A kegerator is a specialized refrigerator which is designed to maintain a keg of beer at a constant cool temperature, equipped with taps which can be used to dispense the beer. Several companies manufacture kegerators, and it is also possible to modify an existing fridge so that it can be used for beer. In addition to being utilized for beer kegs, these refrigerators can also hold kegs of nonalcoholic drinks like soda.
Bars and restaurants often store the draft beers they like to serve chilled in a kegerator for convenience, and the device can also be used by people who like to serve draft beer at home, such as microbrewers. Additionally, some party rental facilities provide kegerator kits for parties, receptions, and other events when draft beer may be desirable.
In addition to accommodating a keg, a kegerator also holds a tank of pressurized gas which is used to maintain pressure in the keg. Pressurization is important, because it helps to keep the beer from going bad, and it is used to maintain pressure in the line so that when the tap is pulled, beer comes out. This tank requires a regulator for safety and control of the pressure, and people who are not familiar with pressurized gas should receive training before installing a kegerator.
The basic design holds a single keg and gas tank. However, it is possible to have multiple kegs and taps, as is done in restaurants and bars where several draft beers are offered. Usually, multiple tap kegerators are substantially more expensive because they require more extensive outfitting. Kegerators can also come with features like wheels which make them easy to move around, or external monitors which alert people when the level of beer gets low, so that they can prepare or order a new keg.
When selecting or making a kegerator, people should think about how the device is going to be used, and where it will be used. While kegs come in fairly standard sizes, some breweries do use slightly unusual shape or size configurations which could become an issue in a kegerator, and it is also important to remember to accommodate a gas tank and the associated regulator and tubing. Some considerations to think about include ease of cleaning inside the device, along with ease of moving so that the area under the kegerator can be cleaned or so that the kegerator can be employed in a different location.