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Selecting a Beverage Center Refrigerator

Beverage Center Refrigerators are rather loosely defined as a compact refrigerator whose layout is optimized for the storage or cans and bottles. One thing many have in common is a glass door making the contents of the refrigerator visible. However, beyond that there are a wide range of choices, including models like under-cabinet, integrated (accepts a cabinet panel to allow matching cabinetry), free-standing, outdoor and more loosely beer taps.

There is some overlap between beverage centers, compact refrigerators and wine chillers. Some beverage centers are versatilely designed to accommodate all types of drinks, others focus on maximizing room for cans, while yet others cater more toward wine storage. The prices vary widely on these units, from near $100 to over $2,000. However, the differences in features, styling and reliability probably don't justify that huge price difference.

There are a three key advantages to a separate beverage center. First, it frees up space in the main refrigerator by shifting drink storage to auxiliary storage. Secondly, it may save some energy because opening the small refrigerator requires less recooling energy than opening a full size refrigerator. Finally, the beverage center can be installed closer to where it is needed, such as in a family room or home theater - which has the side benefit of freeing up valuable kitchen space.

Models are available to sit free-standing, for integration to match cabinets or to fit as a built in under a countertop. If you need a model for outdoor use, be sure to select one rated for outdoor use, both for safety and for reliable operation. When selecting a model, know in advance what you will store in it. If possible bring some sample bottles and check out the model in person. Not all models do as good of job utilizing the interior space efficiently. Because bottle sizes vary, testing the fridge with your bottles and cans will give you a better idea of whether the unit will provide adequate capacity for your needs.

For a list of manufacturers who offer beverage centers, see below.


Refrigerator Buying Guides


How To Choose a Refrigerator

Are Pro-Style Appliances a Good Choice?

Should I Buy an Extended Warranty?

Design Considerations for a New Fridge

How To Get the Best Deal on Appliances

What are Energy Star Appliances?


Beverage Centers by Manufacturer
Refrigerators by Type Major Retailers

Dacor $2,039

Electrolux $1,699

General Electric $449 - $1,299

Haier $159 - $239

KitchenAid $1,449 - $1,849

LG $949 - $3,499

Marvel $1,729 - $2,059

Monogram $1,349

U-Line $1,399 - $1,799

Viking $1,779 - $1,999

Counter depth $1,379 - $4,239
Built-in $5,719 - $13,489
Side-by-side $999 - $4,239
Freezer on top $388 - $2,199
Freezer on bottom $807 - $3,080
French door $1,099 - $8,199
Cabinet panel refrigerator $2,349 - $13,489
Refrigerated Drawers $2,099 - $3,399
Compact fridge $89 - $324
Beverage center $159 - $2,059
Wine storage $349 - $6,995
Outdoor fridge
Undercounter
Professional Style $1,399 - $13,489
Commercial $1,099 - $16,999
Lowe's

Home Depot

Costco

Sam's Club

Sear's

US Appliance

*All prices are MSRP





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