RollnUp Smoke Shop & Liquor

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Cans vs. Kegs


Around this time every year I get requests for kegs. Tailgates, bonfires, and Halloween parties require a large amount of beer. RollnUp has never been in the keg business because we simply don’t have the space to spare in our coolers. My staff groans when I tell them that kegs are not the business we want to be in, that they are truly a pain in the ass for our customer. This argument has been going on for a few years and I decided to break it down and show that kegs are not the bargain most perceive. I am not saying kegs are bad, I can actually hear the guy who owns a keg-o-rator screaming at the computer. I know keg guy, calm down, no one is saying your special order half barrel of IPA isn’t awesome. I am campaigning for cans; cases of beer may be a better fit for your next party or tailgate.

Let’s start out with some basic comparisons:

U.S. 1/2 Barrel (Standard Keg)

12 oz. Case Equivalent = 6.8 Cases (165 Beers).

US 1/4 keg holds 7.75 gallons of beer

12 oz. Case Equivalent = 3 1/2 Cases (75 beers).

Standard Keg, Tap/Tub/Keg Deposit, Fees, Ice, Cups, will cost around $200 and weighs around 160lbs. You will get your deposit back if your return undamaged keg/equipment back in the allotted time, around $50 depending on the store’s deposit price. Conservative total $140 to $150.

7 cases of domestic beer ranges from $120 to $140 and at 18lbs per case, total weight around 126lbs

1 keg = 1 type of beer

7 Cases = 7 different varieties of beer

So we now can see cans are cheaper, lighter, provide variety, and you don’t have to leave a copy of your driver license at the liquor store or have special attachments to serve your beer. Other factors to keep in mind…

Keg at event –


Risk of foam if incorrectly tapped or not cold enough.

Waiting in line to pour a beer

Watching people waste and spill beer because they don’t know how to pour

Worried your insurance won’t cover keg stand injury

Listening to your so-called friend bitch about the beer you picked

Depending on the location – mopping up spilled beer (see line 3)

Having to pump the tapper which is physical activity…what is this, a tailgate or CrossFit?

Party is over and keg is not empty, wasted beer is major bummer (see line 3)

Keg after event –

Haul, hopefully empty, keg back to store

Notice that the pain in your lower back from lifting the keg two days prior is not going away

Driving back to your place to get the tapper you forgot

Feeling a bit nauseous from the smell of stale beer in the vehicle

Cans after the event –

Have leftover beer…put in the refrigerator and enjoy at a later date

Carry bag of empty cans to recycling or trash receptacle

There will always be friends who stand by their keg purchase proudly. I know my husband was a fan in college due to his collection of, I say stolen he says borrowed, keg tappers. There are some cases where a keg is a better deal for the money, but overall kegs are not the hot buy due to the competitive pricing of cases. If you write to tell me the only reason I am on the side of can beer is because I don’t sell kegs, I will reply, “you are 100% correct”.