There are 31 pitchers of beer in a half-barrel, assuming one pitcher is 64 ounces, and one barrel is 31 gallons. One gallon is 128 ounces, so a half-barrel is 1,984 ounces of beer. There are 62 small pitchers in one half-barrel of beer if a small pitcher is 32 ounces; a half-barrel is equivalent to 165 bottles of beer at 12 ounces each.
As of 2014, fractional portions of barrels that can be legally sold in the United States include whole barrels, halves, thirds, quarters, sixths, eighths, 5 gallons, 30 liters and 50 liters. For tax purposes, beer amounts are calculated to five decimal places.
A keg is generally an amount of beer less than one barrel. As of 2014, the largest keg size sold in the United States is a half barrel. Keg sizes are also available in quarter-barrel and one-sixth-barrel, or 7.75 and 5.17 gallons, respectively. Half-barrel kegs weigh 161 pounds and are usually 16 inches across. Keg weights vary slightly between manufacturers.
Kegs are served under pressure, either from flexible pipes on the top or from spigots on the bottom. Kegs allow beer to be served fresher, as opposed to from a bottle that may be older. Kegs stored at home are put in a special refrigeration unit called a kegerator.