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Best Types of Beverage Dispensers for Parties & Events

3 jugs of lemonade on a table-Types of beverage dispensers for parties & events

There are several types of beverage dispensers for parties and events that you could certainly go with, but which one is the best? Size, material, volume and style all factor into which beverage dispenser you should choose, but it should also reflect the scale and extent of your event. 

But wait! There are still a few more questions you’ll have to answer on top of that. What type of beverages do you need to store? Will it be hot or cold? How many people are you serving? Will it be outdoor or indoor? What ambiance or theme are you going for? Because not all drink dispensers are created equal, we’ve put together a little guide to help you along in your decision-making process.

Drink Type

Out of all the types of beverage dispensers for parties and events, drink selection should be first and foremost in your considerations. That said, commercial beverage dispensers are designed specifically with temperature in mind. Certain types of dispensers keep drinks piping hot for hours, some frigidly cold, while others merely chilled. If you’re having trouble coming up with drink ideas for your party, then have a peek at the list below!

Cold 

If you're planning a party or event outside or during the summer months, you should serve water along with another chilled beverage. You can house them in either a refrigerated beverage dispenser or an uninsulated one filled with ice. But what are your options in the way of drinks? The types of cold beverages include: 

  • Water 
  • Iced tea
  • Iced coffee
  • Mixed drinks 
  • Beer 
  • Juice
  • Lemonade 
  • Soda 

Hot 

Insulated beverage dispensers are the best choice for hot drinks because no one likes a cold cup of coffee unless it's iced–and they survive longer in an insulated environment. The types of hot drinks you can store in them include: 

  • Coffee 
  • Tea
  • Hot chocolate 
  • Hot cocktails
  • Apple cider
  • Mulled wine

Frozen 

Frozen drinks are a party-time favorite because of their specialty appeal. Several commercial beverage dispensers on the market are designed with each of these frozen beverage types in mind:  

  • Slushies 
  • Frozen coffee
  • Frozen cocktails 
  • Smoothies 
  • Milkshakes

Volume

The next step in choosing the right type of beverage dispenser for your party or event will be calculating the number of heads, estimating how many drinks each person will drink and then deciding the appropriate beverage container capacity. Fortunately, drink dispensers come in a wide range of tank sizes and pairings. 

  • Single drink dispenser 
  • Double drink dispenser 
  • Triple drink dispenser 

Material 

Certain materials are better at retaining temperature and flavor. For example, aluminum tanks better preserve carbonated drinks, while whiskey tastes better out of a barrel. But sometimes the price is a consideration, too. For example, glass containers will be more expensive than plastic but less expensive than metal. Check out the variations and their advantages below!

Glass Beverage Dispensers

The most popular type of glass container is probably the mason jar. It spruces up any event, giving it that homestyle vibe best served with cold drinks. Pairing well with this style of decanter are infused juices and other colorful refreshments.

Plastic Beverage Dispensers 

Plastic containers appeal to the budget-conscious in the room–or on the internet. They’re also lightweight and easy to transport, making them optimal for catering events or outdoor parties. 

Stone Beverage Dispensers

Thinking of serving up fine wine or liquor? Then a stone decanter will be the life of the party. Not only will they give your event an added air of sophistication, but it also aerates the wine, bringing its natural flavors to the surface of your palette.

Wood Beverage Dispensers

Whiskey lovers gather around! Your parties will never be the same after you introduce this to the celebration. Whether you decide to keep it behind the bar or let your guests serve themselves, it will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression. Wood dispensers pair well with St. Bernard's.

Metal Beverage Dispensers  

Metals such as stainless steel act as natural insulators, so it’s really no wonder that many beverage dispenser manufacturers have caught on to this little golden nugget of wisdom. The advantage of a metal dispenser is they don’t just keep liquid hot but cold as well, making them the most versatile choice.

Dispenser Type 

Next on the list of types of beverage dispensers for parties and events is a question of whether electric or manual and if it will come with or without a stand.

Electric Beverage Dispensers

Electric dispensers are best for drinks that need to be constantly mixed, like slushies and juices. The automatic portioning feature might also come in handy in the mixed drink department, and it could potentially replace the cost of hiring a bartender. 

Beverage Dispensers with Taps 

If your party is featuring iced teas and infused beverages, there’s no reason to invest in an electric dispenser when a manual one will do the job just as well. 

Beverage Dispensers with Stands

Drink stands are optimal for crowded settings. Not only do they keep containers off the table and out of bumping range, but you can also even store food and other appetizers underneath. What’s better? It’s more hygienic. Guests won’t risk touching the lip of their cups to the edge of the table where others' cups have undoubtedly been.