Following on from my PerfectDraft Pro comparison, I thought it would be a good idea to look at the various draft beer at-home solutions on the market.
I am not including things like the Kegerator, as I think that is a bit overkill for most home users unless you are a passionate home brewer.
I have also ignored the opposite end of the spectrum, where you have some devices that claim to give you a perfect pour from a regular beer can or bottle.
This then leaves 4 different styles of machine:
- PerfectDraft and the new PerfectDraft Pro
- Heineken Blade
- Philips Sub
- Salter 5L Beer Taps and various other brands such as Beer Monster
PerfectDraft vs Blade vs Sub vs Salter Draft Beer at Home Dispenser Comparison
|PerfectDraft||Blade||Sub||Salter / Beer Monster / Klarstein|
|Temperature||3°C||2°C||2 °C||2 °C|
|Cooling Speed||12 hours from room temp||Faster than PerfectDraft*||10 to 16 hours|
|Beer kept fresh for||30 days||30 days||15 days||30 days|
|CO2 canisters||Not required||Not required||Not required||Required|
|Dimensions||H: 37.6cm, W: 26cm, D: 34.6cm||590H x 290W x 471D mm||452.5 x 190 x 383.3 mm||450cm x 46cm x 32 cm|
|Weight||17.6 kg||4.45 kg||7.5kg|
|Ease of use||Very Easy||Very Easy||Very Easy||Very Easy|
|Range of Beer||63||24||41||9+
Potentially signifcantly more
|Cheapest Keg |
Beer/Larger that’s not low alcohol
£26 (with keg return)
|Price per 500ml||£2.67|
£2.17 when using beer tokens
|Price of machine||£250 RRP|
£280 starter bundle with 1 keg & 2 glasses
£179 with discount (no beer included)
|£475 with 2x8L kegs||£125|
|Energy consumption||70 Watt||70 Watt||A+|
|Philips PerfectDraft Home Beer Draft System HD3720/25||£249.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Perfect Draft Stella Artois Premium Belgian Lager, 6l||£45.99||Buy on Amazon|
The PerfectDraft has been insanely popular for a good reason. It is probably the best balance of upfront cost, beer cost and keg size.
The kegs are 6L, and over 30 days, that is just 4 beers a week, so you don't need to be a raving alcoholic to enjoy. The 6L kegs are also enough for a good day session, and you swap used kegs out easily enough if you have replacement kegs pre-chilled.
Beer costs look expensive upfront, but you get £5 per credit back when you return the keg. This then brings the price per beer down to be much closer to the Blade and cheaper than the Sub.
Beer is only cooled to 3°C, but it doesn't appear to be very noticeable compared to the 2 °C of the others.
The new PerfectDraft Pro has variable temperatures but costs quite a bit more.
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The Blade is geared more towards light commercial use, but it is tempting for home use due to the lower cost per pint and would be a good solution for anyone with a proper home bar that has friends around frequently.
The one issue with that is that you need to commit to 8L of beer, and I like a bit of variation with my drinking. So you definitely want to use this as a social home draft beer tap.
It cools down to 2°C with it reported to be 3°C when in the glass, which is a bit cooler than the PerfectDraft. I have also read reports that a chilled Blade keg that is loaded into the machine reaches 2 °C faster than the PerfectDraft, but this is anecdotal.
One downside is that the beer selection is not quite as good. If the lower cost of beer tempts you, then you should also factor in the massive difference in upfront cost, the Blade is a couple of hundred extra.
Beerwulf / Krups Sub
|Beerwulf The SUB Compact Black UK | Draught Beer Tap for...||£182.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Heineken Draught Beer Set The Sub, Compact Edition Beer Tap...||£288.00||Buy on Amazon|
I reviewed the Krups Sub a couple of years ago and was impressed with it. There are two versions, the Classic or the more affordable smaller model. I reviewed the cheaper one, and the kegs are loaded in from the top, and I suspect the insulation isn't quite as good. However, they both do basically the same thing.
The Sub is good if you don't drink loads, and with beer starting at £2.25 for 500ml its not much more expensive than the PerfectDraft or Blade. There is a good range of beer, but it can sometimes be lively and cause wastage. The kegs are a bit more convenient to fit in your fridge too.
Salter / Beer Monster 5L Universal Beer Dispenser
|Salter Professional EK4919 Chilled Beer Dispenser,...||£154.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Klarstein Skal Beer Dispenser - Thermoelectic Beer Cooler,...||£179.99||Buy on Amazon|
With this range of products, things get a little confusing. There are several brands offering a 5L compatible beer dispenser.
For the Salter Universal Chilled Draught Beer Dispenser (EK4919) it is listed as being suitable for 5-litre party kegs that you will find in most supermarkets. This, therefore, gives you a massive range of options.
Beer Monster, Klarstein and other brands are less clear. These tend to list compatibility as the Heineken 5l kegs. These are a bit different from the ones you find in the supermarket. The beer tap comes out of the top of the keg. The range of beer for these is significantly more limited. I can only find about 10 different beers.
All of these require CO2 cartridges, and they are all a lot more fiddly to set up than the other popular options.
The cooler on these is a thermoelectric peltier cooler, similar to what you get on 12v coolers for your car, so it is not as good as cooling your beer as the other options.
For me, the PerfectDraft is the easy winner, it has a great range of beer, and 6L is enough for anyone who drinks regularly but not too much that you won't drink a full keg.
If you are a light occasionally drinker, then the PerfectDraft is going to be overkill, and the Krups Sub is
Last update on 2023-03-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API