Beverage centers are trending—do you need one?
Because we all love a cold drink
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Upon entering a friend’s home, winding down from a rough day, or getting ready to enjoy outdoor time with loved ones, one of the first questions posed is often, “Would you like something to drink?”
Beverages get the ball rolling in many situations. Not to mention, the right drink at the right time is satisfying.
Unfortunately, as anyone with cases of cola, beer, or wine bottles stored in their garage can attest, beverages also take up a ton of space in a home.
But, things are changing. Beverages are starting to take on a starring role when it comes to kitchen design.
According to NKBA’s Living Impacts Design study, 80% of consumers deemed targeted storage in the kitchen a critical design need, especially during the pandemic.
Appliance brands are following suit. Anja Prescher, brand director at Bosch Home Appliances, says, “As the trend for dedicated beverage storage in the kitchen grows, consumers are looking for a refrigerator that does it all—one that is equipped to deliver on their organization, freshness and beverage needs, and is intentionally designed to save space.”
Translation: We want to keep things cool, or so says a recent Bosch study that reveals Americans are specifically interested in keeping their cold drinks chilled.
Enter the beverage center
Prescher explains, “[Beverage centers] equip consumers with a dedicated storage space for their favorite drinks, offering different temperature settings specifically for different types of bottled beverages.”
These are not college dorm mini-fridges. Say goodbye to opaque doors and one-shelf wonders. Today’s beverage centers are super sleek, with specific storage design (hello, pullout drawers) for your drinks and usually boast transparent doors of UV resistant glass. Temperature controls are also quite different, going beyond the average mini’s 40 degrees F.
From wine to soda, champagne to your kids’ juice boxes, there is a controlled temperature (and often an app, as many are Smart-phone controlled) for each. Horizontal bottle and can storage also translates to more efficient cooling.
Find the right beverage center for you
Having one of these beverage centers in your home puts an end to ill-chilled drinks, so we asked Prescher for tips on choosing the right one for you.
The beverage center’s interior design is a top consideration, she says, as it will more than likely dictate how you use the unit. Think about you and your family’s individual needs. Are you a wine enthusiast? A non-alcoholic spirits fan? A soda lover? “Perhaps you’re a combination of all three,” Prescher notes.
Your search should also consider where you’ll be pouring out a cold one. Freestanding units can be placed almost anywhere in your home, whereas a built-in unit fits directly into your kitchen cabinet space.
Under-counter built-in beverage centers
When your kitchen decor allows, consider the ease of use of an under-counter built-in unit, such as the Viking 24-inch Undercounter Beverage Center. This unit offers a spacious capacity for up to 19 bottles of your favorite vintages or 108 cans, and features 3-in-1 slide-out convertible shelf with a removable glass pane. The chic “tru-flush” design in stainless steel, theater LED lighting, and midnight black interior add a hint of sex-appeal not usually reserved for appliances.
Freestanding beverage centers
If you’re fitting your beverage center into the décor of a finished basement for thirsty game day adults or kids play dates, check out the NewAir Compact Beverage Fridge that boasts space for up to 126 cans. Translation: guests won’t have to wait for a commercial break to head to the kitchen for another drink. The Set-and-Forget thermostat has seven custom settings to keep beer and soda at the perfect temperature for serving. There’s an integrated lock and key so curious hands don’t get into the adult stash.
In-fridge beverage centers
A third option is having your actual refrigerator pull double duty (or triple duty in the case of the 800 Series Bosch 4-door French-door with refreshment center refrigerator). This triple threat appliance is not only a fridge, it boasts a spacious ice compartment and a separate drawer specifically for beverages. The drawer is designed for optimal temperature and humidity at the touch of a button, with five pre-programmed settings to create the ideal environment for any beverages—from red wine to champagne, craft beer to soda, and more.
Prescher says, “We like to think of it as a wine cellar for your fridge.” This newly released French-door fridge features a one-of-a-kind glass-display drawer complete with dedicated wine racks for beverage storage of up to 17 bottles of wine.
“It also houses two premium red oak shelves with a sliding top shelf for easy access to whichever beverage you choose to store,” she adds. The system offers the option to remove the second shelf to go big in your home with magnums.
Regardless of the beverage center you choose, the moment you put a cold drink in your hand, Prescher jokes, “there’s simply nothing to ‘wine’ about.”
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.