Thinking about buying a keg for your kegerator or a party?
The first thing to think about is how much beer you want/need. About 1/3 of the kegs that get returned to us for deposit come back partially full because people tend to over-order. Planning a wedding? Think of how many people are coming, how many will be drinking, and how many will be drinking beer specifically. Other things to think about are if folks have to drive home from your wedding, or how long the reception will last. It seems like a lot of factors but we can help if you give us a call or stop in to talk to us.
Here is the breakdown of how much is in each standard size of keg.
1/2BBL (Half Barrel): Despite the name, this is the largest size of keg available. It holds 15.5 gallons which breaks down to 124 16oz. pints.
50L (Fifty Liter): Common in imports, sort of the metric version of a 1/2bbl, and strangely popular with Oregon breweries. Holds about 13.2 gallons or 105 pints.
1/4BBL a.k.a. 30L (Quarter Barrel or Thirty Liter): Quarter barrels are often called Pony Kegs and are becoming less popular with breweries so there aren’t as many options. 7.75 gallons or 62 pints.
1/6BBL a.k.a 20L (Sixth Barrel or Twenty Liter): The smallest size of keg commonly available. Easy on the back, same height as a 1/2BBL but much slimmer. Holds 5.15 gallons or 42 pints.
The next thing to consider when choosing a size is what beer you want. If you have your heart set on a certain beer, it might not be available in the size you desire. We have distributor catalogs and years of experience selling kegs so we can help you figure out what is, and what isn’t, available in which size. If you just have a style or type of beer you want, like say a crowd pleasing pale ale, but want a 1/6bbl of it, we can help get you a list of options to choose from.
We do most of our ordering during the early part of the week. Getting your order in before 4PM on Tuesday would result in having the most choices available. The more notice we have for your order, the better chance there is that you will get it. A 2 week heads-up allows us to order in your keg and still have time for a back-up plan should the keg be out of stock with our distributor. If you order a keg before 4PM on a Thursday for the weekend, we can try our best to order it, but there is a chance that it won’t be available and there will not be time order something else in after that.
It takes about 10 minutes when you come to pick up your keg to fill out the mandatory Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board sticker that we must affix to every keg shell plus our simple deposit slip. We have party-pump style taps available for rent for every make of keg. If you have a kegerator or your caterer says they have taps you can use, give a quick look-up online to make sure the keg you are renting uses the style of tap coupler you have. We only rent the pump style taps and not couplers for draft systems, those are easily available online or from local homebrew stores. We don’t have the space for an ice machine, so no ice on the premises, but there is a QFC one block away where it can be purchased. We currently don’t rent jockey boxes or tubs for kegs, nor do we fill CO2 tanks.
Other random thoughts: We are a small business in a small location, we don’t have the space to keep a line-up of kegs available at all times, so everything is by order only. If you call us up on a Friday night looking for a keg, there is only a small chance we will be able to help. If you are planning an order for a lot of kegs, or kegs that we otherwise would not put on draft in our establishment (no judgements on your taste, we promise), we reserve the right to take your credit card info down to insure that we don’t get stuck with 3 or 4 kegs should you fail to pick them up. There are times when, within a weeks time, we can return a keg to our distributor, but it isn’t an easy thing to do, and is generally not a good habit to get into. As such, if you call and order a keg, we might choose to take a deposit to cover any possible loss in the event that you decide not to need it and stick us with a keg we have no need for.
We can help load a keg in your car but after that, it’s up to you to get it to the location where it will be served. Make sure to bring a vehicle that can handle your keg(s). It would seem like common sense but occasionally people show up to purchase their keg with a vehicle that’s too small or just doesn’t have enough room due to being full of belongings and other cargo. We’ve also got your back with showing you how to tap your keg and offering pointers on serving it. It’s fairly easy so don’t worry.
Please understand that not all beers are available at all times. Our distributors do their best to keep enough of the products they carry in-stock but because of freshness reasons, they don’t want to over-order so sometimes there are availability gaps. Keep in mind that some beers are seasonal and may not be available due to seasonality (i.e. Fremont Summer Solstice come October). Limited availability kegs or kegs of “rare beer” that are in market we can sometimes get, it never hurts to ask, just understand that they likely are expensive and/or maybe not available due to allocations. If we are only allocated one keg of a highly sought after beer that we are planning to pour ourselves, we probably won’t sell that keg to-go, but again, it can’t hurt to ask. If there are any other questions, you can always call us and we can do our best to help with whatever questions you may have or help you to figure out what your options are.