How Long Will A Commercial Keg Last?

G4 Kegs | June 4, 2024

There are a million reasons to love kegged beer. Kegs come in a variety of sizes for convenience, some are stackable for easy storage, are more ecologically conscious than bottles and cans, and keep beer fresh. For businesses new to incorporating kegs at their business, a few questions are sure to come up, such as “How long will a keg stay fresh,” and “How many servings are in a keg”?

If you are looking to add kegs to your beverage lineup, the keg consultants at G4 Kegs are here to answer all of your questions about commercial kegs.

How Long Will a Keg Last Once Tapped? 

We all know that fresh beer is the best beer. So, it’s common for bar and business owners to wonder how quickly drinks lose their freshness once a keg is tapped. Beer, of course, is at its peak purity when it’s initially kegged, and while some of that freshness can naturally dissipate as time passes it’s not as quickly as one might worry.

Traditional stainless steel kegs, when stored at the proper temperature and used in tandem with proper CO2 pressure, can keep your beer crisp and delicious for months.

Typical Draft Beer Lifespans:

Non-Pasteurized Draft Beer: 45-60 days
Pasteurized Draft Beer: 90-120 days

The Importance of Keg Expiration Dates

Finding the filling and expiration dates on a keg should be quick and easy. Most breweries will note a beer’s “born on” (i.e., packaged) date to on its keg collar to indicate the fill date. In some cases, they might instead suggest its “best-by” date. One factor to pay attention to is the company's inventory in cold storage and/or its delivery cycle. The amount of time a keg might sit after being filled and before making it to a tap is factored into its longevity. For example:

Draft beer lifespan is usually 45-60 days for non-pasteurized beer and 90-120 days for pasteurized beer.

Transit and Satellite Warehousing: 0-10 Days
Distributor Warehouse and Delivery: 10-20 Days
Final Destination: 20-60 Days

Drinking and serving beer past its expiration date happens, so it’s important to pay attention to when it was packaged.

How Do You Know if a Keg is Bad?

There are often easily identifiable telltale signs of a draft beer gone bad, but not all are a result of freshness, per se. Many can prevented with regular draft system maintenance and cleaning, which should happen at least every two weeks.  If you are wondering about the freshness of you’re drinking on draft, look out for these warning signs that the suds have been affected:

  • Off-flavors like buttered popcorn or wet cardboard
  • Sour or yogurt-like or metallic tastes
  • Off-putting or unusual odors
  • Cloudy appearance for beers that aren’t intentionally hazy by style

If you see any of the above signs, inquire about both the beer’s packaged date and the draft system’s cleaning protocols to ensure you aren’t serving old beer. If either is off, it’s time to implement stricter SOPs.

How Many Pints Are in a G4 Keg?

Whether you are starting a bustling brewery or running a popular bar, knowing how many pours per keg is crucial for estimating costs and predicting inventory. Since kegs come in a variety of capacities, and every establishment's ounce pours are unique, we like to think about glasses in terms of 12 oz and 16 oz pours.

10L Keg

Holds: 2.6 gallons
Yields: 27 servings (12oz) 
21 servings (16oz)

Sixth Barrel

Holds: 5.16 gallons
Yields: 55 servings  (12oz) 
42 servings (16oz)

Quarter Barrel

Holds: 7.75 gallons
Yields: 82 servings (12oz) 
62 servings (16oz)

50L Keg

Holds: 13.2 gallons
Yields: 141 servings (12oz) 
106 servings (16oz)

Half Barrel

Holds: 15.5 gallons
Yields: 165 servings (12oz) 
124 servings (16oz)

Determining the ideal combination of keg sizes and pours for your business involves considering customer preferences, storage space, product popularity, and turnover rates.

Keep Your Kegs Fresh With Stainless Steel Kegs From G4 Kegs

Not all kegs are made alike, so if you want to ensure the freshest beer and the most durable kegs in the industry, look no further than G4 Kegs. We stock every size for your beverage needs—from 10L to half barrels and everything in between.

As the nation’s largest independently owned keg supplier, you can rest assured we carry only premium products to enhance your beverage program. Plus, we offer leasing options to help you reap the benefits of our kegs without worrying about budgets.

Contact us today for a custom quote.