The Keg of Beer Breakdown and Costs: It May Not Be Cheaper

Is a Keg of Beer Cheaper?

Beer is an essential drink for every party. When it comes to deciding whether to get kegs or bottles, it can be quite a dilemma.

Many customers assume that buying in bulk is cheaper, but many also overlook the overall total costs involved.

You have to be familiar with some additional costs if you decide to get kegs of beer.

Is a keg of beer cheaper? Most domestic beers are much cheaper than brew ones, but a keg can cost a couple of hundred bucks. It might not be what you expect in terms of purchases, but it is still pretty cheap if you think about the cost per drink. 

This article will give you more information about how much it will cost if you decide to buy some beer kegs and how the cost compares to that of bottled beers. Let’s start digging into the topic.

Beer Breakdown and Costs

Having a party can be stressful. However, it is all about planning and finding the best beer you can.

This is because the beer will probably be your primary liquor for your party at home. Below is a breakdown and the math involving the standard costs of a 15.5-gallon keg of domestic beer.

This is compared to the same amount of beer that can be found in bottles and cans to determine the equal sample size and fair cost comparison.

Keg of Beer

Usually, a keg of beer is 15.5 gallons (128oz per gallon), equal to 1,984 ounces of beer. Let’s say the keg costs $129; when that is divided by 1,984 ounces of beer, you end up paying $0.065 per ounce.

However, you must consider the 165 cups you might need to purchase, at the cost of $10.62.

You will also need to buy some ice to keep your keg cold. Thus, you will need to pay $5.92 for every four 10-pound bags.

After taking all the considerations and adding all the required items, this will be your breakdown for a keg of beer.

You will pay $129 for the keg plus $10.62 for the plastic cups, $5.92 for the ice, an additional $2 for the keg tap rental fee, and a total of $40 for the keg deposit, which leads to a total of $147.54 for 165 cups of beer.

Bottled and Canned Beer

For the sake of comparison, finding bottled and canned beer costs will give you a better breakdown to see if it is cheaper to buy in a keg or to buy individual beers.

For bottled beers, there are plenty of 12-packs available at 12oz per bottle. A 12-pack can cost you about $9.19, and it has 144 ounces of beer in it.

This means you pay only $0.0638 per ounce. Afterward, you will have to take care of other stuff, like $5.92 for ice.

If we do the math, for every 165 bottles, you will need to pay $132.46. Therefore, one bottle of beer can cost you about $0.80.

For canned beer, there are some 36 light cans at 12oz per can. This means that you will get at least 432 ounces of beer.

In this case, you can expect to pay at least $22. If you divide this by 432 ounces, you can expect to pay $0.0509 per ounce for cans.

If you plan to buy 165 cans, you should expect to pay at least $101.06, at $22 per 36-pack.

The total that you can expect for this type of beer is $106.75. This includes bags of ice and at least 6.8 cases of beer or 165 cans.

Comparing Kegs Versus Bottled and Canned Beers

If you think about the math above, the results show that kegs are not technically the cheapest choice than bottles and cans.

Not only are kegs expensive, but they can also be a source of injury. This is because kegs are heavy and can injure your back, knees, arms, fingers, feet, and legs, or cause hernias, if not handled properly.

Always ask for assistance when dealing with kegs. Most distributors are equipped to handle these kinds of scenarios.

Different stores can give you the best prices. For instance, TotalWine has the cheapest keg tap rentals, and you can save at least $40 per keg tap compared to Bevmo.

On the other hand, Bevmo has cheaper keg prices compared to TotalWine. Costco also offers a cheap 36-pack of beers compared to other stores.

Wine and Grocery Outlet can give you cheaper ice prices of $1.48 per 10-pound bag.

The cost of having a 16-gallon keg is slightly more than that of canned beer if you can find stores that offer a sale.

Buying an eight-gallon keg is a different story. It is much more expensive, which is why it is not always cheaper to buy in bulk when it comes to beers.


While canned and bottled beer is not the classiest way to consume this beverage, it is definitely the cheapest form.

When it comes to drinking beer, many people prefer the proper glassware associated with drinking beer. The bottom line is that enjoying a keg of beer is not technically the money-saver you think it will be.

Whether you buy a keg or canned beer comes down to taste and people’s personal preferences.


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