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 of a hassle. At least, until the advent 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 and tailgates.
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 craft beer into draft beer, but others need to be filled with pure liquid. Thankfully, the rise of craft breweries means that filling up on the good stuff is 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 10 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 Beer Mini Keg System
When it comes to mini kegs, there’s no better brand than NutriChef. Their latest all-inclusive portable keg is definitely easy on the eyes, but while it may look like a quaint little kegger, this baby can hold up to 64 ounces. Perhaps even more impressive, it’s able to keep your beer fresh for up to two whole months. Where traditional fridges fail, this ultra-pressurized keg system is designed to keep your beer vacuum-pressed and, thereby, fresher much longer. If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, you can’t go wrong here.
2. Lamtor Mini Keg Style Growler Barrel
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 a long time. 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.
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.
4. Fizzics Original Portable Beer System
At just the right size, this mini keg is small enough to take with you but large enough to hold a growler. Unlike other mini kegs, this one doesn’t require an extra CO2 or nitrous canister in order to use; all you gotta do is insert your beer, pull the tap and voila! You’re holding the perfect beer without ever having to put your phone down. No cords, no cartridges, no mess. This baby only needs 4 AA batteries in order to work its magic.
5. DrinkTanks 64oz Travel Keg
BEST TRAVEL KEG
Whether you’re tailgating or planning on spending a long weekend doing absolutely nothing, this sleek-looking travel keg is designed to keep your brews cold for up to 45 hours (and, inversely, your hot drinks warm up to 25 hours). One of the best mini kegs for tailgates on the road, this product is made with high-quality stainless steel coupled with an extra durable vacuum insulation, so it’s incredibly sturdy. Sure, your hops may have a little more foam, but you won’t lose a drop. This one also comes with its own CO2 injector and cartridges.
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 min 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.
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.
8. GrowlerWerks uKeg Carbonated Growler
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.
9. COLDBREAK Jockey Box
BEST FOR COLD BEER
If you love nothing more than a “cold one,” ensure your beer comes out of the tap at the right temperature with this well insulated COLDBREAK Jockey Box. The design is perfect for tailgating and any other parties where cold 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 purchased separately.
10. Kegco Kegerator
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.