How Many Cases of Beer Are in a Keg? (Keg Sizes Explained)

How many cases of beer are in a keg?

If you’re having a bunch of people over, or you’re planning a big event, you may be thinking about ordering a keg (or several kegs) of beer.

Many people think draft beer tastes better than beer from a bottle or can – and then there’s the wow factor! How awesome would it be to offer your guests a cold pint of beer straight from the tap?

Before you order a keg of beer there are a few of things you’ll need to figure out… like how much beer you actually need! Let’s start by answering a basic question.

How many cases of beer are in a keg?

The half barrel is the most common type of keg. It has a capacity of 15.5 gallons and holds just under 7 cases of beer. It will yield the equivalent of 165 cans or bottles of beer or 124 servings if you prefer pouring pints.

If the half barrel keg seems like like it might be too big for your event, don’t worry. You have several other options when it comes to ordering kegs of draft beer.

Here is an overview of the standard types of kegs you can order, along with their capacities (rounded up or down to the closest case of 24 beers).

A Half Barrel Keg Contains 7 Cases of Beer

Although the name might sound misleading, the half barrel is what most people know as a “keg”. It’s 23.3” tall with a 16.2” diameter and it weighs 170lbs when it’s full of beer.

The half barrel is the most common type of keg, and it’s what you’re most likely to see if you look into a bar or pub’s walk-in fridge.

A half barrel keg contains:

  • 15.5 gal (58.7 L)
  • 165 x 12 oz (355 ml) servings of beer
  • 124 x 16 oz (473 ml) servings of beer

A Quarter Barrel Keg Contains 3 Cases of Beer

The quarter barrel is the second most common type of keg, and it comes in two form factors.

A tall quarter keg is the same height as the half barrel (23.3”) but it has a smaller diameter (11.25”).

A quarter barrel keg, also called a “pony keg”, is 13.8” tall but has the same diameter as a half barrel keg (16.2”).

A quarter barrel keg weighs 87 lbs when full and has half the capacity of the standard half barrel keg.

A quarter barrel keg contains:

  • 7.75 gal (29.3 L)
  • 82 x 12 oz (355 ml) servings of beer
  • 62 x 16 oz (473 ml) servings of beer

A Sixth Barrel Contains 2 Cases of Beer

The sixth barrel keg, also called a “sixtel keg”, isn’t as popular as the kegs listed above. It’s the thinnest of the standard sized kegs, coming in at 23.3” tall with a diameter of 9.25”, weighing 58lbs when full.

A sixtel keg is typically used in dual-tap kegerators found in beer enthusiasts’ homes.

A sixth barrel keg contains:

  • 5.16 gal (23.5 L)
  • 56 x 12 oz (355 ml) servings of beer
  • 42 x 16 oz (473 ml) servings of beer

A Cornelius Keg Contains 2 Cases of Beer

The Cornelius keg is also known as the Corny keg or soda keg. Manufactured by Cornelius Inc., these containers were originally used in the soft drink industry but have since become popular with home brewers as an alternative to bottling beer.

The Cornelius keg is 23” tall with a 9” diameter and weighs 55 lbs when full.

A Cornelius keg contains:

  • 5 gal (22.7 L)
  • 53 x 12 oz (355 ml) servings of beer
  • 40 16 oz (473 ml) servings of beer
Friends drinking draft beer in mugs

How Much Beer is in a Keg?

Here is a summary of the various beer kegs mentioned above, along with their capacities listed in one succinct table.

The bottles column represents a standard 12 oz (355 ml) serving, while the pints column represents 16 oz (473 ml) servings.

KegCapacityBottlesPints
Half Barrel15.5 gal (58.7 L)165124
Quarter Barrel7.75 gal (29.3 L)8262
Sixth Barrel5.16 gal (23.5 L)5642
Cornelius Keg5 gal (22.7 L)5340

Should You Order a Beer Keg for Your Event?

So, what do you think… is ordering beer by the keg right for your next event? Serving draft beer at your function adds a certain flair to the festivities.

Just don’t forget, you’ll need to buy or rent a kegerator and enough glassware for all of your guests. Of course, if you’ve hired a caterer, they’ll likely take care of those details for you.

One more thing. Try not to drink too much draft beer at your party. You don’t want to wake up with a nasty headache!

Cheers!

By Michael

Chief mixologist and cocktail enthusiast at Swizzle Club.