Quench your thirst with these 5 best beverage centers & coolers
Oh man, the joy of cracking a cold one with the boys. Or, alternatively, just grabbing that icy can and gulping it down by yourself.
Ahhhh! Raise a cheers for this weary soul indebted to his beverage center savior!
Look, drinks can be enjoyed in various ways. Alone or with pals, what really matters to me are two things: perfectly chilled beverages and maximum convenience. Period.
Let’s be honest. Most people go for a supposedly best beverage center like this popular Danby model. And you know: that’s perfectly fine, because it does a decent job.
However, as with all other things in life, there are layers and nuances.
There’s a ton of different beverage fridges, with different designs, coming in different sizes. Some of them are suitable for kitchens, others for man caves or garages. Some need better air flow, others just so-so.
So. Heaps of beverage coolers that need some reviews for you to figure out what fits your needs. Well, what do you know: that’s just what I’m about to do!
The 5 best beverage centers & coolers
Best built-in or freestanding beverage center:
Kalamera 15″ 96 cooler
Yep, you read that right: this jewel of a beverage fridge can be used both as a built-in appliance, or you can leave it freestanding. Its versatility and well-rounded performance makes it my pick for a best beverage cooler overall.
I’m doing a review on the 96-can smaller Kalamera here, but you can always upgrade to its monstrous 175-can alternative.
Anyways! Undercounter, built-in or freestanding, this fellow is a right fit for you no matter what space you want it to occupy. Bartenders? It fits right in in a busy bar with customers wanting an icy cold sip. Cozy home-dwellers? Whether it’s the kitchen, living room or man cave, this soft drink/beer cooler is your newest best friend.
If I were to list my 5 most favorite things about it, these would be:
Its sleek stainless steel design with extra tough, transparent glass door (it’s double layered.) The slightly “smoked” effects makes it even more stylish.
The compressor! It does a great job at keeping the temperature even on low noise levels. I don’t like watching my movies wih constant thumping around, neither will you. Kalamera takes care of that!
The hexagon security lock: beverage coolers with locks are a must to me. Especially if you have kids, they can roam around, constantly opening the freestanding beverage center. Keep dreaming about properly chilled drinks, man…
Removable racks & sliding metal shelves: convenient, easy to setup, easy to work with when you’re reassembling soft drinks or beer. Awesome.
That delicate LED lighting: a nice tough, without being too prominent. Stylish for me, but might not be enough for others.
An important thing to mention is that you’ll need 15.3″ in width, 34.1″ in height and 22.4″ in depth in order to properly install this built-in (or freestanding) beverage fridge. Kalamera’s 96-can cooler measures 22.4″ x 14.9″ itself.
Also, make sure you let it sit upright for a day or so before plugging it in. After that, wait the interior to catch up with temperature levels and after some 24 hours later, start stocking your drinks of choice.
I like to do objective beverage center reviews, so here are some drawbacks too:
Forget about using it as a wine cooler. The shelves are specifically made for cans and the bottles will just slide around.
Its cooling function could be a little stronger. Don’t expect that close-to-freezing icy soda popping out (keep reading the next reviews for that.)
As I mentioned the LED lighting isn’t as bright/wide scope as some other refrigerators for drinks. Some people might feel it being somewhat dim.
All in all, though, this is one of the best glass door soda or beer fridge. You should definitely consider it if you value versatility and want something that can be either built-in, or be left freestanding.
Most popular undercounter beverage cooler:
Danby 120 can drinks fridge
Inexpensive, of good build and somewhat versatile. Danby’s 120 can beverage center gets mixed reviews, but its price can’t be beat. If you’re on a budget, that’s your best buddy.
Before I get to its specifications, though, let me issue some words of warning.
First, never, ever use this compact beverage fridge outdoors. It’s meant solely for indoor use, so if you decide to put it up out there in the garden…You really won’t have it for long.
The second thing has to do with airflow. Some other models get their blow exhaust needs sorted out from the front. This means you can easily use them as built-in beer coolers or soda fridges. Danby blows from the back, which makes things a little sticky.
Basically, always make sure there’s enough airflow if you decide to use it as an undercounter or built-in cooler for drinks. Measure things properly so you don’t have it overheating and giving up on you after a few months.
With that, let’s check what we’ve actually got here. Denby’s offer isn’t the coldest beverage cooler around, but it still maintains 43F to 57F temperature levels. Slightly worse performance than the Kalamera which is my main criticism here.
With adjustable shelves and 93.5 liters/120 cans of storage space, it’s rather big and perfect as a beverage center for home parties or social gatherings. The tempered glass door with stainless steel frames is surprisingly stylish for the lower pricing point.
The exterior is a bit bigger than Kalamera at 34″ x 18″, but then again, you have space for 24 additional soft drinks/beer cans here. Left-handed people have an additional reason to love it due to the reversible door hinge. This allows for easy left or right-handed opening depending on your personal preferences.
Once again, we’ve got a beverage cooler with locks. You can secure your drinks so they don’t lose on their refreshing coolness when that sweet leisure time rolls around.
Best luxury built-in beverage cooler:
Avallon 152 can
Meet the king of icy drink prestige: Avallon’s outstanding center for beverages. There’s not a single criticism I can accuse this beauty of, aside from its higher price.
So are you just paying a premium for nothing here, or? Why would you shell out some serious cash for this model, instead of getting a cheaper one?
Did I say I love my beer or soft drinks being properly chilled? I did. And Avallon does just that with its 34F to 50F temperature controls, blowing other competitors out of the water. Your beverages will be perfectly chilled. Period.
It’s not only that, though. Once again you can use this Avallon drink fridge either as a built-in cooler, or as a freestanding center for beer/sodas. This allows for customization depending on your living environment.
And oh, the design…An all-stainless steel body of polished beauty, including the door and its handles. The double-door, by the way, has some argon gas between its two panes so you get maximum tight insulation to keep your drinks refrigerated.
And if that wasn’t cool enough, unlike Denby, you’ve got front exhaust here. This means no matter what you do, the appliance will stay well-aired and won’t heat up.
Speaking of circulation and flows, the circulation fans in Avallon’s beverage center are quite powerful. They collaborate seamlessly with the sophisticated compress for extra wide, uninterrupted coverage on the cold front.
This true art of operational perfection gets its finishing touches by the interior. Sanded glass shelves, 3 in number, softly welcome you to grab some soda cans or beer bottles and place them on their cozy throne.
Like a majestic parade from the magical land of Avalon itself, two rows of soft LED lights illuminate the inside. Even in the darkest of nights, they will guide you to that promised icy drink to sate your thirst.
My only criticism would be the fact that this beverage refrigerator comes with a right-hinged only door. But, come on, you can live with that considering all the other awesome stuff you get, right?
Best compact mini beverage fridge:
Edgestar 62 can steel cooler
Sometimes, however, you want to go all minimalistic. You want a compact beverage center that does the job alright and most importantly, saves space. A drinks fridge you can just put under your desk, for example.
Edgestar’s 62 beverage cooler is the best pick here. It doesn’t perform spectacularly, but it’s so portable you’ll never see it cluttering your surroundings. It’s also quite affordable!
The mini beer/soda fridge operates on a compressor-based cooling that does a somewhat decent job. You can expect it to keep high-30F to mid-50F temperatures. It won’t deliver icy results like the Avallon, but it’ll keep things relatively cool.
The stainless steel glass door here is doubled paned for better insulation, too. However, you won’t get the luxurious treatment, as the black cabinet looks rather mundane. Don’t think the construction sucks, though. It’s actually quite sturdy.
Being a compact cooler for beverages, Edgestar’s model has only one shelf. It’s made of chrome and you can remove it anytime by sliding it out. Maybe if you want to put a humongous bottle inside, instead of lining smaller cans?
Two disadvantages for me here are the lack of safety lock and interior lighting. While the latter isn’t that big of a deal, the first missing feature can be irritating. Especially if you decide to get this mini fridge in your office, you’d want to have the sole control over your little beverage heaven.
The higher temperature adjustments and not as powerful compressor mean that sometimes you might need to rotate your beverages too. Yup – from the back, to the front, so they could get optimal exposure to the cooling breeze.
That said, no other appliance can sport the title of best compact beverage fridge on a ridiculously attractive price. Quite the budget/convenience pick!
Best beer fridge for garage and man cave:
Igloo Red tool box cooler
To all of you who love hanging around your garage and beer, here’s your savior. Igloo’s red fellow wins the best mini fridge for beer bottles award due to its portability and garage-friendliness. I particularly like its design, as it makes quite the lasting impression.
It’s only about the eye-catching red, though. The beer fridge is literally designed to resemble a tool box.
How cool is that? Makes you look like quite the dedicated engineering mastermind while you’re secretly gulping down chilled beer cans!
(Even better if you brew your own beer, but remember to measure your craft with the proper refractometer!)
With 3.2 cubic feet capacity, you have a decent space to use here. I’m sure beer capacity matters the most to you, though. Fear not: 25 to 30 beers will feel right at their red home with this garage fridge. Perfect for personal use, or cracking a few cold ones with your friends.
If you want to move the Igloo mini fridge for beer bottles around, you have 4 lockable wheels that make things easier. Not only compact, but also flexible, what’s not to like here?
What about the chilling, though? Rest easy, my beer-loving friend: you’ll get ’em served cold without an issue! With 7 adjustment settings, this beer cooler lets you pick exactly how cold you want your bottles to be.
The door can dispenser, convenient drip tray and well-designed, removable wire shelves only complement the set of perks Igloo delivers. Sure, it’s not a high-tech powerhouse, but would you really need something that complicated in your garage?
My biggest gripe, once again, is the lack of a locking mechanism. However, the fact that you’re most likely to use it in your garage, which is your sacred place anyways, softens this drawback.
All in all, Igloo’s red mini fridge for beer is a must have for any garage owner. Quite cheap, quite functional, without standing out too much. Just a practical, portable way to get your cold beer right here, right now.