OK, they're not dead yet but I've watched the prices go up, and the supplies go down... and I can read the writing on the wall. The Corny Keg supply is living on borrowed time.
A Cornelius keg (AKA Corny keg) is a metal keg originally used by the soft drink industry for the soda fountains. These soda fountain kegs became generically known as Cornelius kegs because they were originally made by the IMI Cornelius Company, and subsequently by several others. Corny kegs were designed to be filled with syrup which was mixed with carbonated water and dispensed as Coke or Pepsi products. As the soda pop industry has gone to "bag in a box" (BIB) systems for syrup dispensers the old Cornelius kegs have been taken out of circulation.
For years, Homebrewers have seen the used kegs as the best value they could find for a sealed 5 gallon stainless steel container. As a result, thousands of old Corny Kegs have been used to store and dispense home-brewed beer. The kegs come in two varieties, Pin-Lock (Coke) and Ball-Lock (Pepsi). Ball-Lock seems to be the choice of most homebrewers I know.
As the year ends, there are no local Craigslist entries for Ball-Lock Corny Kegs. There are still Pin-Lock kegs available in Olympia. The supply on eBay has also dried up, and the few that are left are going for twice the price of a year or two ago. Prices are up on Amazon as well. On one hand, I'm thinking, "Wow, I'm glad I bought when I did." On the other hand, I'm thinking, "Wow, I wish I bought more than I did."