How Many Beers Are in a Keg?

It’s a question that comes up pretty much anytime a friend throws a party, a wedding, or an event –  “How many kegs do I need?” and “How many beers are in a keg?”

The answer to this question depends entirely on what size keg you’re buying (shocker!).

Half Barrel
This is what most people know as “a keg,” but the half barrel name throws them off. One of these has 15.5 gallons of beer in it. That means you can get 165 12 oz. beers from it, or 124 16 oz. beers. If for some bizarre reason you’re buying a keg to fill growlers, you can fill 31 of them (of the standard 64 oz. variety) with a half barrel before you’ll run out of beer.

Quarter Barrel
Quarter Barrel kegs are the second most common type of keg. These come in two different forms: a tall keg (the same height as the half barrel) but half the girth, and a size that maintains the same girth but cuts the height in half. These are also known as pony kegs and tall quarter kegs. With these, you get half of what you would get from a half barrel. That means each one has 7.75 gallons of beer inside, which equates to 82 12 oz. beers, 62 16 oz. beers, and 15.5 growlers.

Sixth Barrel
You’re not going to see these around too much, but a sixth barrel (also called a sixtel) holds 5.16 gallons of beer. That equates to 56 12oz beers and 42 16oz beers.

Cornelius Keg
These 5-gallon kegs are typically used by home brewers, but you occasionally see a few breweries offering them for customers as well. The smallest of the bunch, a Cornelius Keg or “Corny” holds 5 gallons of beer, which equates to 53 12 oz. beers, 40 16 oz. beers, and 10 64 oz. growlers.