In the day. Oak barrels used in brewing were coated on the inside with brewers pitch. The pitch kept the beer from contacting the oak. It also, sealed the barrel, allowing the beer to carbonate, to an extent. The only place the beer touched the oak was at the plugs. I'd worry about an aggressive oak flavor if the beer was left for a length of time. And bad beer if the germ nazi's invade. Once a barrel goes buggie, it's finished. Mildew, done for. It can be used for a table or a planter. Prepping and maintenance of a barrel is a lot of work. Once I find the right keg. I'm definitely going to try experimenting with it. I've been looking on line at the French and Hungarian kegs. The prep and maintenance, I'm good with. The brewers pitch may be the hang up. If it's really needed.