How Many Beer in a Keg?

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There are numerous reasons a person would want to know how many beer are in a keg; perhaps they are hosting a celebration, party, wedding, or simply want to know if they buy a keg for their own personal use how many beers will they get out of it?

The first step to answering that question is to determine what size keg you will need or want to buy. There are actually numerous keg sizes that you can choose from. In this post, we are going to review the more popular keg sizes you can purchase and discuss how many beers are in each one…

How Many Beers in a Full Keg?  a craft beer sitting on a beer keg. The title on the side of the photo reads "how many beer in a keg?"

Kegs go by many different names to include:

  • Sanke kegs
  • Cornelius kegs
  • Half barrel or 1/2 kegs
  • Quarter barrel or 1/4 kegs
  • One-Sixth barrel or 1/6 kegs
  • Pony kegs
  • Mini kegs

In the beer industry, a full keg refers to a half keg…

How Many Beers in a Half Keg?

Also known as ½ BBL, Full Size Keg, Full Keg

When most people envision buying a keg, a half barrel keg is what most likely comes to mind. This is the style that most pubs, bars, and restaurants serve their beer from and most breweries would typically use them to package their beer in before distributing it.

Most people who are hosting a house party or a tailgating event would typically pick up one of these. You have probably poured yourself a pint or two from this type of keg before. They fit nicely into Rubbermaid plastic containers filled with ice as well as fitting nicely into most kegerators.

There are a lot of beers in a half keg, so if you are a person who likes to have a variety of beer to serve your guests or personally like to try different styles of beer you might want to look at getting a couple of the smaller sizes instead of the half.

Specifications:

Dimensions: 16⅛” x 23⅜”
Capacity: 15.5 gallons (58.67 liters, 1,984 ounces)
Equivalent 12 oz Cans or Bottles: 165.3
Equivalent 16 oz Pints of Beer: 124

How Heavy is a Full Keg (½ Barrel)?

A half keg is the largest size that people would purchase and it is a substantial sized keg that does weigh quite a bit; the rest of the kegs we will look at in this post are much more manageable when it comes to carrying or transporting them.

A full keg of this size will weigh 160 lbs when filled with beer, when it is empty it weighs 30 lbs. If you do the math you can see that when full it has 130 lbs of beer stored within it.

How Many Beers in a 50L Keg

Also known as: 50 Liter, Import Keg, European Barrel

A 50 liter keg is pretty close in size to the half keg. It is the keg you can typically expect to purchase if you are buying an imported beer from Europe. Most of the European breweries package their beer in this style. Stella, Heineken, and Belgium wheat beers like Hoegaarden are examples of beer you can expect to buy in 50 liter kegs.

Specifications:

Dimensions: 20.94” x 16.06”
Capacity: 13.2 gallons (50 liters, 1,690 ounces)
Equivalent 12 oz Cans or Bottles: 140
Equivalent 16 oz Pints of Beer: 105

Note: An important thing to keep in mind if you purchase a 50L they use a different style coupler. A coupler is what attaches to the top of the keg that your tap connects to. Do your research on what style coupler the keg you are purchasing uses prior to buying it. If you go with an American keg they all use the standard Sankey D coupler.

How Heavy is a 50L Keg?

A 50L filled with beer will weigh 130 lbs and empty it weighs approximately 27 lbs. Which again would mean that there are 103 lbs of beer housed within it.  So keep this in mind when you are moving it or changing it as you may need help.

How Many Beers in a Quarter Keg?

Also known as: A Pony Keg, ¼ Keg, ¼ BBL, A Stubby, Stubby Quarter

Most people refer to these kegs as Pony Kegs or Stubby Quarters. They basically look like a miniature version of the ½ BBL and have the same footprint. They are a perfect size if you are hosting a smaller party and are much easier to transport and move around.

Specifications:

Dimensions: 16⅛” x 13⅞”
Capacity: 7.75 gallons (30 liters, 992 ounces)
Equivalent 12 oz Cans or Bottles: 82
Equivalent 16 oz Pints of Beer: 62
Weight: 87 lbs full / 22 lbs empty / holds 65 lbs of beer

How Many Beers in a Slim Quarter Keg?

Also known as: Slim ¼ Keg, Slim ¼ BBL, Tall Quarter

This style holds the exact same amount of beer as the Pony Keg we just looked at, however, it is a slimmer taller option with a smaller footprint which permits people who have limited spacing to house kegs to be able to serve a wider variety of beer. It is used widely by people who like to have beer on tap at their home and have a kegerator equipped with a dual tap.

Specifications:

Dimensions: 11⅛” x 23⅜”
Capacity: 7.75 gallons (30 liters, 992 ounces)
Equivalent 12 oz Cans or Bottles: 82
Equivalent 16 oz Pints of Beer: 62

How Many Beers in a 1/6 Keg?

Also known as: Sixth Keg, Sixth Barrel, 1/6 Barrel, 1/6 BBL, Sixtel

This size has become one of the most popular in recent years. If you brew your own beer you would be familiar with the Cornelius keg, the 1/6 is very similar in size to it. However, instead of the ball or pin lock connection, it uses the sanke coupler like the other varieties we have looked at.

This style has also seen a surge in popularity in part due to the popularity of craft beer in recent years. Many pubs, bars, and restaurants want to provide their patrons with a wide selection of beer on tap and as such opt to purchase 1/6 kegs from suppliers in order to be able to store more of them.

Like the Slim Quarter, they are also a popular option for people who have dual tap kegerators in their home.

Specifications:

Dimensions: 9¼” x 23⅜”
Capacity: 5.16 gallons (20 liters, 661 ounces)
Equivalent 12 oz Cans or Bottles: 55
Equivalent 16 oz Pints of Beer: 41

How Many Beers in a Pony Keg?

Also known as: Quarter Keg

We have discussed how a Pony Keg is simply another name for a Quarter, and as a result, has all of the same dimensions and specifications. It is a popular name for this style and simply refers to the fact that it is smaller in size, i.e a horse vs a pony.

In some places in the world, a Pony Keg can also refer to a small store that sells beer.

Specifications: (see specifications for the Quarter style)

How Many Beers in a Mini Keg?

Mini Kegs are a fun option for people who would like to have some beer on tap but only intend on drinking the approximate equivalent to a 12-pack. These smaller options hold the equivalent of fourteen 12 oz bottles or cans of beer.

Shape wise they look like their larger half bbl cousins and you do not need to worry about picking up a tap to serve the beer as they come equipped with one. Some of them have CO2 canisters and taps equipped at the top to serve the beer and other styles use air pressure and a spigot at the bottom. Heineken is the beer brand most known for packaging its beer in mini kegs.

If you brew your own beer, mini kegs are one of the options for you to be able to package, carbonate, keep your keg cold and serve from.

Specifications:

Dimensions: 6¾“ x 9⅞“
Capacity: 1.32 gallons (5 liters, 168 ounces)
Equivalent 12 oz Cans or Bottles: 14
Equivalent 16 oz Pints of Beer: 10.5

How Many Beers in a Corny Keg?

Also known as: Cornelius Keg, Pop Keg, Soda Keg, Coke Keg, Pepsi Keg, Homebrew Keg

These are very similar in size and shape to the Sixtel and hold approximately the same amount of beer. They were originally manufactured and used to store and serve pop or soda.

They are very popular with people who homebrew their own beer due to being a more convenient option than bottling 5 gallons of brew. They also allow homebrewers to be able to have their beer on tap.

In some cases, you will also find brewpubs or nano brewers using sthis style of keg. This is because they are much less expensive to purchase and are easier to clean than the sanke styles most commercial breweries use. Their dispensing method is different than the other styles we have looked at and uses what is referred to as pin locks or ball locks vs sanke couplers.

Specifications:

Dimensions: 9” x 23”
Capacity: 5 gallons (19 liters, 642 ounces)
Equivalent 12 oz Cans or Bottles: 53.5
Equivalent 16 oz Pints of Beer: 40

How Many 16 oz Beers in a Keg?

Mini – 10.5
Corny – 40
Sixth – 41
Slim Quarter – 62
Stubby or Pony – 62
50L or Imported – 105
½ BBL or Full Size – 124

How Many 12 oz Beers in a Keg?

Mini – 14
Corny – 53.5
Sixth – 55
Slim Quarter – 82
Stubby or Pony – 82
50L or Imported – 140
½ BBL or Full Size – 165.3

Frequently Asked Questions

How many 24 packs of beer are in a keg?

A 24 pack of beer holds twenty-four 12 oz bottles or cans of beer, which is the equivalent of 288 ounces. The following are how many 24 packs of beer are in each style of keg…

Mini – just under half a 24 pack
Corny – 2.2 packs
Sixth – 2.3 packs
Slim Quarter – 3.4 packs
Stubby or Pony – 3.4 packs
50L or Imported – 5.8 packs
½ BBL or Full Size – 6.9 packs

Is it cheaper to buy beer in kegs?

Yes, it is typically between 40 – 60 % cheaper to buy beer in kegs as compared to bottles or cans.

Can you refill kegs?

As a consumer, you can not refill kegs. However, commercial and craft beer breweries as well as home brewers are able to refill their own kegs.

What is a party ball?

A party ball is another style of mini keg. You do not see them around much anymore however. They are made out of plastic and are shaped in a ball, that after using you would dispose of. They hold 5.2 gallons or 20 liters of beer which works out to approximately fifty-five 12 ounces cans or bottles.

Now that you know the different keg sizes and how many beers they each hold you may be interested in knowing the best ways to keep a keg cold, and if you make your own beer our complete guide to kegging homebrew may be of interest.

Cheers, Big Robb is Out!

Big Robb with a pint of home brewed beerP.S. If you presently make homebrew or are thinking about getting into this fun hobby you may be interested in taking advantage of my offer to get the recipes to my top 5 best-selling brews from my brewpub. The sign-up is on the side of the blog or at the bottom on your smart device. Enjoy!

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