Stack of shiny stainless steel beer kegs outside of pub

Beer kegs can be tapped using a variety of taps available from your local store or bar. However, sometimes you may find yourself without a tap or with a broken tap. While tapping beer is easier than opening the keg, you can empty the beer keg without a tap as well. You would need to be careful as the keg is highly pressurized.

Locate the ball valve at the head of the spear on top of the keg.

Turn the keg sideways and away from yourself.

Hook the spanner on the slots of the keg in such a way that one shoulder of the spanner will press the ball valve. This will start releasing the pressure inside. You will need to do this three to four times to release the pressure. Some beer may also come out with the air, but not much.

Turn the keg right side up.

Dislodge the retaining ring at the top of the keg using the flat screwdriver. Use the screwdriver to tap around till you find the end of the retaining ring. Pry on the ring with the screwdriver till it gives way and slowly strip it out.

Apply pressure on the ball valve again to remove any pressure. You may use the spanner or the back of the screwdriver.

Align the tabs of the spear with the slots of the keg.

Unwind the spear by lifting it and rotating it slightly clockwise, till you feel the catch. Drop the spear and continue turning clockwise. When the spear has dislodged, take it out carefully.

Place the keg at a counter or table. Tilt the keg to pour drinks.


You can also drill two holes of 2mm diameter at the ends of the retaining ring and pry it open with a nail.


Do not try to remove the spear without releasing the air pressure of the keg as it will result in the spear shooting out from the keg. Ensure that the keg is not pressurized by pressing the ball valve as outlined above till no air comes out.

Be careful to turn the keg away from you and sideways when releasing the air pressure.