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Mini-keg recommendations?

I'm looking for a mini-keg that I can keep in my frig for 4-6 days on end. Want that draft beer on demand whenever I get the mood. Anyone know which brewers make such a thing? I prefer lagers, but would welcome other suggestions.

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  1. How many people? Remember that once a keg is tapped, the beer is never the same the next day.

    2 Replies
      1. re: Magnum

        A 1/4 keg (aka pony keg) holds about 81 12oz beers, give or take foam and pour. Most of the 'macrobreweries' have pony kegs widely available at major grocers. Our local Harris Teeter has a variety of beers from Sam Adams, Red Hook, Sierra Nevada, Yuengling, etc. in pony keg form. If you are looking for something more handcrafted, I'd suggest visiting your local breweries and ordering from them.

    1. When I read "mini-keg" and "keep in a refrigerator" I think of the 1 Gallon or 5 liter cans (otherwise, you're going to be adjusting a lot of shelving). Lots of German beers are available in them, but, I imagine it's a regional thing (like most beer distribution in the US- I would also guess they aren't allowed in some states), so you're sort of dependent on what's sold in your area (the only interesting one I've seen is Köstritzer Schwarzbier- but if you're looking for light lagers, you'll have a few more to choose from (Becks, Bitburger, Molson Canadien, a few others). I think most are pasteurized (as are a lot of kegs from Europe, in general), unlike most draught beer in the US.

      Occassionally, US beers come in them, as well, (macros like Coors and Bud) and Heineken is doing a big push for their new minikeg (in NJ at least) package which has some sort of patented keg that *supposedly* prevents oxygen from entering the partially used keg. (The paperwork is sealed inside a plastic cap, so I haven't read the PR).

      The "sixtel" is a new-ish keg size and shape, used by many breweries currently (it actually seems to be replacing the old 1/4 barrel keg in some markets because of it's shape and size). Here's a good article on them-

      1. As I previously predicted, more microbrews will start to show up in the 1.32 gallon mini kegs such as Bell's Two Hearted Ale (which is an IPA):


        4 Replies
        1. re: Little T.

          I hear if your on the left coast you can get SNCA,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, dam# them

          1. re: niquejim

            Celebration Ale in mini kegs? Nice . . .

            1. re: niquejim

              Any references on the internet that you can point me to that confirms that?

              I haven't heard of SN doing it - and a quick google search didn't return anything - maybe you are thinking of Rogue ?

            2. re: Little T.

              Whole Foods Market in Fairfax, VA was selling those Bell's Two-Hearted Ale mini-kegs. Wegman's was selling the Heinekin mini-keg.

            3. look up beergeek.biz for some mini kegs great site great prices

              1. Newcastle Brown now has the 5 ltr. mini like the Heineken w/a CO2 charge that they claim will last 30 days. I've never had one that long but I did have one for 4 days and it poured as well the last pint as the first. I enjoyed the tap system so much I'm looking for other beers, especially micro etc. in same style. The Newcastle tasted really fresh from the mini, it poured wonderful & was easy to handle . The uncharged kegs allow air to the beer that's why they go flat. w/CO2 no air. My Brother and I charged a half barrel of Old Foghorn Barley Wine Ale w/CO2 and it kept for two years. STG. Fond memories.

                1. ANY beer, whether bar sized keg or minikeg will last a good while (even a month) if it is dispensed with co2 . All minikegs provide for this....for some of them you need to invest in an inexpensive charger/dispenser to use co2 cartridges (like the ones for seltzer bottles); some of the newer minikegs coming out these days are apparently ready to go for co2 dispense with minimal fuss and little or no extra investment.
                  It's all about keeping the air out of the beer.

                  In my college days I had many an argument with boneheads that would pump an unfinished keg full of air after a party "to preserve it".

                  1. Kostritzer is a very good (and very dark) lager available in mini-kegs. Paulaner exports some mini-kegs to the US, although I've only seen the hefe.
                    n my experience, the mini-kegs lose their carbonation quickly. However, it appears some brewers are attaching CO2 tanks to them, which would solve the problem.
                    If you go through a fair amount of beer at home, you might consider a 'kegerator' set up, a cooler that has a tap and a CO2 tank. The set up might set you back a few hundred to a thousand dollars, but it will keep your draught beer in the same condition from the first beer to the last, and may eventually pay for itself compared to the cost of mini-kegs.