For adults, parties are more enjoyable when in the company of close friends, good food, and, of course, an abundant supply of beer. At big parties, bottles after bottles seem to be not enough to satisfy everyone. For this reason, a keg or a metal barrel, which can contain large quantities of beer (ciders and sodas, too), would really be ideal. With this being said, how much does a keg cost these days?
Estimated Cost of a Keg and a Keg of Beer
Typically, the average price of a keg is around $145, with actual prices ranging from $45 to around $250. But the overall cost varies based on several factors, which will be discussed in this article.
However, if you are buying beer or any other content in kegs, you should know that retailers own them. This means that they have to be returned after all of the contents have been consumed. Take, for example, beer in a keg.
The keg of beer cost greatly depends on its size, the choice of beer brand, your geographical location, and the type of reseller you deal with. In addition, customers are always required to provide deposit fees for the kegs, which may range from $30 to $100 or more, depending on the size.
Kegs According to Sizes
Kegs come mainly in three different sizes, namely, sixer, pony, and full-size. Their capacities are detailed below.
Also known as a 1/6 keg, a sixer can hold 5.17 gallons, which is about 55 full 12-ounce cups. The average price for this size ranges from $45 to $141.
This includes the deposit fees, but there are some instances when you need to spend more on the deposit costs. So make sure to ask the retailer what constitutes the price.
Sample prices per brand are as follows:
- Budweiser – $45
- Blue Moon – $97
- Samuel Adams – $97
- Killian’s Irish Red Lager – $46
- Bud Light Light – $93
This is also referred to as a “quarter keg,” and it comes after a Sixer-size metal barrel. This type of keg can hold 7.75 gallons, which is equivalent to about 82 12-ounce cups. If you want to have this size, then you need to pay around $87 to $139.
Some brands’ prices for this size are the following:
- Coors light – $87
- Miller Lite – $91
- Modelo – $112
- Pacifico Lager – $112
- Parkway Bridge Builder Blonde Ale – $94
- Parkway Get Bent IPA – $110
- Parkway Raven’s Roost Porter – $110
- Yuengling Lager – $90
Sometimes called a 1/2 keg, this is the biggest keg size. It can hold about 15.5 gallons, or 165 12-ounce cups. The average cost for this size ranges from $85 to $242.
Here is a list of the most popular beer brands in America and their respective average full-size keg costs.
- Keystone Light – $70
- Busch Light – $80
- Natural Light – $80
- Bud Light – $80
- Budweiser – $87
- Miller Lite – $88
- Coors Light – $90
- Pabst Blue Ribbon – $100
- Heineken – $130
- Michelob Ultra – $135
- Corona Light – $165
- Blue Moon – $175
- Guinness – $200
There are those that are called kegerators or those refrigerators that are intended to house and dispense kegs. Their costs range from $160 to as high as over $2,000, depending on capacity.
There are also tap deposits, with an average cost of between $50 and $70. These deposit fees are refunded once the kegs and taps are returned to the retailers.
Aside from the aforementioned additional costs, you also have the option of renting the items. A tap has a rental fee of between $2 and $15 for one week, a tub for $6, and an ice bucket between $2 and $20 per week.
Factors Affecting Cost of A Keg
Keg prices can be determined by several factors, such as the following:
- The size of the barrel – obviously, the bigger the keg is, the more expensive it can be.
- The type of keg – there are three types of kegs to choose from, and they can vary in price because of their features.
- The content – kegs typically contain beer. However, some sellers also deliver other products such as wine, kombucha, coffee, cocktails, tea, nitro cold brew, or cold-pressed juice.
- The brand – prices of kegs can also be dictated by the brand of the product they contain, as some can be more popular than others.
- The source – different sellers offer different pricing schemes for their products, which may be different from all other sellers.
- The location – where you are purchasing the keg has a huge impact on the price. This is because the seller would have to consider the cost of living and the cost of doing business based on where they are based.
Types of Keg
There are basically three types of kegs. Each has its own special features that are suitable for specific users. They are the following:
- Ball lock kegs
As the name suggests, these use ball locks to connect the liquid and gas lines. They are skinnier and taller as compared to the pin lock type.
These types are the most commonly used by homebrewers.
- Pin lock kegs
These are somehow similar to ball lock kegs. Sometimes, the lid of some pin lock kegs is missing the manual pressure relief valve, or PRV.
However, replacement lids used by homebrewers mostly have them. The advantage of this type is that it will not confuse you as to which line is for gas and which is for liquid.
- Sankey kegs
Sankey kegs use only a single port where the gas goes in and the liquid goes out. This somehow takes more work and consumes more time because the gas and liquid need to take turns.
However, these types are the least prone to gas leaks. Because of this, they are the most widely used by commercial breweries.