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There’s nothing so refreshing as a cold, freshly poured pint.
The bad news, though, is that the cost for a pint in a pub starting to sore: rising costs of beer, energy, food and labour are putting pressure on pubs as they battle to stay afloat amid soaring inflation and supply chain problems.
The cost of a pint of beer is set to rise in the UK as industry insiders warn pubs risk going bust.
Enter: the home beer dispenser.
A cold, frothing pint right in the comfort of your living room? Bliss.
While in the past mini-kegs and their ilk have proven underwhelming (flat, warm beer, anyone? Thought not), modern home beer dispensers are an accomplished proposition.
From temperature control, to proper dispensing taps (akin to those in a pub), counter-top size, and handy refill systems - you won’t miss the pub at all.
How does a beer dispenser work?
It’s essentially a mini keg of beer, akin to a barrel at the pub, on draught.
Purchase a keg of your favourite brew, load it into an at-home beer draught dispenser, and you’re set to pour pints fat home.
They come at a number of price points and sizes, depending on your budget and drinking habits.
A mini-keg is the easiest, most straight-forward way to pour your own pints. Cut out using cans at home - great for the recycling bin.
If you’re serious about your beer, though, a draught machine will chill your drop and help you serve a pub-quality pint.
And of course, with the cost of pints rising, a home beer dispenser is ideal for saving on hosting drinks with friends - it’s a seriously cost effective machine.
After the initial outlay, you’re cutting out the mark-up you get in any bar.
Pair up with some home-made cocktails and you’re in speakeasy heaven.
Here are the stand-outs on the market for 2022
The PerfectDraft machine (available from BeerHawk) is a halfway house between small home dispensers and a ‘kegerator’ - a larger and more expensive refrigerator that has been designed to store and dispense kegs
Easy to set up (it took this technophobe five minutes), and ready to pour pints in a couple of hours as soon as the keg is chilled, it’s a joyful proposition. It comes with a digital readout to tell you when your drop is a perfect 3 degrees and how much beer is left.
Quiet than other machines, it produces a pub-quality pint at home. The kegs come in a substantial six litre size, but the machine itself isn’t overly large, so won’t take up too much counter space (it’s smaller, by comparison, than our microwave).
Accommodating a wide range of beers, this is our go-to choice of the options - not too big nor too small, just perfect frothy pints.
Look, we said the PerfectDraft was our favourite, but would you indulge us to have a second first place? Because this is an impressive machine - the equal of the PerfectDraft, just a little bigger.
Simply install the beer keg, plug the Blade in, wait for it to cool (to a crisp 2 degrees Celsius), then pour and enjoy. The 8 litres of beer in the keg will stay frothy and drinking fresh, provided you keep the Blade switched on.
It’s a quiet, discretely sized machine (two A4 sheets of paper laid side by side, and 47cm tall), compatible with many mainstream brands such as Tiger, Heineken, and Birra Moretti.
No CO2 cannisters or extra equipment required, yet it yields professional pints. A joy.
You’ll know intuitively from your drinking habits if an 8L or 6L keg suits your needs (no judgements here - it does our household) - but if you’re unlikely to go through quite that much over a couple of weeks, the SUB is your best bet - at a nifty 2L.
It’s noisier than it’s larger counterparts, but it’s cheaper, as you’d expect for the size, and smaller - ideal for a swift cheeky pint for time to time.
There are 40 choices of mini-keg to use with the Sub, including ubiquitous lagers such as Heineken and Birra Moretti, to craft options.
It won’t save you money in the long run like the bigger options, but it’s great if you want to indulge from time to time.
The Fizzics DraftPour Beer Dispenser is as cunning a machine as we’ve encountered.
Successfully pitched on Shark Tank, it utilises soundwaves to transform a standard canned or bottled beer into a pub-grade draft pour. Run on USB or battery power, it’s discrete, easy to pack away, and will transform your canned beer into a ‘pour’.
Gosh, it’s good - the body of the beer tastes creamier, the head foams perfectly. Especially great for Guinness.
Ooo, these is a sleek proposition from a brand renowned in the craft beer world.
Keenly priced, this gorgeous silver chrome machine is a great investment.
Easy to set up, with an LED temperature display and temperature control, this is a sexy number that works well.
You can head to their website for keg bundles, too.