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Danby DBC120BLS Beverage Center - Stainless Steel
Style Name: 120 Bottle Bev CtrChange
Price:$199.00 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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186 of 192 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2014
I began researching a variety of cooling devices to store my ever-growing collection of beers and was frustrated by the dearth of information readily available for such storage. Dedicated beer refrigerators/coolers were far more expensive than their wine cooling counterparts and, given that I was looking to keep the cost relatively low, I was unwilling to shell out more than $300 for one. After seeing the wide variety of thermoelectric coolers available, I was initially reticent to purchase a refrigerator because it seemed like there was a steep price differential between the two. The more I considered proper beer storage and read about the aforementioned coolers though the less comfortable I was with using them.

Ultimately, I came across the Danby DBC120BLS Beverage Center and liked what I saw in terms of the price, the reviews, and the product itself. I liked also that at least a few people were using it to store beer and so I made my purchase. I wound up setting it up last night and discovered a few things that I thought would be of interest to anyone else in search of something to use as a beer cellar.

BEST ASPECTS OF USING THE DANBY BEVERAGE CENTER FOR BEER CELLARING

1. The adjustable temperature range covers a wide assortment of beers. Usually the target temperature for aging beer is between 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit. Many of the thermoelectric coolers feature extremely narrow ranges with the LOWER end being closer to the low 50s (which means that it would have to work essentially at max capacity at all times just to maintain the temperature). Plus, if there are any temperature fluctuations, say, of five degrees or more, you could wind up impacting the long term quality of your beers. The 43-57 degree range of the Danby is great because it affords more leeway, particularly if you live in an area that gets particularly warm in the summer thereby creating a substantial temperature differential between the interior and exterior of the refrigerator.

2. At the $200 price point, you'll be hard-pressed to find better capacity. By comparison, most of the wine cellars available at and around $200 hold less than 20 bottles and, in most cases, 18 or fewer. Depending upon what you are aging beer-wise, you will easily store double that amount or better with the Danby.

3. The removable shelves provide flexible storage layouts. Again, depending upon what you're looking to age, you will have a variety of options in terms of how to store your stash. The single most limiting aspect though is the type(s) of bottles that you're looking to age. When it comes to cellaring beer, the common best-practice is to store it upright, especially if the beer is corked. The problem with this is the fact that most corked bottles tend to be of the larger variety (750ml) and thus take up much more space than their twelve ounce counterparts.

The existence of multiple shelf grooves will allow you to make the most of the space available but only to a certain degree. One of the photos for this unit had a comment that the user was able to get 49 twelve ounce bottles and 4 bombers for a total of 53 bottles. None of the bottles appeared to be corked and a few were being stored sideways--something to consider, again, if you have a variety of beer bottle types.

As for my current setup, I have the top-most shelf in along with a single shelf towards the bottom dividing the interior into three zones. At the bottom I currently have 8 large bottles including three corked 750mls, 1 uncorked 750, and four bomber sized bottles along with 6 smaller bottles, two of which are corked. Now, you won't be able to take advantage of the full space on the lowest level because there is a small portion that juts out to allow water to drain towards the compressor during the automatic defrosting cycle. Having the corked bottles standing on a wire shelf ABOVE this point should allow you to get more in...but the thought of overloading the shelf and losing bottles of Black Tuesday and the Firestone barrel aged series made me anxious. Instead, I opted for the security of the ground level at the expense of housing a few more bottles (which, at present, I don't have).

On the middle shelf I have 29 bottles approximately half of which are the standard slender 12 oz and half are the stubbier, slightly fatter bottles; these are all vertical as well. Lastly, I have six bottles stored on their side in two pyramids on the special top shelf. You lose a little bit of space at the very top so that you can keep the fan clear (the shelf is designed specifically for this purpose) so you can't make use of the ENTIRE interior.

In total though, with nearly a dozen very big bottles, I was able to get a total of 49 bottles into the unit. They are perfectly chilled at the moment and, with any luck, they will remain that way for a long time to come.

The bottom line: if you're looking to cellar beers then this is the ideal unit with which to do so!
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209 of 218 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2012
I was reluctant to order this at first due to a lot of comments around the packaging of the unit and them showing up with dents and scratches. When the unit arrived the outside parcel was a bit torn. However the seller must have taken the feedback that was given and made some changes as my unit was in perfect condition without a single scratch or dent. It was double boxed. The OEM box has the unit inside with a Styrofoam shell. Then the EOM box was lined with stiff cardboard corners and wrapped in Styrofoam around that and then placed in an additional box. Only the otter box had a slight tear. Given the weight of the unit it was expected. Don't hesitate to order this unit as I'm certain it will show up in perfect condition if we were to order an additional one.

The unit itself is made of quality materials. I placed a digital thermometer inside the unit and it holds a sold 37 degrees inside. Keep in mind this is a minifridge and not a cooler. A major difference. The only complaint I have about the unit is that we have it downstairs behind our bar. Not in the bar but behind it sitting on the carpet. When placed on the carpet the door would drag the carpet and after our first basement break in party the door was left slightly open a few times because the door was difficult to shut. I tried to adjust the feet to raise the unit up but was unable to do so because the legs are not adjustable. I happen to have an extra 18X18 tile from the bathroom. I sat the unit on top of the tile and it solved the problem. The door open and shuts perfectly. Keep in mind we do not have shag carpet either. It is a medium density stainmaster carpet with standard stainmaster padding. If you plan to place this in a carpeted area do yourself a favor and go purchase an 18X18 tile.

As others have mentioned the shelves don't hold cans the best when you go to fill it as some tip from side to side when placed vertical. I removed the second from the bottom shelf to hold 4-5Liter kegs. I can hold exactly a case of beer in the bottom section which is not as deep as the others since the compressor housing is in the way. Which leaves me with the top full shelf and the very top shelf that holds them in a horizontal fashion. The horizontal shelf holds a 12 pack 6 on each side. Without the removal of a shelf this unit will not accommodate 16oz water bottles or beer bottles placed vertically. These will need to be placed on their sides unless you remove a shelf.

Overall I would give this fridge a 5 out of 5 or 10 out of 10. It servers our purposes perfectly and it looks great, and it was at a great price point. If I had to make a couple of changes or a wish list. I wish it used an LED bulb for that newer look. Additionally, I wish the light could be turned on when the door was shut since it is a glass face to showcase the drinks inside. UPDATE: Finds out there is a switch inside on the side of the light to turn it on. Check that off the lsit! Other than that it's the perfect height and the top is being used to hold our EdgeStar 5Liter Kegerator. Which places the tap at the perfect height and I am 5'10".

All in all don't hesitate to purchase this unit as I searched for several weeks and really did my homework before ordering a mini fridge for our bar when we finished the basement. I assure you that you will not find a better product at this price point.

UPDATE: Over a year later this thing is still ice cold and no issues. Look no furhter, the perfect minifridge holds true!!!
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122 of 128 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2013
So far, I am very pleased with this beverage center refrigerator. I think the company listened to some of the complaints and concerns of previous buyers and made some improvements to this model. For instance, our unit does have leveling feet in the front. The owner's manual does explain how to turn on the light so it stays on with the door closed. (Unfortunately, the light bulb is still incandescent, not LED. That would be a nice improvement but would probably add to the price.)

The wire shelves really aren't too bad. After reading some of the reviews here, I was planning on putting some shelf liners in or cutting some pieces of plate glass to fit on them to keep the drink cans upright. But again, I believe the company redesigned the shelves, adding more wires to them because we haven't had too many issues with cans tipping over.

In terms of performance, this unit is very quite and cools quickly. No clicking sounds as others have reported. I put a refrigerator thermometer in it so I could perfectly set the temperature. Contrary to what others reported, you can make this unit quite cold. I have it set to around 36 degrees F. according to the thermometer. I have had no problems with the drinks freezing on the bottoms shelf.

The unit arrived well-packed, double boxed with no dents or cosmetic defects.

One thing that I think may be causing problems for other buyers: Be sure to let the unit stay in its normal, upright position for about 5 hours after unpacking it and before plugging it in and turning it on. (This is not specified in the manual, except in one place that explains how to reverse the door so it opens the other way, and there it says to wait for one hour before turning the unit back on after tilting it backwards or laying it on its side.) All refrigeration systems have oil in the compressor that can get into the coils when the unit is tilted out of the vertical position. You need to let the unit sit for a few hours so all the oil can drain out of the coils and back into the compressor before turning it on. Otherwise, you shorten the life of the compressor. This may be why a few people complained that the unit was making loud clicking noises or not cooling very well. We can barely hear the compressor when it turns on and the internal fan is nearly silent.

I have only had this beverage center running for about a week, so if I run into any issues with it in the future, I will update this review.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2013
I wanted a fridge for my bar area that would keep just bottles of beer and other bar things cold. So when I purchased this fridge I read it might be loud but it is definitely one of the coldest fridges. When I first received the Fridge I followed all the guidance even a little too much by letting it sit out for 2 days before plugging it in and making sure it had room to breath. My first fridge however never got cold, in fact stayed very hot. In the back what I think was the condenser was very hot to touch as the fridge was trying to blow cold air. I called up Danby customer service who was very apologetic and helpful in walking me through some steps and informing me to just request a replacement fridge from Amazon as this one seemed to be broken.

So I went through and quickly received a second fridge from Amazon, which I once again followed all guidance and plugged in. This time the fridge actually started to feel as though it was blowing cold air. But to be fair it does not feel cold enough for what I wanted from my bar fridge. Even storing as little as 15 drinks in the fridge none of the drinks were cold enough to drink without getting ice, or putting into a second fridge. I never got a temperature reading but even on the coldest setting the drinks were just not cold enough for what I wanted. For some this cold level may be fine but it wasn't what I was looking for in my fridge.

I do appreciate the help I received from Danby customer service and the quick turnaround from Amazon on the fridge but this Fridge is just not for me. I have returned the second fridge and will begin to look for another model that is a bit colder.
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73 of 89 people found the following review helpful
I was concerned given all the reviews about keeping the drinks cold enough but I use mine in my workout room to house all my exercise drinks and it keeps them plenty cold enough at a medium-high setting (probably due the fan circulating the air which most beverage coolers do not have). I haven't seen any dramatic increase in my electric bill either. My only complaint is the auto-defrost feature. It does auto-defrost and collect the water in a reservoir that is supposed to evaporate by the heat of the compressor. But in my house apparently it didn't get hot enough because it didn't evaporate and over flowed in the back and spilled out onto the floor behind the unit. Now I just keep an eye on it and use a large syringe to remove the water if the reservoir fills up.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2013
Came so quickly we had to give it to him early, pretty big box to hide. No damage at all, started cooling right away and seems to be keeping things nice and cold at about the halfway setting. Had some issues like others have said with the wire shelves, the wires are too far apart, even cans wobble on them. Fixed that with some clear plexiglass now things sit perfectly. Great gift!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2012
I purchased this beverage fridge for my office, and I am very happy with it, it keeps the beverages cool, adjusts to fit different size bottles and cans.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2013
I got this for my warehouse. I have an online business that outgrew my home for inventory, so I got a small warehouse. I was kind of unsure since people say they had problems with it getting cold enough. But I'm just storing drinks for when I'm around.

Because of some people voicing complaints that it didn't get cold enough, I cranked it up to max, as the warehouse isn't air-conditioned and it has been in the 90-95 degrees lately. Well, today I came into a big puddle on the floor. It got so cold it actually froze about 12 cans of Dr. Pepper, to the point they exploded.

Not it's fault. This thing is cool... in more then one way. :)
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2014
This beverage center proved to be a very bad purchase for our family. However, at the end of my bad-news story, there is a happy ending.

The first Danby DBC120BLS Beverage Center we ordered lasted 3 months before it stopped working. No warning; it just died a mysterious and unexpected death. Amazon was wonderful and quick to replace the lemon, which we hauled to the street for city pickup. The second (identical) Danby functioned but was so terribly loud that the noise intruded on conversations, TV watching, napping, and everything else connected with daily living. Our oversized fridge, in the same room, was silent compared to the little-but-clamorous Danby Beverage Center. The noise was driving us crazy, so we contacted Amazon.

Amazon told us to contact the manufacturer, and the manufacturer told us to contact Amazon. (You know how THAT goes.) If we were to hope for a replacement, Danby required an authorized technician to examine the appliance. We scheduled a visit and waited (and waited) our turn. The technician agreed the noise was abnormally loud. He said the Danby needed a new compressor, which would cost more than the purchase price of a new unit. He suggested that Danby simply replace the appliance.

Despite the authorized technician's written report, Danby squabbled about a refund. We were, however, welcome to crate and ship the unit back to them -- a heavy-lifting project that would end up costing as much in handling/shipping as the mini-fridge itself. (You can imagine our frustration.) Long story short: Danby non-cheerfully sent us a refund for the beverage center, which we unplugged and got rid of ASAP. Now what? We still needed a beverage center to fill the hole in our kitchen. We certainly were not willing to try another Danby, although it was the exactly-right size for our cabinetry.

Here's the solution: First, we searched online for all beverage centers of appropriate dimensions, including units that were smaller than the above Danby. Next, we researched each of the units on our list to compare features, price, and RATINGS FROM CUSTOMERS. Because excessive noise is a common complaint in these little fridges, we did not want to order a new one (of any brand) and get stuck, again.

We found a beverage center that looked good on paper and was not criticized for noise: Summit Model SCR312L. We had never heard of this brand before. We found out it was sold online by a "big box" store but was not available in-store. We spoke with the local store manager, told her we were interested in the Summit, but would need to plug it in at the store to listen to it before we committed to it. She agreed to order it for us; no problem... Well, the Summit SCR312L passed the test! It cools AND it is quiet! It isn't as tall as the Danby, but it holds a lot more than it looks like it will hold, which is enough for us. We use the excess space at the top to store a decorative box filled with extra beverages... Did I mention that this little fridge is quiet? ... My intention is not to promote Summit here. But I am suggesting that you find a way to see and hear the product before installing it in your home. We learned the hard way.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2014
The information was there in the description, but i missed it, so I guess the fault is mine. I always read the negative reviews first to see what problems folks are experiencing, but the temperature issue wasn't addressed. It seemed there were more good reviews than bad - so i ordered the unit. However, if you are buying this "Beverage Center" so that you have COLD drinks, this is not the product you want. I purchased it for my business so we would have cold drinks - water, wine and champagne - to serve to clients. However, with a unit that has a cooling range of 43 - 57 degrees, you might as well keep your drinks in the closet. It is the sort of information that really should be highlighted/emphasized somehow - Beverage Center does not equal mini-frig! I can't believe that i'm the only one that was duped into thinking that because it looked like a mini-frig it would actually keep stuff cold.
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