Choosing a draft beer system
A daft beer system can often be one of the best features in your home bar. With one you can always offer the finest, freshest beer in town to your friends. And there are many options open when considering a system to meet your needs. There are a number of questions you should ask yourself before investing in a system that does not meet your needs.
How much are you willing to spend? What is your budget?
Spending too much on a draft beer systems can be just as bad as spending too little. If you have an old refrigerator available and are willing to do a little work, you can convert it into a keg fridge with a refrigerator conversion kit. If you are willing to spend a little more, starting at $500 and you can get a brand new fridge designed specifically to serve draft beer. Above $1000 and you will be looking at commercial level keg refrigerator capable of hilding and serving up to 3 kegs.
How much space do you have? Where will you use the system?
If you are shopping for something to fit under an existing bar, than there are a number of under counter kegerators that will not only make installation a breeze, but also give you the professional look a finished bar deserves. If you are going to be using the system in a basement or garage, than again a conversion kit and an unused refrigerator is your better option.
How often will you need it? What is the primary purpose?
Due to their higher expense, the refrigerator committed solely to serving draft beer is not always the best answer. For serving draft beer at the occasional party in which the keg will be finished within a day or two, then you may be able to purchase a beer cooler with a metal cold plate. These do not chill the entire keg, rather they are able to quickly cool beer from a warm keg by passing it though a stainless steel plate immersed in ice. The result is ice-cold draft beer anywhere since you no longer need to have a refrigerator plugged in anywhere.
So if you plan on serving beer from a keg for longer periods of time and in a finished bar we recommend a dedicated beer refrigerator. If you would rather get by with a cheaper alternative, but still plan on keeping the beer for a longer duration, than get an old refrigerator and a conversion kit. But if you only want to serve cold beer at a party, than a draft beer cooler system is probably the most appropriate.