With each passing day, the love of kegerators is growing among craft beer aficionados. Of course, the reasons are not hard to find. The capacity to easily dispense your beer chilled and delicious is one to savor. But then not everyone can cough out the average $600 a kegerator costs. So you must have thought of renting one. What should you consider when renting a kegerator?
The kegerator size, the amount of space available for keeping it, the rental interval, cancellation policy, and your budget are critical factors when choosing a kegerator for rent. When renting kegerators, get a unit that comes with a complete tap kit and other necessary accessories. Note that some providers would request you to provide a down payment which is reimbursed if you successfully return the kegerator within the stated rental period and the anticipated condition.
There is admittedly so much to know about renting a kegerator. We will evaluate some of the critical considerations you should make, and how they affect the cost you would pay for the rental.
How much should you budget?
Inarguably, this is the first question on your mind. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this. The rental duration, the size of the kegerator, and the terms of renting would influence the rental cost.
You would understand the said factors vary across your location, the type of the kegerator, and the rental service provider themselves.
For context, if you are getting a mini-kegerator that typically sells for $500 on a two-day rental within your very locality, you shouldn’t be paying more than $50. But if you are renting full-size kegerators running into $2,500, you can expect to pay way more.
The rental duration is something worth pondering over. We don’t see much wisdom in renting a kegerator for over six months unless it is costly to buy. Otherwise, given such prolonged usage, you are better off buying one yourself.
Take note that the distance (where you stay or where you would use it) from the rental service provider matters too. If you are relatively far from the provider, expect them to charge you way more, given the increased liability on their end.
If you are within the neighborhood, a provider would charge you far less given how obtainable you are (yes, if things go wrong, haha!).
What amount of space do you have available?
Never make the error of renting a kegerator without giving a thought to where you would keep it. This is mainly if you are using it indoors. Of course, you don’t want to maneuver the kegerator around extremely tight corners.
The standard multi-keg kegerator would require anywhere between 2-3 sq. ft to be kept appropriately. Considering modern kegerators are fitted with draft towers, you could have your kegerator as tall as 4 feet.
Do you have this space available? No, and you would be fine renting a mini-kegerator. Mini-kegerators still impress at replicating the dispensing capacity of full-size kegerators.
They are way more portable and flexible, easily fitting into your countertop or even usable in transit. If you have enough space, you may preferably rent a built-in or freestanding kegerator.
Among these two categories, a built-in kegerator gives you broader installation options if you are using it indoors. This brings us to another major consideration, where would you use the rented kegerator?
Where are you using it?
The environmental conditions of where you would use your kegerator are consequential when renting a kegerator.
For example, if you rent an indoor kegerator (say because it is cheaper) and use it outdoors for a long, it could suffer noticeable deterioration. Eventually, you could end up paying more in damages when you return the kegerator after the rental period.
Ideally, if your intended use of the kegerator is outdoors – say in your background or patio or outdoor camping – you are best served to rent an outdoor kegerator.
These categories of kegerators are specifically engineered to withstand the ruggedness of outdoor weather conditions – far better than a typical indoor kegerator would.
Renting an outdoor kegerator is even more important when you would leave the kegerator outside for prolonged periods, in the case of long-term kegerator rentals.
Similarly, if you would be using the kegerator in a bar, it is best to rent a commercial kegerator. That said, there is little wisdom in renting a kegerator for a restaurant or bar.
You are way better off buying one yourself, given how substantial and sustained your kegerator usage would be – especially if you have a sizable portion of craft beer lovers among your customers.
How large is the drinking party?
Many people renting kegs for parties end up renting kegerators too small to satisfy the thirst of their guests or too small to last the drinking duration of the party. We all few things can be worse than the beer getting exhausted at a party.
On the other hand, people rent kegerators way bigger than the drinking capacity of their party – unfortunately wasting money on relatively higher rentals.
When renting a kegerator for an event, accurately decipher the number of anticipated attendees and, if possible, their drinking personality (in the case where it is a small-knit group).
Depending on the length of your party, one guest would averagely have one or two beers in 60 minutes. This brings us to the size of the kegerator as relating to the drinking party.
If you have a small cluster of attendees – typically of a camping trip or a homely tailgate party – you would barely need more than 4 liters of beer for the occasion.
In this situation, you can rent a mini-kegerator. These kegerators can hold up to 5 liters of beer, translating to a total of 11 pints for the drinking party. Normally, this should do.
If you have a bigger party, you may go for either a sixth barrel, quarter barrel, or a half barrel. The sixth barrel is your regular log keg, and this should provide up to 5 gallons of beer for the drinking party.
A pony keg can hold as much as 7.5 gallons. And for huge parties, it is best to rent half-barrel kegerators. This can supply as much as 15 gallons of beer to satiate the thirst of your guests.
Common FAQs when renting a kegerator
Beautiful, having exhausted the critical considerations you should make when renting a kegerator, we will take an exciting step further and answer some of the most prevalent questions thrown at us regarding kegerator rentals.
Would I need to pay a deposit before renting?
The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for this. From our experience, it most times depends on the level of risk exposure renting the kegerator out to you poses to the service provider.
From what we have seen, if you are using it at a distant destination or you altogether live far away from where you are renting it, the provider may request that you make a substantial down payment before renting it to you.
If you are renting really expensive kegerators, it is common for you to provide a down payment proportionate to the cost of the kegerator. We see this often when renting commercial kegerators running above $3000.
Often this down payment is not included in the rental cost and is usually reimbursed to you after you return the kegerator within the contracted time and in agreeable conditions.
That said, if you have established good faith or credibility with the service provider – typical of if you have successfully rented and returned kegerators from him severally – he could rent a premium kegerator out to you without asking for a deposit.
Can I get a discount on renting a kegerator?
From our experience, getting a discount on kegerators is not readily obtainable. As previously envisaged, it depends on the specific service provider, terms and conditions of rental, and the rental cost.
We have often seen cases where people enjoy discounts on their kegerator rental because of the prolonged period they rented it.
If you rent a kegerator for up to three months, you may fancy asking for a discount. Again, nothing is guaranteed.
Can I get upgrades on rentals?
This is quite a common scenario when you rent a kegerator long-term. Take a situation where there was an upscale in your kegerator needs (say, the drinking party got bigger).
Can you return the unit and swap it for a bigger one, paying a small differential on the bigger model? Or do you have to exhaust the rental period of the unit with you, paying new terms for the bigger one?
Well, this depends on the service provider. Some – definitely not all – have upgrade clauses in their agreement. This means that if you desire to step your kegerator up within the contracted period, you don’t need to pay for a bigger one all anew.
They would estimate the cost differential between the one with you and the superior one you desire. Factoring in the remaining period from your previous rental, you would only need to pay a relatively small margin to swap the one with you for a bigger one. This way, you can use the bigger one for the time left in the contracted period.
Can I cancel my kegerator rental?
We admit this is a tough situation. Canceling a subscription – just as in any industry – involves a really complicated process you can afford to do without.
Our advice when renting a kegerator is to keenly examine the terms and conditions of the transaction – if there is one drafted out.
Preferably, there should be clauses that allow you to return the rented kegerator if you notice any dysfunction or if it doesn’t meet your needs.
Usually, there should be a return window in the agreement. That said, we admit it can be exhausting trying to return a rented kegerator and get your money back.