How Many Gallons In A Keg?

Beer is one of the most popular drinks to have on hand for any event, and the best way to hold it is in a keg. However, finding the number of gallons available in a single keg can be difficult.

How Many Gallons In A Keg

If you’re curious, let’s look at the number of gallons in each of the seven keg types. In this article, we’ll identify the difference between each type of keg, how much beer it contains when compared to bottles, and how long it stays fresh.

The Number of Gallons In A Keg

The number of gallons in a keg depends on the type of keg you have. There are seven different models of the keg, each holding a different volume of beer.

In this section, we’ll be taking a closer look at each model and how many gallons each can contain. There are different benefits to each model, and each has different uses in breweries and restaurants. However, some are more suited to home use for social gatherings. 


The Cornelius Keg is the most popular type of keg among homebrewers due to its easy-to-use nature. They are refillable, simple to clean, and initially designed to store and transport sodas.

Nowadays, these 5-gallon kegs are perfect when you need to serve chilled beer to guests without any hassle. Instead of keeping a bottle on hand, you can keep these kegs at home for any special events.

Sixth Barrel

Sixth Barrel Kegs are a little bigger than the Cornelius, but they’re similar overall. These types of kegs are more popular in craft breweries, eateries, and pubs and are the standard in these industries.

Unlike the Cornelius, they contain 5.16 gallons of beer each and have a conventional valve instead of a pin lock or ball.

The best thing about these kegs is that you can keep two if you have a dual tap kegerator, making it simpler to serve two types of beer at once. 

Quarter Barrel

You know when you go to a party and see a keg available? The Quarter Barrel keg looks identical to these. However, it’s a little bit smaller.

Despite its small stature, it can hold more than the Cornelius and Six Barrel Kegs, containing 7.75 gallons in a single Quarter Barrel. Suppose you’re going to a house party or hosting other small events. In that case, the Quarter Barrel is a perfect compact keg to serve multiple guests simultaneously. 

Slim Quarter

If you want a barrel containing the same amount of beer as a Quarter Barrel but with a slimmer design, you may prefer a Slim Quarter.

These kegs contain 7.75 gallons of beer and are popular among drinkers with a dual tap kegerator. If you have a dual tap kegerator, this keg offers more storage than a Sixth Barrel by at least 2 more gallons. 

Half Barrel

Despite its name, the Half Barrel is a Full-Size Keg containing double the gallons in a Quarter Barrel. It contains 15.5 gallons, the most commonly used keg in pubs, restaurants, and bars.

However, if you serve different types of beer at gatherings, opting for a smaller size is better. These are more suitable for transporting macro brews to other locations. 

50 Liter

The 50 Liter Keg is similar to the Half Barrel but a few gallons smaller. This is the most common size of a keg in Europe, so you may have heard of it as the European Barrel.

Due to the Imperial measurements, it holds a maximum of 13.2 gallons of beer. 

Mini Keg

Some companies also produce Mini Kegs, which look similar to small barrels. When hosting a small gathering, these kegs ensure you have enough to give your friends, as they hold 1.32 gallons.

Usually, they have a carbon dioxide canister to dispense the beer. However, there isn’t a large variety of Mini Kegs available on the market. 

How Many Beers Are In A Keg?

If you’re hosting a gathering, you should find out how many beers are the equivalent of a gallon. Let’s say that you have a Half Barrel containing 15.5 gallons.

If you compared it to the standard 12 oz beer bottles, you would see the equivalent of 165 bottles. As a Half Barrel is a full-size keg, this would be the maximum number of bottles you need.

Instead of buying a pack of bottles, a keg can save you money when you want to throw a party.

How Long Does Beer Last In A Keg?

Kegs are great to ensure that your beer remains fresh, and getting a keg is easier when you’re hosting a party or gathering. Suppose you have a keg containing non-pasteurized beer dispensed with carbon (see also: How To Carbonate Beer In A Keg)dioxide.

The beer will remain fresh for roughly 45 to 60 days with consistent pressure and temperature. However, pasteurized drafts can have roughly 90 to 120 days of shelf life.

Final Thoughts

The number of gallons in a keg depends on the type of keg that you’re using. If you get a Mini Keg, you will be looking at a measurement of 1.32 gallons, with a 50 Liter Keg containing ten times the amount of a Mini Keg.

The largest keg you can get is the Half Barrel, which contains 15.5 gallons, while a Slim Quarter and a Quarter Barrel hold half of that with a storage of 7.75 gallons.

The Sixth Barrel and the Cornelius are smaller, with the Sixth Barrel holding 5.16 gallons and the Cornelius holding 5. 

If you’d like to know more about beers and measurements, please check out our other articles. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Liters Are In A Keg?

If you look at a Half Barrel, it contains 15.5 gallons, which measures 58.67 liters.

Is It Cheaper To Drink From A Keg?

If you get a kegerator, you can hold a large amount of cold draft beer, saving you roughly 40 to 60% in costs. This is often more affordable than purchasing the same volume of beer in bottles or cans.

Rees Vaughn
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