How Much Does A Keg Of Craft Beer Cost – Beer comes in all shapes and sizes. From cans to bottles, there’s the option to buy whatever amount of beer your heart (or rather liver and wallet) desires. With so many keg sizes available, it can be confusing to know exactly how much beer you’re getting when you buy kegs to get draft beer at home.
To make it easy to compare different barrel sizes, we’ve created this handy guide and easy-to-follow infographics. Based on measurements of typical US keg sizes, you can now easily tell everything you need to know about each keg size, including dimensions, weight, and how much beer each holds.
How Much Does A Keg Of Craft Beer Cost
Worried about your beer going bad? Check out our guide to how long beer lasts in kegs, along with tips and tricks to keep your beer fresh for longer!
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Before we get to keg sizes, we need to talk about how beer is measured. In the United States, beer production is measured in “barrels of beer” or BBL for short. Bbl is the official unit of measure for beer for breweries in the United States; It’s spelled “barrel of beer” or BBL.
Note that there is a difference between a US gallon and an imperial gallon (imp gal). An imperial gallon equals 160 fluid ounces (fl oz), while a US gallon equals 128 ounces.
There is a wide variation in how many bbls breweries produce. Large breweries such as Budweiser have automated brewing systems that produce hundreds of BBL per batch. Even large craft breweries like Sierra Nevada can produce 100 bbl of beer per batch. To be considered a craft brewery in the United States, a brewery must produce less than 6,000,000 barrels of beer per year (that’s 186,000,000 US gallons of beer, or 1,488,000,000 pints for keepers).
Microbreweries, a small subset of craft breweries, must produce less than 15,000 barrels of beer per year, which is about 465,000 US gallons of beer, or about 3,720,000 liters of beer. Microbreweries are some of the batch sizes that produce it. Most are between 30 and 50 BBL systems, but there are microbreweries that produce 1-2 BBL at a time in systems like this one. If you want to learn more about the differences between craft beer and domestic beer, click here to check out our guide to craft beer vs domestic vs imported beer.
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Before we get into the barrel size, let’s talk about the overall style. Most of the barrels on this list (and generally the most common barrels) are known as Sanke barrels. Sanke kegs or Sanke kegs (short for sanitary keg) are standard stainless steel kegs for the storage, serving and distribution of commercial beer. Snake barrels are usually made of 100% stainless steel. Unlike kegs commonly used by brewers, Sanke beer kegs have a single valve at the top of the keg that allows gas to enter the keg and beer to exit the keg.
The opening in the keg allows a long metal tube, called a lance, to flow from the top of the keg to the bottom where the beer is drawn, where it connects to the draft system. Carbon dioxide (CO2) or nitrogen flows through the valve at the top of the keg (headspace) and pushes the beer down, where it is spiked, up and out.
Keg taps for Sankey kegs include a special Sankey coupling, a sanitary key that opens a special snake valve (called a Sankey) to allow gas to enter the keg and beer to exit the keg through the valve. Depending on the country of origin, there are several different types of joints for sink barrels:
There are several common types of barrels, each with its own shape, size, capacity, and type of coupling. Different sized kegs have different uses for each, and this guide will help beer lovers choose the right keg for their favorite beer based on their personal needs.
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We’ll discuss each in detail, but here’s a simple comparison chart to help you quickly see the differences in size, shape, capacity, typical usage, empty keg weight, full keg weight, average price, and number of beers per keg:
Mini kegs, sometimes called bubba kegs or 5 liter kegs, are essentially large cans of beer under pressure. These small kegs are designed for single use, with or without a mini-kegerator, and often bring beer to parties or at home instead of kegs or bottles. A 5 liter mini keg holds 1.32 gallons of beer (169 beer ounces), which is equivalent to about 10 ½ 16 oz pints of beer or about 14 12 ounce bottles or cans.
While mini keg beer can be dispensed from a keg using the tap provided with purchase, using a mini kegerator can improve the experience and shelf life. The kitchen counter will have a convenient kegerator that is always stocked with a 5-liter mini keg, uses only CO2 cartridges to brew beer, and uses electricity to store the beer in a cool place out of direct sunlight. 5 liter mini kegs can be purchased empty from homebrew supply stores for use with small batches of home brewed beer.
Mini kegs are widely available in liquor stores and grocery stores, but the best selection is at specialty craft beer stores. Of the many 5L kegs available, Heineken is the most commonly seen brand, and the popular Heineken 5L mini kegs have established these kegs as a commonly available method of serving beer at small parties.
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Other brands that offer beer in mini kegs include Newcastle Brown Ale, Kors Light Lager, Vorsteiner Premium Pilsner, Polanair Oktoberfest Marzen Amber, Widmer Hefeweizen, Heineken Light, Rogue Yellow Snow Snow Premium, Bittner PMA, Beitzner PMA, OBA, Beer, Beer, Beer, Oktoberfest. Ale and Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier. A large liquor store should have at least a few options.
The main disadvantages of mini-barrels are that they are single-use and may have limited availability. Unlike the other types of kegs on this list, mini kegs are not reusable and are only meant to store and serve the beer that comes with the keg (unless you’re James, that is! Check out his DIY Mini Keg System on the forums!). They’re a good alternative to six-packs for parties, camping, etc., but they weren’t a popular way to sell, distribute, or consume beer on a large scale.
Cornelius kegs, commonly referred to as “shout kegs”, were originally soda kegs used by soft drink manufacturers to distribute their beverages for on-site consumption. Later, when soft drink companies turned to syrup mixed with carbonated water for restaurant use, Coney kegs became a popular choice for brewers to store and serve their beer.
Corny kegs are a favorite among brewers because they are easy to clean and maintain, with a standard homebrewing batch size of 5 gallons. Unlike most types of kegs used by commercial breweries, loose kegs have a removable lid and require some special equipment. They also have relatively low costs, including the cost of the lines and quick disconnects required for a home kegerator or kezer. A strange keg weighs about 14 pounds empty and about 58 pounds full.
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The original Cornelius barrels came in two slightly different sizes depending on the brand. Both Pepsi and Coca-Cola products came in strange barrels. Pepsi opted for a slightly taller and slimmer barrel with a ball lock post. Coca-Cola used a slightly shorter and wider barrel with a locking post.
Ball lock barrels are now the most common type and you may find new ones. While they lack some of the advantages of pin locks (such as the inability to accidentally reset a disconnect), they are generally a bit more convenient and less expensive to maintain. Conical ball-lock kegs, as originally used by Pepsi, are taller and thinner than pin-lock kegs, measuring 25 inches tall and 85 inches wide. The posts in the ball lock barrel are designed so that they can be pressed to disconnect instantly with a set of ball bearings.
Ball-lock kegs, like those used by Coca-Cola, are shorter and taller than ball-lock kegs, about 22″ tall and about 9″ wide. Pin Lock The post on the barrel has a pin that fits into the disconnect channel that locks the barrel in place when in use. Also, pin locks are barrel posts
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