Sometimes called a “Commercial Beer Dispenser” or “Kegerator,” keg coolers are ideal for storing and serving cold beer. Basically, keg coolers are half-height reach-ins with a tap tower and drain tray on top. They usually come as one, two, or three door units that can accommodate between one and five 15.5 gallon half barrels of beer. Stand alone and underbar units are available. Single door units on casters are perfect for catering, banquets, and poolside service. Keg coolers can also be used to serve kegs of wine and cider.
Traditionally, operators stored beer kegs in walk-ins and ran beer lines to the bar. With keg coolers, the kegs are closer to the bar. Beer travels a much shorter distance from keg to glass and arrives colder with no loss of carbonation and no need to purge lengthy beer lines at the beginning of every shift.Bartenders aren’t required to leave the bar area when changing out empty kegs, and walk-ins are left with more available space.
Look for the same features in a keg cooler that are desirable for any cooler such as self closing doors that can also be locked open when loading, magnetic door gaskets for easy cleaning and replacement, door locks for security, foamed in insulation, sturdy construction, and modern EPA approved refrigerants.
When selecting a unit, determine whether it vents in the front, rear, or side, and make sure you have sufficient clearance upon installation to allow for efficient operation of the refrigeration system.
When selecting a keg cooler, think about how many taps you need on the tap tower. A cooler designed to hold one 15.5 gallon half barrel of beer, should also be able to hold up to four 5.16 gallon 1/6th barrels of beer. If you purchase smaller kegs from your local beer distributor, you can offer more selections using the same cooler, but you’ll need a separate tap for each keg. Single door units are routinely specified with up to four taps on a single tower, and for two and three door units, multiple towers can be installed.