Reviews

NewAir ABR-960 Can Beer Cooler Product Review

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When New Air (a refrigeration appliances company) reached out to me to review their new ABR-960 Can Cooler I didn’t think a hands on experience would be possible. Luckily for me and you, NewAir sent me this new floor model in the mail in exchange for a no-guarantee write-up which I am happy to deliver for this solid home, office or business appliance. The NewAir ABR-960 has become my favorite place to keep beers, both bottles and cans, and that’s coming from a household that already has three other refrigerators before this one.

I must admit to being a little intimidated by the big, unwieldy package when it arrived on my doorstep but I was able to experience the unboxing like any other consumer. Once I sat down to actually setup the refrigerator it was actually quite easy to setup and all the pieces were pretty much plug/pop-on and play. I didnt even need any tools. Once you unbox this baby and remove the parts, I washed each rack individually and wiped down the interior of the refrigeration unit. Like many refrigerators, you want to make sure this is sitting right-side up for atleast 24 hours for any oil to drain from it’s cooling lines. Other than the basic cleaning and adjustment of each bottle/can rack, I simply screwed on a handle for the glass door and placed a tray that fits into the bottom to collect any moisture. From here you just plug the unit in and adjust it to your desired temperature (which can go as low as 36 degrees) with a blue LED display.

I especially enjoyed the temperature control on this unit and it’s bright display. Instead of adjusting a knob from cool to coldest without knowing the actual temp, you can adjust this continuously monitoring refrigeration unit right to your optimal preferred temp for beer serving. Really you probably don’t want to go below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for craft beer and I’d even consider taking it up to 45 degrees. Of course, if you are going to enjoy a Barleywine, Imperial Stout or something complex like that you may want it to be even warmer but I recommend letting it sit out for 10-15 minutes rather than keeping the refrigerator that cold. Keeping it to 45 degrees or colder will keep your beer fresher longer and even if you are cellaring a beer it will still change albeit more slowly this way. Speaking of cooling, the NewAir AB-960 is extremely quiet and sits right on the hardwood floors of my dining room in the center of the house. I scarcely know it’s there.

This model is presumebly called the 960 because it’s designed to hold 96 cans of beer or 58 beer bottles (presumably all 12oz packaging sizes). I have adjusted the racks so that the top three levels are for cans set on their sides and the bottom level is high enough to put specialty bottles into. The bottom level has some specialty stuff like 750ml bottles and other caged and corked type things that I want stood upright and at an optimal temp. The refrigeration unit has LED lighting that cuts down on cost and provides some nice energy savings. The lighting can also be adjusted to 50% brightness to save even more energy. In fact this unit is so efficient it only uses 217 kilowatts a year, so it’s a very minimal cost to your electric bill.

Last but not least it’s surprisingly small and compact for how much it stores, it looks pleasing with it’s glass front and is sturdy with quality materials and double walled glass door. It’s only 15 inches wide by 23 inches deep and just 34 inches high, designed so that it can fit into a bottom shelf/countertop space as shown in the picture above. Of course you don’t need to install it anywhere, mine is in my dining room next to the liquor cabinet.

The NewAir ABR-960 96-Can Beverage Cooler (UPC:854001004891) is $749 on NewAir’s website but you can use promo code NEWSCHOOL to get 20% off at checkout! or if you are not an Amazon hater, you can purchase it for $599.99 on Amazon.com

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com

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