How Many Beers In A Keg?

Picture this: you’re planning the ultimate backyard barbecue or perhaps, the grandest game-day gathering. Among the biggest questions to tackle is the beverages. How much is enough? If beer’s on the menu, understanding the capacity of a keg can help you ace your planning. Let’s crack open this keg mystery and find out just how many beers it’s got bubbling inside.

How Many Beers in a Keg?

A standard U.S. keg, also known as a half-barrel, contains 15.5 gallons or approximately 124 pints of beer. However, kegs come in various sizes: a mini keg holds about 10.5 pints, a quarter barrel holds 62 pints, and a sixth barrel or pony keg holds about 41 pints. 

These numbers can vary slightly depending on the serving size. Always consider the size of the keg and your guests’ consumption when planning an event.

Standard Keg Sizes and Their Beer Quantities

Below are some of the common keg sizes and how much beer they each can hold:

Half Barrel Keg (Full Keg)

The full keg, or a half barrel, is the largest of the standard keg sizes and a popular choice in the United States. A Half Barrel Keg is equivalent to 15.5 gallons or 1984 ounces of beer, and it holds 248 cups of beer for serving more than enough beverages to meet an occasion’s needs.

Domestic brewers commonly use it due to its dimensions matching standard draft equipment configurations. This size keg has different names depending on where you live – Full Keg, Half-Barrel Keg, 1/2 BBL (barrel), or 58 liters—all refer to the same capacity and are interchangeable terms with one another.

Quarter Barrel Keg (Pony Keg)

The Quarter Barrel Keg, also known as a Pony Keg, is the most popular keg size used for serving beer. It holds 7.75 gallons of fluid and offers approximately 82 12-ounce cans or bottles – equivalent to 62 pints – of delicious draft beer in one keg! It’s smaller than a Half Barrel Keg but still provides plenty of drinks for an event or party without investing in swanky kegerators like its larger cousin.

It is perfect for small gatherings who don’t want the large quantity but need more than a few six packs can provide. Its shorter and sturdier build also means that beers can remain fresh longer before needing to be changed out compared with similar sizes such as Sixth Barrels (Sixtels), which have extensive surface area contact allowing air exposure time and causing potential flavor loss.

Sixth Barrel Keg

The Sixth Barrel Keg, also known as a sixtel, has a capacity of 5.16 gallons and can hold 41 pints or 55 12 oz bottles/cans of beer. It is slightly bigger than the Cornelius Keg but similar in size and shape.

The Slim Quarter keg holds 7.75 gallons, equal to 82 beers, while the Half Barrel holds 15.5 gallons for up to 165 cans or 124 pints! 

With its intermediate size between small homebrew projects and full-scale commercial kegs, the Sixth Barrel Keg is especially popular with bars and restaurants looking for a manageable quantity for their draft beer but also offers options depending on the occasion – such as private parties or small gatherings who don’t need too much beer at once!

Cornelius Keg (Corny Keg)

The Cornelius Keg, more commonly referred to as the Corny Keg, is a reusable steel container designed for storing and transporting carbonated beverages. Initially used in the soft-drink industry by Pepsi and Coca-Cola, they have become an essential tool among homebrewers.

Their 5-gallon capacity allows hobbyists to easily store their craft beers without having to deal with glass bottles or large kegs, making them highly beloved by homebrewers. They also come with easy installation and filling capabilities and a built-in tap that makes it easy to pour beer out of it.

Additionally, their small size makes them stackable – allowing multiple batches of beer at once – while providing equal storage of traditional barrels or tanks if necessary.

Mini Keg

Mini kegs are an increasingly popular choice for beer storage and consumption. Their smaller size makes mini kegs fit in any space while still providing plenty of beer for parties or small gatherings.

They typically have a capacity of 5 liters and can hold around 14 twelve-ounce bottles or ten sixteen-ounce pints of beer ‒ equivalent to 1.32 gallons. 

This is the main benefit compared to traditional full-size barrels, which contain 7.75 gallons of beverages; they provide the same amount of beers for much less effort in terms of setup, transportation, and storage, as well as for much lower cost per ounce than buying individual cans or bottles! 

Not only that but since mini-kegs can be sealed up with a tap affixed to them – draft-quality beer is guaranteed with every pint poured out from it due to its freshness and taste benefits over those stored in cans/bottles.

All this makes them a great option if you’re just looking for fantastic craft beers like IPAs at home without having to commit too many financial or physical resources!

Slim Quarter Keg

The Slim Quarter Keg is popular among homebrewers or those hosting events or small gatherings. Commonly referred to as the 1/4 keg or pony keg, it holds the same amount of beer as the Quarter Barrel Keg – 7.75 gallons (30 liters) – and is taller and slimmer than other kegs.

In terms of ounce servings, this size package can pour approximately 82 servings of 12 oz beer or 62 servings of 16 oz beer. This type of convenient package allows users to enjoy draft beer without needing an entire full-sized keg while giving them more flexibility when planning for a specific number of guests at their gatherings.

The slim quarter has advantages over other sizes due to its easy handling and portability. It is an excellent option for experienced brewers and beginners who want to entertain friends with commercial craft beers or homemade varieties.

50 liter keg

The 50 liter keg is a popular choice for beer storage and distribution due to its reasonable capacity and versatility. It has a capacity of 13.2 gallons (50 liters) and weighs approximately 160 pounds when full.

It is slightly smaller than the Half-Barrel Keg yet still able to hold up to 105 pints (16 ounces) or 140 cans/bottles (12 ounces). This makes it an ideal size for restaurants, bars, parties, events, or small gatherings since it’s efficient in housing both domestic and craft beers simultaneously.

Compared with other keg sizes such as 1/2 barrel, 1/4 barrel, pony keg, or 1/6 barrel, all designed for different purposes, the 50 liter keg is standardly used across many industries, including commercial establishments such as breweries and homebrewers.

How Long Can Beer Last in a Keg?

Beer stored in a keg can last up to six months if properly cared for and maintained.

Factors Affecting Beer Shelf Life in a Keg

  • Pasteurization: While pasteurized beer has a longer shelf life than unpasteurized beer, it cuts back on the flavor and aroma of the brew.
  • Presence of CO2: Unpasteurized draft beer can last up to 45-60 days if dispensed with CO2 due to the carbonation slowing down bacteria growth that could spoil the beer.
  • Storage Conditions: The critical factor in keeping your keg fresh is temperature. Beer kept cold (lower than 50°F) will maintain its peak quality much more protracted than warm (above 55°F) or dark areas. Unexposed light causes “skunking” when flavoring components are prematurely broken down.

Storage and Dispensing Recommendations

It is essential to store and dispense them correctly to ensure that beer kegs can last long and retain their freshness. Here are a few helpful tips for the storage and dispensing of beer in a keg:

  • Use CO2 to pressurize the beer in the keg. This will help ensure the oxygen does not spoil or alter the taste of your beer.
  • Keep the temperature as close to 4°C (40°F) as possible by storing it in refrigeration, but avoid freezing temperatures since they can cause excessive foam when pouring.
  • Avoid keeping your keg near heat sources such as radiators, stoves, hot water tanks, etc., even if you plan on serving warm alcoholic beverages from it – cold stored beers maintain better flavors at lower temperatures over time than warm ones.
  • Minimize disturbance during storage or transport – shaking or stirring introduces occluded air into the drink, which hastens deterioration due to its interaction with light/heat/yeast particles already present in the solution within the beer’s headspace (i.e., above the liquid).
  • Always check expiration dates before consuming any type of beverage!

Final Take on How Many Beers In a Keg

Whether you’re playing the perfect host or merely satisfying your curiosity, knowing how many beers are in a keg is a handy beer fact. It’s about more than numbers—it’s about understanding, planning, and ultimately, enjoying a fine brew.

So the next time you find yourself amidst the clinking of glasses and hearty cheers, you’ll know exactly what’s behind that keg’s tap. After all, knowledge is power, and in this case, it’s also a well-poured pint!

FAQs on How Many Beers in a Keg

Dan Smullen Beer is my life profile

Hi, I'm Dan, founder of BeerIsMyLife. I've been an avid homebrewer for over ten years, and beer is my true passion. I've traveled all over the world, visiting breweries, tasting beer, as well as making my own batches. I set up this blog to share that experience with you.