- (Cincinnati, colloquial) A drive-through liquor store; by extension, any convenience store.
1967, Robert E. McLaughlin, The Heartland: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, New York, N.Y.: Time Inc., OCLC 958883, page 16:
- A visitor may well be baffled by “pony keg” and “jack salmon,” but Cincinnatians know that the first is a store where beer may be purchased and the second is deep-fried pike.
1999 August 17, Richard B. Schwartz, The Biggest City in America: A Fifties Boyhood in Ohio, Akron, Oh.: University of Akron Press, ISBN 978-1-884836-49-7, pages 163 and 165:
- A pony keg (a few survive to this day) is a drive-through structure with cases of beer stacked on skids — golden liquid mountains, lining the walls of elongated garages or steel Quonset huts, looming above the consumer […] Our pony keg of choice was on Montgomery Road, on the Norwood-Pleasant Ridge border, a small affair next to a hairdresser's, neatly tucked behind the drugstore at the corner of Quatman and Montgomery.
2007 August 17, Caitlin Claire Vincent, editor, Roadtripping USA: The Complete Coast-to-Coast Guide to America, 2nd edition, New York, N.Y.: St. Martin's Press, ISBN 978-0-312-36182-2, page 47:
- In the Cincinnati area one can also find drive-through liquor stores (and for some people, regular liquor stores) referred to as pony kegs. (Elsewhere in the US, on the other hand, pony keg usually refers to a small keg.)
2010, Ben Kamin, Nothing Like Sunshine: A Story in the Aftermath of the MLK Assassination, East Lansing, Mich.: Michigan State University Press, ISBN 978-0-87013-882-9, page 1:
- Not in “Cincy,” with the twang that was so often heard in casual conversation in the corner “Pony Keg” mini-marts. There you could buy snow cones, the daily Cincinnati Enquirer, Hudepohl beer, five-cent Ibold cigars, and Reds baseball trading cards.
2014 February 2, Lance Lambert, “Pony keg tradition lives on in Reading”, in The Cincinnati Enquirer, archived from the original on 24 January 2016:
- Their heyday might be in the rear-view mirror, but the region’s remaining pony kegs still sell cigarettes, lottery tickets, six packs and salty snacks. The Gertz Pony Keg is one of two remaining in Reading, a community that once had six of the little corner stores known for selling small barrels of beer.
- For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:pony keg.