Sick and tired of running out of beer? Enjoy throwing parties but hate cleaning up the bottles and cans? Want to make your alcoholism more environmentally friendly? There is a simple solution, and it isn't just a throwback to your college days: Kegs.
Though most people think of kegs as something for behind the bar, frat parties and keg stands, they can actually be quite useful in the home . You just need to find room for them in your tiny NYC apartment—and you can make them fit, trust us! Plus, when you've got a keg in your apartment not only do you save a lot of money in the long run, but you also always have a good excuse for friends to drop by.
Interested? First you need to find yourself a kegerator, a topic to which there are whole sites devoted. Kegerators range in price pretty dramatically, but expect to pay about $400 for one. Before you scoff at the price though, remember that off the bat you'll now be saving money since you won't have to rent a tap each time you rent a keg (and by the way, yeah, you rent rather than buy kegs).
Two things to keep in mind about kegerators, though? If you are fan of beers like Coors and Miller, you want to make sure the keg you are buying can handle rubberized or oversized kegs or you may find yourself with a square peg in a round hole. Also, do know in advance that kegerators need CO2 tanks, and not like the flimsy ones you use in a soda gun but heavy duty ones. The trick is getting them filled up once you've emptied it. There are beer distributors in Jersey that will fill your tank for you, but they're harder to find in the city (one friend now gets his tank refilled at a garage in Bensonhurst). Anybody out there now a good place to get a refill in town?
After you've gotten your kegerator, you'll probably want to fill it up with kegs, which brings us to beer distributors. There are a number in the city, and while some distributors don't like to make deliveries in the city (for fear of minors and the SLA) there are still a few that do. To get you started a good bet would be New York Beverage, which is located out in Hunts Point but will deliver (and pick up) kegs to Manhattan and Brooklyn. Their kegs run about $180-$190 for good beers, not including a per keg service charge ($50). Luckily, though, since last November you no longer have to pay a $75 New York State Liquor Authority keg fee! Whatever distributor you go with, try to get to know them—they'll keep you abreast of any interesting beers that they'll be getting in stock.
And voila! You now have one less reason to ever leave your apartment, at least not until you've consumed the 124 precious pints locked inside that keg. The perks to having a keg instead of a fridge full of beer are many, including money saved, less waste (in packaging, delivery) and best of all? Your beer will taste fresher. Yeah, getting a kegerator is a pricy first step, but worth it.