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Beer: is Bigger Better?

Beer: is Bigger Better?

Home Office
Monday, March 21st, 2011


Sitting down to a perfect glass of Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti which has been resting in my chalice awaiting the optimum drinking temp, I grab the 22oz bottle and wonder... when concerning "Large Format" bottles: is there such thing as too big?

In today's beer stores you might bee seeing a trend of these iridescent, art-driven packaged "Bombers" expanding like weeds from the moderately sized/priced Paulaner Hefeweisen ($2.29 per 16oz) to the extraordinary Scaldis Prestige De Nuits ($43.99 per 750ml). The "boom" in single serves, particularly "Large Format" bottles is the simple by-product of yet again the Craft Beer Industry growing exponentially as well as the larger bottles being ideal for aging. From 6month old Brown Ales, to 10 year old Belgian Geuze, aging beers is becoming more and more popular, people are interested in how their favorite brews will mature so naturally, the larger bottles offering better quality control than traditional 12oz bottles, have become quite the fuss. Even restaurants have started offering 22oz, 750ml, and even 1.5L bottles of beer as a substitute for wine, pushing people to branch out and pair their dinners with a Craft brew vs their traditional California Chard. All seems well with "Large Format" bottles except a few things:
1.) Maybe be more acceptable for aging beers, but when considering a 50-100bottle cellar, you might be a bit crammed for space (hint, use your closet for back stock.. it sees no sunlight and keeps a constant temp slightly cooler than room temp).
2.) For those great beer dinners at friend's house or breweries, the larger bottles can be about as easy to transport as a baby elephant: 1.5liters of shaken IPA is not going to be fun to open.
3.) Price, as the amount of beer, plus the amount of glass needed to contain it increases, normally lower production and availability accompany this trend= higher$$$ vs buy several smaller bottles.

So with some PROs and CONs on the table, go out, buy a large format (they literally are everywhere!) and see for yourself, you be the judge but overall, enjoy the journey...


cheers,
Casey Capper

Posted by Mark Fetter on March 22nd, 2011 | Permalink