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Beer Draft Cooler Buyers' Guide

on January 19, 2024

There's nothing quite like enjoying a refreshing, chilled draft beer after a lengthy day, and a beer draft cooler is the key to ensuring that delightful experience at home. These coolers provide a straightforward and convenient solution for keeping your beers cool and readily available, all while creating extra room in your refrigerator. 

What is a Beer Draft Cooler?

A beer draft cooler, also known as a draft beer system, is a setup used to store and dispense draft beer. These systems are made up of various components such as CO2 tanks, regulators, air lines, gas blenders, beer lines, keg couplers, draft towers, and faucets, all of which work together to ensure the beer is dispensed at the right temperature and pressure.

Commercial Beer Draft Cooler: The Ultimate Beverage Oasis

Commercial beer draft cooler, also known as beer draft refrigerators, beer draft centers or beer keg coolers, are specifically designed to house and cool a variety of beverages, with a primary focus on draft beers. Their versatility extends to accommodating soft drinks, canned and bottled beers, seltzers, and even certain wines. Equipped with shelves, typically constructed from metal or glass, these coolers cater to different drink styles. Some models come with removable shelves, adding a layer of convenience for customization.

Available in freestanding or built-in versions, beer draft coolers offer flexibility in placement. Freestanding units require clearance around them for proper heat dissipation, while built-in models vent hot air from the front, seamlessly integrating with cabinetry and eliminating the need for as much clearance.

Design Features for Optimal Beverage Experience

One of the distinctive features of beer draft coolers is their thoughtful design. The inclusion of shelves, often made of durable materials like metal or glass, allows for efficient organization and presentation of beverages. Some manufacturers take it a step further by providing models with adjustable or even removable shelves, catering to different bottle and can sizes and shapes. This flexibility not only enhances the visual appeal of the cooler but also adds a practical aspect for those who prefer customization.

Glass doors are another common feature in commercial beer draft cooler. These doors serve a dual purpose: providing visibility into the cooler's contents and adding an aesthetic touch. Being able to see the selection without opening the door not only saves energy but also adds a touch of sophistication, making these beer coolers suitable for various settings, from kitchens to home bars.

Freestanding vs. Built-In: Tailoring to Your Space

The choice between freestanding and built-in beer draft coolers depends on your space and design preferences. Freestanding units are more versatile in terms of placement but require some clearance around them for proper ventilation. This allows the unit to dissipate heat efficiently, ensuring optimal performance.
On the other hand, built-in beer draft coolers are designed to seamlessly integrate with cabinetry. Their front ventilation system eliminates the need for significant clearance, offering a sleek and cohesive look.

This design makes them a popular choice for those looking to create a designated beverage area within their kitchen or home bar. The decision between freestanding and built-in ultimately boils down to your available space and the aesthetic you want to achieve.

How Cool Can a Beer Draft Cooler Get?

One crucial factor that sets commercial beer draft coolers apart is their ability to maintain specific temperature ranges conducive to preserving the quality and flavor of draft beers and other beverages. While the temperature range can vary by manufacturer, beer draft coolers typically maintain temperatures between 40 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

This range is carefully chosen to cater to the optimal serving temperatures for various beverages. Draft beers, for example, are best enjoyed at slightly colder temperatures, enhancing their crispness and flavor. However, it's important to note that beer keg cooler may not be suitable for storing food, as most food items require temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, a range lower than what a beer draft cooler provides.

Distinguishing Beer Draft Coolers from Refrigerators

Comparing beer draft coolers to regular refrigerators reveals a purposeful divide in their design and functionality. Refrigerators are primarily designed for food storage and must maintain temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the safety and freshness of perishable items. Beer draft coolers, on the other hand, are exclusively for beverages, with a particular emphasis on draft beers.

Beyond the temperature difference, commercial beer draft coolers often feature glass doors for visibility. This design choice is both practical and aesthetic, allowing users to see their beverage selection without opening the door, thus minimizing temperature fluctuations. Additionally, some beer draft coolers may lack adjustable shelves, a common feature in refrigerators, as they are tailored to the specific dimensions of beverage containers.

The Mini-Fridge Comparison: Size Matters

Mini-fridges share some similarities with beer draft coolers but are distinguishable by their size and internal design. Mini-fridges are generally more compact, making them suitable for smaller spaces such as dorm rooms or offices. However, their smaller size also limits their beverage storage capacity compared to beer draft coolers.

The internal design of mini-fridges includes compartments for food, cheese, and beverages, reflecting their multifunctional nature. For safe food storage, the fridge must maintain a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent bacterial growth. This fundamental difference in design makes mini-fridges versatile for various storage needs but less specialized for the unique requirements of draft beers and other beverages.

Garage Placement: A Cooling Conundrum

One common question regarding beer draft coolers is whether they can be placed in the garage. In most cases, beer draft coolers can be positioned anywhere with the appropriate power supply, as long as they are not exposed to the elements. However, placing a beer cooler in an uninsulated garage might present challenges.
Garages, especially in regions with extreme temperature fluctuations, can expose the beer draft cooler to conditions that may affect its efficiency.

The unit may need to work harder to maintain the desired temperature range, potentially impacting its overall performance. It's advisable to consider the ambient temperature of the garage and, if necessary, take steps to insulate the space or provide additional ventilation to ensure optimal cooling performance.

Selecting the Best Beer Draft Cooler

Choosing the ideal commercial beer draft cooler for your space involves considering various factors, from the available space and design preferences to the types of beverages you plan to store. Freestanding units offer versatility in placement, while built-in models provide a seamless integration option for a cohesive look.

Temperature control is a critical aspect, and understanding the specific needs of the beverages you enjoy is key to making the right choice. Consider the temperature range offered by different models and how well it aligns with the optimal serving temperatures for your preferred drinks.

Shelf design and visibility are also important considerations. If you enjoy showcasing your beverage selection, a beer draft cooler with glass doors and customizable shelves might be the perfect fit. On the other hand, if you have specific dimensions for your favorite beverage containers, look for models with adjustable or removable shelves to accommodate varying sizes.

Exploring the variety of beverage and wine coolers available at Vancouver Restaurant Supply can be a great starting point in finding the perfect beer draft cooler for sale. Whether you're creating a bar or enhancing your kitchen setup, investing in the right and best beer draft cooler can elevate your experience.

Beer Coolers Available at Vancouver Restaurant Supply

At Vancouver Restaurant Supply, there are different types of beer coolers available, including direct draw keg coolers and beer bottle coolers. The direct draw keg coolers come in various sizes, such as the Atosa 90" Direct Draw Keg Cooler (MKC90GR) with three doors and a capacity of 30.1 cu. ft., the Atosa 58" Direct Draw Keg Cooler (MKC58GR) with two doors and a capacity of 17.3 cu. ft., and the Atosa 68" Direct Draw Keg Cooler (MKC68GR) with two doors and a capacity of 21.5 cu. ft. These coolers maintain temperatures between 33°F – 40°F and are equipped with heavy-duty compressors and environmentally friendly refrigerants.

Additionally, there are beer bottle coolers available in various styles and sizes, suitable for both personal and commercial use, including commercial beer bottle coolers for bars and reach-in beer coolers with adjustable shelving and spacious interiors.


In conclusion, a commercial beer draft cooler is not just a cooling appliance; it's a gateway to a premium beverage experience. Whether you're a craft beer enthusiast, a fan of draft beverages, or someone who enjoys a variety of chilled drinks, a beer draft cooler is designed to cater to your preferences with precision.

From its thoughtful design features, such as adjustable shelves and glass doors, to the choice between freestanding and built-in models, a beer cooler offers a level of customization that enhances both functionality and aesthetics. The temperature control capabilities ensure that your beverages are always served at their best.