A Guide to Beer Coolers for Bars

Glacier Designs installs beer coolers for bars, such as this walk-in they installed for a customer.

When serving draft beer at a bar or restaurant, refrigeration is a must. Of course, the best kind of refrigeration equipment will vary depending on the size of the establishment and the amount of kegs needing to be stored. Beer coolers for bars come in a range of options and sizes, with the two most common being kegerators and walk-in coolers.


The term “kegerator” comes from the words “keg” and “refrigerator.” Kegerators are specialty beer coolers for bars designed specifically to store kegs and dispense draft beer. The beer tower or faucets are generally built on top of the kegerator while the kegs are stored in a refrigeration cabinet beneath the taps. Because the kegs and faucets are so close together, glycol cooling is not necessary for kegerators.

Kegerators are generally a good choice for bars with just a few draft offerings on the menu. They are good space savers for smaller bars as well, and they come in a variety of sizes. In most cases, a commercial kegerator is best for businesses. Commercial kegerators can hold half barrel kegs, quarter barrels, or mini kegs, and they can store up to 8 kegs at a time. Smaller options, such as mini kegerators, single taps or home kegerators are available as well and typically store 1 to 2 kegs.

If your business plans to only serve a few draft beers, a kegerator may be a great refrigeration option. These appliances allow you to provide the draft beer experience without investing in an entire walk-in dedicated to keg storage. For breweries or restaurants with a large draft menu, a larger storage option is the better solution.

Walk-In Beer Coolers

If your establishment has a wide variety of draft beers on the menu, a walk-in beer cooler is a must. Walk-ins are the best beer coolers for bars that have lots of draft offerings and a large enough space for keg storage. These large appliances are designed to provide ample storage for several kegs, while keeping the beer inside them at an optimal temperature.

While standard sizes are available, walk-ins are usually custom, installed to fit within an existing bar’s space and fit their storage requirements. Whether you have 10, 20, 30, or more draft beers on rotation, a walk-in can be designed to match your storage needs. In addition to storage space, kegs are actually tapped inside the walk-in, meaning beer lines must be connected from the walk-ins to the taps. Depending on the cooler’s proximity to the faucets, this can be accomplished through a through-the-wall system or a long-draw system.

For through-the-wall systems, your beer is kept cold by the air inside the walk-in. Since the beer does not have to travel a long distance to the taps, the walk-in is able to keep the beer at the same temperature as it travels to the faucet. For long draw systems, you will need a glycol chiller to ensure the beer stays at the optimal temperature as it travels the beer lines.

If your bar has a large draft menu and requires a walk-in, you’ll also need keg racking to ensure your kegs are kept off the ground and stored safely. Keg racks are shelves that can be installed inside walk-ins to free up space and keep your cooler organized. There are additional pieces of equipment, such as keg lifters, that can also help with moving kegs around more efficiently.

For most establishments serving draft beer, a walk-in is the best choice. It provides the freedom to serve several kinds of beer, which can bring in more revenue from thirsty customers. There are several factors to consider when choosing a walk-in, such as the configuration, size, and type of draft system to go with it. It’s best to consult draft system experts, like Glacier, to ensure you get the perfect walk-in for your business.

Glacier Installs Beer Coolers for Bars

Kegerators and walk-ins are both great choices for beer coolers for bars. The key to determining which refrigeration option is right for your business depends on the variety of beers served and the space available in the establishment. If you aren’t sure which kind of cooler would be best for your business, the Glacier team can help.

We have helped countless breweries, bars, restaurants and more by installing kegerators and walk-ins over the years. We ensure that our clients get the best equipment for their budget, and we can even help design custom walk-ins and draft systems to ensure peak draft performance and quality. If you’d like to speak to the Glacier team about bar refrigeration, give us a call at 877-617-BEER. We’d love to help guide you to the right type of cooler for your business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *