May 27, 2020
Do you love beer and hate math? Don't worry! We have you covered! Beer-onmics 101 is starting and you're going to ace this course.
If you're reading this article, you're probably considering getting a kegerator but you're also wondering, is a kegerator worth it? Well, it depends on several factors and we're here to help you do the math, so you don't have to.
The cost of a night out...
Let's say a beer at a restaurant or bar costs you on average $7.00 for a pint (16 ounces). So you just have one beer when you head out? No, not usually. Let's say you have a minimum of three beers every night you go out, that will cost you $21.00. Now, let's not forget you have to pay tax and tip your bartender. So, let's round your total cost to $25.00.
This minimum cost for your beers doesn't even include the fact that you have to travel to your drinking destination. This may include paying for gas, parking, rideshare, or taxi. Not to mention, you have paid for a cover fee to enter that popular bar on a Friday or Saturday night! So, your cost for one night can be upwards of over $30! That's if you only drink three beers!
The cost of a kegerator...
Let's say you buy yourself your first kegerator, fully equipped, and ready to serve your favorite ice-cold beer. A full-sized kegerator can run you from on average about $700.00 with all full dispense kit. Browse our wide selection of kegerators here. This seems awfully costly at first but we promise, that it'll be worthwhile and we can prove it!
Before you can enjoy your beer, you'll need to choose a keg size. If you want to learn more about keg sizes read our guide here. Let's talk about how much is a keg. Keg prices vary depending on the size of the keg and the beer label. You can pick up filled kegs at many local liquor stores or local markets but you don't have to feel confined to just domestic and imported beers. You can even find craft beer kegs nearby by just searching "kegs near me". You can pull up local breweries that will offer delicious local craft beers for your kegerator.
So, how much is a keg of beer? Or how much should you expect to pay? If you're talking about domestic beers like a Bud Light keg or Coors Keg, you can expect to pay about $95-105. Whereas, if we're talking about how many beers are in a case, you typically get 24 beers for around $20-23 and you need about 7 cases to approximate to amount of beer in a keg. Costing you about $140-161 for these domestic beers. Keep in mind the taste from a can and from a draft system is significantly different.
For the purpose of this explanation, we're going talk about the cost efficiency of a full-sized keg, which 15.5 gallons or approximately 124 pints of beer. We're going to approximate a keg of beer costing about $100.00 and once tapped, a keg can stay fresh for up to 60 days.
Other costs to operate and maintain a kegerator...
Other than your initial kegerator and keg purchase, there are very little additional parts and products you will need to maintain a kegerator. You will very rarely need to replace parts, especially in you maintain your kegerator. This requires you to clean your kegerator lines after every keg but luckily beer line cleaner is quite affordable on average $13.00 for just the cleaner, which can clean up to 32 kegs.
The other thing to mention is the energy cost of owning a kegerator. Most kegerators are designed to be energy efficient so, the energy cost is minuscule, average $20.00 a year. We won't even add this to the calculation of the value of the kegerator.
Is a kegerator worth it?
So, now we come around to the million-dollar (or perhaps the several-hundred dollar) question, is buying a kegerator worth it? YES! Here's why:
Your initial cost for a fully functioning kegerator and a keg can be as low as $800.00, making each pint from your first keg will cost about $6.45. Now, that seems high but remember, this is just your initial keg cost and it will only be reduced as you continue to use your kegerator. Afterward, you'll only really need to pay for a new keg of beer and kegs provide much more beer for the cost than buying a case of beer.
A case of Budweiser contains twenty-four 12oz. cans (288 total ounces) and costs about $23. To get the same volume by the ounce as a standard keg, you would need to buy seven cases of Budweiser for about $160. A kegerator provides over $55 in savings per keg! Plus, you can get the bar experience at home for much less than heading out! Again, we can't emphasize enough how different draft beer taste from a can or bottle. It will greatly increase your beer experience!
Lower your costs even more!
Homebrewing can bring your kegerator cost down and increase its value even more! You can homebrew for an extremely low cost, of course, if you want to get fancy, it will cost a bit more. However, if you do some bare-bones brewing or you've been a long-term brewer who owns all your equipment, you can save a lot.
There are different brewing methods but we're going to talk about the most cost-efficient version, which requires very minimal equipment. This method is extract brewing, learn more about the types of brewing methods in our brewing basics guide here. Extract can cost from $5.00 - 22.00, depending on how much extract you're purchasing. You will need about $25.00 of extract to brew a 5-gallon batch.
You can use just about any large boiling pot to brew but if you need to purchase a brew pot to brew about a 5-gallon batch, it will cost you around $130. Along with the brew pot, you may need a paddle, which will only cost you about $5.00 and you may need a fermenting vessel, a brew bucket is the most affordable option costing only about $20.00.
Finally, you'll need to keg your brew and a keg will cost you as little as $120.00. A ball lock keg will also require specific connections in order to tap into the keg. These connections come in a homebrew kegerator, which you can purchase with a full dispense kit.
Your total cost for your 5-gallon homebrew will cost approximately $300, if you need to invest in brewing equipment but if you have a large pot to brew your beer in, your brew will only cost $170 to make! This provides you with 40 pints of beer, costing you only $4.25 per pint!
The cheapest kegerator...
If you want to save even more on your kegerator, you can consider building your own! That's right, you can make your own kegerator. If you have an existing freezer, all you need is a conversion kit, which can cost you as low as $140! Whether you brew your own beer or buy a filled keg, you're going to get HUGE value from your custom kegerator.
Call our sales team to get the best kegerator deal today! 800-710-9939