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Beer Keg Registration

Description of Strategy

Keg registration laws require wholesalers or retailers to attach a tag, sticker, or engraving with an identification number to kegs exceeding a specified capacity (two to eight gallon minimum depending on the state). At purchase, the retailer records identifying information about the purchaser (for example, name, address, telephone number, driver’s license). A refundable deposit may also be collected for the keg itself, the tapper mechanism used to serve the beer, or both. The deposit is refunded when the keg and/or tapper are returned with the identification number intact. In some states, keg laws specifically prohibit destroying or altering the ID tag and provide penalties for doing so. Other states make it a crime to possess an unregistered or unlabeled keg (Alcohol Policy Information System, 2011).

In Wyoming, the alcohol retailer must record identifying information about the keg purchaser and affix an identification tag or label to the beer keg (Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 12-2-502, 2017). Any person who removes or alters the identification tag or label affixed to the beer keg is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500 (Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 12-2-505, 2017).

Also known as...

Keg registration, keg tapping laws

Discussion of Effectiveness


The evidence of effectiveness from the literature generally does not support beer keg registration as an effective strategy to reduce beer consumption, adolescent binge drinking, or adult driving after drinking (Ringwalt & Paschall, 2011; Sacks, 2014; Wechsler, Lee, Nelson, & Kuo, 2002). There is some evidence to suggest that states with strict alcohol control laws and underage drinking policies, including keg registration may have less binge drinking (Wechsler, 2008) and fewer alcohol-related traffic crashes (Fell, 2009; Fell, 2008, Imm, 2007).
A comprehensive policy analysis of keg registration laws (Wageneer, Harwood, Silianoff, & Toomey, 2005) found wide variation in state keg registration laws, in the procedures specified under those laws, and the way the laws were enforced. The authors caution that because the keg registration policies differ substantially across states, they should be examined using multiple policy dimensions rather than merely recording whether policies are present or not.


Strategy Description

Alcohol Policy Information System. (2011). Retail Sales: Keg Registration. Atlanta, GA: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health. Retrieved July 24, 2012

Wyoming Statute Annotated § 12-2-502 (2017). Retrieved September 18, 2017

Wyoming Statute Annotated § 12-2-505 (2017). Retrieved September 18, 2017

Evidence Base

Fell, J. C., Fisher, D. A., Voas, R. B., Blackman, K., & Tippetts, A. S. (2009). The Impact of Underage Drinking Laws on Alcohol‐Related Fatal Crashes of Young Drivers. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 33(7), 1208-1219.

Imm, P., Chinman, M., Wandersman, A., Rosenbloom, D., Guckenburg, S., Leis, R., & RAND Health, S. C. (2007). Preventing Underage Drinking: Using Getting to Outcomes with the SAMHSA Strategic Prevention Framework to Achieve Results. RAND Technical Report. RAND Corporation.

Ringwalt, C.L. & Paschall, M.J. (2011). The utility of keg registration laws: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Adolescent Health, 48, 106-108.

Wagenaar, A. C., Harwood, E. M., Silianoff, C., & Toomey, T. L. (2005). Measuring public policy: The case of beer keg registration laws. Evaluation and Program Planning, 28(4), 359-367. doi:10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2005.07.001

Wechsler, H., Lee, J.E., Nelson, T.F., & Kuo, M. (2002). Underage college students’ drinking behavior, access to alcohol, and the influence of deterrence policies: Findings from the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Survey. Journal of American College Health, 50(5), 223-236.

Futher Reading

Alcohol Policy Information System, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (n.d.). Retail sales: Keg registration.