When discussing mini kegerators, it is important to make the distinction between which type you are talking about. There is the kegerator that is made from a mini refrigerator, and then there is the mini kegerator gadget. The mini kegerator that is made from a mini fridge is a compact, but still largely immobile device that is usually home made, using half sized or even smaller fridges. The mini kegerator that is a gadget is a new appliance on the market. It is quite portable, and a good way to enjoy draft beer while on the go – that is what we are talking about here.
"Gadget" Mini kegerators are a new retail item that helps you to enjoy cold beer without the expense of owning a full-on kegerator. Mini kegerators are becoming a more and more affordable way to ensure that you have draft beer on the go. Most brands come with a variety of options, such as DC power, cleaning kits, and temperature control. Mini kegerators that dispense 5 liter mini kegs are made by Krups, Heineken, Avanti, EdgeStar, Vinotemp, and other companies as well, so there are a variety of models to choose from.
These gadgets are currently priced right around $200 – $300. For all practical purposes, the less expensive units do just as good a job as the more expensive ones. For example, the Avanti Mini-Pub Kegerator retails for about $230, and the Vinotemp Mini Keg Beer Dispenser retails for about $100 more – $330. The Avanti has the benefit of being more compact, and the Vinotemp has a better temperature regulator. So, unless you have really exacting temperature requirements for your beer, you might as well get the more inexpensive brand – it is more likely to fit in the trunk or boat, or whatever you are traveling in. General compact-ability is a feature of most mini kegerator gadgets – at least, compared to the mini fridge kegerator or a full-blown kegerator. For this reason, these compact mini kegerators have enjoyed popularity among the draft beer fan crowd.
One of the great advantages of the mini kegerator is that they come with AC and DC power supplies. This allows you to run the mini kegerator off of your car, RV, or boat battery, even solar systems can power these mini kegerators. This makes it easy to take a small amount of beer (standard mini kegs hold 5 liters) out for a picnic, boating, or car camping trip. Mini kegerators can also be easily installed into your RV or boat as a semi-permanent appliance.
New advances in refrigeration technology may see a whole revolution in the way we cool all manner of things, including beer. Researchers at Penn. State have made headway in electromagnetic cooling devices. These devices operate without the use of a compressor or of Freon, and, if commercially viable, will produce machines that are much more compact than the bulky fridges we are used to. On top of this, Ben and Jerry’s, the famous ice cream men, have developed a way to cool their dessert via sound waves. By using a machine that employs pressurized helium gas and ethyl alcohol as a cooling medium, they keep their ice creams at a delightfully cold level.
The increased popularity and availability of kegerators is likely to create an industry that is capable of harnessing these new technologies and putting them to good use. It seems clear that, with this latest invention of the mini kegerator, the kegerator industry is willing and capable of incorporating new, inventive ideas into its arsenal of products. In short, we are sure to see more and more interesting forms of kegerators in the coming years.
The new options that these mini kegerators provide give fans of draft beer an excellent opportunity to enjoy draft beer in a variety of settings. While in the past, draft beer fans have gone to great lengths to install kegerator systems in their R.V.s, now it as simple as shopping around for a convenient new appliance. Some day, we may see mini kegerators replacing coffee makers in the office (certain offices, anyways), or at least be seen side-by-side with them. As it is, we will see them on the beach, the mountain retreat campsite, at sea, and at the omnipresent tailgate party. Draft beer to-go has become a reality at last.