Breaking Down Beer Keg Prices: The Economics of Our Favorite Brews

Breaking Down Beer Keg Prices:

The Economics of Our Favorite Brews

If you’re planning a party or event, one thing that you should consider is the cost of beer kegs. The pricing of beer kegs varies depending on the size and quantity. In this article, we will break down the economics of beer kegs and discuss the factors that affect the price.

Beer Keg Sizes

Before we dive into the cost of a beer keg, let’s first discuss the different sizes of kegs that are available. The most common size is the half-barrel keg, which holds 15.5 gallons of beer. This size is perfect for large gatherings and parties. For smaller events, you can opt for a quarter-barrel keg, which holds 7.75 gallons of beer. Additionally, you can also purchase a sixtel keg, which holds 5.16 gallons of beer, or a mini keg, which holds 1.3 gallons of beer.

The Cost of Beer Kegs

The cost of a beer keg varies depending on the brand and size. A half-barrel keg can range from $50 to $200, depending on the brand and type of beer. Cheaper beers, like Bud Light or Coors, will cost less than craft beers like Sierra Nevada or Dogfish Head. Additionally, beers that are in high demand, like Guinness or Heineken, will be more expensive.

Quarter-barrel kegs are a bit cheaper, ranging from $30 to $150. Sixtel kegs can be purchased for $25 to $100, while mini kegs are the cheapest option at $10 to $25.

Keg Deposits and Returns

Another factor to consider when pricing beer kegs is the deposit and return policy. Often, breweries and distributors require a deposit for the keg, which will be refunded when the keg is returned. The deposit can range from $30 to $100, depending on the size of the keg.

However, if you don’t return the keg, you’ll lose your deposit. Additionally, keep in mind that some distributors charge a fee for not returning the keg on time.

Buying vs. Renting Kegs

When purchasing a keg, you have the option of buying or renting. Buying a keg is cheaper in the long run, as you can reuse the keg and just pay for the beer inside. Renting a keg, on the other hand, can be more expensive as you have to pay for the beer and rental fee.

However, renting a keg can be a good option if you don’t have room to store a keg or if you don’t plan on using it often.


The cost of beer kegs varies depending on the brand, size, deposit, and return policy. Before purchasing a keg, consider the type of event you’re hosting, the number of people attending, and the budget. Remember to factor in the deposit and return policy, as well as the option to buy or rent.

By understanding the economics behind beer keg prices, you can make an informed decision and ensure that your guests have a good time without breaking the bank.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does a keg last?

A: A keg can last up to six months if stored properly. However, once the keg is tapped, it should be consumed within a few days to ensure freshness.

Q: Can I return a keg to any distributor?

A: No, you should only return the keg to the distributor you purchased it from to ensure you receive your deposit back.

Q: Can I purchase a keg without a deposit?

A: No, most breweries and distributors require a deposit when purchasing a keg. The deposit is refunded when the keg is returned.

Q: How many servings are in a keg?

A: A half-barrel keg can serve around 165 12-ounce servings, while a quarter-barrel keg can serve around 83 12-ounce servings.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top