Beverage Center: good, better, best?

gaylFebruary 25, 2011

I need a beverage center for a new house build. Was told Sub-z should be the way to go, but was quoted $1900. Any ideas on other options? Will be keeping some wine, soft drinks, mixers in there. Thanks!

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I did research on these a while back and found that Perlick was another very good brand. It turned out that I did not have the space for one, but I was leaning toward the Sub-zero refrigerator drawers because they actually get cold enough to store milk, beer, etc. More versatile than a beverage center - most of which are designed primarily for wine and do not get cold enough for beer, etc.

The main complaints I remember seeing were the temp not getting cold enough and also the noise that some made.

Here is a link that might be useful: Perlick

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 3:02PM
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I don't think the complaints above were about Perlick-- they are possibly the best chilling undercounter unit out there and they are quiet. I had a rattle with mine because something was loose (probably a shipping issue), but it was very easily fixed.

I have Perlick drawers and keep them set at 32 (you control the temp with a digital read out), so the milk and juice never get above 37 in there and the compressor and high BTUs mean it has a fast recovery if it has been open and the temp does go up. Ours is used in our breakfast room for every meal and them some, so that was important to us. Our milk stays fresher than it did in the old big fridge. SZ was 27" and I needed 24" and am very happy with Perlick. I think those two are your "best", just depends on whether you have a size constraint.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 4:43PM
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Sorry - I did not mean to imply that there were complaints with Perlick, I meant to say that that was one of the best brands and the complaints I remember seeing were about other manufacturers. My bad.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 5:11PM
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Thanks for your you know anything about any other options? I just can't find much info out there...

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:39PM
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The key to look for in a Beverage Center is its ability to reach refrigeration temperatures. Of the ones on the market, the only brands I'm aware of that reach 34 degrees are U-Line (all the different versions), Sub Zero, and Liebherr.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 9:54AM
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Guess you didn't read my post -- Perlick allows you to set the temp digitally and I keep mine at 32. Nothing freezes, but everything stays cold and the milk stays fresher longer than ever before.

At the time I bought mine, Perlick was the only energy star rated undercounter fridge and they did it with a high BTU variable speed compressor that meant it would reach that chill and recover quickly, but still run energy efficiently. They are priced comparably to SZ, which I was less than thrilled with, but the quality (well built, runs well and things like solid stainless drawers) has been worth it. The worst thing about them is that they were harder to find -- don't know if that's still true, but they are worth searching for.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 10:44AM
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I apologize lascatx...I was referencing Beverage Centers (glass door units with wine racks), and I believed you to be referencing refrigerators (no wine racks, tend to be solid door)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 2:09PM
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While I have the fridge drawers, Perlick does undercounter fridges with solid doors, glass doors, wine racks, keg chillers, freezer units -- but no ice makers that I am aware of.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 5:07PM
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We decided against a beverage center for our new kitchen reno, but, while it was still in the plan, our appliance guru suggested a Marvel unit that had fairly flexible options for internal space (can handle a standing bottle, not just shallow racks). It might be worth a look (the price we got was around $1200-1300.) The link below is the unit. (If you're looking for "Pro" style appliances, I believe that it also now comes in a model with Aga Pro branding, model number APRO6BARM.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Marvel Dual Zone Beverage Center

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 10:13AM
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We went with a Sub Zero beverage center for our kitchen renovation last fall. We got the unit with the glass door, two slide out wine shelves, two glass shelves for other drinks, and a bottom drawer. We've been happy with the unit. It is quiet and holds a lot of drinks. I think it will go down to 34 degrees, but we keep ours at 38. The only downside is that it seems the drink you want is always toward the back of the shelf, which is not easy to get to given its low position. If I had to do it over again I would consider going instead with a two drawer unit, but the Sub Zero unit in this configuration was 27" wide and our space would only accommodate 24". I think this configuration would have been more useful since some of the models have drawers that are deep enough to store gallon jugs of milk. They would not be as convenient for wine as the slide out shelves we have, but I think overall they would have been more useful.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 8:32PM
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The saleslady helping me at Abt said that Sub-Zero and ULine are the best options for beverage centers as they are the only ones to get cold enough to really chill beverages.

One caveat, I don't think they carry Perlick (as that brand did not come up in conversation).

Check around for returns or show room closeouts. We stumbled across one and saved nearly 50%.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 11:35PM
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Thanks, everyone for your help. I'll be going out to see all these suggestions next week and try to come to a decision.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 12:40AM
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Stay away from Uline. They are junk.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 9:07PM
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I totally agree with Mickey19. Uline are junk. I had a relative that would say the same.

Here is a link that might be useful: Appliance Repair San Antonio

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 4:22PM
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Thanks for bumping. We need two and don't want to pay for a SZ. We need a single zone (drinks and beer with an occasional bottle of wine) fridge that gets down to fridge temps (i.e., 35 or so). Many I have found are really wine coolers and only get to the 40s, not cold enough for beer and soda. Don't want to pay SZ price and was hoping there is another option . . .

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 4:37PM
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Athens, do you *need* a beverage centre (i.e. with glass front), or could you go with a built-in mini fridge with overlay? That's the route I'm going (Marvel 61RF) for our bar downstairs. I think it was generally cheaper than a typical beverage centre, will blend in with the cabinetry because of the overlay (and vents forward so it's a true built-in), and I get to store stuff on the door. It even has a mini freezer area for some ice cube trays. I haven't checked, but I assume it must also be more energy efficient since it has a solid door vs a glass front.

Probably not good for oenophiles, but it's another option to consider.

Here is a link that might be useful: Marvel 61RF

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 8:11PM
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We had an Electrolux beverage center in our previous home and we really liked it. I believe it has a temp range of 35-45. Never had a problem with drinks being cold, construction was solid and always received a ton of compliments on its looks.

Will be putting in another with the matching wine cooler in our next remodel shortly.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 1:06AM
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Marvel has just introduced a 35 degree glass door unit that sells for about $1449 with a glass and stainless door. 6GARM-BS-G . It is mostly refrigerator and has one wine area at the bottom and two refrigerator glass shelves that convert to wine shelves if you need them.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 12:55PM
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Thanks - just got a price on that of around 1300 from our dealer. It has poor reviews on ajmadison though . . .

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 3:52PM
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"Stay away from Uline. They are junk."

mickey and king - you are going to have to do better than a drive by shooting.

Why exactly do you THINK they are junk? Any personal experience with them? How much experience do you have with their competitors' comparable models ? What were that relative's issue(s) with theirs?

Until you can bring something tangible to the party I'd suggest you hang out elsewhere. "I heard brand "x" was junk" while waiting in line to get a dog and a brew at the little league ball game hardly constitutes an informed and reliable opinion about anything.

king - you are also in violation of this site's rules by directly linking to (your) commercial website! You'll need to drop that from your future posts.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 9:54PM
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I have seen that some Perlick drawers (both fridge and freezer) are on clearance a day's drive from me. I am interested in going to see them but would like to know first if they are tall enough to hold a gallon of milk, a bottle of wine, 2 litre soda bottles. I'd like to use them in my beverage centre for a variety of beverages. It seems drawers would be easier than a low down fridge shelf but only if everything can be stored upright.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 4:56PM
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Does anyone else have any more feedback on a good beverage center? I want beer and soda to be cold. Was looking at the U-line 1175BEV which says it goes down to 34 degrees.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 4:26PM
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I have owned two Uline undercounter fridges for 4 years; both have needed major repair; the first failed several weeks before the warranty was up; they didn't honor it. The second unit has had a defective harness once a year. Not kidding. Just paid another $261 today. So, I figure I've paid roughly $1000 in repairs in the four years I've had them. I actually called the company and told them I felt one of the units was a lemon--or the constantly failing part was badly designed. Nice lady said she'd look into it. A year later, another failure and silence from Milwaukee. On the other hand, the repair guy said most brands of similar units required service a lot, except SubZero. (Looks like I've paid for a SubZero by now!--but can't use 27 inches...)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 10:02PM
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I have been researching "beverage/wine combos" and have read this message board. Could anyone update me on their experience with the U-line or Marvel? According to a local appliance store, they are going to stop carrying the Marvel because of too many issues (of course, this was the one I liked the best as far as looks, beverage/wine capacity, etc. and had decided on purchasing).

I have tried googling "reviews" on what is the best of ALL the beverage/wine combos and it seems like ALL of them have not gotten very good ratings. Please help because I now have a 24" opening in my new kitchen for a beverage/wine appliance and don't know what to purchase.

Thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 4:37PM
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I heard the same thing about Marvel from the appliance store when I was looking for a wine fridge. Then one day, that same appliance store had the 6BARM like the one linked above on sale for $950. It was new-in-box, but it might have been a canceled order or something. So I bought it. It's been in for about a year and has functioned fine.

My only complaint is that it is easily the loudest appliance I have. The compressor only kicks on a few times a day, but when it does it's like a jet engine. A couple of months ago, I went out to HD and picked up some styrofoam insulation and lined the space around the the fridge. It's now much better. It's still the loudest appliance I have, but now it's only a little louder than my main refrigerator.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 5:29PM
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Thanks Jscout! I'm assuming yours is a built-in since you were able to put the Styrofoam insulation around it which sounds like a great idea. I could live with that.

Have you had any problems with the "cooling" aspects of it, i.e. keeping your can drinks cold?

Thanks, again!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 6:18PM
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Yes, I have it built-in, but I think it can be left out too. The sides are all black. Even though it's a beverage fridge, I actually have it set for wine storage. So while it can be colder, I set it at 51 degrees. I store my reds in the bottom below the glass where it's a little warmer and the whites above. I do have some beers in there with the whites. But they're not ice cold. it's a compromise, because the wine storage is more important to me. I also keep some beers in my regular fridge where it's much colder. When I entertain, I use a large plastic cooler or a tub full of ice for easier access.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:10PM
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As others have mentioned before, I suggest checking out Perlick's Factory Seconds page or calling Scott for the most up to date list. We just picked up a Perlick HC24BB Beverage Center for over 50% savings off the best online price we had found. We ultimately chose the Perlick after researching many other brands b/c of the 2 wine racks, full-extension beverage shelf ad ability to chill to 36�...the factory seconds price also helped! We are building it into a butler's pantry so we wanted the ability to also store cheeses, etc in there for entertaining. The customer service from the guys at Perlick is also top-notch.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 4:47PM
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I also picked up a Perlick beverage centre at a greatly reduced price from Perlick's Factory Seconds. Haven't used it yet as the kitchen is still in progress. What I like even better than the Perlick are the True fridge drawers I bought to keep my produce at my prep island. These are currently plugged in in my garage filled with my apple and pear harvest. These are beautiful - full extension, soft close, quiet and you can set the temperature. They do beverage centres as well as drawers.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 12:21AM
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There is a good website where you can purchase
the beverage center now at a very good price

At the moment they have the beverage refigerator in stock , but
I donâÂÂt know how long it will last:)

Here is a link that might be useful: Beverage Refigerators

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 8:23PM
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