Craft beer partisans couldn’t agree more on one fact: few things in our universe can rival homely, fresh, and carbonated beer. This would perhaps explain the remarkable surge in the adoption of kegerators in the refrigeration and beer dispenser industry. Kegerators keep your beer fresh and ready anytime you need a pour in the comfort of your home. But even at that, why are kegerators becoming so expensive?
Averagely, kegerators cost between $600-$800. This may appear expensive, but a deeper evaluation of the build, functionality, and durability of kegerators justifies whatever investment you make in them in the longer term. Despite their initial steep price, Kegerators can end up saving you as much as 60% of your beer consumption cost. A quality kegerator is built with premium materials, from the CO2 tank to the faucet and beer tower. Their sturdiness and consequent durability validate the initial cost of procuring your kegerator.
We are constantly asked about the aggressively rising cost of kegerators. But are kegerators really expensive when measured against their long-term benefits for the typical beer lover?
Let us start by examining the total cost of a kegerator.
What would a kegerator cost you both in the immediate and long term?
First things first, a standard kegerator from some of the leading manufacturers in the market today would cost you $600 and higher.
These kegerators typically come with a complete kit for installation. That means you wouldn’t be paying extra for the likes of your regulator, drip tray, guard rail, or CO2 tank.
Now let us move into the long-term and maintenance cost. If you get a quality kegerator from a reputable manufacturer, you shouldn’t be replacing the parts within the first 3-5 years. This effectively means very little to zero dollars spent on repairs.
That said, you will need to clean your kegerator regularly to maintain optimal performance. A cleaner goes for a ready $13. This can clean as many as 32 kegs.
Next is energy consumption. Contemporary kegerators, as we would learn, consume far less energy. In 12 months, a quality kegerator shouldn’t consume more than $20.
With kegs going for around $100 (depending on the size you get), we can presumptuously say the total cost of a kegerator is around $600 (cost) + $13 (cleaner) + $20 (electricity) + $100 (keg). This approximately equals around $730.
Effectively, you can see that kegerator maintenance is really cheap. The major investment is in buying the kegerator itself. The question then comes: what has been contributing to the recent rises in kegerator costs? Let us find out.
Demand for kegerators on a high
From our market research, the kegerator industry is enjoying a boom. Statistics reveal that between 2015 and 2020, the global kegerator industry recorded a 6% CAGR (compound annual growth rate).
Many factors, as we would learn in this exposition, fuel this increase. First are hiking demands for low-alcoholic content beverages – a condition immensely supportive of craft beer sales.
Secondly, a bevy of mouthwatering technologies has been introduced to kegerator design across the last six years.
Aside from the massive uplift in functionality these introduced technologies have caused, kegerators are increasingly becoming energy efficient.
What is more, there has consequently been an increase in the time kegerators can keep your beer chilled. Kegerators are now being girded with redefining facilities like digital thermostats, convertibility to the refrigerator, multiple-tap functionality, and reversible door design.
All these puts together have triggered the overwhelming adoption of kegerators in the beer dispenser space. But even at this, the benefits of spending on a kegerator far outweigh these recent price raises.
Kegerators are getting more expensive given their environmental friendliness
Climate change is a real thing now compared to ten years ago. The world is rapidly tilting towards greener solutions, and the beverage industry is not excluded.
Kegerators have become favorites because of their more ecologically friendly design than traditional can and bottle beer drinks.
When measured against bottled and can beer, the packaging and consumption of draft beer – essentially through kegerators – is 68% less damaging to the environment.
The kegs kegerators used are far more recyclable and readily redeployed with minimal damage to Mother Earth. For emphasis, a half-barrel keg can store as many as 165 cans of beer.
Now, let us consider how durable kegerators are (thanks to their incredibly rugged design). Just one beer keg can last long enough to dispense at least 20,000 pints.
Compared to conventional bottles and cans, this is equivalent to 27,000 cans which would have done almost irreparable damage to our environment when disposed of.
To drive the point home, just the aluminum derivable from 165 beer cans is up to 5lbs. in weight. This is immense solid waste compared to your usable kegerator keg, which needs zero packaging, saving the environment of the aforementioned solid waste.
A kegerator is not really expensive – it saves you loads of dollars
Kegerators appear to be an expensive acquisition, given their relatively steep initial price. But if you are keen on beer and the quality of your homebrew, then a kegerator is more than worth your money in the longer term.
This is mainly on the financial savings it gives you on your beer consumption. Allow us to do the math for you.
Let us say you spend $600 on a kegerator. Now, as is obtainable in the United States, let us assume that you would have to pay a hundred bucks to get a typical half-barrel keg of Budweiser.
A keg would contain 1984 ounces. What you get from a Budweiser case is cumulatively 288 ounces. This is about two dozen 12oz. cans. This could cost you around $23.
This implies you would have to procure anywhere at least seven Budweiser cases to measure up to a conventional keg (based on volume). At $23, that means you are paying nothing less than $160.
Following the math? Now when you compare both, you see that a keg is saving you more than $55.
Relative to your initial $600 cost of procuring your kegerator, saving $55 eleven times (that is from your eleventh keg purchase) should have fully compensated for what you spent getting your kegerator.
This means from your twelfth keg purchase, you are pocketing no less than $50 while even enjoying a superior quality of draft beer in the undisputed comfort and privacy of your home.
Take note that for beers costlier than Budweiser, you would be saving even far more. Similarly, for other kegs (sizes and style), you could be offsetting the cost of your kegerator by your eight keg purchase.
Ultimately, you could be saving around 60% of what you would pay for beer in bottles and cans when you go with a kegerator. Sounds like bad business? Definitely not!
Kegerators are worth the price considering the space savings
Ask kegerator users, they would tell you money is not the only thing a kegerator saves you. Kegerators save you valuable fridge space.
Well, such valuable space becomes invaluable when you have a fuller home, and there is almost not enough space in your fridge to keep your beloved beer.
In such instances, nothing beats having an exclusively adapted beer storage compartment. And the biggest validation – if you ask a beer enthusiast– for the price of a kegerator is always having a delicious beer in hand whenever you want it.
With a kegerator stationed at home, you no longer need to step out (not forgetting the tens of dollars you would spend on transport) to get a beer. And even more interestingly, a kegerator gives your beer just at the temperature you relish it – not a degree Celsius more or less!
And we will not forget to mention that some of the kegerator lovers we interviewed pointed out that having never to worry about getting rid of the empty bottles and cans after a booze night is overwhelmingly relieving for them.
This means with your kegerator, there is a far lesser mess to clean up in the sober mornings.