Buying the Best Beer Fridge
Welcome to your ultimate guide to buying the best beer fridge for your Man Cave.
We discuss all the possible different features and factors that you will need to consider when you are thinking of adding a beverage-cooling beer fridge to your Man Cave set up.
This handy guide breaks down all the features you need to consider when deciding which beer fridge to buy (you may not even have thought about some these features before!). Beer fridges aren’t cheap, so you need to weight up all the factors when buying one.
Now, let’s be honest, the beer fridge is a quintessential aspect of an ideal Man Cave. Even though many buyers will have different preferences, budgets, and desires, there is no doubt about the fact that the beer fridge make or break a set up.
Whether you’re looking for easy convenience to help fuel a gaming session, or you need large supplies to fuel your friends during a big football match, the beer fridge is an important weapon to have at your disposal.
For example, have you considered that some beer fridges come with a handy feature that allows you to reverse which side the hinge of the door is on? Perhaps not!
We will run through many other important features as well.
For instance, you might want to consider the size of the beer fridge, its running noise, the door and various other lighting and aesthetic features.
It is also important to remember that there is not necessarily a right or wrong – the most important factor to consider is the needs that you have, and exactly the type of beer fridge that you want will depend on your setup.
If you have a Man Cave that takes the extravagant form of a saloon bar, then of course your budget and aesthetic requirements may be different to a buyer looking for a mini fridge for a gaming set up.
You can of course build your own beer fridge and there is a good guide showing you how to do that here.
This guide will help you break down the different wants and needs and select one of the many beer fridges you can buy today that will be the pride of your Man Cave.
Oh and don’t forget – in case you missed it don’t forget to check out our favorite 12 beer fridges that you can buy right now.
The first feature that we are going to consider is arguably the most important consideration.
Simply put: how many drinks do you want your beer fridge to hold?
That’s naturally an important consideration because it depends completely on the set up.
As mentioned, your requirements here will be unique to your Man Cave.
If you are going to be having a cinema set up, for example, and expect to be sharing the space with family or friends, then a beer fridge with a greater capacity is going to be crucial.
You would never want to have to pause a film or interrupt a game at a key moment because you have to track back through your house to refill supplies – or worse, go out to buy more!
You also would not want to subject your guests to the horrors of a lukewarm beer!
You will find that most beer fridges are marketed according to their capacity in litres.
For this reason, you need to think about what beverages you will be storing in the beer fridge.
For example, a beer fridge with a 20 litre capacity could in general be expected to hold up to 40 x 500ml cans within it.
However, it is not always as simple as that.
You need to think specifically about the type of drinks you hope to be storing, as many beer fridges have shelf arrangements that are fit only for standard size Coke cans or other 330ml beer cans.
This could cause difficulties if you wanted to store different shaped beer bottles in your beer fridge.
Therefore, we recommend paying close attention to the product images and the shelf arrangement of any particular beer fridge.
Don’t splash out on a beer fridge to later find out that it can’t be used to keep your favorite beer cool!
Beer fridge capacity
So we’ve just looked at considering how much a beer fridge can hold, but an equally important consideration is its footprint – i.e., how much space will the unit take up in your Man Cave?
The best beer fridge for you will not only look good and function well, but it will also fit perfectly in your space and help maximize the efficiency of your room.
It goes without saying that you will probably want a larger refrigerator or cooler if you have a bigger space, so make sure when you are looking at specific beer fridges that you are paying close attention to the overall dimensions of the beer fridge.
In essence, make sure your new fridge will fit in the space where you want it to go! It may sound obvious, but it’s a mistake people can make.
For example, if you are purchasing a larger beer fridge to fit under a bar, you don’t want to invest in a fridge and later find out that it is higher than the bar surface it is supposed to fit under.
Neither do you want to pick up a beer fridge bargain too quickly and then be shocked by its size when you have it delivered, as you will then realise that it is not an appropriate fit for your smaller office-sized gaming setup.
We recommend sizing up your space and having specific sizes in mind before even looking at other beer fridges.
Essentially, you should know two things first: how many drinks do you want to be chilling, and how much space can this unit take up.
Armed with this knowledge, it will be much easier for you to select the best possible beer fridge to keep your beverages cool.
A reversible hinge can give a big versatility boost to a beer fridge.
Some beer fridges come equipped with a handy feature that allows the hinge to operate from either the left or right side of the fridge, which means that the fridge can be opened from either side with the door swinging to the left or to the right.
For some prospective buyers this may not be an important consideration at all.
If the beer fridge stands alone in a room and has lots of space all around then it may not be important which way the door opens since it is easily accessible regardless.
However, for those with more limited fridge space this can be a very handy little feature.
If you are placing your beer fridge just to the side of a seating area, for example, making sure the door swings outward might make it much easier to access a beer quickly and not have to reach around the door.
While this may not at first seem like the most crucial feature, and indeed for you it may not be, at the end of the day we all want our Man Caves to be perfect, right down to the smallest feature.
And if this means being able to grab a beer without moving from the comfort of your chair, or ensuring that a bar can be operated most quickly and efficiently, then this could certainly be a feature to look out for.
Likewise, even if you may not specifically look for a reversible hinge, this is a good reminder that hinge placement is something to look out for in a prospective fridge.
Energy consumption and efficiency
The next aspect that you will want to consider when purchasing a Man Cave beer fridge is energy efficiency.
This is an important aspect to consider because even though price will be a very important consideration when selecting the beverage cooler that’s perfect for you, it will be wise to be careful that hidden costs can creep up in the long term in the form of energy being guzzled in by an inefficient fridge.
Whilst a shiny, huge mammoth of a beer fridge might initially seem like the most attractive proposition, it may prove to be a source of regret when you find that your energy bill is skyrocketing. This gets worse if your fridge is always empty or close to being empty.
Additionally, as much as life would be easy if you could spend every waking hour in your Man Cave, in reality is may not always be possible.
However, to keep your beers always at the right cool temperature the fridge is likely to be plugged in round-the-clock, or at least for more time than you are in the Man Cave.
As a result, it’s important to look at how energy efficient the refrigerator is.
It may well be the case that you get what you pay for, in the sense that investing more initially in a better quality and more efficient fridge could prove out to be a shrewder investment in the long-term.
In this day and age the cost of energy consumption is not always the only consideration.
You may also want to minimise carbon footprint, or at least be sensitive to the impact of your Man Cave on the environment – in which case a more energy efficient beer fridge would be even more beneficial.
Beer fridge temperature range
When looking at the huge choice of different beverage coolers that are on the market and considering all the other many features that we are outlining here, you would be mistaken for assuming that (at the very minimum) any fridge you could purchase would be guaranteed to keep your beer or soft drink perfectly chilled.
However, in actual fact this is not always true.
There are many different types of beer fridges available and many of those, especially fridges that are low on price and seemingly an affordable option, are often found by reviewers to not be quite be powerful enough.
Those will of course keep your average drink more chilled than room temperature, but in order to guarantee that ice cold refreshing taste you expect to enjoy from the beer you hold in your hand, you may find it better to invest in a beer fridge that packs more of a punch.
But what exactly is this punch? In short, you’ll want to look for beer fridges that can keep drinks cooled to temperatures in the low-to-mid 30 degrees Fahrenheit range.
In practise, many fridges may not quite be able to achieve this, although the high 30 degrees Fahrenheit range will actually be sufficient for most users .
The best way to look out for this is to pay attention to the reviews.
If a customer purchases a beer fridge but it is not actually powerful enough to keep beers at a cool temperature, naturally this is something that will be flagged as an issue in the review.
Digital temperature readout
As well as being able to chill your beverage to an optimum temperature, the advanced and best-performing beer fridges will often come with more sophisticated temperature control features.
For example, you may want to look out for beer fridges that have a digital temperature readout feature.
A readout will (1) make sure that a beer is at the optimum temperature when you come to drink it, and (2) give you peace of mind that all contents are being cooled and chilled to absolute perfection
Additionally, as well as being basic cooling devices, beer fridges that allow you to control the temperature will give you the extra precision and “personal touch” for your Man Cave.
Every person is different and one person’s definition of chilled may be very different to another’s.
Having this temperature control allows you to customise your Man Cave a level further, and make sure that your friends and family (or indeed just yourself!) do not have to worry about a drink being not exactly to their liking.
You want your beverage cooler to be cool – in more ways than one!
The noise that a beer fridge emits while running is the next thing that you should take into consideration when deciding which beer fridge to buy for your Man Cave.
This is actually something that lets down a lot of beverage chillers, since those that are budget or more premium energy guzzling beasts can all fall victim to suffering from high ambient running noise.
Again, this is something that may not be such an important consideration depending on the specifics of your Man Cave, or wherever you are intending to put the beer fridge.
If you’re planning to have your beer fridge in a room that will generally have more ambient noise in it anyway the, a slightly noisier beer fridge might not be a problem whatsoever.
However, if you are putting it in a Man Cave which will serve as an office or cinema room then you would probably want something that runs quietly in the background. Everyone needs a tranquil environment to enjoy tense moments in a movie. In that scenario a noisy beer fridge might won’t cut it.
Once more, this is the kind of issue that becomes very apparent in reviews.
Fridges that are just too plain noisy are often called out by reviewers, so it may be wise to check the beer fridge reviews very closely for this specific point if you want to mitigate the risk – if of course it’s an important factor for you.
Another thing to look out for is whether the fridge has a door lock, which is a feature that comes with some fridges you can buy, but not all.
This may not be something that is relevant for your Man Cave, but for some people the presence of a door lock will give that extra peace of mind.
You would not want a younger child to stumble upon a treasure trove of sugary drinks, or perhaps you would not want an older teenager and his/her friends helping themselves to your prized stash of premium beer!
In such instances, you will want to keep your refreshing goods locked away safely. If you have a Man Cave in a garden shed or outbuilding, this may also provide you with the comfort of a handy extra layer of security in the event of any unfortunate break-in.
We spoke earlier about paying close attention to the capacity and shelf configuration.
These are all very important factors when determining for the optimum beverage cooler or beer fridge for your Man Cave.
However, even in instances where you may not be sure that a given configuration is ideal for the drink you want to store, you will find that helpfully, some beer fridges come equipped with the function to move the shelves around.
This brings with it a very useful amount of flexibility because it means that not only can you store a wider range of drinks, but you are also covered in case further down the line you find a new brand of beer which you can still easily fit in your fridge by adjusting the shelf spacing.
The option to remove shelves entirely will also be essential for those who wish to store much larger bottles in the beer fridge, such as wine bottles or larger soft drinks and beer bottles.
All in all, this may not be the feature at the top of your priorities, but nonetheless we’ve got you covered – at least now it’s something that you can decide for yourself whether or not you need to consider it.
Beer fridge freezer space
While this is a feature that for me is a non-negotiable for the best beer fridges, it is a shame to note that in actual fact it is missing from most reasonably-priced beer fridges on the market.
A freezer for your beer fridge will give your space more versatility, since for example it is unlikely that you are intending to store your beer fridge in the kitchen.
After all, we’re talking about Man Cave fridges here!
If you have friends over and it’s a hot summer’s day, for example, being able to have ice cubes, ice cream and other frozen snacks and goodies on hand would certainly go down well with the crowd.
Honestly, for this reason I am still always surprised that many new beer fridges on the market don’t come equipped with a mini freezer. However, you need not always be disappointed because some do!
You should not always expect this to come as a total freebie because the addition of a freezer may well come at the expense of additional energy consumption and therefore running cost.
At the very least you are likely to pay a premium within the overall beer fridge cost if it comes with a freezer space, so think carefully if you need this first before you take the plunge!
Bottle opener on door
It could well be the most fundamental feature of them all – you need to be able to open your bottles of beer!
Of course, it is very likely that most readers and prospective beer fridge buyers will already have one two three or maybe even ten bottle openers, so it’s unlikely to be a top need.
That said, the essence of every Man Cave is to be able to hibernate, relax and let’s face it – be lazy!
You don’t want to be caught out by realising that your bottle opener is in fact back in the house or in another room and that you have to leave the comfort of your Man Cave to fetch it!
For that reason, a beer fridge with a bottle opener on its door or attached to the outside can act as an insurance policy for the forgetful amongst us.
Not only that, but being able to crack your cold beer open right there on the fridge itself is a cool look. And we’re all about cool!
This is of course quite a fundamental feature, but I feel that it is underrated as a conscious consideration when it comes to choosing the perfect beer fridge for your Man Cave.
Ultimately, it can be broken down into two things to think about.
Firstly, how do you want the fridge to look? Being able to see the treats that lie within the fridge might elevate the aesthetic of your space, while others might prefer the sleeker look of a standard fridge door.
Secondly, though, the make-or-break factor here is the extent to which you plan to be keeping your fridge full.
If you know that you plan to keep your beverage cooler regularly well stocked and tidy, you might well prefer to go for a fridge where you can see the fruits that lie within.
This will really give your Man Cave appeal.
On the other hand, if you don’t necessarily know how regularly you will be using your Man Cave or indeed your beer fridge, it might not be feasible to always keep it full to the brim with refreshments.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping stock levels lower – probably wise, in fact – but this may mean that it might be smarter to avoid having a glass front, maintaining elegance and the look of perfection in your hideaway.
Other beer fridge features
Personal preferences very much come into play here.
What do you like visually?
For many people that may well be more important than any number of other practical features.
Of course, you’ll still want a beer fridge that functions and performs well, but there’s no point having all the advanced features in the world if you have to seriously sacrifice the ‘cool factor’.
Now, in my opinion beer fridges themselves are inherently cool, so a beer fridge of any kind has the potential to be an upgrade for your Man Cave.
That said, some beer fridges on the market are that extra level of snazzy.
It’s a simple feature that you’d expect to find in a conventional kitchen fridge, but some beer fridges or mini fridges light up when the door is opened, whereas others don’t.
It’s certainly never a bad thing to have your prized refreshing goods illuminating tantalisingly as the door opens – a real treat.
Additionally, it’s not uncommon to find beer fridges with funky LED lighting.
Such a feature would really help your space command some serious respect.
Well, there you have it. We all need a beer fridge in our lives but if you need any persuading then this might help.
The list of considerations is pretty exhaustive and I think it’s safe to say that all avenues have certainly been covered there.
But on top of all the practical features and analysis of each point, there’s been a clear and consistent theme running throughout this article.
Namely, it’s very much the case that there are different strokes for different folks.
Current and prospective Man Cave owners out there are all very privileged to be able to choose from such a wide selection of beer fridges and beverage coolers and for that reason the primary focus should always be on choosing one that best suits your space.
Before you’ve even looked at specific beverage coolers and fridges I would urge you to look at your space.
Grab a measuring tape, and size up – is there a height that you cannot exceed?
If you’re planning to place it between two other units, might you be constricted by width?
Being armed with this knowledge will allow you to immediately narrow down your search.
Then, you may wish to draw up a list of the four or five features most important to you.
Pick out a few beer fridges that look good to you and score them against your criteria.
There aren’t that many cheap beer fridges on the market so in my opinion you really can’t go wrong with a more scientific method of narrowing them down.
It’s important to make a solid investment that will last and go down well with the folks.
After all that, it’ll be high time to sit down, put your feet up, and have a cold beer (other soft beverages available) on me!