Discover Just How Heavy a Keg Is – Your Ultimate Guide

how heavy is a keg

If you’ve ever wondered just how heavy a keg is, you’re not alone. Keg weight is an important consideration for bars, breweries, and homebrewers alike. Knowing the weight of a keg can help you plan everything from transportation to storage, and can even impact your decision-making when choosing between different keg sizes and styles. Thankfully, this comprehensive guide has got you covered with everything you need to know about keg weight, sizes, and more.

  • The weight of a keg depends on various factors such as the size, material, and type of keg
  • The most common keg size is the half-barrel, which weighs approximately 161 pounds when full and 30 pounds when empty
  • Other keg sizes include quarter-barrels, mini-kegs, and more, each with their respective weights
  • The weight of beer inside a keg adds to the overall weight, and estimating the weight of the beer can help determine the total weight of the keg
  • When handling heavy kegs, it’s important to use proper lifting techniques and equipment to avoid injury

Understanding Keg Weights

If you’ve ever wondered just how heavy is a keg, you’re not alone. Keg weight can vary depending on many factors, from the type of keg to the amount of beer inside. In this section, we’ll explore the different aspects of keg weight to give you a better understanding of what to expect when dealing with kegs.

Typical Keg Weight

The typical weight of a keg can range from around 30 to 160 pounds, depending on the size and type of keg. The standard weight for most beer kegs is around 30 pounds for an empty keg. Kegs are typically made of either stainless steel or aluminum, which are both durable and long-lasting materials.

Pro tip: When handling kegs, be sure to wear sturdy gloves to protect your hands from any sharp edges or rough surfaces.

Standard Keg Weight and Sizes

Standard kegs come in several sizes, including half-barrel, quarter-barrel, and sixth-barrel. Half-barrel kegs are the most common size used in the United States, with a weight of around 160 pounds when full. Quarter-barrel kegs are half the size of a half-barrel keg, with a weight of around 80 pounds when full. Sixth-barrel kegs are even smaller, with a weight of around 55 pounds when full.

Keg SizeVolume (gallons)Volume (liters)Empty Weight (lbs)Full Weight (lbs)

Pro tip: Keep in mind that the weight of a keg can vary depending on the manufacturer and the type of beer inside.

Average Weight of a Keg

The average weight of a keg can vary widely depending on the factors we’ve discussed. However, a good rule of thumb is to estimate around 50 pounds for a standard full keg. This can help you plan for transportation and handling, as well as ensure that you’re using the right equipment for the job.

typical keg weight

Now that you have a better understanding of keg weight, you can make informed decisions when dealing with kegs. In the next section, we’ll explore the different keg sizes and weights in more detail.

Different Keg Sizes and Weights

When it comes to kegs, size does matter. The size and weight of kegs depend on several factors, from the amount of beer they hold to the material used to make them. Here are the most common keg sizes and their typical weights:

Keg SizeWeight (empty)
Mini Keg3.5 – 5 pounds
Sixth Barrel Keg (⅙ BBL)20 pounds
Quarter Barrel Keg (¼ BBL)30 – 32 pounds
Half Barrel Keg (½ BBL)130 – 170 pounds

Mini kegs are the smallest option, usually holding around five liters of beer. Sixth barrel kegs are slightly larger, holding around 5.2 gallons of beer. Quarter barrel kegs are the most popular size for home use, holding around 7.75 gallons of beer, while half barrel kegs are the standard for bars and pubs, holding around 15.5 gallons of beer.

It’s important to note that the weights listed above are for empty kegs. The weight of a keg can vary significantly based on the type of beer inside, as well as the material used to construct the keg.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that different materials can also affect the weight of a keg. Traditional steel kegs are among the heaviest options, while lighter alternatives like aluminum or plastic kegs can be much lighter.

Different keg sizes and weights

When it comes to keg weight, there are several factors to consider beyond just the weight of the beer inside. Understanding these factors can help you better estimate the weight of a keg and handle it safely.

Weight of Beer Inside a Keg

The weight of the beer inside a keg is a critical component of the overall keg weight. Depending on the type and size of the keg, the weight of the beer can vary significantly. For example, a standard half-barrel keg can hold up to 15.5 gallons of beer, which can weigh close to 160 pounds.

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weight of beer kegs

Even when empty, kegs still have weight. The shell of the keg, fittings, and other components all contribute to the overall weight. For example, an empty half-barrel keg can weigh around 30 pounds.

Heaviest Keg

While most kegs are manageable in terms of weight, there are some heavy-duty options available. One such keg is the 50-liter stainless steel keg, which can weigh up to 130 pounds when full.

Remember, when lifting or transporting kegs, it’s important to consider the weight in addition to other factors like size, shape, and material.

The Weight of Beer Inside a Keg

When it comes to keg weight, the amount of beer inside a keg plays a significant role. Beer is heavy, and its weight can make a big difference in how heavy a keg is overall. Different types of beer have different densities, so the weight of beer inside a keg can vary depending on the type of beer.

As a general rule of thumb, a full keg of beer will weigh about 160 pounds. This includes both the weight of the beer and the weight of the keg itself. However, the exact weight can vary depending on the size of the keg and the density of the beer inside.

For example, a half-barrel keg of beer, which is the standard size for most kegs, will typically weigh between 150-160 pounds when full. This means that the weight of the beer inside the keg is around 120-130 pounds. However, the weight can vary depending on the type of beer inside.

Lighter beers, such as lagers or pilsners, will weigh less than heavier beers, such as stouts or porters. This is because lighter beers have a lower density than heavier beers, which means they weigh less per volume. So, if you’re dealing with a keg of lighter beer, you can expect it to weigh a bit less than a keg of heavier beer.

Weight of Beer Kegs

It’s also important to note that the weight of beer inside a keg will decrease as the beer is consumed. As the level of beer in the keg drops, the weight of the keg will decrease accordingly. This can be helpful to keep in mind if you need to move or transport a partially full keg.

Overall, the weight of beer inside a keg is an important factor to consider when dealing with kegs. By understanding how the weight of beer affects the overall weight of a keg, you’ll be better equipped to handle and transport kegs safely and effectively.

Understanding Empty Keg Weight

Empty kegs may seem like they should weigh very little, but that’s not always the case. There are several factors that contribute to an empty keg’s weight, such as the materials used to construct the keg and its fittings.

Firstly, the shell of the keg itself can add considerable weight. Steel kegs, for example, have a thick steel shell that can weigh up to 30 pounds on its own. Aluminum and plastic kegs, on the other hand, are much lighter since they have thinner shells.

Another factor that contributes to the weight of an empty keg is its fittings. Kegs typically have many fittings, including valves, couplers, and taps, which can add several pounds to the overall weight of an empty keg. These fittings are designed to be sturdy and long-lasting, but they can also make the keg heavier than expected.

It’s important to note that empty kegs still require proper handling and lifting techniques, as they can be surprisingly heavy. Depending on the type of keg, an empty keg can weigh anywhere from 10 to 30 pounds.

Knowing the weight of an empty keg is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it can impact the transportation and storage of kegs. For example, if you are transporting large quantities of empty steel kegs, you will need to consider the added weight and take appropriate measures to ensure safe transportation.

Additionally, knowing the weight of an empty keg can also help you estimate the weight of a full keg. While not exact, you can generally estimate the weight of a full keg by adding the weight of the empty keg to the weight of the beer inside.

Remember: an empty keg still has weight, so always use proper handling and lifting techniques when dealing with them.

empty keg weight

If you’re in the market for a keg, you’ll find that there are many different styles and materials to choose from. Each of these options comes with its own weight variations, so understanding the keg sizes and weights is crucial. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular keg styles and their respective weights.

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Steel Kegs

Steel kegs are the most traditional and durable option when it comes to kegs. They offer excellent insulation and can withstand harsh conditions, making them perfect for outdoor events. However, steel kegs are also among the heaviest options, with a half-barrel keg weighing around 160 pounds on average.

Different Keg Styles and Their Weights

Aluminum kegs are a newer option that has become popular due to their lightweight design. While they are not as durable as steel kegs, they are a great alternative for indoor events or short-term use. Aluminum kegs typically weigh around 35-45 pounds for a half-barrel keg.

Plastic Kegs

Plastic kegs are the lightest option available, weighing in at around 20-25 pounds for a half-barrel keg. They are perfect for smaller events or one-time use, but they lack the durability of steel or aluminum kegs.

Keg TypeWeight (Half-Barrel)
Steel~160 pounds
Aluminum35-45 pounds
Plastic20-25 pounds

As you can see, choosing the right keg size and weight depends on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for durability, portability, or affordability, understanding the different keg styles and their weights is essential.

  • Steel kegs are the most traditional and durable option but also the heaviest.
  • Aluminum kegs are a great alternative due to their lightweight design.
  • Plastic kegs are the lightest option available but lack the durability of other options.

Comparing Keg Weights: Half-Barrel vs. Quarter-Barrel

Half-barrel kegs and quarter-barrel kegs are two popular choices for those in the beverage industry. Understanding the weight differences between the two can help you make informed decisions when purchasing or transporting kegs. In this section, we’ll breakdown the weight differences between half-barrel and quarter-barrel kegs.

Note: To help with visualization, we’ve included a table below outlining the dimensions and weight of each keg.

Keg SizeHeightDiameterWeight (empty)
Half-Barrel Keg23.3″16.1″30 lbs
Quarter-Barrel Keg13.7″16.1″18 lbs

As you can see, the main difference between half-barrel and quarter-barrel kegs is their size and weight. Half-barrel kegs are larger and heavier, weighing in at 30 pounds when empty. In contrast, quarter-barrel kegs are smaller and lighter, with an empty weight of only 18 pounds.

When transporting kegs, the weight difference between the two can make a significant impact. Half-barrel kegs can require more muscle and equipment to move, whereas quarter-barrel kegs may be more manageable for one person to handle.

Half-barrel and Quarter-barrel Kegs

It’s important to note that the weight of a keg can vary depending on the material it’s made of. For example, steel kegs are typically heavier than aluminum kegs, and plastic kegs are the lightest. However, the weight differences between half-barrel and quarter-barrel kegs remain relatively consistent regardless of the material they’re made of.

Key Takeaways

  • Half-barrel kegs weigh in at 30 pounds when empty.
  • Quarter-barrel kegs weigh in at 18 pounds when empty.
  • The weight difference between keg sizes can impact transportation and handling.

Other Factors to Consider When Measuring Keg Weight

There are several factors to keep in mind when dealing with keg weights beyond just the physical weight itself. Here are some key considerations to ensure safe and efficient handling:

  • Transportation: Depending on the keg size and weight, it may be necessary to use a dolly or similar equipment to move the keg from one location to another. Plan out your transportation needs before attempting to lift or move the keg.
  • Lifting techniques: Proper lifting techniques are essential to avoid injury. Always lift with your legs, not your back, and use proper lifting equipment if needed. If you are unsure of the best lifting technique, seek advice from a professional.
  • Storage considerations: Consider the location where the keg will be stored and ensure it is stable and secure. Kegs can be heavy and may cause damage if they fall over or are placed in an unstable location.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can ensure that you handle kegs safely and efficiently. For more information on keg weight and handling, refer to our keg weight guide.

Keg weight guide

Handling heavy kegs can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to help you safely move and handle these heavy objects:

1. Use Proper Lifting Techniques

When lifting a keg, make sure to keep your back straight and bend your knees to lower yourself down. Use your legs to lift the keg and keep it close to your body to maintain balance. Avoid twisting your back or jerking movements that can strain your muscles.

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2. Use Keg Dollies or Trolleys

If you’re moving kegs over long distances, consider using dollies or trolleys to make the task easier. These devices can help you move kegs without putting unnecessary strain on your body. Make sure the dollies or trolleys you use can safely support the weight of the keg.

3. Secure the Keg Before Moving It

Make sure the keg is secured before moving it. You can use straps or bungee cords to hold the keg in place and prevent it from rolling around. This will keep the keg stable as you move it and prevent any accidents.

4. Be Mindful of Surroundings

Be aware of your surroundings when moving kegs. Make sure the path you’re taking is clear of any obstacles, and watch out for any potential hazards along the way. Be mindful of the weight of the keg, and make sure you’re not putting yourself or anyone else in danger.

5. Store Kegs Correctly

When storing kegs, make sure they’re stored upright and on a flat surface. This will prevent the keg from rolling around or being damaged. If you’re storing kegs outside, make sure they’re covered and protected from the elements.

keg weight guide

By following these tips, you can safely move and handle heavy kegs without putting yourself or anyone else in danger. Remember, always err on the side of caution and take your time when handling heavy kegs.


And there you have it – your ultimate guide to keg weights! We hope that this article has answered any questions you had about how heavy a keg is and provided you with valuable insight into different keg sizes and weights, as well as factors that can affect their weight.

Remember to Consider Other Factors

When dealing with kegs, it’s important to keep in mind that weight isn’t the only factor to consider. Factors like transportation, storage, and lifting techniques can all come into play and impact your keg handling experience.

Stay Safe and Handle Kegs with Care

Whether you’re a professional bartender or a homebrew enthusiast, it’s essential to prioritize safety when handling heavy kegs. Make sure to use proper lifting techniques, consider using equipment like keg dollies or trolleys, and always lift with your legs to avoid injury.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to handle kegs of any size and weight safely and effectively.

Thank you for reading our guide – we hope it has been informative and helpful!


How heavy is a keg?

The weight of a keg can vary depending on its size and the type of liquid it contains. On average, a full keg can weigh between 130-160 pounds (59-73 kilograms).

What are the standard keg sizes and weights?

The most common keg sizes are half-barrel (15.5 gallons), quarter-barrel (7.75 gallons), and mini kegs (5 liters). The weights of these keg sizes can range from 87-161 pounds (39-73 kilograms) for a full keg.

How does the weight of beer inside a keg affect its overall weight?

The weight of beer inside a keg contributes to its overall weight. On average, beer weighs about 8.34 pounds (3.78 kilograms) per gallon. So, a full keg of beer can weigh approximately 130-160 pounds (59-73 kilograms).

Why do empty kegs still have weight?

Even when empty, kegs still have weight due to the materials used in their construction, such as the shell, fittings, and other components. The empty weight of a keg can range from 20-30 pounds (9-14 kilograms) depending on the size and material of the keg.

Do different keg styles have different weights?

Yes, different keg styles can have varying weights. Traditional steel kegs are heavier compared to alternatives like aluminum kegs or plastic kegs. The weight variations across different keg materials can impact handling and transportation considerations.

How does the weight of a half-barrel keg compare to a quarter-barrel keg?

A half-barrel keg is typically heavier than a quarter-barrel keg. A full half-barrel keg can weigh around 160 pounds (73 kilograms), while a full quarter-barrel keg weighs approximately 87 pounds (39 kilograms).

What other factors should I consider when measuring keg weight?

Besides the physical weight of the keg itself, you should consider factors such as transportation methods, lifting techniques, and storage considerations. These can impact the overall handling and management of kegs.

Are there any tips for handling heavy kegs?

Yes! When handling heavy kegs, it’s important to use proper lifting techniques. You can also consider using equipment like keg dollies or trolleys to assist with transportation. It’s essential to prioritize safety and avoid straining yourself when dealing with heavy kegs.


Baron Cooke has been writing and editing for 7 years. He grew up with an aptitude for geometry, statistics, and dimensions. He has a BA in construction management and also has studied civil infrastructure, engineering, and measurements. He is the head writer of

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