12oz vs. 16oz cans, the new beer vessel debate?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Feel_the_Darkness, Jan 29, 2017.

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  1. Feel_the_Darkness

    Feel_the_Darkness Initiate (0) Oct 17, 2012 Virginia

    All, for the longest time when canning beers finally started to take hold in the craft world, it seemed as if the bottle vs can debate would never end. Eventually, as we all know, it caught on like gangbusters. Rare are the breweries now who oppose canning it seems, and imo, all the better for it.

    However I'm increasingly noticing the trend to package beers in the much more ergonomically inclined 16oz "tallboy" or "pounder" can in 4 packs as opposed to a 6 or 12 pack of 12oz cans. Now, I think that's an even better idea, and frankly get a little bummed when I see breweries behind the times in such a perfectly portioned beer package. What's the forum consensus here? Is a 4 pack enough? Do you prefer buying singles if they're a happy medium between a 12oz can and a 22oz bomber? Is there noticeable pricing differences or are breweries still trying to pump out 64oz of beer at 72oz price tags? Do you even care at all? Is the 25.4oz "oil can" the next logical step after this in a world constantly asking for more? Whats up with Founders putting everything in 15 packs now? And why the hell does Ballast Point think they can charge 16 bucks for 6 packs of Sculpin, regardless of packaging?
  2. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,739) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    For me the choice is simple, 6x12oz is more beer (8oz) than 4x16oz yet the price is the same or higher. So I'm being shorted while the brewer increases their profit. Screw 'em.
  3. deleted_user_1111368

    deleted_user_1111368 Initiate (0) Feb 21, 2016 Delaware

    • I have a lot of 16 oz. glasses.
    • If drinking from the can: 12 oz. beers are cold(er) when finished. Unless it's a stout or porter.. I like cold beer.
    • My coolers will allow levels of stacked 12 oz. cans.. but only 1 level of 16 oz.
    • Case closed.
  4. Jay_P22

    Jay_P22 Aspirant (233) Mar 17, 2016 Virginia

    I find the 16 oz can the perfect amount of beer. I don't mind the 4 packs, but you do get shortchanged a little.

    I definitely prefer can to bottle. I definitely prefer 16 oz to 12, and I also prefer 16 to 22 oz bombers.

    But I am a fan of 12 oz bottles for BA beers. I was pumped to see parabola coming in 4 pack 12 oz bottles for the 17 release. 16 oz of IPA, hell yes. But BA stouts is better with 12. Bombers are too much so I mostly share those.
    #4 Jay_P22, Jan 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
    SeanBond, SFACRKnight and Greywulfken like this.
  5. utopiajane

    utopiajane Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    It depends on the style but I like the lagers in 16 oz cans. I think my bittburger in the pint cans is a little cheaper? than it is in the bottles. That would make sense. It's less packaging. However I am with @Squire123 , if it costs more that way i won't buy it.
  6. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (2,139) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Society Trader

    I like the 12oz format, my tulip holds about 18 to 20 oz, but getting a 16 oz in it is tight and I like a little head on my beer. I am more in line with 12oz as it fits in my fridge/beer fridge better
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  7. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (5,372) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    I like tallboys for the same reason I like bombers, because I like being able to cap-off my initial pour.

    I also prefer 4-packs to 6-packs in general, assuming I'm not allowed to break up the packs and buy singles - I don't always want to commit to 4 or 6, especially for new beers, where buying 2 makes more sense, in case I end up not being a fan. A pint or a bomber is a good option for new beers, too.

    I haven't done the pricing calculations per format, but I'm generally fairly numb to it at this point anyway - I know I'm not going to turn my back on something I really want because its priced higher in one format than another.
    Brolo75, CrimeDog, kwakwhore and 3 others like this.
  8. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Poo-Bah (10,079) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    As always, depends on the style and strength of the beer (ABV)... Bigger beers that I would prefer to share and sessionable beers in 16 oz cans. 12 oz cans for the rest.
  9. Giantspace

    Giantspace Savant (948) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Stone go to 16 oz six packs for $10.99. That's my story and I am sticking to it.

    Arrogant bastard in the same size and price as well

    ebin6 and Feel_the_Darkness like this.
  10. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (14,102) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    I recently bought some Summit Unchained #23 Dark Infusion, in 4-packs of 16oz cans. Bedsides being better than FBS, it is cheaper though in larger cans. I like the format.

    I also really like the BA Ten-Fidy in 19.2oz "stovepipe" cans, quite impressively massive.

    BeerPugz, CCBone, Ericness and 3 others like this.
  11. skleice

    skleice Aspirant (295) Aug 6, 2015 Connecticut

    Most of cans I consume are 16oz at this point, but I don't have a strong preference over 12oz. I do dislike the larger formats such as 22oz bombers or 750ml just because I don't like to have to commit to such a big bottle (especially something like a sour or big stout which I prefer to drink in smaller doses).
  12. Scott17Taylor

    Scott17Taylor Poo-Bah (1,843) Oct 28, 2013 Iowa
    Society Trader

    If they are the same price I'd rather have 6 12 oz over 4 16. I don't like to see my stash on certain beers get depleted so quickly. Now if 16oz can't could be regularly sold in 6 packs that'd be awesome.
    Brolo75, BeerB4ndit and TonyLema1 like this.
  13. Wiffler27

    Wiffler27 Meyvn (1,036) Aug 16, 2009 North Carolina

    i wish there were more 16oz 6packs

    in general it doesn't matter to me. BUT if Carton beers came in your choice of 6 12oz cans or 4 16oz cans then i would go 12oz merely because it's a 6pack and you end up with more beer.
  14. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,348) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    How do you cap off a can? If there is a good way to do this, I'd be interested, especially for "bigger" beers.

    Sounds like you are arguing for single pints v single 12 oz, rather than 4 packs v 6 packs. A 6 pack of 12 oz is only a 1/2 pint more beer than a 4 pack of pints, so the commitment difference is not significat, IMO.

    Now, for my view (not in response to @Greywulfken), craft beer is one of the few consumer products where buying larger packages is more espensive per unit than buying smaller. Where the brewer makes the same beer available in multiple packages (12 oz, 16 oz, bombers), the larger package is almost ALWAYS more expensive per oz than the smaller package. I resent that, and it affect my purchasing choices. I avoid 16 oz and bombers almost all the time. I will make exceptions to try a beer that is not available in a smaller package, but given the choice, I'll take the less expensive per oz every time.
    deleted_user_1111368 and JBogan like this.
  15. Zoomslowik

    Zoomslowik Disciple (330) Mar 17, 2016 Illinois

    I definitely prefer cans, and I prefer 12 oz to anything else. 16 oz or bombers aren't a deal-breaker though, especially for pale ales or other lighter beers. However, my larger format stouts definitely sit a bit more because I have to commit to drinking or split it with someone.

    One thing that really bothers me is the $10 IPA bomber though. That's just an awful value, and I don't know how or why that became acceptable. I try not to buy those anymore, but I admit to caving every now and then when it's something I really want.
    deleted_user_1111368 likes this.
  16. JayORear

    JayORear Meyvn (1,436) Feb 22, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Parabola won't be in 4-packs, but in individual, smaller boxes.
  17. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (2,043) Apr 16, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    I prefer the 16oz. cans. I like the way they fit in my fridge, I like the way they fit in my cooler and when I drink a beer I usually pour about 10 oz. in my glass, and then I can top it off with the remaining 6 oz. as I drink.

    I wouldn't not buy a beer I want because its in 12oz. cans (e.g. Mastermind) or if bottle only (e.g. Pliny or MBC brews), but I prefer the 16 oz. can format.

    In regards to the $ per oz. comments, in my opinion the 16oz. cans are convenient and I don't mind if it ends up costing a bit more.
  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,438) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I 'vote' for 12 ounce cans.

    @Feel_the_Darkness, why didn't you include a poll with this thread?

  19. 19etz55

    19etz55 Disciple (318) Aug 12, 2007 New Jersey

    I do like the 16 oz 4-pk cans.
    I also have found the $ reasonable.
    Greywulfken likes this.
  20. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (5,261) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    I love the outcry for 12oz bottles over bombers, with the assumption they could get a 4 pack. Bummer. Right when I get a shop to save me any incoming shipments I want....

    As far as 12oz vs. 16oz can argument: I don't care. Both have an equally important place in the beer world. If I can only get one can of something (as I usually do), I prefer 16oz cans. If I'm camping or drinking at a party, I prefer 12oz cans. Either way, I'll still take a bottle over it :wink:
  21. tjwarren

    tjwarren Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2008 Ohio

    Stop the 12 ounce madness. 16 oz is perfect. 12 is usually not enough for me and 2 x 12 is usually too much. I love the look of the 16 ounce can too. My favorite was Brooklyn Lager in a 16 ounce can but I cannot locate anymore. Two Hearted 16 ounce cans rule. I truly believe that beer tastes better out of a 16 ounce can.
  22. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (5,372) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Huh? Must be a semantics thing - maybe I'm not saying it right. See that pour? Ok, now you're going to have to trust me on this, but there is still beer in that 16 oz. can to the left.
    Usually, about when I've consumed half of what's in the glass, I'm going to pour the rest of the beer from the can into the glass. That's what I mean by capping off my pour. The "bigness" of the beer has nothing to do with it - could be a 5.5% Party Crasher or a 12.9% BA TenFidy - it is exclusively related to the volume of beer initially poured into my glass, and the volume of beer left in the can after that initial pour.

    I'm not arguing for anything. I'm stating my preferences. Generally speaking, I do enjoy 16 oz. cans, and I do prefer 4-packs. Of course, situational preferences have everything to do with the beer in question. More than anything, I like having control over my purchasing options. I wasn't comparing different formatting combinations and their total fluid ounces.
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  23. Yellowlt4

    Yellowlt4 Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2016 Texas

    12oz for me but I still try to buy bottles.
  24. zstef99

    zstef99 Initiate (0) Dec 25, 2008 New York

    I prefer 12oz, and I prefer getting six servings instead of four.
  25. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,883) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I hate 16 oz. cans with a passion.

    On average, craft beers are too strong to come in 16 oz. cans.

    Regardless, if I want two beers, I'm in it for 32 oz. if I have two 16 oz. cans. That's nearly three beers (in terms of volume).

    Maybe, if more beers were 4% or less, 16 oz. wouldn't be bad. I don't mind that as much. But otherwise, enough with the 16 oz. format. Especially all the double IPAs at 8%. That's irresponsible.
  26. LADEDA

    LADEDA Disciple (352) Jul 29, 2014 Florida

    Agree with Alca. A 8.00% 16oz has the same alcohol volume as a 10.67% 12oz. So you buy 64oz instead of 72oz, and you are back for more after 4 beers instead of 6. And, of course, the very popular IPA glass holds ~19oz, probably made with the 16oz serving in mind. And, as for capping a can, the current BA magazine has a story addressing a new product to do such that. I used the URL to the site, but Firefox said it had a invalid security cert. I would love to cap a 32oz crowler and have a second day leftover. I watch my alcohol intake. Most of the time, anyway.
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  27. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Poo-Bah (1,642) Jul 27, 2013 Texas
    Society Trader

    I prefer 16oz cans. It's a better serving size for me. I'll always have at least one 12oz can/bottle, but 16oz kind of hits the spot.
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  28. BeerB4ndit

    BeerB4ndit Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2017 California

    12oz 12 pack always the best deal
  29. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,401) Sep 15, 2014 Colorado

    I like both. I like multiple options. I wish more beer came in 24 oz cans. However, I'd go with 12 oz if it came down to it. 12 oz is just the perfect portion size. If you want more beer, just open another can. :wink:
    dcotom likes this.
  30. johnnybgood1999

    johnnybgood1999 Disciple (363) Oct 31, 2008 Virginia

    I prefer 12 oz beers. Why would anyone want to spend more disposable income on beer that costs too much as is? I remember $6.99 6 packs about a decade ago. I'm now seeing $9.99 as the most common price and $11-$12 being not uncommon. No need to spend mor per serving than you have to. 12 ounce cans left over out of a 6 pack keep for a While.
  31. rails

    rails Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2012 California

    Buy Pizza Port then you get 6 pints.
  32. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,348) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    You were probably saying it right... but I wasn't reading it right.

    Well, I meant "arguing" as is "stating preferences", not vein-popping, red-faced all-caps ARGUING! :wink:

    I can deal with both 12 or pint cans / bottles, but I am highly annoyed that 4 pints cost more than 6 12 oz. and even more highly annoyed at the price of "ordinary" beer in bombers. It makes me think the brewers think we're a bunch of suckers.
  33. honkey

    honkey Disciple (339) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona

    Costs too much? Maybe to produce. For breweries bottling it's really bad... for good base malts we're now paying $.70 per pound and for the best, up to $.85 per pound. Even Cascade and EKG hop prices are now routinely above $12/lb (4 years ago, I was buying Cascade for $7.50/lb). A bottle costs 12-14 cents, each label costs 4.5 cents, each cap about 1/2 a cent, six packs are 24 cents and case boxes 32 cents. For small to medium sized breweries to get six pack bottles out the door and through the three tier system to the consumer at $9.99 is a great feat.

    Canning provides more flexibility for pricing, but really what it does is allow breweries to make a reasonable profit at $9.99 for a six pack. Of course, some brewers use cheaper ingredients, but it shows in the quality of those beers. Would you rather pay less for lower quality beer?
    Edit to add:

    Larger breweries can buy in greater bulk proportions for grain and reduce the grain cost dramatically, but hop prices are pretty well set at much higher prices than just 2-3 years ago.
  34. Feel_the_Darkness

    Feel_the_Darkness Initiate (0) Oct 17, 2012 Virginia

    @JackHorzempa i honestly didn't even think about making it a poll, I posted the thread mostly out of bored curiosity. If a mod wants to add a poll, I'm all for it.

    Seems like there's a good mix of opinions thus far. Personally, as long as the price point is good, the 4 pack tallboys is my perfect portion size. 64 oz of beer is roughly what a pitcher holds regardless, and if you're fairly active and looking to pack out some beer, 4 taller cans imo is easier to find room for than 6 stubby ones. Also, I'm more apt to call it after one good pint Can as opposed to the 12oz...throw some small cans my way and I'm fixing to keep cracking em open whereas a good pint I can sit and savor.
  35. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,239) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Large format bottles of higher-end wines are always more expensive than the 750s, per ounce. The bottles themselves are very expensive. I agree with you about beer pricing and packaging size. Torpedo 12 oz bottles (12-pack) are often the best deal in every way. I do love the packaging on many of the 16 oz cans.
  36. Trull

    Trull Disciple (375) Dec 24, 2016 Massachusetts

    I like both sizes to be honest. I prefer DIPA and other high abv beers in the larger 16oz cans, while I prefer more sessionable beer like what I'd bring to the beach or camping in the more convenient 12oz format....whether 12 or 16oz I do prefer cans over bottles.
    rgordon likes this.
  37. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey

    I would like to announce that I am manufacturing 14 oz cans. This problem is now solved.
  38. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,239) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Honest to God, South Carolina had 14 oz cans back in the 60s. I've never really been sure why, but us N.C. guys always loved them and laughed. I never saw them anywhere else either. Maybe the patent has lapsed!
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  39. honkey

    honkey Disciple (339) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona

    I like both 16 oz. and 12 oz. I prefer 16 oz. cans in general, but I don't mind 12's. Either way, I don't normally like to spend more than $10 on a 4 pack or 6 pack and I feel that $2.50 for a 16 oz. can is a very reasonable price. If I am going to spend more than $10, I expect it to be special in some way. As a brewer, I will not sacrifice quality, so if that means spending more on ingredients and having it cut into my margins, so be it. Hopefully, people appreciate my beer enough to buy it frequently enough that I can get the volume sales where they need to be.
  40. BoomKentucky

    BoomKentucky Initiate (0) Mar 22, 2013 Kentucky

    I just want everything in cans. I will say I wish all bombers (22oz bombers) were sold in 4 packs (12 or 16oz).
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