In the United States, a standard beer barrel holds 31 U.S. gallons of the mighty brew. That's equal to 248 pints or 3,868 ounces. A keg holds no more than half of a barrel's worth of the sudsy stuff, or 15.5 gallons. Title 27 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations specifies the volume of a standard beer barrel for purposes of figuring alcohol tax. The allowed subdivisions of a beer barrel are halves, thirds, quarters, sixths and eighths. Kegs of these volumes, as well as a handy 5-gallon size, can be used to draw beer from barrels.
According to the Brewers' Association, brewers sold 196,241,331 barrels of beer in the U.S. in 2013, worth approximately $100 billion. That equals more than six billion gallons of beer, ale, porter and related brews. Craft beer from small breweries accounted for 15,302,838 of these barrels, a 7.8% market share. Should you encounter a beer barrel in the U.K., you might notice that it's larger than the U.S. version, holding 43.234 U.S. gallons or 36 imperial gallons.
About the Author
Based in Greenville SC, Eric Bank has been writing business-related articles since 1985. He holds an M.B.A. from New York University and an M.S. in finance from DePaul University. You can see samples of his work at ericbank.com.