Best Cellar Ready-Mades
If convenience is more your concern than cost, there are a number of refrigerated “cellars” on the market that can provide an instant solution to long-term beer storage. Just add bottles, and plug in to an electrical outlet.
These are mostly designed for wine storage, and can hold anywhere from a single case of beer to over 400 bottles. Caveats for the beer lover are that most are designed for laying down wine bottles on their sides or at an angle, which is awkward and unnecessary for beer bottles, since few have corks to keep moist. As I’ve mentioned, bottle-conditioned beers should ideally be aged in an upright position. Also, beware of those units which feature glass fronts or bright interior lights to display your collection. These will still need to be positioned in a dark place to avoid light damage to your aging beer.
Temperature control is mainly what these devices are all about, and many feature multiple temperature settings, even within the same unit. This is a definite advantage, allowing barley wines and pilsners to be kept in the same cabinet, although it’s probably still better to store those colder-temp-requiring brews in a separate refrigerator.
A typical lower -cost example of a refrigerated wine storage is The Little Tavern made by Avanti. A 1.7 cu. ft. beer and wine cooler that claims to hold “over two cases of beer.” It sports a tempered glass door and four different temperature settings, and sells for about $139.
The ultimate such coolers, of course, are the stainless steel “back bar” models often seen in bars and restaurants, which can cost thousands of dollars. For those wanting to investigate this route to their “best cellar,” plenty of this equipment, new and used, is available on the Internet at sires such as bigtray.com or centralrestaurant.com