If you haven’t already read the differences between the two basic types of refrigerator, then please start by first reading Outdoor Refrigeration. The refrigerator is the main product you are buying when you buy a beverage dispenser and the type of unit you purchase will make a massive difference in the performance of it.
It’s not enough for you to have a cooler box that has good temperature control. You have to keep the beer cold as it moves through several “air-layers” as you pour it. If you want to have beer with out a lot of foamy head, then you have to keep the temperature consistent for as long as possible as it moves from the keg to your glass. In a perfect scenario the temperature will not change until the beer hits the air as it goes into your glass. If the tube that takes the beer through to the tap is not insulated and part of the same temperature controlled area as the keg itself, then you will have a lot of foam no matter how you hold your glass. A legitimate kegerator will have the same temperature in the refrigerator as in the hose line to the tap and the tower that holds the tap.
In our experience with kegerators (and most of it is using them indoors in our store showroom) if you are going to buy one, do not buy a static system kegerator. It may seem that the inside air temps are consistent and that it should work fine but that is really not the case at all. The issue isn’t temperature consistency but rather the difference in temperatures that the beer encounters as it moves out of the keg and into your glass. When the beer leaves the 35 degree cooler box and travels through the air above the box into the tap tower that is about 70 degrees, it instantly starts to foam. So when you pour it, you will have uncontrollable head and lots of waste (better known as aggravation). This is a case of go big or just don’t go.
Again, True has offered some really nice machines for this application with the newest product being the 15″ kegerator that can be converted to a refrigerator, wine cooler or beverage center if you don’t have the desire to keep beer on tap all the time.
This is a case where Perlick also offers a beautiful product and you should consider both. Due to the lead-time issues, discussed previously on Refrigeration, and overall price to product value, I would go with True. Since we sell them all, go ahead and make your personal decision and hopefully you will give us a chance to sell it to you.
Please note that Fireside Outdoor Kitchens sells anywhere in the continental USA. Please reach out to us for additional information or to purchase your Outdoor Kitchen, appliances, accessories, etc. firstname.lastname@example.org