Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jackson Payer's 1952 Philco Kegerator

 Necessity spurns artistic craftsmanship for the restoration/conversion of this classic 1952 Philco refrigerator. This fully functional masterpiece is the work of homebrewer Jackson Payer, who marries all the attention to detail of a perfectly restored '56 Chevy with modern beer dispensing technology. The '52 Philco is "one-of-a-kind" and clearly shows Jackson's love and passion for home brewing. This unit was a submission in 2011 Siciliano's Market Kegerator Contest. The photos and information included here were part of an article from Sept 2011 profiling the contest.

Built on the same premises as the ale it was designed to contain, my kegerator is not about size, production, or mass consumption. It proudly stands for the principles for quality, passion, craft, beauty and hard work.

Touting two Perlick Perl faucets, CO2 manifold, and a custom stainless steel drip tray; my kegerator project did not always have such high aspirations. The spring of 2008 I had decided to start brewing all grain batches and kegging, no more bottling for me. But with a total budget of around $160.00, I was looking for a cheap fridge and minimal setup. I picked up a ‘vintage’ GE fridge on Craigslist for a mere $15.00. Shortly thereafter my buddy acquired a small Philco refrigerator, which I soon convinced him to part with. Having the same internal dimensions as the large GE, but much smaller external dimensions, it had potential for a great kegerator.

Since winter was fast approaching, the Philco sat till the spring of 2009 before the start of its restoration journey. In the meantime the GE fridge took on its current role of cellaring homebrew and countless ales from Siciliano’s.

When spring arrived, I dismantled the fridge and started sanding. The chrome was sent off to George Iverson, an automotive trim restoration specialist in Minnesota. Tired of the way typical drip trays looked with their crooked drains, exposed screws, and non-conforming shape, I set off to design my own. With a curve to match the shape of the fridge, an internal drain, hidden studs and bull-nose corners, it’s one of a kind. It has an internal sprayer to rinse the tray clean on each use. The refrigerator was completely restored from the ground up with all original parts, and high R-Value insulation. I settled on a 1956 Chevy color scheme of Adobe White and Sierra Gold. The summer of 2010 my buddy Russ over at Kenowa Body Shop painted it up for me.

The only thing left was to top it off with homebrew, which I did for the first time this spring. I eventually intend to create some custom chrome tap handles, but in the meantime my homebrewed, all-grain IPA tastes just fine on tap.


The original article may be found here: Siciliano's Kegerator Contest
For more info on Siciliano's visit:  Siciliano's Market

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