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How to Lift a Beer Keg

Updated April 17, 2017

Although beer kegs are usually made from light aluminium, a standard keg weighs around 73.5 Kilogram when filled. This weight, combined with its awkward shape, makes a keg difficult and dangerous to lift. Tools and machines have been designed to help lift a keg. When these are not available, there are some measures that reduce the risk of injury.

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  1. Place the keg on its side and have each person stand close at the top and bottom with feet about shoulder-width apart. Place the gloves on your hands, fitting them snugly, and have your partner do the same.

  2. Bend at the knees, rather than the waist, while tilting hips forward to keep the back in its natural alignment. Have your partner mirror your movements while both of you grasp the lips of the keg, on either side of the top of the rim.

  3. Slowly lift up the keg, with you and your partner lifting smoothly and keeping either end at the same height.

  4. Carry the keg to where it is needed.

  5. Set the keg down slowly in the same manner in which you picked it up: knees bent and back kept in alignment.

  6. Right the keg by both standing on two sides of the top and lifting in the same safe manner as before, slowly bringing the keg up so it sits on the flat bottom.

  7. 'Walk' the keg, roll it on an angle with the bottom rim touching the ground, if a carrying partner is not available. However, this is not advised nor should it be used for long distances, though it is commonly used for moving kegs a foot or two.

  8. Tip

    If there is a machine available that can lift the keg, always prefer to use it.


    Never lift a keg if you have any kind of back injury.

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Things You'll Need

  • Full keg
  • Two people
  • Two pairs of gloves with grips

About the Author

Samantha Lowe

Based in Kingston, Canada, Samantha Lowe has been writing for publication since 2006. She has written articles for the "Mars' Hill" newspaper and copy for various design projects. Her design and copy for the "Mars' Hill" won the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker award in 2008. Lowe holds an Honors BA from Trinity Western University, and a MSc in Occupational Therapy from Queen's University where she is currently doing her PhD.

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