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How Many Gallons In A Barrel Of Beer?

It’s a common question – how many gallons in a barrel of beer? The first thing to understand is what a beer barrel actually is.

A beer barrel is a large cask used to store and transport beer. It can be made from different materials including wood, metal, and plastic.

A typical beer barrel has a capacity of about 31 gallons, but this varies depending on the material used and other factors.

History of Beer Barrels and their Use

Beer barrels were first used during the 15th century in Europe. They were primarily used to transport beer from breweries to pubs or other locations where it was sold.

Over the centuries, the size of the barrels varied depending on the demand for different types of beers. Today, many breweries still make use of barrels for storing and transporting their products.

Types of Beer Barrels

Beer barrels come in a variety of sizes ranging from small kegs that can hold just five gallons up to large barrels that can hold as much as 60 gallons. The most common type is called a “half-barrel” which typically holds about 15.5 gallons. Other types include “quarter-barrels” (7-8 gallons) and “sixth-barrels” (5 gallons).

Units Used To Measure Volume

The standard unit for measuring liquid volumes is the gallon (3.7854 liters). Other units used to measure volume are fluid ounces, quarts, pints, and milliliters (1 liter = 1000 milliliters).

It’s also important to be aware that different countries may use different units when referring to volume measurements; for instance, while most countries use the gallon when discussing liquid volume measurements, some countries may use liters or even hectoliters instead.

How To Calculate The Volume Of A Beer Barrel

It’s easy to calculate how many gallons are in a barrel by multiplying the number of individual containers by their capacity:

For example, if your barrel contains 12 12-ounce bottles (1 bottle = 0.375 gallons), then you would multiply 12 x 0.375 = 4½ gallons in total volume for that particular barrel size.

Examples Of Different Volumes Of Beer Barrels

  • Half-barrel: 15½ gallons
  • Quarter-barrel: 7½–8 gallons
  • Sixth-barrel: 5 gallons
  • Cornelius keg: 5–15½ gallons depending on size
  • Stainless steel Sankey keg: ~15⅓–17⅔ gallons depending on size
  • Euro keg or DIN keg: ~14–15⅓ gallons depending on size
  • 1/6 barrel or sixth barrel bottle: ~20 bottles per 1/6 barrel (each bottle holds about 0·375 gallon)
  • ½ liter bottle: ~40 bottles per 1/2 liter (~ 40·375 = 20·75 )


In conclusion, understanding how many gallons are in a barrel of beer depends on the type of container being discussed as well as any additional factors such as the material it’s made from or its overall capacity per unit volume measurement.

Most common types include half-barrels (15½ gal.), quarter-barrels (7½–8 gal.), sixth-barrels (5 gal.), Cornelius kegs (5–15½ gal.), stainless steel Sankey kegs (~15⅓–17⅔ gal.), Euro kegs or DIN kegs (~14–15⅓ gal.) and 1/6th barrels (~20 bottles per 1/6th bbl at .375gal./bottle) and ½ liter bottles (~40 bottles per ½ ltr at .375gal./bottle).

By performing simple calculations based on these types you will easily be able to estimate how many gallons are contained within your particular type of beer container!

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, homebrewer and beer taster. I’m also the editor of Beer100. I love travelling the world and trying out new handcraft beer and different beer styles. I’m not an expert in brewing beer, but I know a few things about beer, which I share on this blog. If you need help or have a question, please comment below.

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