Beer keg weight and knowing how many beers are in a keg based on its weight are crucial to beer keg tracking and pricing beer. They help you plan how many kegs to order and forecast when kegs will run dry. They also help with learning about and keeping up with beer expiration.
Along with well drinks, kegs are the most common thing for a bartender to interact with. Once you've mastered the drinks every bartender should know and the standard wine pour, impress people with your encyclopedic knowledge of kegs. You'll thrill everyone, including cicerone customers.
So enjoy this article about the type of kegs, because kegs are required to pour beer and are enjoyable things. And even articles about kegs should be enjoyable. You won't find this information in your standard bartender guide.
How Much Does A Keg Weigh?
The weight of a keg depends both on the size of the keg you’re looking at and the amount of beer remaining in the keg. The smallest keg, a Cornelius keg, weighs a mere 10.5 pounds when empty. A half-keg, the most common keg, weighs 160 pounds when full. As you can tell, this means it’s very important to know how to calculate the remaining beer in a keg to ensure you don’t run out in the middle of service.
How to Use Beer Keg Weight to Take Beer Inventory
Here’s an example of how beer keg weight is used to determine the exact number of beers left in a keg. Once you master this skill, you'll feel like you've really earned that bartending license. In terms of the type of kegs, let’s consider the very common half barrel keg. Much like a fifth of alcohol is the standard liquor bottle size, you don't need to go to bartending school to know about these.
Here’s a synopsis of the stats:
- Is 160 pounds full
- Is 30 pounds empty
- Has 130 pounds of beer in it when full
- Has 124 16-ounce pints in it when full
Knowing there are 124 16-ounce pints in a full half barrel, we know there are 1,984 fluid ounces* of beer in it.
*16-ounce pints are not in regular ounces but in fluid ounces, which is a measurement of volume, not weight. In the case of fluid ounces, 16 does not necessarily equal a pound of weight.
So, we have 1,984 fluid ounces in 130 pounds of beer. Let’s figure out how many fluid ounces per pound that is with this formula:
Total Fluid Ounces / Pounds of Beer = Fluid Ounces per Pound of Beer
1,984 fl. oz. / 130 lbs = 15.2 fl. oz. per pound
Each pound of beer weight in our keg corresponds to 15.2 fluid ounces.
If we weigh our half-barrel keg and it’s 100 pounds, we know that 60 pounds of beer have been used. And 70 pounds of beer are left.
Knowing that each pound of beer is 15.2 fluid ounces we can calculate how many pints are left in the keg with this formula:
Pounds of Beer Left X 15.2 fl. oz. = Total fl. oz. Left in Keg
70 x 15.2 fl. oz. = 1,064 fl. oz.
There are 1,064 fluid ounces of beer left in the keg. To find out how many pints that is, we divide by 16.
Total fl. oz. Left in Keg / 16 fl. oz. = Pints Left in Keg
1,064 fl. oz. / 16 fl. oz. = 66.5
So, How Many Beers In a Keg, Again?
That’s a lot of math, so we don’t blame you if you’re confused. But most folks in the U.S. are usually referring to one size keg when they ask this question: the half keg. To clear this up, here are the numbers for the half keg.
How Many Beers In a Keg?
Using the standard keg size in the U.S., the half keg, there are 165 12-ounce cans or bottles or 124 16-ounce pints in a full keg.
How Much Does a Keg Weigh?
The most common keg in the U.S., the half keg, weighs:
Full Keg Weight
A full half keg weighs 160 pounds. Of that 160 pounds, the beer itself weighs 130 pounds.
Empty Keg Weight
An empty half keg weighs 30 pounds.
The standard method for measuring kegs isn’t actually in pounds, it’s in barrels (Bbl). A Barrel is the equivalent of 31 gallons.
So, let’s break down the three most popular keg types by size:
- Half-Keg - ½ Barrel or 165 12-ounce bottles
- Pony Keg - ¼ Barrel or 83 12-ounce bottles
- Sixtel - ⅙ Barrel or 55 12-ounce bottles
Kegs are heavy. That’s why it takes multiple people to drag them to a party or a delivery truck to bring them to your bar. But that’s no excuse for not tracking them. You can use the calculations above to calculate the remaining beer and plan your ordering. It'll also be helpful to know how long does a tapped keg last.
Another way to smooth your inventory process out is to use a perpetual inventory bar inventory system like BinWise Pro. It turns taking inventory from a drawn-out manual counting process to a quick succession of scans. It also helps avoid issues like excess inventory.
And once you have all your inventory scanned, BinWise Pro keeps on helping you. It'll figure out your variance, pour cost, and all the other numbers you need to increase your bar's profits. Book a demo and we’ll walk you through exactly how BinWise Pro will help.