, camping, or while tailgating.
This mini dispenser also has the technology to convert your beer’s natural carbonated bubbles into a more uniform micro-foamy head, or you can keep it as is. The Fizzics FZ403 DraftPour Beer Dispenser can run on either a USB cord or two AA batteries so you can literally use it anywhere.
- Very compact in size
- Easy to use
- No CO2 cartridge to complicate the process
- Limited to only one beer at a time, so only for individual use
- Batteries could run out while you are away from power
Keg Smiths 128oz Portable Draft Keg System
This portable draft keg system by Keg Smiths is another attractive stainless steel mini keg dispenser system that can also hold 128 ounces, and a single cartridge of CO2 can last for up to two months. This mini keg system is extremely easy to set up and even easier to clean.
The CO2 pressure can be easily adjusted for a wider variety of beverages and can force carbonate your home brew. It is also great to serve non-alcoholic drinks like iced tea, kombucha, and soda, but just make sure it can fit in your refrigerator.
- Versatile – can handle different beverages
- Larger capacity than most other similar products
- Issues with regulating carbonation and pressure
- It is too tall for many refrigerator shelves
SPT BD-0538 Mini Kegerator and Dispenser
This mini kegerator is attractive and will look great on any countertop. It uses a standard CO2 cartridge pressure system that will chill your beer within 19 to 21 hours, and keep it cold, carbonated and fresh for 30 days, and three cartridges are included.
It will accept a standard 5-liter beer keg and 5-liter Heineken mini keg, but you do not need CO2 when using the Heineken mini kegs.
It is constructed with a stainless steel housing, removable drip tray, and features the peltier cooling system and thermoelectric cooling technology. This unit will adjust to keep a temperature between 36° and 39°F and has a LED temperature indicator for easy monitoring.
- Thermoelectric cooling technology
- Stainless steel housing
- Three CO2 cartridges included
- Takes a long time to cool a warm keg
- Small diameter dispensing hoses make for a long pour
Things To Consider Before Buying A Mini Kegerator
To figure out which mini kegerator or beer dispensing system is the right one for your needs, consider the following:
A full size kegerator is basically a refrigerator that is converted to a draft beer dispenser, so they certainly will cost more money than a mini kegerator. Large kegerators are designed to house large kegs of beer, use parts like compressers, and come with more features than a mini version.
Many good quality countertop beer dispensers or mini kegerators can be purchased for less than a few hundred dollars compared to the full-size models.
Size: Full Size Kegerator vs Mini Kegerator
Of course the main differences between a mini kegerator and a full sized kegerator is the size and the price tag. A large kegerator can hold much more beer than it’s little brother, but it takes up much more space, and will cost hundreds of dollars more.
Mini beer kegs are much like any other kitchen appliance, like a toaster, blender, or coffee maker. It is made to sit on a table or kitchen countertop.
Duration of Freshness
Just like when you consider the size, you need to consider how long you want to keep your beer fresh.
Are you looking to tap a mini keg and come back to it off and on for a month or longer, or will you and your party be consuming the entire quantity in one sitting?
Not every unit has the same tapped shelf life. Some will only last for a few weeks, while others can last up to two months.
Assembly and Maintenance
Most full size kegerators require some assembly before they can be used, with some taking an hour or more to complete. Although most mini kegerators will involve some basic assembly, they can be ready to use in less than 15 minutes.
Also, larger kegerators will need to be manually defrosted occasionally, along with the cleaning of the beer lines. The parts from a mini kegerator and beer dispenser can be cleaned with just soap and water.
Amount of Beer Taps
Unlike a full size kegerator, which can have up to four taps for a wider variety of beer, most mini kegertors and countertop beer dispensers usually only come with one tap.
If you are more interested in having more than one “beer on tap”, you might want to check out our review page for a full-size kegerator instead.
All of these products have different functions and do a fine job of bringing draft beer to your home bar. From our testing, the best mini-keg dispenser is the NutriChef Pressurized Growler Tap System.
At 128 ounces, it has the capacity to hold more draft beer than similar products. It can also safely handle different types of beverages like root beer as well.
It’s tough, durable, and will keep your beer fresh for up to two months. Plus, with proper cleaning and maintenance it should last you for many pours and many years. It is also one of the more reasonably priced mini keg dispenser on the market.
Regardless of your choice, any mini kegerator or beer dispenser listed here will certainly enhance your draft beer experience and make gatherings even more fun.
P.S. If you like the thought of having draft beer on tap at your house, but would prefer a traditional full-size kegerator, check out our review of the best single and dual-tap kegerators for home use.