If you’re a big beer drinker like me, you know full well the struggles of keeping beer in the fridge. It takes up space you need for your food, and can often keep your beers at the wrong temperature. Finding the best beer fridge for your home bar is really the only way to go when storing your bottles and cans. This guide will help!
However, coolers can be very mixed in terms of effectiveness and reliability. The best beer coolers give you precise temperature control, effective storage space, and reliable performance–so you can leave your beer without worrying about how it’ll taste when it comes out again. But with the wrong cooler, you’re right back where you started.
We’ve searched long and hard for the top fridge currently on the market! We compared dozens of models, taking a close look at the features, specs, and innovations that make each one stand out.
We also took the time to sift through hundreds of reviews from previous buyers, to see how they stood up over time. In the end, we came up with 3 great coolers that we think are well worth your money!
In our in-depth reviews, we’ll show you why we think these are currently the best options out there. We’ll run through all the key features and specs, and help you figure out which one’s best for you!
In this Guide
The Best Beer Fridge [UPDATED JAN 2019]
1. Danby my #1 Choice Fridge
This Danby unit is currently Amazon’s #1 best seller! It’s a simple, sturdy, and versatile choice that suits most canned beers, especially darker varieties. We like the upper range of temperatures for ales and smoother beers, as well as for drinkers who simply like things a bit less frigid.
It makes efficient use of the space. This one stores 120 cans in just 3.3 cubic feet! Since there aren’t any external parts protruding, it’s very easy to fit into your home or office.
It has an interior light, to help you see what you’re doing. We like that it’s door-activated, so you don’t have to remember to shut it off. The bulb is an LED, so it’s very energy-efficient.
It can maintain temperatures anywhere between 43 and 57 degrees Fahrenheit, ideal territory for ales and other darker beers. The mechanical thermostat keeps things constant, and has fewer breakable parts than an computerized system.
The door window is tempered glass, with stainless steel trim. This certainly doesn’t look like a cheap cooler! It also defrosts automatically, so you don’t need to worry about ice buildup. We like that you can reverse the door hinges to suit your preferences, and your space. The door handle is also recessed to save space.
The black wire shelves hold up well over time, and provide shaped nooks and crannies for all the cans. That helps them stay in place, and keep from jumbling around.
It locks. That’s important for people with kids, and for added security if you live in a shared space or are installing this in an office.
It’s covered by a 1-year warranty.
This model has some reliability issues. Some buyers reported hearing some noises from the compressor system, while others ended up with coolers that died after a year or so. Other issues were faulty door hinges, or condensation on the inside of the unit. Since a majority of buyers didn’t have issues, we’re putting this down to lackluster quality control, rather than a design problem. However, quite a few buyers reported having poor experiences with Danby customer service.
It doesn’t get super cold. If you’re looking for something to serve you chilly beers, you’ll probably want to look at a different model. However, this is an ideal choice for beer drinkers who like darker ales and other brews that like slightly warmer climes.
This Whynter model brings a bolder look and a more powerful cooling system to the 120-can cooler format. It’s about the same size as the Danby, but can cool right down into the 30s, which is better for your lighter ales and lagers. We like the forced-air circulation system for maintaining an even temperature throughout the unit, as well as the adjustable storage shelves inside.
It stores just as much beer as the Danby. The Whynter holds 120 standard size beer cans, and can be adapted to store bottles and larger cans as well.
You can both remove and rearrange the shelves, thanks to the sliding groove design. We like being able to adjust the height as well as remove the shelves, since making adjustments allows you to store larger cans and bottles without losing a whole shelf.
It’s compact, like the Danby. The Whynter has the same recessed door handle and smooth exterior, which helps it fit into corners and tighter spaces.
It looks very bold. The exterior has an all-white finish, with stainless metal door trim and a glass door panel. This one matches white appliances perfectly, and will look at home in office or retail environments as well.
It locks. The Whynter has a simple cylinder lock like the Danby, and comes with two keys to keep your beers secure from prying roommates or adventurous children.
It has an internal fan system in addition to the compressor. That circulates air throughout the unit to make sure the temperature remains even for all the cans.
The whole cooling system is slightly more powerful than the Danby’s. Where the Danby will only cool beverages down into the 40s F, the Whynter will cool beers into the 30s. F. That’s perfect for people who like a slightly frostier drink, as well as beer drinkers who prefer lagers or Belgian-style brews that like colder temperatures. As with the Danby, the Whynter uses a mechanical thermostat system, so it’s easy to figure out and set.
The Whynter has an LED internal light just like the Danby. We prefer the Whynter’s, since you can turn it on and off independently of the door being opened.
You can reverse the door hinges. That makes it easier for left-handed people to use the appliance. You can also switch the hinge to accommodate for tighter spots in your home.
It’s not the quietest model on the market. Previous buyers reported a constant hum, but no loud cycles or clanking noises.
Some previous buyers found that it didn’t cool quite as powerfully as expected. They also noted that they lived in warmer climates, or were keeping the cooler in direct sunlight. Those are both factors you’ll want to consider before you buy any cooler. We’d always caution against putting a unit in direct sunlight, since you’re making it work much harder than it should be.
Some people didn’t like the manual light switch.
Our favorite built-in cooler on the market right now is this Kalamera. It’s a sleek, sophisticated model with a digital thermostat and control panel, as well as a modern stainless steel face. We love the option of 96/175 can capacities, as well as the option to use this as a standalone cooler or a built-in appliance.
It looks great. The whole front panel, including the trim, handle, and lower air vents are stainless steel. The door is clear, tempered glass, and the internal blue LED lights give this cooler a modern, electric look. The exposed handle and the lower front vents give this one a bolder, less utilitarian look overall than our other choices.
The digital control panel on the inside is easy to access, even when the case is full of cans or bottles. It displays the exact temperature inside the case, and allows you to change the settings with easy buttons. You can also turn the light on and off from the panel.
The adjustable wire racks work for both vertical and horizontal storage. You can also adapt them to fit both standard cans and larger pint cans. They’re removable and can be installed in virtually any configuration imaginable.
The advanced compressor system maintains temperatures more evenly, with fewer stops and starts. The longer cycles mean a lower overall noise level, and fewer clanging starts between them. The Kalamera cools from 38-50 degrees, which suits most beers. And, unlike many other beer coolers, previous buyers said the internal thermometer was spot on and stayed that way!
It’s the only one of our recommendations that can be built into cabinetry. That’s thanks to the front-facing vents, which allow it to work even when the back and sides are installed flush.
It locks, just like the other two models.
The double-layer door keeps the heat away from your beers, and lends the door some long-term durability–both plusses in our book!
The whole unit has a better reputation for reliability than the other two. It’s covered by a 1-year warranty, and we found that previous buyers reported very satisfactory interactions with Kalamera customer service when they had questions or concerns.
It’s expensive, especially the 174-can model. Even the smaller Kalamera is twice the price of our other recommendations.
The front-facing vents make this one a bit taller than the others, so it takes up more space.
4. Compact Fridge
If you’re looking for a super compact countertop solution for storing your beers, the NewAir is a safe bet for you. It’s one of the most versatile coolers on the market, with a cooling range from 34-64 degrees F. That’ll suit just about any beer, as well as personal preference.
Even though it’s super small, it still fits just over 80 cans of beer. You can rearrange the shelves to fit different sizes and orientations of cans, and they’re made of solid metal for excellent durability. We love the automatic defrost for keeping beers at those lower temperatures.
Previous buyers loved the quiet operation, as well as the speedy cool down time. We recommend it to people who want to keep a stock of beer on hand, but are pressed for space.