Beer Info FAQ

How Heavy is a Firkin of Beer?

Firkin is a term commonly used in the brewing industry to refer to a specific size of cask used for storing and serving beer. In this article, we will explore the weight of a firkin of beer and its significance in the brewing industry.


A firkin is a traditional British cask that holds approximately 9 imperial gallons of beer. In terms of weight, a firkin of beer can vary depending on several factors, including the type of beer, its specific gravity, and the temperature at which it is served. On average, a firkin of beer weighs around 72 pounds (32.7 kilograms).

Factors Affecting the Weight of a Firkin

  1. Beer Type: Different beer styles have varying densities, which can affect the weight of a firkin. For example, a stout or porter tends to be heavier than a lighter beer such as a pale ale or lager.

  2. Specific Gravity: The specific gravity of beer refers to its density compared to water. Beers with higher specific gravity, such as those with a higher alcohol content or more residual sugars, will generally be heavier.

  3. Temperature: The temperature at which the beer is served can also impact its weight. Warmer beer expands and becomes less dense, resulting in a slightly lighter firkin.

Significance in the Brewing Industry

The weight of a firkin of beer is significant in the brewing industry for several reasons:

  1. Transportation: Knowing the weight of a firkin is crucial for logistics and transportation purposes. Breweries need to consider the weight when shipping their products to distributors or retailers.

  2. Handling and Storage: The weight of a firkin affects how it is handled and stored. It is important for brewery staff and bar staff to be aware of the weight to ensure safe lifting and proper storage conditions.

  3. Serving Size: Firkins are often used for cask ale, a traditional method of serving beer without carbonation. The weight of a firkin determines the amount of beer available for serving, making it an essential consideration for pubs and bars.


The weight of a firkin of beer can vary depending on factors such as beer type, specific gravity, and temperature. It plays a significant role in the brewing industry, impacting transportation, handling, storage, and serving size. Understanding the weight of a firkin is essential for breweries, distributors, retailers, and establishments serving cask ale.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much beer does a firkin hold? A: A firkin holds approximately 9 imperial gallons or 72 pints of beer.