A standard keg contains 15.5 gallons of beer. Since there are 16 ounces in 1 pint, and 2 pints in 1 quart, there are 4 quarts in 1 gallon. Therefore, there are 124 pints or 248 (12 oz) cups in 1 keg of beer.

## Quick Answers

There are approximately 248 (12 oz) cups in a standard 15.5 gallon keg of beer.

## Calculating the Number of Cups in a Keg

To determine how many 12 oz cups are in a keg, we first need to know some basic conversions:

- 1 gallon = 4 quarts
- 1 quart = 2 pints
- 1 pint = 16 ounces
- 1 cup = 12 ounces

A standard full keg contains 15.5 gallons of beer. Using the conversions above:

- 15.5 gallons x 4 quarts per gallon = 62 quarts
- 62 quarts x 2 pints per quart = 124 pints
- 124 pints x 16 ounces per pint = 1,984 ounces
- Since a 12 oz cup is the desired unit, 1,984 oz / 12 oz per cup = 165 cups

So in total, a 15.5 gallon keg contains approximately 165 12 oz cups of beer.

### Accounting for Foam and Spillage

However, the 165 cup calculation assumes that the keg is filled to the absolute brim with beer. In reality, a portion of the keg’s volume is taken up by foam and a bit is lost in spillage when pouring.

To account for this, a general rule of thumb is to reduce the maximum capacity by 15-20%. Using 18% to be conservative, if we take 82% of the 165 cups we calculated above, we get:

- 165 cups x 0.82 = 135 cups

So accounting for foam and waste, a standard 15.5 gallon keg realistically holds about 135 12 oz cups of beer.

### Typical Keg Sizes

While 15.5 gallons is the most common full size keg, other keg sizes exist too. Here’s a breakdown of other typical keg sizes and the number of 12 oz cups they contain:

Keg Size | Total Gallons | Total 12 oz Cups* |
---|---|---|

Pony Keg | 7.75 gallons | 82 |

Quarter Keg | 5.23 gallons | 66 |

Slim Quarter Keg | 4.88 gallons | 62 |

Sixth Barrel | 5.17 gallons | 65 |

Cornelius Keg | 5.17 gallons | 65 |

*12 oz cup counts estimated using 18% foam/waste reduction

So while a full size, 15.5 gallon keg holds around 135 beers, smaller keg sizes may hold as few as 62-82 beers.

## Factors That Affect Number of Beers in a Keg

There are several factors that can impact how many 12 oz beers you can expect to get out of a keg:

### 1. Keg Size

As shown above, the smaller the keg, the fewer total beers it will hold. A full barrel, 15.5 gallon keg holds many more beers than a quarter barrel or pony keg.

### 2. Amount of Foam

More foamy beers like wheat beers or IPAs will have greater foam, reducing the amount of actual beer poured.

### 3. Pouring Method

Fast, turbulent pours will aerate the beer more, creating more foam. Gentle, smooth pours will minimize foam.

### 4. Beer Style

Some styles like stouts will have less foam and less gas, increasing pours. More carbonated and hoppy styles will have more foam.

### 5. Storage Temperature

Colder temperatures help reduce foaming, allowing more beer per pour. Warm temperatures increase foaming.

### 6. Cleanliness of Lines

Dirty tap lines can cause foaming during pours. Regular line cleaning is important.

### 7. Spillage

Careless handling of taps and overflowing glasses will waste beer, reducing number of pours.

### 8. Glass Size

Larger glassware will obviously reduce the number of pours from a keg compared to smaller glass sizes.

## Keg Beer Math Formulas

Here are some useful formulas for calculating keg capacities:

- Total ounces = Keg size (gallons) x 128 oz/gallon
- Total pints = Keg size (gallons) x 8 pints/gallon
- Total 12 oz beers = Total ounces / 12 oz per beer
- Total 16 oz beers = Total ounces / 16 oz per beer

To account for foam/waste, reduce totals by 15-20%.

## Frequently Asked Questions

### How many beers can you get from a pony keg?

A 7.75 gallon pony keg will hold around 82 twelve ounce beers after accounting for foam and waste.

### How many 16 oz beers in a keg?

A standard 15.5 gallon keg holds approximately 99 sixteen ounce pint glasses of beer, after foam and spillage.

### How much beer is in a keg in liters?

15.5 gallons is approximately 58.7 liters. So a standard keg contains about 58.7 liters before accounting for foam and waste.

### How much is a keg of beer?

A full size 15.5 gallon keg typically costs $100-$200 wholesale, depending on the brand. Craft brews and imports may cost more. Retail keg prices at bars are higher.

## Conclusion

A full size 15.5 gallon keg will hold approximately 165 twelve ounce beers at total capacity. After accounting for foaming and waste during pouring, a more realistic estimate is 135 beers per keg. Smaller keg sizes like quarter barrels may hold only 60-80 total beers. Factors like foam, pouring method, temperature and line cleanliness can also impact how many beers you’ll actually get out of a keg. Now that you know how many cups are in a keg, you can plan your next kegger appropriately!