Often associated with college life and large get-togethers, a keg is a cylindrical container (usually made out of steel or aluminum) that is used to store, transport, and serve beer. In the United States, kegs come in a variety of sizes and are priced accordingly. While paying for the keg itself isn’t overly expensive, it is the deposit that grocery stores and other establishments require before you are allowed to leave with a keg that increases the overall cost.
In the United States, most kegs come in ½ barrels (between 14 and 16 gallons), ¼ barrels (between 7 and 8 gallons), and 1/6 barrels (between 5 and 6 gallons). Heineken also offers a “mini” keg of beer containing 5 liters that typically costs around $19.99. Found in the beer section of a grocery store, this ‘keg’ does not require a deposit.
The average cost for a keg is $85 and serves 165 glasses of beer. In comparison, the average 6-pack of beer costs around $6 to $8 dollars. However, the brand and type of beer will also affect the price of a keg. For example, domestic beer kegs generally cost less than micro-brewed beer in a keg. In addition to the price of a keg, a deposit is often required that ranges from as little as around $25 up to $100 or more.
A sample of ½ keg prices from a beer and party warehouse show the differences in cost :
Pabst Light – $54.99
Keystone Light – $60.99
Rolling Rock – $80.99
Bud Light – $86.99
Labatts Blue – $91.99
Molsen Canadian – $91.99
Saranac Pale Ale – $85.99
Blue Moon Belgium White – $125.99
Sam Adams – $133.99