A pony keg is a slang name for a quarter barrel keg, which is one of the most popular sizes often used by professionals and homebrewers. Falling between convenient but rather small Corny kegs and half barrel kegs which are too big for home use, pony kegs are a perfect option when it comes to storing and dispensing kegged beer.
What Is a Pony Keg?
First of all, let’s raise the topic of the North American keg vs. pony keg that’s used in Europe (also known as a squat keg). The European pony keg is typically a 5-liter small-sized retail keg that can be easily tapped and, as a rule, is not instantly reusable.
The North American version of the pony keg is more sizeable, holding about 7.75 gallons (roughly 30 liters) of beer. This type of keg is easily reusable and can be tapped using proper equipment like keg couplers.
When it comes to Corny keg vs. pony keg, it’s all about the size. Corny kegs are lighter and easier to move, but 5 gallons might not always be enough.
What Are the Dimensions and Capacity of the Pony Keg?
Quarter barrel kegs come in two varieties - the shorter, bulkier stubby quarter, and the slimmer tall quarter. Both are identical in volume, but the varied dimensions should be considered.
The weight of both varieties is about 90lbs when they are filled to the rim with beer. That weight can be tough to manage.
The stubby quarter is often considered easier to handle than the tall quarter, mainly because you can easily stack the stubby quarter kegs on top of each other. The downside is that you can only tap one keg at a time.
Here are the dimensions of quarter barrel kegs:
- Stubby quarter dimensions: 13⅞" x 16⅛"
- Slim quarter dimensions: 23⅜" x 11⅛"
Speaking of the volume and capacity, let’s answer the “how many beers in a quarter barrel keg” question. The capacity of a standard pony keg is 7.75 gallons (roughly 30 liters), which amounts to 82 cans/bottles (12oz).
How many ounces in a pony keg can you expect? Around 992 ounces, which is equivalent to 62 pints in a pony keg - quite enough for a sizeable party. In fact, one of the most frequent uses for quarter barrel kegs is parties. One keg like this can supply a party of 10-15 people with fresh draft beer.
Here is a keg comparison chart.
|No. of 12 fl oz drinks||No. of 16 fl oz drinks||
Weight of full keg
|Half barrel (full keg)||15.5||58.66||165.3||124||140–170|
How to Choose a Pony Keg?
If you have found a solid quarter barrel keg for sale and you are wondering whether it’s the right model for you, there are factors you’ll want to consider.
There are two basic varieties of a point barrel keg - standard quarter barrel keg and a slim quarter keg. Both hold the same amount of beer but are different in other aspects.
The shorter and stubbier of the two, the standard quarter barrel keg is a great choice for small-scale parties. Another great thing about this type is that you can stack pony kegs on top of each other, which makes them a convenient option for limited storage spaces. However, when stacked, only one keg can be tapped at a time.
The lankier and taller of the two, the slim quarter keg is ideal for dual and triple tap kegerators, allowing you to serve different beverages with one kegerator. Some single tap kegerators with large cabinets can also store this type of kegs.
How to Use a Pony Keg?
How to tap a pony keg? Well, it’s not that different from any other Sanke keg. You can go with a beer keg party pump (works for outdoor parties) or use your pony keg as part of a draft beer dispensing system with a kegerator pony keg size.
Here are the basic pony pump keg tap instructions:
- Create a base of ice at the bottom of the bag before inserting the keg
- Fill the rest of the bag with ice and pack it around the sides of the keg
- Insert the keg pump between the lugs and the top of the keg and twist it clockwise about a quarter turn until it's snug
- Pull out on the handle and push it down to tap the keg. Once the keg pump is in place, close the zipper around the pump to trap in the cold.
Tap your keg before pumping and see how it's pouring. Depending on how long you let the keg settle, you may need to pour off the first few cups of foam. The perfect pour should take about six to eight seconds to fill a 16-oz cup.
How Much Does a Pony Keg Cost?
How much is a quarter barrel keg? The pony keg prices typically start from $90 and may go all the way up to $160, depending on the manufacturer and model.
If you are looking to buy quarter barrel kegs, you can easily get them from Beverage Craft. We offer a wide range of draft beer equipment and accessories, including a kegerator for sale, keg couplers for sale, and even beer line cleaner.
If you’re asking yourself the question “where can I buy a pony keg near me?”, Beverage Craft is your top choice because we offer high-quality, cheap beer kegs, keg parts and other keg equipment in Canada and the USA. Whether you’re looking for an empty beer keg or corny kegs for sale, you’ll find it here - our beer keg prices are highly competitive.
In addition to selling equipment, we also run this blog where you can learn about the important aspects of draft beer culture and homebrewing. Here are some of our latest entries: