Top 10 Mini Kegs for the Craft Connoisseur. Our crafty guide to the best mini keg to buy for your party ... or maybe just for yourself! Featuring the best of craft beers and ciders in the UK from Wild Beer to Crafty Nectar.
Picture this: you’re lounging around at home on Friday after a nice, fulfilling week. You think - “you know what would really make things perfect? A nice, cold bottle of cider or beer”. And so you march towards the refrigerator, unable to control your excitement.
But then, bad news.
As you open the fridge’s door, you realize how bad you messed up. Last weekend while out grocery shopping, you swore a six-pack would be perfect, but lo-and-behold, five days later, you are all out of stock. Not a single cold one in sight :(
Sorry for the PTSD-triggering backstory, folks! But it’s true. If I had to count the number of times I felt like sipping on some fine cider or a beer only to realize I’m all out, I could probably build my own brewery!
Jokes apart, there’s a very easy solution to this rather annoying problem. It’s called a mini keg.
For the unfamiliar, a mini keg contains five litres of your favourite tipple (or flat, whichever you prefer!). The logic being - more is better. Especially when the six-packs you buy inexplicably run out the day you feel most like having a drink.
At this point, one may argue about how six-packs or twelve-packs are individually packed and thus, fresher. Well, not exactly. Kegs are designed to make sure that the precious golden nectar they hold remains fresh. There are other advantages to mini kegs, too! Often times, mini kegs can be easier on the wallet than buying individual bottles. Saving money without skimping on drink? Wooohooo.
So now that we’ve made it abundantly clear how mini kegs are practically god’s gift to mankind, how about we talk about a few top-rated ones? Let’s begin!
Dunkertons Black Fox Mini Keg
The Black Fox is one of the most balanced ciders available in the market. Typically found in bottles of 500ml (with 6.8% ABV if you were wondering), we were pretty excited when we found out Dunkertons made them in mini kegs (or party kegs as they call it). A nine-bottle case (4.5 litres) will set you back £24.75, but if you go the party keg route, you get 5 litres for £20. Deal of the century! If you are wondering about the flavour profile of the Black Fox, we’re looking at a cider made using a careful blend of up to fourteen different cider apples. Sounds a bit complex, sure, but it works incredibly well with a good hearty English meal.
Wild Beer Tepache Mini Keg
This isn’t a very common beverage, but tepache is somewhat of a Mexican speciality. Wild Beer has managed to make the pineapple-based beverage taste super unique and tasty. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should consider picking up a bottle. Back when I’d tried this for the first time, I loved how the cinnamon, pineapple rind & peel and piloncillo sugar blended into something truly fun and refreshing. And while earlier Wild Beer only sold full kegs and bottles of their Tepache, they’ve introduced mini kegs, too. They are a bit dearer than your typical cider or beer mini keg but that’s because tepache is a more premium beverage, to begin with.
Fyne Ales Mini Keg
Fyne Ales are a relatively newer brewery, but they’ve made sure to respect traditional methods while adding a modern twist to the brewing. Their mantra is to use this rare blend of contemporary and tradition to make some of the finest progressive beers out there. Jarl is one of their most loved offerings. It’s a blonde ale with really refreshing citrus flavours. Probably one of the most perfect beverages for a relaxing evening. You can order the Jarl in 330ml or 500ml bottles, but if you really like it then we recommend going for their mini keg. At £19.50, it’s a superb bang for your buck and depending on what offers they have running, you might get a pint glass free with every order of two mini kegs!
Wild Beer Pogo Mini Keg
Jumping from one citrus-flavoured masterpiece to another, we have another offering by Wild Beer. It’s a “standard” pale ale with passionfruit, orange and guava. A true tropical feast! This one’s actually my go-to drink whenever I host a party or have friends over. I feel the tropical flavours do a great job of keeping the energy levels and enthusiasm high. It’s also a surprisingly good work-from-home companion because of the same reasons. Have to work on some spreadsheets and then make a deck? A Pogo should help :) (Just be careful not to be too tipsy at work!)
Dunkertons Craft Cider Party Keg
Good things come to those who wait, and if you’re a cider aficionado, you’ll know that Dunkertons has been working on their organic craft cider since quite some time, waiting for it to be perfect before letting the world enjoy their new creation. Well, it’s out now, and it is amazing. It doesn’t pack as hard a punch as the Black Fox (this one’s 5% ABV), but the deep apple flavour and balance of acidity and tannins make this a superb cider. Dunkertons says this craft cider is best paired with red meats, spicy foods or strong creamy cheeses. We agree! It’s a really good accompaniment to meals, just like its sibling. And before we forget – all ciders and perry made by Dunkertons are Soil Association certified, so you know you are getting a good quality drink at a very affordable price.
Wild Beer Millionaire Mini Keg
Let’s move from a traditional cider to something that is as far from traditional cider that you can get, at least in this list! I’m talking about Millionaire by Wild Beer. Inspired by a sweet dessert, I’ll admit – this one is somewhat of a guilty pleasure of mine. Why? Because unlike every other drink on this list, this makes me feel like a kid again. And I feel that’s what’s truly special about the Millionaire. The flavour profile is right out off a child’s list of their favourite foods. Salted caramel? Check. Chocolate? Check. And yet it works so brilliantly well! Initially, I wasn’t expecting this milk stout to be this good, I mean, it sounds kinda weird, doesn’t it? But I’m very happy to report that the flavour profiles are on point. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but as the saying goes – don’t say no before you have a go! And once you do have a go and appreciate this fine drink, you’ll be relieved to know that you can order a mini keg next time. So you don’t run out. Because these get sold out super quickly! And the mini keg is £25.00, so you don’t have to be a millionaire to afford this.
Tiny Rebel Cali Pale Mini Keg
The Cali Pale is spiritually very similar to the Wild Beer Pogo. They’re both tropical beverages which are perfect for some relaxing, casual drinking. It doesn’t pack as much of a punch and is really quite subtle with the tropical flavours – something which you will either love or hate. I personally like subtle flavours so it was quite enjoyable to sip on this beer because it really doesn’t overpower your taste buds which is a good thing. But I really don’t want to put words in your mouth, because flavour preferences are super subjective and you should pick the beer you like most. If you prefer a slightly stronger tropical fruity flavour, opt for the Pogo. If you like subtler flavours, Cali Pale is your ale! This one’s available in a six-litre mini keg, so order accordingly!
Tempest Brewing Co. Vermont Sessions Mini Keg
This one has a slightly low ABV content at 4.6%, but it’s extremely flavourful with some citrusy overtones. The Vermont Sessions is especially a good choice if you prefer unfiltered beers or live a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. It’s available in five-litre mini kegs and is honestly a must-try if you like IPAs. The marginally lower ABV is probably the only drawback here (if you can call it that), and it’s a non-issue, to be honest. The 0.4pc difference between a “regular” 5% ABV beer and this 4.6% is not going to be as apparent as it sounds. Give it a shot!
Mad Squirrel Brewing Resolution Mini Keg
If you’re looking for a good, moderately-bitter golden ale, look no further than the Resolution. Mad Squirrel calls this “immensely drinkable”, but they’re downplaying how good this is by quite a lot! Good pairings for this beer include healthy, light foods like a caesar salad or treats like a quiche lorraine. An important point to note is that this is made from barley and hence contains gluten. In fact, quite a few of the beverages we’ve mentioned do. So if you’re allergic, please check before placing your order! Anyway, back to the Resolution. Mad Squirrel has tried very hard to keep traditional cask ales (or real ales as they’re sometimes called) alive for modern drinkers, so it’s one of the few drinks here that is unique in that respect. This honestly adds to the novelty factor, something I love.
Windswept Brewing Co. Weizen Mini Keg
This is the only wheat beer on this list. If you’re unfamiliar with wheat beers or hefeweizens, trust me, you’re missing out on something super special. They’re probably one of the few beverages that I prefer over a bottle of high-quality cider. In fact, you don’t even have to take my word for it. The Weizen was voted Champion Beer of Scotland 2019 by CAMRA, too! The combination of wheat in a beverage sounds quite counterintuitive at first, but it’s one of those things that ‘just works’. This particular one has hints of bananas and caramel which set it apart even further. It may appear a bit cloudy or hazy, but that’s because it’s a natural unfined beer. It’s available in a five-litre mini keg.
Ten super delicious solutions to not running out of booze when you need it the most. Ah, if only other solutions to life were this good! But don’t let that take away from the joyous experience of drinking from your own personal mini keg :D