How many beers are in a keg?
At some point in your life, in the process of planning for a fun weekend or a big event, I’m sure you’ve considered if it’s been worth it just to buy a keg instead. The question that needs to be answered before your next keg party is exactly how many beers are in a keg? It’s an important question to ask. At Kegstand, our goal is to make the beer keg experience less painful for everyone that plays a role in it: the brewer, distributor, retailer, bar owner, and consumer. That’s why we’re here to make sure you have all the information you need to make your big event a success.
Beer kegs come in different standard sizes, and these standards vary by country. We’ll be focusing on the standard US Keg sizes. In the US, beer production is measured in units called barrels. While this unit derives from the actual vessel used to hold beer back in the day, it no longer has anything to do with a specific container. In the US, a barrel is defined as 31 gallons of liquid. Standard keg sizes are measured in fractions of a barrel. The most common of these is the ½ barrel keg, which, predictably, holds 15 ½ gallons. A standard 1/2 keg holds about 165 beers (12 oz. cans). Also commonly used are the sixtel keg or ⅙ keg which is 5 ⅙ gallons and quarter barrel which is 7 ¾ gallons kegs. But how do these compare to other package sizes? How many beers are in a keg? What’s the break even? Well, here’s a handy chart to help you convert:
How much does a keg weigh?
Keg weight depends on a few different factors; the size of the keg, the type of keg, and the amount of liquid in the keg. In the US, stainless steel keg dimensions are mostly standardized to 3 main sizes: sixtel keg or 1/6 barrel keg, ½ barrel keg, and quarter barrel keg. A full stainless steel keg weighs about 140 pounds, 110 pounds of that is the beer. An empty stainless steel keg weighs about 30 pounds.
There’s some other things to consider when dealing with kegs. Looking at these capacities you may have asked yourself, “how heavy are kegs?” It’s an important factor to consider before picking one up from your local craft brewer or distributor. At Kegstand, our goal is to make kegs a light as possible, all to make it easier for everyone to enjoy their favorite beer with as little strain as possible. Our kegs are up to 40% lighter than the standard stainless steel keg you’re used to! Our half barrels weigh about 143lbs when full or about 20lbs when empty. A standard stainless steel beer keg, however, weighs about 155lbs full, or about 32lbs empty. This reduction makes our kegs easier to handle, cheaper to ship, and better for the environment; all while maintaining beer quality and providing the same durability as their traditional counterparts.
FiberLite kegs have the exact same dimensions as a stainless steel beer keg but are 40% lighter. These lightweight kegs are composed of a thin layer of stainless steel which is the only material that makes contact with the beer. That steel liner is then coated in fiberglass composite, which makes up for the loss of strength. FiberLite kegs are just as durable as stainless steel kegs, but with 40% less weight. This reduces costs in distribution, and reduces deadweight needlessly lugged around the brewery.
If you’re planning on picking up a keg for your next party, the biggest thing to consider is how you’re going to keep it cold. Keeping beer cold not only makes it crisp and refreshing on a hot summer day, but also preserves the beer’s quality and extends its shelf life. The method by which you keep your keg cool depends on how you plan on serving it, and greatly affects its shelf life. When kept pressurized with CO2 in a kegerator, we recommend storing your keg between 37 and 39 degrees. This maximizes life span and provides the optimum temperature for a refreshing taste. In this situation, your keg can last anywhere from 45 to 120 days - but this greatly depends on the type of beer and brewing process, so ask your brewer to be sure.
When tapped with a hand pump and stored on ice, a keg’s shelf life drops quickly to 48 hours or less. This is because the introduction of oxygen and lack of consistent pressure cause the beer to spoil and go flat fairly quickly.
We hope we’ve helped you plan your next fun outing with friends, and now you have the right information to make the right keg decision. Soon, you’ll be enjoying your favorite beers from a lighter, environmentally friendly keg.