Fine, OK, I’m guilty. I jumped the gun and got too excited to write about the horse before the carriage or is it the other way around? I don’t know, but anyhow, I first wrote about the fine beer tap handles to rig your man cave bar BEFORE talking about the actual BEER source! I am talking about the draft beer tank…the kegerator, lines, pressure cylinder, and all of the other good stuff to actually ATTACH the beer tap handles to. Whoops. So now, here’s a brief review for the considerations you’ll need to consider as you start planning the plan if you know what I mean.
I’m going to be talking about the 4 basic options here.
The keg- refrigerator (keg fridge).
that is commercially designed to hold half a keg and be placed anywhere, and can even be placed under a countertop at your man cave bar. The 2 options you’ll have here include a shiny cylinder sticking out of the top with a beer tap on it, OR a unit that is stored underneath the counter where tap lines run from the unit to the bar-top-mounted tower and tap like the ones we see in all of the pubs. These can be home built too with the tweaking of a mini fridge (i.e drilling holes and sealing things up).
The third version is the deep freezer. The Keezer.
that has been reconfigured to run at a different temperature, and hold more kegs inside than you could possible need. They call them Keezers. Here is a beauty done here as seen below courtesy of homebrewtalk.com. (click on the link there to see how that guy built his own and did a great job!). There are some gorgeous Keezers out there for sure!!
So where do we start?
Today we are going to be focusing on the basic, simple to purchase and install mini fridge unit that goes under the counter or stands alone. Why? Because we aren’t complicating this. I’d like to make this an easy-to-do project for 90% of the man caves out there. This way we order the unit, plug in a cable, run a line or two and we are set. No need to rebuild the whole basement for a beer keg system. We have lots of other things we want to do for the man cave as well so spare some time and money if you can. Keep it simple and make it look good. Easy-peazy.
The standard kegerator appliance is like any other kitchen appliance in that there are a variety of finishes, styles, and prices. The keg is tucked inside the fridge along with the carbon dioxide unit, and the beer is fed up through the top through the tap. There are definitely some really nice ones, and the prices range from about 400 bucks to a few thousand. You can go here to take a peak. Amazon has some great and easy options to choose from.
The options you’ll have with the second style being the counter top tower-mount are quite different. In my opinion, if you want to keep things nice and tidy, you should put the kegerator under the bar counter top and behind the cupboard door or some sort of fascia, then run lines to the tower which sits atop your granite-clad bar.
This way, all that is visible is the nice tower and custom taps on top of the counter. Also, if you are running “lines”, then in reality you could put the main unit in the furnace room and run lines from there. There’d be more cleaning options to consider, but this could work as well.
Can you keep a keg in the cooler months at a time?
Well, you can but the beer won’t be fresh if you have already tapped the keg so the answer is NO, you don’t because they actually don’t last much longer than approximately two months anyway so unless you are a heavy-duty beer drinker, and to each his/her own, it will be too much.
And, if you don’t think there is place for a kegerator system, think about this: there is a beautiful thing about having the system in place and ready to go…And that is for your friend gatherings or parties.
This is why you will eventually want to have a keg system in your man cave. Having 5-10 friends over is going to be an easy way to enjoy all of the volume of the keg in one night. Or if you are hosting a gathering with friends who are in visiting for the weekend, equally as great. Don’t believe me? See for yourself. Try this calculator:
….and IF you live in a College or University Dormitory AND share it with a few guys or gals AND darn well know that you will be drinking lots of beer pool your money, buy the standalone version and you’ll be set. You’ll probable save money as well so REALLY consider it. Just make sure you enjoy things in moderation which is clearly what you are going to do anyway.
P.S. Can someone send me a “keg stand” photo to go here?? Cheers!