So you've decided to have a bar in your home or garage - or - maybe just that you want to have a kegerator. There's a lot that goes into making the right choice and optimizing your ability to have cold beer on draft. But, first, you need to establish the business case for making the investment in the first place. Is having draft beer any better than having cans and bottles? Do you indeed need a beer tap at home?
If you're like me, my initial hurdle was convincing my incredibly supportive wife that this was something we needed. A kegerator after all is not a cheap purchase and our existing mini fridges fully stocked with all varieties of cans and bottles certainly were not, not taking care of our needs. I've done the leg work for you and in three separate and compelling lines of logic have worked out why you need to buy a kegerator.
EASY KEG MATH. You can do keg math with any variety of keg, but, for illustrative purposes and given my love for this particular spirit, we'll use Guinness as an example.
Cost of a 1/2 barrel (bbl) Guinness Draught keg (approximately) $215.00
Cost of an 8 pack of 14.9 oz cans of Guinness Draught (approximately) $16.00
Number of 8 packs needed to equal a 1/2 bbl keg ---> 16.64
Cost Savings per Keg ($USD) $51.24
Depending on what you've got on tap and how much beer you go through, it won't take long for it to add up and the kegerator will literally pay for itself!
GO GREEN. If the potential wallet based savings aren't enough, consider the environmental savings to be had by using kegs instead of cans or bottles. Stainless steel kegs have a fairly long usable lifespan, with a life expectancy of around 30 years. Over this time, the average keg can be used around 120 times, equating to nearly 20,000 bottles or cans. The consumer recycling rate in 2019 was around 46.1 percent for bottles/cans so consider that about 9,000 of those bottles or cans won't hit the landfill. Further, in eliminating packaging, 40 percent of the carbon footprint of beer alone is removed. You're saving the planet by drinking draft beer.
TREAT YOURSELF. Keg beer is inevitably better than anything you'll pour out of a can or bottle. How many times have you heard someone say "it's so much better on draft?" Chances are it's been a lot, and chances are you're nodding right now in agreement. It's hard to scientifically prove that draft beer is better, but I think many could agree that a subtlety really to the nuance therein is that draft beer benefits from customizable pressure and temperature set-ups which leads to getting a different level of carbonation or texture in your mouth than what you get from a bottle or can. Take my Guinness example above...when I pour a Guinness from a can, it doesn't have the same energy or texture really that the same Guinness poured from my nitro faucet has. In the case of Guinness, I'm also able to draw in a clover in the foam with the faucet...not exactly something delivery from a can will allow. You're enhancing the experience by drinking draft beer!
Hopefully after reading this you see how great of an investment a kegerator is. As I'd mentioned in a previous post, the kegerator I have in my bar is a Danby Kegerator (here). In a future post I'll discuss how to customize your kegerator and items to consider when purchasing a kegerator.