There are different keg sizes to store your beer, from the popular Full Size Keg to the Cornelius Keg. You may have seen them at bars, social gatherings, and parties and must have wondered how many bottles of beer these kegs can really store. In this article, we take a look at the types and different sizes of kegs and how many beers they can store by pints and bottles/cans.
We’ll also highlight the pros and cons of the kegs and when you should use them. This is especially important for a micro-brewery or bar owner to perfect the beer amount they sell. You could also need a kegerator to dispense draft beer, which will make this article quite perfect for you!
From the smallest to the largest keg sizes, we give you how many beers you can have in each keg in the following headings.
The Mini Keg
The Mini Keg size is a great substitute for your 12-pack bottles and cans. It has a storage capacity of 1.32 gallons, meaning it can hold 14 12-ounce pours. It’s the perfect keg for your family gatherings and game days, requiring no special valves to operate.
These mini kegs are especially popular with the Heineken brand, which has an attached carbon dioxide canister to help you dispense the beer. Mini kegs are not so commonly available, but you can get one, especially as an imported keg from brands like Hopslam, Warsteiner, Bitburger, and Bell’s Oberon Ale.
In dimensions, the Mini Keg has a height of 9.875 inches and a width of 6.75 inches. Without the canister, there’s a bung on top of the keg that you can open to introduce air and easily dispense the beer into your pint glasses.
The Cornelius Keg
Also known as the Corny Keg, it was originally used for dispensing, distributing, and storing sodas. It’s the smallest size keg in the beer industry with a five-gallon storage capacity.
The empty keg has a weight of 10.5 pounds, and one filled with beer weighs 55 pounds. Hence, a Cornelius keg will contain 44.5 pounds of beer. Converting this to bottles/cans of beer, a Corny keg will have 53 12-ounce cans/bottles. In pints, the Cornelius keg will take 40 16-ounce pints.
Corny kegs are best for small events where your number of guests does not exceed 50. A typical Cornelius keg has a width of nine inches and a height of twenty-three inches. These kegs are easy to clean and fill, coming with a ball lock or pin lock connection system.
It’s one of the most affordable of the keg sizes, but it has the downside of containing only a few pints/bottles of beer.
The Sixth Barrel Keg
he Sixth Barrel keg is only a bit bigger than the corny keg and is able to store 5.16 gallons of beer. These sixth barrel kegs are also known as Sixtels and are a popular choice for commercial brewers.
It’s also a superb option for restaurants and bars trying to optimize space and dispense beers in small batches. An empty Sixth-Barrel keg weighs 15 pounds, and when filled with beer, it has a net weight of 58 pounds. As such, how much beer you’d expect in a Sixth-Barrel keg is exactly 43 pounds.
A 43-pound beer translates to 55 12-ounce bottles/cans and 41 16-ounce pints, which is perfect for a small gathering. The Sixth-Barrel keg has a height of 23.375 inches and a width of 9.25 inches.
Although the barrel keg has similarities to the corny keg, there’s a difference in the connection system. Compared to the pin connection system of the corny keg, the Sixth Barrel keg uses a traditional keg valve that needs a keg coupler.
The Quarter Barrel Keg
Also called the Pony keg or the Stubby Quarter, this barrel keg has a capacity of 7.75 gallons. An empty Quarter Barrel keg weighs 22 pounds, and when it’s filled to the brim with beer, it weighs 87 pounds. This means the barrel can take about 65 pounds of beer.
A 65-pound beer translates to 82 12-ounce bottles and cans and 62 16-ounce pints. The Quarter Barrel keg is great for medium-sized parties and bars with moderate turnouts.
In dimensions, the Pony keg has a height of 13.875 inches and a width of 16.125 inches. The pony keg is called the Stubby Quarter because it has an identical barrel with taller dimensions called the Slim Quarter Keg.
The Slim Quarter Barrel Keg
The Slim Quarter Barrel Keg only differs from the original quarter keg in height. They hold the same number of gallons at 7.75. It also weighs 22 pounds when empty and can take up to 65 pounds of beer to give a net weight of 87 pounds.
The Slim Quarter keg has a height of 23.375 inches and a width of 11.125 inches. This tall quarter keg is perfect for bars with small spaces and parties with 60 – 80 people, as they’re easy to fill and install. You’d enjoy this barrel keg with a duel tap kegerator.
The 50-liter keg is also known as the import keg, European barrel, or simply 50 Liter. If you’re wondering how many beers it can take, this can take up to 140 12-ounce cans/bottles and 105 16-ounce pints.
It’s popularly used in European countries such as the UK to import popular beers, such as Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, Heineken, and Newcastle. An empty 50-liter barrel weighs 27 pounds, and when filled, it weighs 130 pounds. This means the keg can hold 103 pounds or 13.2 gallons of beer.
An important thing to note about this Import keg is that it doesn’t work with the regular U.S. Snakey D coupler. In dimensions, the 50-liter keg has a height of 20.94 inches and a width of 16.06 inches.
If you’re wondering what could be bigger than this, it’s the half-barrel kegs, the OG keg size of them all.
The Half Barrel Keg
Also known as the full keg or full-size keg, the half-barrel keg is the OG container for beers at your standard bars and huge parties. It’s tagged the granddaddy/godfather of barrel kegs, with a capacity of 15.5 gallons.
This half-barrel keg has been used by micro-breweries to store and distribute beers, and they’re quite iconic for their prominence at frat parties. An empty half-barrel keg weighs 30 pounds, which would weigh 160 pounds when filled to the brim with beer.
As such, it can carry 130 pounds of your popular beers. A 130-pound beer translates to 165 12-ounce bottles/cans and 124 16-ounce pints. In dimensions, half-barrel kegs have a height of 23.375 inches and a width of 16.125 inches.
Compared to other keg sizes, the half-barrel keg is quite hard to maneuver. It’s perfect for bars with large spaces and good traffic.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most common keg size used in most bars?
The most popular keg size in bars is the half-barrel keg/full-size keg. It’s used in well-established bars and restaurants to serve your favorite drinks, as they can take up to 165 12-ounce cans/bottles.
A kegerator is what’s used in bars and restaurants to hold beers in a keg. For pasteurized beers, these kegs are expected to last for about three to six months. On the other hand, non-pasteurized beers are expected to last in kegerators for about two months.
Should you get a keg?
If you’re thinking of making your own draft beer or hosting a party, you should consider getting a keg. It’ll help you gauge how many beers you can serve your guests or buyers and possibly save you some expenses.
As you learn about beers in kegs, these articles on how to tap a keg and how to remove a keg tap will come in handy. Also, homebrewers can take a tip or two in these articles on how to keg a homebrew and how to empty a keg.
In this article, you’ve learned how many kegs are available and how many beers they can take in the form of pints and cans/bottles. As you invest in these kegs to keep and dispense your beers, be sure to get the right coupler for the keg you get.