Upgrade Your Tailgate With a Mini Keg

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While a chilled can or bottle is a great way to drink beer, there’s something about draft that can’t be topped. Whether it’s purely in your head or you follow the scientific reasoning behind it, enjoying your beer from a keg feels like the right way to do it. However, where kegs and taps are easily found in bars and restaurants, enjoying kegged beer at home feels like too much hassle. That was until the invention of the mini keg.

Mini kegerators, or mini kegs, offer an easy way to enjoy beer on tap wherever you want without needing to install permanent pumping equipment. These portable devices are comparatively lightweight and, therefore, ideal for parties, weddings, home bars, tailgates and more. 

It’s important to understand that getting your beer from your keg to glass usually involves several steps, including cooling, coupling, gassing and then pouring. Luckily, many of these steps are often built into these handy devices. 

Some mini kegs will turn any can or bottle of beer into draft beer, but others need to be filled with pure liquid. Thankfully, the rise of craft breweries means that filling growlers is usually quite easy. In addition, small-volume kegs are increasingly available from both small brewers and national brands, making these at-home taps a much more feasible and easier option for drinking beer than in the past.

We’ve put together a list of the 11 best mini kegs, which are ideal for delivering delicious draft beer. Get one to upgrade your party, whether you’re tailgating before the big game or gathering with friends to enjoy the summer weather.

1. NutriChef Pressurized Growler Tap System

BEST OVERALL

The NutriChef Pressurized Growler Tap System includes a stainless steel keg, brass tap, neoprene koozie and everything you need to put your home beer tap together. It sports a home brew CO2 system, which keeps your beverages carbonated and fresh throughout the day. The 128-ounce capacity is the size of two standard growlers, and the heavy duty stainless steel construction and built-in handles make it easy to transport your tap system. In addition, the precise regulator allows you to fine tune the pressure of your beer to help achieve the perfect head.

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2. Lamtor Mini Keg Style Growler Barrel

BEST BUDGET

Constructed from food-grade stainless steel with two handles, the Lamtor Mini Keg Style Growler Stainless Steel Barrel is an easy way to transport your beer while keeping it fresh and pressurized for longer. The barrel itself includes a stainless steel cap, an integrated O-ring and inner threads, which allow for the attachment of a mini-keg dispenser for fresh tapped beer. This piece also features an exhaust valve for easy pressure adjustment in the keg.

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3. YaeBrew Stainless Steel Mini Ball Lock Keg System

BEST FOR HOME BREW

Love home-brewed beer? Need a place to store and dispense it? Then the YaeBrew Stainless Steel Mini Ball Lock Keg System is your answer. It features a 2.6 gallon capacity and is constructed from stainless steel, which is lightweight and durable. The powerful little keg system allows you to pressurize your beer with additional CO2 tanks and keep it stored, ready for consumption. Then, when it’s time to party, simply pick up your keg and enjoy your beer fresh from the portable keg.

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4. G Francis Mini Keg Kit

BEST ALL-IN-ONE SYSTEM

The G Francis Mini Keg with Mini Keg Regulator and Beer Dispenser includes everything you need to take your beer from production to tap. The dispenser is available in two different sizes and comes with a regulator and dispenser. There’s also a pressure gauge which lets you fine tune the pressure to ensure the perfect carbonation and head production when poured. This system is a handy way to keep a load of your favorite beer, iced tea or soda exactly how you want it until it’s time to drink. It’s ideal for barbecues, parties and tailgating.

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5. PERA Beer Mini Kegs Craft Beer Dispenser

MOST PORTABLE

If you regularly find yourself wanting to enjoy a beer in different places, whether it be a campsite, a friend’s house or at a tailgate, you’re going to need a mini keg capable of coming with you. With the PERA Beer Mini Kegs Craft Beer Dispenser, you’ll get exactly what you need. This easily transportable keg is available in three different sizes depending on how much beer you’re going to consume, and includes both an attachable CO2 regulator and a beer tap. The keg is made from a tough stainless steel for durability and has two built-in handles for easy transportation.

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6. BACOENG Pressurized Keg Growler

BEST FOR CRAFT BEER

The BACOENG Pressurized Keg Growler is made to keep your beer fresh and cold. The 128-ounce stainless steel construction includes handy carrying handles and also includes a dual-stage regulator and durable faucet dispenser. It’s a great way to store and transport your home brews or favorite craft beers for enjoying with friends. Just take this keg to your favorite brewery to be refilled time and again. The variable regulator lets you stay in control of your beer’s carbonation to deliver the perfect head and taste.

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7. Fizzics DraftPour Beer Dispenser

BEST FOR DRAFT FROM A SINGLE BOTTLE

If you really do want to turn any can or bottle into a draft beer, it’s time to invest in the Fizzics DraftPour Beer Dispenser. To enjoy tap poured beer, all you have to do is open your can or bottle, place it under the removable cover and then use the tap as you would any other. The tap itself also includes two different pouring options, one for normal beer and the other for micro-foam, which is ideal for creating the perfect head on your pour. The sleek design makes it a great addition to any game room, home bar or tailgating party.

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8. Spotted Dog Company Premium Craft Beer Tower

BEST FOR ADJUSTABLE PRESSURE

The Spotted Dog Company Premium Craft Beer Tower has received top marks from over 90% of Amazon’s users and remains popular for its ease of use and solid design. The five-liter tower has plenty of space for your beverage of choice and includes an adjustable pressure valve, allowing you to control the pressure and keep your beer tasting fresh for weeks without a problem. The design also includes a handy pouring tap and comes with a neoprene insulated sleeve to help keep your beer chilled.

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9. GrowlerWerks uKeg Carbonated Growler

MOST ATTRACTIVE

The GrowlerWerks uKeg Carbonated Growler is available in three different finishes. No matter whether you choose the stainless steel, copper or black chrome finish, this attractive mini keg is a stylish addition to any home bar or tailgating party. It sports a handy carrying handle around the neck and also has a built-in tap, sight glass and pressure gauge to keep you in control of your drink. The lid allows for pressure adjustments, while the double-walled construction helps maintain the temperature inside your keg.

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10. COLDBREAK Jockey Box

BEST FOR COLD BEER

If you love nothing more than a “cold one,” ensure your beer comes out of the tap that way with this well insulated COLDBREAK Jockey Box. The box design is perfect for tailgating and any other parties where cool draft beer is desired. It’s easy to hook up the box to your keg full of beer and equally as easy to clean up when the party’s over. It’s important to note the box doesn’t include the keg or dispensing kit, which will need to be bought separately.

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11. Kegco Kegerator

BEST SPLURGE

The Kegco Kegerator includes a complete keg tapping kit, meaning all you need to do is bring your keg, attach it, switch on the kegerator and start enjoying chilled draft beer. The fridge-like design is capable of housing small to full size kegs and includes a number of internal and external mounts for holding tanks in place. It’s available in either a black or stainless steel finish and can also be used as a standard beer fridge for cans and bottles when required. This kegerator is a great choice for large parties and serious beer-drinking get togethers.

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