Cigar Aficionado

A Greener (And Frostier) World

I like to think I’ve done my part in the fight against global warming—on a very localized level. I speak, of course, about the beer fridge.

A beer fridge typically evolves from an old refrigerator that someone in the house (usually the wife) has deemed inappropriate for use in the kitchen. Sure, it still works, as in it keeps things nice and cold, but no doubt it’s showing its age. Perhaps there are a few scratches on the doors, maybe the fan makes too much noise, or maybe the shelves in the door no longer function properly. When you whip open the door of your refrigerator to grab the milk, and bottles of ketchup and mustard fly across the room, it’s a sign that you need a new refrigerator. (I speak from experience.) And with it, a beer fridge is born.

I recently bought a new refrigerator, leaving me with three: the new one, for upstairs; the one with the cracked door shelves, which was otherwise perfectly functional; and the smallish one I had in my basement, keeping beers cold. My plan was to replace the old beer fridge with the larger one, leaving me one beer fridge too many.

My friend Rick was in the market for a beer fridge of his own. He was going to buy a new one. Instead, I gave him mine in exchange for an old sofa that was destined to clog another landfill. We hit upon a green solution.

Now much like the weathered refrigerator that no longer finds itself welcome in the civilized confines of a home, Rick’s sofa had been asked to leave his house by his significant other. But the flaws that ushered in its exile (some stains on the fabric here, a rip there) made it a perfect fit for the aesthetics of my subterranean cigar bunker, which yearned for more seating. The arrangement was perfect.

This weekend, right after driving from the Big Smoke at MGM Grand Foxwoods, I borrowed coworker Jack Bettridge’s pickup truck (yes, Bettridge drives a pickup truck—go figure) and drove it home to make the transfer. Rick pulled up to my home, a big smile on his face, and we got to work.

As Rick and I lugged the medium-sized refrigerator into the bed of the truck, we reflected on the genius of the first person who opted not to recycle, sell or trash his dingy refrigerator and said to himself: ‘Hey, this thing would look great in my basement with a case of cold beer inside.’

The beer fridge is simple genius, and makes any smoking room sustainable. No need for endless trips upstairs, no need to fill a cooler with ice when you’re having friends over for poker and cigars, no need to leave the room at all, really.

At the end of the day, I plopped down on my new old couch and fired up a cigar with cold beers only steps away. All was right in the world. Rick came by, happy to report that his new beer fridge was actively chilling frosties of his own.

Now that’s recycling I can believe in.

"Counselor Bettridge, as usual, makes fine points for someone who owns and actually drives a pickup truck (for which he has my deepest admiration as I'm sure he does so to pick up the whole hog for the summer Q season). Still, the assumption in Captain Jack's posting is that I meant there to be only one refrigerator. To which I say, "Nay, nay." I have THREE. One that would, upon his highly unlikely visit to my residence, shelter the milk and yogurt with kind cooling; a second that keeps the wine properly chilled and that we would pass as we proceeded to; the BEER FRIDGE!All on one level. As for the so-called necessity of the bunker, I have no comment except to say hi to your wife and son." —April 23, 2009 11:39 AM
"Mr.Benes ignores certain exigencies that apply to Mr. Savona's lifestyle but not to his own. To wit: by definition the primary refrigerator will always contain the child's milk and the wife's fruit-flavored, no-sugar yogurt, which will crowd out and possibly contaminate his beer. Therefore secondary cooling (the beer fridge) is absolutely necessary. Also, even if he were to repair to the outdoor furniture, backyard or spa--during the months when that is possible in the northeast--he would still be unprotected from interruption and molestation by the consumers of said milk and yogurt. The beer fridge and the bunker are necessities." —April 23, 2009 09:34 AM
"OR: 1) Live in a single-story house. The beer is always easily accessible with no fear for your remaining knee cartilage.2) Live in Southern California. The "sofa" is the comfortable outdoor furniture. The "cigar bunker" is the backyard, including the spa (what we back east used to call a Jacuzzi).and, finally, though I know you and I have our different ideas about this, David:3) Drink rum. Of course, then you need a freezer for the ice. Please refer to 1." —April 22, 2009 18:34 PM