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Bomber vs. 750ml+ (proper volume designations)

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Knifestyles, Oct 5, 2012.


What is the volume of a "bomber"?

  1. 22oz

  2. 750ml

  3. Anything larger than 12oz

  4. Can be used interchangeably between all "larger" volumes (i.e. not 12oz)

  1. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (475) New York Jun 7, 2005

    Was having an interesting back-and-forth in the South-Atlantic forum regarding specific bottle volumes and what they're most commonly referred to as.

    I've always been under the impression that a "bomber", as we know it, is typically a 22oz container. However, it seems that there's an argument that this designation can be interchangeably used with what would essentially just be a larger package volume (i.e. 750ml, etc).

    All semantics/colloquialisms aside, is this volume terminology really as interchangeable as some may assume/want it to be? Personally, I think that the difference between a 22oz bottle and anything "bigger" is usually significant enough to require its own specific designation thus assigning "bombers" to an exact volume.

    What say you?
  2. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012

    I call 22s Bombers, 750's 750's, 12oz 12oz =)
  3. brewbetter

    brewbetter Savant (420) Nauru Jun 2, 2012

    750 is 15% bigger than 22oz. People use bomber to describe both, but many people think bomber means 22 specifically. The etymology of the term seems to come from the English "bumper," which just meant a larger bottle.
  4. mtalley999

    mtalley999 Savant (415) Maryland Oct 6, 2011

    I work in the beverage alcohol industry and a "750" is a "750." Could be different on the beer side, since my experience is primarily with wine and spirits, but that seems like it would just be confusing.
  5. pmoney

    pmoney Advocate (735) Colorado Apr 15, 2011 Beer Trader


  6. Based on the responses to your survey it doesn't seem like there is much of an argument at all.
  7. muletrane

    muletrane Savant (420) Pennsylvania Oct 26, 2006

    Come on! We all know its for 22oz only! Lets get real here!
  8. TheBishopco

    TheBishopco Savant (490) Tennessee Feb 4, 2011 Beer Trader

    But what about 650 mL bottles???
    smutty33, elgiacomo and FosterJM like this.
  9. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (475) New York Jun 7, 2005

    While an overwhelming majority does appear to align with this common understanding, the inclusion of a few minority voters seems...well...perplexing (to me).

    I suppose that anyone could attempt to use just about any word to describe just about anything, but they certainly wouldn't be fully understood (or more importantly, correct). I have to wonder if these particular voters are also traders. There could be some interesting implications to that....

    EDIT: For a bit more context, here's the thread in which this poll was inspired:

  10. ao125

    ao125 Savant (335) Virginia Dec 1, 2010

    North Coast Old Stock Cellar Reserve ale came in those obnoxious 550ml (18.6oz) bottles.
    Way too little beer to justify the price.
  11. franklinn

    franklinn Savant (460) Vermont May 29, 2012

    22oz, no questions.

    If someone was like "Hey dude, can you get me a bomber of that Hill Farmstead saison?" I'd be like "Those are in 750 ml bottles, so no."
  12. I think some might argue that the term could apply to 22oz or 750ml, but that choice is not on this poll. For me it only means 22oz. But at one local shop they offer 10% off on bombers if you buy six or more, and guess what, 750ml bottles are included in the promotion.
  13. jesskidden

    jesskidden Champion (810) New Jersey Aug 10, 2005 Subscriber

    That's interesting. Got a citation for that theory? I've often thought that could be the etymology of the term (probably even posted it on the old BA forum), but "Bumper" wasn't used often in the US brewery industry - the most notable example I've ever found were Ballantine's quart cans and bottles in the '40's.

    Then the term only seems to re-appear in the US in the late '80's - early '90's mostly in reference to the 650 ml./21 oz bottles used by some Japanese, Aussie and Euro imports (Beck's even used it on their neck labels). 22 oz. bottles had once been common in the US in the '30's and '40's on the West Coast, and then revived in the US by Anderson Valley in the late '80's.

    My other theory is that it came from dope smokers - transferred from meaning a big joint to a big bottle of beer...


    BrettHead, libbey, abraxel and 4 others like this.
  14. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (475) New York Jun 7, 2005

    That would likely be the 4th choice: "Can be used interchangeably" (though, I wasn't too worried about being specific about which volumes).
  15. quirkzoo

    quirkzoo Initiate (0) Colorado Jul 7, 2011

    550ml is always called a Wellington ;)

    But seriously, a bomber is a 22 oz bottle. If I know something only comes in 750's and someone calls it a bomber I just assume they don't actually know the volume and think that it is 22oz's. I may or may not correct them but it is no big deal.

    So I guess what I am trying to say is that Bomber always equals 22oz unless used improperly, then I still know what you mean but you used the wrong term.
  16. I use 'bomber' interchangabley between 22s and 750s, and people always know what I'm talking about. I understand a 'bomber' is technically a 22, but I really don't care. I like saying bomber. Bomber, bomber, bomber.
    GreenCoffee likes this.
  17. Actually your third and fourth choices are identical as they are worded, IMHO. I've never heard the term used for 500ml, or magnums or larger bottles.
  18. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Savant (445) New York Dec 20, 2006

    I generally refer to 22 oz bottles as "bombers" and 750 ml bottles as "750s", but I also wouldn't care or even blink an eye if someone called a 750 a bomber. I mean, what difference does it really make?
  19. I'll use bomber for a mixed group of larger bottles just to make it easy.

    For instance...
    I'd say
    "I shipped you a 12 pack of bombers"
    rather than
    "I shipped you 8 bombers, 3 750's, and 1 16oz. bottle"
  20. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (475) New York Jun 7, 2005

    So is this just a regional thing then?
  21. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (475) New York Jun 7, 2005

    Ah, good point! Hmmm....have to wonder where that stray single vote came from then.....
  22. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (475) New York Jun 7, 2005

    3+ ounces, actually.

    EDIT: Also, I think these are important distinctions to make....especially when dealing with these in a trading context. Assuming we all decided to use it interchangeably, there would be a great deal of confusion involved.
  23. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (475) New York Jun 7, 2005

    Ah, so like a murder of crows....or a gaggle of geese. I gotcha.
  24. In a formal setting like trading I will differentiate of course. I'm just talking about in a casual setting among friends.
  25. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (475) New York Jun 7, 2005

    Ah, I see. That's pretty intriguing, actually. Perhaps it's just me, but the way in which I refer to things doesn't really deviate based on the familiarity of my company. I'll just refer to things as they're widely understood regardless of who I'm with.
    Retail1LO likes this.
  26. Well 'widely understood' to us BAs, but I think most people that are a little less 'experienced' than us think big bottle = bomber. Hell, people might not even realize the amount is different and assume they are simply a different looking bottle.
  27. brewbetter

    brewbetter Savant (420) Nauru Jun 2, 2012

    er.. what are the examples of beers that are available in both 22 and 750? I don't see how it makes a difference even for trading unless you are anal about oz4oz.
  28. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (475) New York Jun 7, 2005

    I'm not talking about the same beer in different volume containers and I'm also not talking about oz4oz trades (who does those anyway???).

    I'm talking about the distinction and the proper terminology.

    Though, go ahead and ask a large group of tickers if 3+oz make a difference......
  29. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Savant (445) New York Dec 20, 2006

    Why is this an important distinction to make? And why is it particularly important in the context of trading? If someone told you they were sending you a bomber and you got a 750 would that be a problem?
  30. funhog

    funhog Advocate (575) Illinois Mar 8, 2011 Beer Trader

    Doesn't mean it's right, times change, ever hear of a "thong"?
  31. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (475) New York Jun 7, 2005

    Of course not, but those using the incorrect terminology may be at a disadvantage when referring to volumes improperly. I'll just assume that you have no interest in correcting anyone's misusage....well...unless it's in the homebrew forum, I suppose.

    Ugh. I really need to stop hitting "Show Ignored Content".

  32. i love when people call potheads "DOPE SMOKERS".this is akin to calling movies "talkies". take it easy grandpa.

    any idea when that becks ad is from?
  33. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Savant (445) New York Dec 20, 2006

    I just don't see the need to correct people on things that don't matter, it's pedantic and annoying.

    How would referring to a 750 as a bomber put you at a trading disadvantage exactly?
  34. jedwards

    jedwards Savant (350) California Feb 3, 2009

    La Folie. Though not currently available in one of those formats... there was a time when both the 1/09 corked & caged bottles and the 2009 capped bombers were available simultaneously.
  35. I too am perplexed. 750's aren't bombers, I don't know why anyone would say such. It's like when I hear someone say "I bought a case of X beer" and they hold up a 12 pack. Damn you people, get your measurements right. I don't hold out a ten dollar bill and say, "can you break a $20?" do I? Ha ha ha, extreme I know.
  36. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,400) Washington Sep 24, 2007 Beer Trader

    Around here we call 'em 22s. The only times I've heard the term Bomber used in real life has been among people who are active on beer geek websites. And around here people call a 12-pack a half-rack, yet I've never heard anyone refer to a case as a rack. And what about 24oz cans? Would they be Bombers too? Strokes for folks.
  37. January 25, 1989.:)
  38. chefkevlar

    chefkevlar Savant (460) South Carolina Apr 17, 2010 Beer Trader

    Or the Sierra Nevada 24oz bottles for that matter.
  39. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (905) Georgia Feb 12, 2012 Staff Member Subscriber Beer Trader


    A bomber is a 22, a 12'er is a 12oz, a 750 is a 750ml bottle.

    It's not as "broad" as someone referencing a growler, which could be anything in some cases.