Belgium 30 Liter Keg question

Discussion in 'Europe' started by psuKinger, Aug 6, 2012.

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  1. psuKinger

    psuKinger Devotee (487) Feb 2, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Does anybody know of any sort of website that might give an idea of what Belgian breweries are kegging into 30 Liter tall/skinny kegs as opposed to 30 Liter short/fat kegs?

    I inquired with my local distributor (in the States) about getting a 30 Liter keg of Belgian beer, and he informed me that there was no way for him to know what kind of 30 Liter it would be until it arrived. I have trouble believing this is the case, but without help from any local distributors, I am left to try to answer the question myself.

    My homemade kegerator cannot fit a short/fat 30L. A tall/thin one would fit though. Anybody know of any references/resources that might be informative? I've tried a few dozen different variations of a google search like "belgian beer keg sizes" and haven't been able to find much of anything myself.

    I'm particularly interested in Kasteel (Cuvee, Donker, Rouge, and Triple), Blanche De Bruxelles, and Meredsous 8 (Brune), which are all listed at my local distributor as available in a "30 Liter" size, but with no knowledge of the type of 30 Liter keg it would come as.
  2. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    That doesn't make any sense. They have served all of the Kasteel's in New Ken. Sharp Edge has had some too. Who are you asking? You could probably just stop in a bar that serves them and ask.
  3. psuKinger

    psuKinger Devotee (487) Feb 2, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I had already thought about stopping in at New Ken and asking to see if someone could tell me the geometry of those Kasteel kegs. I just haven't been able to get there very much recently, as my wife and I just had our first child.

    I was just hoping that someone who posts/reads on the Belgium regional forum on BA might now of a website/resource that has some of this information handy.
  4. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts

    Bypass the local liquor store and go right through the actual distributor/importer for that info. The long skinny ones are actually refered to 1/6th barrels. That is actually what you should be looking for me thinks. If the distributor/importer has them than the store can get them if they do a special order. When I have ordered kegs at my local place the beer guys actually let me fish through the book that prices the kegs and tells what can be ordered. I do have a good relationship with my local store though too.
  5. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Congratulations on your first born.

    I'll do some digging and see what I can come up with.

    How about the fitting? Are they standard?
    psuKinger likes this.
  6. psuKinger

    psuKinger Devotee (487) Feb 2, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Belgium is on the metric system. They offer 20 Liter, 30 Liter, and 50 Liter options, which are roughly (in fact, quite similar to, at least in terms of volume) our "1/6 barrel" (5.167 gallons), "1/4 barrel" (7.75 gallons), and "1/2 barrel" (15.5 gallons) kegs.

    5.167 Gallons U.S. = "1/6 barrel keg" = 19.557 Liters

    7.75 Gallons U.S. = "1/4 barrel keg" = 29.337 Liters

    15.5 Gallons U.S. = "1/2 barrel keg" = 58.674 Liters

    So you can see, at least in terms of volume, the Belgian 20 Liter, 30 Liter, and 50 Liter kegs are fairly similar, but not identical, to American kegs.

    I believe they are similar in terms of geometry, as well. Right down to the fact that our "1/4 barrel kegs" come in two shapes: Short and Fat (16.125" diameter, 13.875" tall) vs. Tall and Skinny (11.125" diameter, 23.375" tall) (link:

    Now, I've never ordered/acquired a keg of Belgian beer before, so I could be mistaken, but I've been led to believe that the Belgian 30 Liter keg also comes in similarly "short & fat" and "tall & skinny" varieties. And the problem I'm having is that I'm interested in ordering a beer that is only available as a 30 Liter keg, I have room in my kegerator for a "tall skinny" one but not a "short fat" one, and the distributor has told me that he has no way of knowing which it will be until it shows up. I followed that statement up by asking if he could just check with the wholesaler. He told me the wholesaler won't know either.

    I find this hard to believe, personally... but this is a pretty reputable "distributor", who handles a good bit of craft on a daily basis. So it's perplexing... but I figured someone out there in the BA community had to know something, whether it be a resource for such things or personal experience or whatever. So I thought I'd ask and see what kind of responses I'd get.
  7. psuKinger

    psuKinger Devotee (487) Feb 2, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Thank you, and appreciate both the kind words and your taking a moment to look. No big deal if you can't find it... just thought I'd ask. I have trouble believing that the distributor/wholesaler really do have no way of knowing what shape it'd be until it arrived... but over the last 3 years of having a kegerator and living in Pennsylvania, I never cease to be amazed by the number challenges that exist if you're Joe-Shmoe PA resident and just trying to get a keg of craft beer for your own enjoyment.

    When you say "fitting", do you mean "keg coupler"? I already have 4 D's in use, and I recently bought an "S" because I've been eyeballing putting a Belgian beer into my kegerator for a while now... what coupler I need is another problem I've had, as the micromatic database, while the best I've been able to find, is far from complete (with notable omissions such as La Trappe, which the distributor lists as available in 20 Liter form, but when I asked them what coupler I'd need for that, they went to the same Micromatic database I knew about, and when it wasn't listed, they said "I dunno"), and some of the beers listed aren't identical matches with the BA database (the "Kasteel" entry under the "S" couplers, for example). But perhaps this is another problem for another thread... :confused:
  8. BelgianBeerPope

    BelgianBeerPope Initiate (99) Aug 10, 2012 Belgium

    First of all, many congrats :slight_smile:

    To help you out with your quest !

    Basicly,it's very easy ... (But there are always a few exceptions)

    The short/fat kegs in Belgium are all 30l, the tall/tiny kegs are 20l

    Nearly all 'kegged' Belgian speciality beers (like Kasteel) come in the tall/tiny 20l kegs, Kasteel Bruin & Cuvée for sure, as I have already seen them around so you can be 99% sure that you will get a 20l tall/tiny keg when you order Kasteel @ your local supplier (the 1% being the possibilty they use other kegs for the US-market).

    Hope this helps you out ...
  9. psuKinger

    psuKinger Devotee (487) Feb 2, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Thank you! It does! This lines up nicely with what I've heard from a few others over the last 24 hours as well... so thanks for chiming in and helping me out!
  10. psuKinger

    psuKinger Devotee (487) Feb 2, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Just FYI, I stopped through New Ken on my way home from work last night... picked up a mixed sixer and asked ?John? (Dave's son-in-law, I believe... I just don't get there like I used to, though, and don't know everybody by name anymore). He confirmed what you sent me in PM and what the poster above indicated.

    For big breweries like Kasteel and Maredsous, a 30 L keg is going to be a short/fat keg. Nobody wants to say it with 100% certainty, but they've all been sure enough that I'm convinced to just plan accordingly for that.

    Thanks to everyone who got back to me about this. It means I can't get this 30L until after I finish my 1/4 of Oberon, but better to find out now than order it and when it comes in find out I can't make it fit/work.
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