The Number of Kegs in A Wedding?


Most men hope that their reception is no less than a keg party. Their eyes sparkle at the sight of keg stand and they imagine about camaraderie around the keg stand and how people gather around the stand like they do at campfires.

Nobody wants to run out of the liquor before the party ends; however, over-ordering also doesn’t go well as it may cause wastage of money which could have been used in your honeymoon fund. Therefore, it is important that the number of kegs in a wedding is enough.

How Much Can a Keg Hold?

In US a keg is a ½ barrel which means if a barrel contains 31 gallons of beer then one keg will contain 15 ½ gallons or 1,984 ounces of beer. A smaller size keg known as pony keg (equivalent to ¼ barrel) has a capacity of 7.5 gallons or 960 ounces of beer.

If we talk about serving beer in cups with a capacity of 12 ounces, then 1 keg will fill 165 cups while a pony keg may fill only 80 cups.

While serving alcohol at a reception, it is a rule of thumb that each guest may drink at least 2 drinks during the first hour of party and one drink for every additional hour. You can do the math and figure out the answer!

How Many Drinks Do You Need and How Many Kegs to Have?

You can easily estimate the amount of food, desserts and other edibles according to your guest list. But when it comes to alcohol, it is difficult to figure out the right quantity that will be sufficient enough to fulfill each and every guests' needs. At your party there will be some guests who won’t drink alcohol at all while some will consume more than the fair share. Some guests will only drink beer while others will also go for wine, champagne and cocktails.

The first thing to consider is what will you be serving at the bar? If you are going to have a full bar at your reception then the ratio should be like 1/3 of beer, 1/3 of liquor and 1/3 of wine along with champagne for the toast. 

Assume that beer is the primary alcohol, depending on the guest number and length of reception, you can use a useful beer calculator to know how many kegs, how much ice and how many cups to prepare. In order to avoid situation of buying too much or too little beer, it is better to calculate approximately the number of kegs in a wedding that will be required to keep your party going on. There is a beer calculator, keg wizard! Which tells how much beer you will need for your party. It give exact estimation of how many kegs at reception party or at any other event will be enough. You just have to tell number of guests coming and the possible level of drunkenness they might achieve!

If you also have other drinks, then you should lessen the amount based on the ratio of those different drinks.

Other Things to Consider

It is a good idea to ask the venue management about how much beer should we have or the number of kegs in a wedding that will be enough, because they have hosted tons of weddings and they definitely know better. 

However, we will suggest that the most important thing while ordering kegs of beer is ‘consideration of drinking habits of your guests’. If your invitees includes lots of heavy beer drinkers than you should order great amount of kegs but if there isn’t any beer fan in your list then go for a small order. However, having variety such as some wine and margarita along with beer will be a sensible thing to do. Have the right amount of alcohol that will be sufficient enough to fill your guests till the end of party. 

Another important factor to consider is ‘rules of venue management’. You must ask if there is any limit of having beer kegs at the venue.

What Others Have to Say?

While some people are heavy drinkers and can drink beer as much as possible, others drink in limited quantities. Depending upon the drinking habits of family and friends, people have different experiences concerning the number of kegs in a wedding; some of which we are sharing with you for your guidance.

Here a lady tells that they ordered kegs as per suggestion of the management of reception hall, which was two kegs for 175 people. 

Another lady came up with her own rule of thumb which was “double whatever you think will be enough!” According to her this rule has always worked for her.

A lady shared her experience at her sister’s wedding. She says: “there were around 100 guests but not even one keg was finished by the end of the wedding; although many of them were heavy drinkers. Therefore it also depends if people are beer drinkers or not because we also have other alcohol options”.

Similarly another lady shared her experience in these words “We only had only 1 keg at the reception party of approximately 130 people. To be on the safe side, we kept an extra keg on reserve, but we never had to use it because people were barely able to finish the first one because most are light drinkers.”

A lady told, “We had 2 kegs for 100 guests. Though most guests were heavy beer drinkers but we also served vodka with mixers and non-alcoholic beverages as well.”

A lady while sharing a completely opposite scenario tells, “We got 5 barrels for 250 – 300 people, out of which two were on reserve because all of our friends were very heavy beer drinkers. Along with that we also had 10 cases of wine”

A guy sharing similar case tells, “We had 2 kegs for 120 guests along with wine. Both kegs were fully consumed till the end of party as all family and friends are heavy drinkers”.