What is a Mini Kegerator or Portable Keg Cooler? Mini keg coolers are exactly what you would expect them to be. They are smaller versions of a kegerator that are commonly used for personal use at home or for small get-togethers. This device is used to keep mini kegs cold for optimal draft beer dispensing.
Mini kegs, also known as Bubbas, typically hold 1.5 gallons or 5 liters of beer. This is equivalent to just over 10 pints of beer. Perfect for a smaller group of friends and much smaller than a regular sized kegerator.
Why Should You Buy a Mini Keg Cooler?
Mini kegs are great for small groups of people. However, they can be a pain to keep cool due to the space they take up in a fridge or cooler. Most just keep it outside of a fridge, but this isn’t ideal if you love cold refreshing beer. With a portable kegerator, you don’t have to worry about keeping your beer cold. They are made to keep it at a constant and optimal temperature for the perfect glass of draft beer. Their taps also help you pour a perfect pint without getting a glass half full of foam. Below you will find reviews for some of our favorite mini keg dispensers.
Mini Kegerator Reviews
KRUPS and HEINEKEN Kegerator B100 BeerTender – Our #1 Recommendation
The Krups mini kegerator is used exclusively with Heineken and Newcastle Brown Ale kegs. The main difference between this one and the Edgestar kegerator (found below) is that there isn’t an option for you to purchase a separate CO2 canister to dispense other draft beers.
One thing I loved about this dispenser was how good it looked on my bar. The primarily black and chrome finish looks great on top of my bar.
It isn’t very expensive so I was a little concerned that its performance. I’ve owned this kegerator for almost two years now and I can say that not only does it look exactly as I purchased it, it still works exactly the same as the day I brought it home. I should also mention that this baby gets heavy usage too. Especially during NFL football season.
Overall this is an excellent cooler and really the only mini kegerator that I would feel comfortable recommending.. If the optional CO2 canister isn’t a concern then you’ll be happy with this choice.
EdgeStar Mini Kegerator TBC50S
The Edgestar Mini Kegerator is a nice inexpensive sharp-looking cooler. It is lightweight and portable so you can bring it with you to a friend’s house with ease. You should be aware though that it is primarily made for the popular Heineken and Newcastle Brown Ale mini kegs which is why it is often called the Heineken kegerator. These mini kegs have their own internal beer pressure system so you don’t need a CO2 tank. This cooler works great with these kegs. However, you can also purchase an optional CO2 canister if you wish to use other types of draft beer kegs.
For the price, this is an good little cooler. It is inexpensive, performs well and looks great. Most of the negative comments you read about the Edgestar Mini Kegerator is that they didn’t know you had to purchase a separate CO2 canister if not using Heineken kegs. If this isn’t a big deal for you, then this one should do the job just fine.
Koolatron Mini Beer Keg Cooler with Tap
The Koolatron mini beer kegerator is yet another beer cooler that was made to dispense the Heineken and Newcastle pressurized beer kegs. The Koolatron looks very “cool” indeed, does a great job pouring a good pint and keeps your beer cold and crisp. One thing we noticed over the Edgestar and Krups kegerators is that this one ran a bit quieter than the other two. Not a huge difference, but something you may want to consider depending on the space you are going to be using it.
I haven’t had a chance to use this one, but have heard good things about it.
Avanti 1.7-Cubic Foot Beer Dispenser
The consistent comments I hear about the Avanti beer dispenser is that it is “ok”. It is a bit larger than it looks in the picture and isn’t a stylish as the BeerTender or Edgestar kegerators above. It keeps the beer cool, but the main complaint we hear is that the CO2 has to be turned off after each beer is poured. This can be a pain if you are serving many people or friends are helping themselves and forget to turn it on or off. The tubing is also quite small and causes you to pour sudsy and inconsistent pints.
Our recommendation would be to stay away from the Avanti beer dispenser and choose one of the others on this list.
Vinotemp VT-BEER 5-Liter CO2-Powered Tabletop Beer Dispenser
The Vinotemp beer dispenser is the only one on this list that works with a CO2 tank and includes three tanks to get you started. The inclusion of the CO2 tanks means that it will work with any mini keg. Many people use this kegerator for home brewed draft beer. Keep in mind though that if you are planning on using the Heinekin mini kegs you may not get very good results. The Heineken kegs are already pressurized so you may just get really foamy beer with trying to pour it through a pressurized system.
This will work best with kegs from micro-breweries or from your own personal brew kits.
Click here for more information about this kegerator.