How to Run a Bar: Beer Inventory - dummies

By Ray Foley, Heather Dismore

Beer was among the first beverages served in bars and pubs around the world, and it’s sure to be the last. After you’ve chosen the beer for your menu, you have to know how much to stock so you don’t run out! Here is a list of what you need (and how much).

Type of Beer Bar Stock Inventory/Storage Brands
Regular, domestic 1 case 10 cases The big three brands are Budweiser, Miller, and Coors.
Light, domestic 1 case 10 cases Stock the light version of the domestic beers you serve.
Regular, imported 1 case 10 cases Corona, St. Pauli Girl, Heineken, Guinness, Becks, and so
Light, imported 12 bottles 5 cases Corona Light, Heineken Light, Molson Light
Microbrew, domestic 1 case 10 cases Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada, Goose Island, and so on
Craft brew 1 case 10 cases Talk to your local distributor for suggestions.
Nonalcoholic 6 bottles 1 case O’Doul’s, Cutter, Haakebeck
Hard cider 1 case 4 cases Woodchuck, Angry Orchard, Crispin, Strongbow
Red Bull or other energy drinks 6 cans 1 case Okay, technically, Red Bull is not a beer or even a malt
beverage, but it is usually stocked with the beer.

You may have noticed that kegs aren’t mentioned in this list. There’s a good reason for this. Although kegs do contain beer, they’re a different animal.

You need to have one keg connected to each of your taps (preferably with a corresponding tap handle that makes it easy to see what you’re pouring), plus at least one backup keg for each kind of beer you sell. Notice it was not said for each tap.

You may be pouring Miller Lite, for example, at three different taps, two inside and one outside, during the warm months. You may not necessarily need to keep three backup kegs if you don’t use beer at all those stations quickly.

You’ll have to judge how quickly you go through kegs in a week. Most places order beer once or twice a week because they just don’t have the space to store more than that