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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 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. As we head into colder, more fall-like weather, kegging your own beer can turn into a brand new hobby for you and your friends and family to enjoy, especially when blended with seasonal spices.
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 12 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 includes a stainless steel cap, an integrated O-ring and inner threads, which allow for the attachment of a mini-keg dispenser for freshly 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 FZ403 DraftPour Beer Dispenser
BEST DRAFT FROM A SINGLE BOTTLE
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. Unlike Fizzics’ previous model, this dispenser has the ability to hold all beer cans and bottle types without any problem. Additionally, it’s packed with newer features like USB power and a 25% faster pour. No cords, no cartridges, no mess. This baby only needs two AA batteries in order to work its magic.
5. TMCRAFT 64oz Mini Keg
Keep your homemade brew constantly fresh and tasting great for months at a time with the handsome, sleek black TMCRAFT 64oz mini keg fit for any at-home brew-master. It’s jam-packed with everything you need in a great keg — a food-grade stainless steel material that keeps the beer’s flavor even after a couple of months, an extremely accurate PSI degree to ensure your beer has the perfect amount of fizz and an insulated jacket that keeps your keg freezing cold outside when serving up your homebrew to friends and family. Plus, the all-black exterior is way too good-looking. What else could you need?
6. Home Brew Ohio Mini Keg
If you’re looking to get as close as it gets to the look of a full-sized keg, we’ve got you covered with this Home Brew Ohio mini keg that makes it seem like your average-sized keg gave birth. It’s awesome for home brewing and helps make your beer taste awesome. It can also be used inside the house as a novelty for somebody who collects growlers or for someone who loves making beer in their home. Although it’s fully functional, it’s also a beautiful desktop sitter.
7. 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 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.
8. 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 homebrews 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.
9. Uncommon Goods Lightweight Outdoor Keg
When it comes to travel kegs, you’re going to need something lightweight and easy to carry. Nobody wants to lug around a keg on a hike, you know what we mean? Like our DrinkTanks keg, this lightweight keg from Uncommon Goods is an excellent alternative with a decently similar design aside from just a few small features. Though they’re the same price and hold the same capacity (64 oz.) this keg has a top handle instead of DrinkTanks side handle, which could be an easier way to carry on your journey. There is also less of a chance that the keg will spill. No matter where you’re bringing this, it’ll certainly ensure you won’t go thirsty — or sober, for that matter.
10. GrowlerWerks uKeg Carbonated Growler
The GrowlerWerks uKeg Carbonated Growler is available in three different finishes. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.