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True vs. Viking Beverage Centers (Reviews/Ratings)

February 20th, 2015 | 2 min. read

By Mark Bennett

Beverage centers are the most popular choice for under cabinet refrigeration.

If you have a need for extra refrigeration and a few wine bottles, then the beverage center is designed for you.

Freestanding vs. Built-In Refrigerators

There is definite quality and price differences with both.

Freestanding tends to be plastic whereas built-in is all metal. The shelving is better as well. The built-in has a static compressor in the front, which allows it to be installed between cabinets.

The freestanding unit cannot be placed between cabinets, because the compressor is on the back. It will overheat and seize the unit.

Let's look at True and Viking...


True has been in the refrigeration business since 1945. Most people would recognize the name because of their commercial background. Many supermarkets, convenience stores, bars and restaurants have used True commercial products. Commercial products tend to be more reliable, because the loss of refrigeration in a supermarket can be catastrophic.

They now have a residential division and products include beverage centers, refrigerators, refrigerator drawers, wine only storage, and beer dispensers. They produce a 24 inch unit with some nice features including an all stainless steel interior and zero clearance hinging for integrated, seamless installation.

LED lighting can be changed from white to amber to blue with the touch of a button and a forced air refrigeration system to allows a quick cool down and an even temperature throughout. You can buy additional glass shelves or slide out wine shelves as accessories and change it to a wine cooler.

True offers three different finishes for their beverage center, a stainless trimmed glass door, a custom panel glass door, or a full overlay door. The full overlay will have no glass, with the panel covering the entire front of the unit. Pricing ranges from $2,949-$3,149.

true undercounter beverage center TBC-24R-OG

Finish options:

  • TBC-24-R-SG-A / Glass/stainless / $3,149
  • TBC-24-R-OG-A / Glass/custom panel / $2,949 (shown)
  • TBC-24-R-OP-A / Full custom panel / $,2949


Viking was a private company founded by Fred Carl in the 80’s. Best known for their professional range, they do offer a full refrigeration line. Many of their products are actually sourced and produced by other companies. Their freestanding refrigerators are produced by Whirlpool and most of their dishwashers are being manufactured in Turkey by Blomberg.

Viking was recently sold in 2013 and is now part of the Middleby Company, the parent company of mostly commercial cooking and refrigeration products. The beverage centers are now being produced for them by Perlick. They were being built by Marvel and will probably be built by U-Line in the near future. Middleby just purchased U-Line, so it's an educated guess.

Like the True, the Viking models are stainless inside and have LED lighting. The lighting is not as adjustable as the True, but it does offer a similar forced air system for rapid cooling and a consistent temperature throughout. The Viking models are available in both 15 and 24 inch widths and must be ordered hinge specific. They are stainless only, and do not allow for any type of custom panel.

viking undercounter beverage center VCBI1240Finish options:

  • VBCI1240 / Stainless/glass / 24 inch width / $3,100 (shown)
  • VCBI1150 / Stainless/glass / 15 inch width / $2,800

Viking vs. True Beverage Centers

I like both. Both are solid. If you want to panel, then True becomes your choice by default as does a 15 inch with Viking.

However, True offers convertability if you want to store all wine and zero degree hinge that does not protrude from the cabinet. It is rated for outside use (probably not this winter in Boston, just a joke for Bostonians). Its overall construction is that good. I like its commercial heritage. As I said before, the product has to be reliable to be placed in a supermarket.

Recommended Reads

Additional Resources

Download the Yale Undercounter Refrigeration Guide with features, specs and inside tips to all the brands. Over 80,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

Undercounter Refrigerator Buying Guide

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Mark Bennett

Mark Bennett has over 10 years of experience at Yale Appliance. Mark began working in the delivery and warehouse departments before transitioning to appliance sales.

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Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.