Beer Keg Sizes USA

Beer keg sizes USA vary, but the most common are 14 and 16 gallons (half barrels). Also sold are 1/6 barrels (5 and 6 gallons). 1/4 barrels are sold in 7 and 8 gallons.

No Standardization

The reason why there are many keg dimensions is due to the lack of standards. In fact, the keg is not used as a standard measuring unit. The variation is not just in the US but also in other countries. However, the difference between US and European beer dimensions is great because they use different measuring systems. The US uses gallons while the UK relies on other measurements.

Beer Keg Sizes USA in Detail

A full keg is equal to 15.5 U.S. gallon barrels. It is known as a half-barrel. Beer is also served in quarter barrels. This is equivalent to 7.75 U.S. gallons. Strictly speaking, a keg is a barrel. But in the United States, a keg is considered to be smaller than a barrel. It is smaller by thirty gallons.

In America, the expressions half barrel and quarter barrel are used because an American beer barrel is equivalent to thirty one U.S. gallons. Buyers should realize that this is not equal to volume. This can be confusing because some barrels are defined as such.


These 15.5 U.S. gallon kegs are the same as the following: 124 U.S. pints, 165 twelve fluid ounce (U.S. measure) drinks, 103.25 pints and 12.7 gallons. The last are imperial measurements. The 15.5 U.S. gallon keg is the same as 5.5 30-racks of 12 fl oz cans, 90 bombers (a 22 oz bottle) and 6.88 24 unit cases of 12 fl oz cans.

Other Information about Beer Keg

These kegs are usually built from stainless steel. But a few of them are constructed of aluminum. The standard keg comes with one opening at its end. A “spear” (really a tube) goes from beyond the opening to the other end. You will also find a self closing valve which opens via a coupling.

At the top of the spear is an opening so gas can move the beer out of the can. The gas is typically carbon dioxide. Casks on the other hand, have two openings. They also do not have spears. These are the major differences between the two.

These beer keg sizes USA are the most commonly used. But due to differences in the way breweries make their beers, subtle differences occur.

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