It would be nice if we could all get a kegerator complete with a beer faucet but not everyone has the means, space, or drinks frequently enough to make this a reality.
The next best thing is, of course, a beer tower. Simply pour in your beer, insert an ice tube full of ice, and pull the tap to dispense chilled brew on demand.
Beer towers are popular in bars and pubs across the world and there is no reason why you can’t have one in your own home.
What to Look for in a Beer Tower
Beer towers come in all shapes and sizes so it would be useful to have some criteria on hand to help you pick out the best one. Beer towers are also known as beer giraffes, tabletop beer dispensers, and portable beer taps.
Here is what to look for in a beer tower:
Good Quality Tap
You can get away with buying the cheapest beer tower that you can get your hands on if you intend to use it occasionally. The only problem is that cheaply built units are notorious for leaking taps. A leaky tap not only creates a mess, but also wastes perfectly good beer.
The best tap for a beer tower is a simple two-piece design made from good quality material. These taps are durable and withstand consistent use. An easily detachable tap also makes your unit easier to clean.
Beer towers are easy to knock over especially after a few drinks so a beer tower with a thick, weighted base is ideal if you like to entertain guests. You want a steady tower even when it is empty.
A detachable base is also ideal in this case. It makes refilling the beer tube that much easier and makes cleaning a breeze.
Beer towers are generally made from glass, plastic, or metal. Glass towers are delicate and prone to breaking given the environment that the typical beer dispenser is used. A plastic beer tower is more durable and less likely to break or crack if knocked over accidentally.
Metal beer towers are the most durable and provide the best insulation. These units can be expensive and might be overkill for a home-use beer dispenser.
It’s great if you have the option to chill your beer any time you like. A separate, removable ice tube or ice chamber helps to chill your drink without diluting it.
Most beer tower ice tubes are refilled with ice cubes which are good enough, but you may not always have enough ice on hand to fill the entire tube. A freezable ice tube is a better option and the block of ice lasts longer than ice cubes.
A beer tower without LED lights is not exactly a deal-breaker but still worth considering. The lights can bring some character and ambiance to your party particularly when drinking outside on the deck or porch.
The good news is LED lights come standard with most beer towers including the cheaper options. You can turn the lights on or off as you please.
Review of the Top 5 Beer Towers
1. GoPlus 2PC Beer Tower Dispenser
The GoPlus 2PC Beer Tower Dispenser is a great bar-quality beer tower that would make an excellent addition to your home bar. This unit is mid-priced for a beer tower so the fact that you get two pieces at this price range is great value for money.
The base is solidly constructed with ABS plastic so the beer tube won’t fall over at the slightest nudge or knock of the table. Each beer tube holds 3L of beer (approx 0.8 gallons) so you can serve a decent amount of brew before you have to refill the tower.
You get a dedicated ice tube to chill the beer without diluting it which is always a priority when shopping for a beer tower. The high-quality spigot handles well under constant use and has good clearance from the base to fill large pitchers.
Lastly, this GoPlus tower comes with LED lights that change color randomly to give you a festival feel especially if you are using the beer tower outdoors at night.
2. Refinery Beer Tower
Refinery Beer Tower is the perfect choice for homebrewers who are particular about aesthetics. Its English pub glass beer tube design along with a classic copper finish base easily makes this a centerpiece for your home bar.
The heavy bottom base ensures that the beer tower sits sturdily on the table or bar and is a good precaution against friends who get clumsy after a few drinks.
This unit holds up to 2.6L which is plenty of beer when you have guests. Refinery Beer Tower uses a freezable ice tube rather than pouring ice cubes into the cooling chamber which is typical of many beer towers. Simply fill up the ice tube with water and freeze it. The solid block of ice lasts much longer than typical ice cubes. You can refill with beer tube endlessly and expect a chilled drink every time.
The detachable base makes cleaning the unit a breeze and the pro-pour bar tap easily pulls down for the perfect, spill-free pour. This is a bulky unit and is a great investment for the homebrewer who is skeptical about cheap plastic beer towers.
3. Oggi 8088 Beer Tower Dispenser 2.75-Quart
Oggi beer towers are a common sight in many pubs and restaurants and you can hardly go wrong with the Oggi 8088 Beer Tower. This tower is a budget choice for consumers who don’t want to spend too much on a unit that will only be used occasionally.
The weighted base makes for a stable tower that doesn’t rock back and forth while you dispense your brew and has an attractive chrome finish.
This long tower stands at 30 inches tall and holds up to 2.7 quarts (2.6L) of beer so it’s a good choice for people who like to entertain guests. Oggi 8088 also features a detachable base which is convenient for refilling beer into the tube and makes cleaning much easier.
The Oggi comes with a freezable ice tube to keep your beer cold for longer.
4. Wyndham House 3.5L Beer Dispenser
Wyndham House 3.5L Beer Dispenser is the largest beer tower we have in this review and is an especially good option for people who like to entertain guests. You can hold up to 80-ounces of liquid with this beer tower.
This unit is compact for such a large capacity tower, taking up as much table space as a standard pint glass. The detachable base makes it easy to clean and store away when not in use.
Wyndham House Beer Dispenser also comes with an LED light to create the perfect party ambiance while also letting you monitor the contents of the tube in dimly-lit environments. This model also comes with a removable ice tube that you fill up with ice cubes for cold, undiluted beer.
This is a pub-quality beer tower that is worth investing in if you like to host parties and entertain guests.
5. BarConic Lighted Beer Tower with Ice Tube
BarConic is known for its great range of home bar products and this BarConic Lighted Beer Tower with Ice Tube is no different. This beer tower holds about 100 oz of beer and its removable ice tube allows you to keep your beer chilled for the entire night.
The LED light has a broad spectrum of colors and is a great way to create a magical evening on the deck or patio. The beer tube is constructed from tough impact-resistant plastic and will withstand consistent use and the occasional knocks and bumps.
This is a good beer dispenser with all the features that you would want in a beer tower while still being affordable. The BarConic is an excellent choice for the occasional drinker who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on a beer dispenser.
How to Clean a Beer Tower
Clean the beer tower after each use.
To clean the beer tower, remove the beer tube from its base (for detachable bases) and pour in a small amount of detergent. Pour warm water into the tube, put the top on, and shake for about 10-15 seconds. Dispense a small amount of the soapy water from the tap and pour out the rest of the liquid.
Pour clean water into the tube, replace the top and shake for 10-15 seconds. Dispense a little clean water from the tap and pour out the rest. You can also use a long brush to thoroughly clean the interior, just like with a bottle scrubber.
Clean the exterior of the beer tower and air dry on a drying rack. Alternatively, place the beer tower up-side-down with the top off and leaning slightly to keep the top uncovered.
Remove the tap and clean periodically using warm, soapy water. Do not wash a beer tower in the dish washer as this could damage its components.