16 oz vs 12 oz cans

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by VoxRationis, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. VoxRationis

    VoxRationis Poo-Bah (1,552) Dec 11, 2016 New York
    Society Trader

    Is there a reason that many breweries seem to choose the 16 oz can format over the 12 oz? With the ABVs often in the 7 to 12% range, that's a lot of alcohol. Moreover, the same beers sold in 16 oz cans are often served in 6 to 8 oz glassware at the breweries that produce them. Is it just me or does that just not make sense?
     
  2. surfcaster

    surfcaster Champion (802) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I wish everything was in 12 oz cans or bottles.
     
  3. stevepat

    stevepat Zealot (598) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Trader

    I've been curious about this too. Where did the switch to 16 oz cans come from? It seems to have happened rather suddenly
     
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  4. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,415) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Trader

    I think 16oz cans (i.e. a pint) of beer is perfect for the 6% or less beers in a serving, which is pretty much how the pint serving on tap at a public establishment originated, but seems this switch to 16oz cans started with the big NEIPA makers. Maybe Alchemist/Heady Topper was the OG? That is my best guess and other brewers just followed the leader.
     
  5. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,767) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society

    "Pours 2 full glasses"
    ....now where did I hear that? Oh, yeah.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Savant (978) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Yes!

    I loathe the 16 oz. can.

    Yup, probably Heady.

    The original hard-to-obtain-obsessed-over-hazy-IPA in a 4 pack of 16 oz. cans.
     
  7. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,415) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Trader

    Also pricing/marketability plays as well as brewers can play psychological games with consumers. Consider a standard 7% NEIPA as the example
    6x12oz = 72 oz...usual 6er's by regional/national brewers will sell for $10-$15 depending on various factors.
    4x16oz= 64oz....usuall 4packs sell anywhere for $12-$22 again depending on various factors.

    So almost always the 4x16oz format is a profit margin bump to the brewer, more efficient canning process and also keeps the price at a level that many consumers can tolerate.

    I think the tolerance for paying high prices is beginning to change though. I'm only paying premium for the best IPA makers, not for the pseudos/2nd tier options .
     
  8. islay

    islay Aspirant (258) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota
    Trader

    Heady Topper cans debuted in, what, 2011? Surly, BeerAdvocate's "Best Brewery in America" of 2007,* has been selling most of its line in 16 oz. cans since 2006, exclusively so** until adding 12 oz. can 12-packs a couple of years ago. I'm not sure if it was the first craft brewery to adopt that format, but it was the first that I noticed.

    * I say that to illustrate that Surly had a huge national reputation among beer geeks very early on (opened 2006).
    ** Since 2007, Surly has put certain special releases in 750 ml bottles.
     
  9. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,767) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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  10. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,810) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
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    That’s awesome right three.
     
  11. Spade

    Spade Initiate (71) Mar 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Was the term "half-quart" prevalent at one time? I'm at a loss to think of any contemporary use.
     
  12. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,415) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Trader

    Nice! For now on....I saw we stopping calling them 16oz cans and start calling them half-quart cans. Sounds more manly...we need something to balance out all the "mouthfeel" discussion anyway.
     
  13. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,810) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Trader

    I’d be ok with 12 oz offerings entirely, if I get slow sipping the last few oz are warmer than I like with 16 oz cans. I wouldn’t hate more 7 oz vessels though, especially for hot weather vacations.
     
  14. Spade

    Spade Initiate (71) Mar 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    'round these parts we call 'em pounders.
     
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  15. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,415) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Trader

    Yeah, pounders, tallboys south of the Mason Dixon as well. Just forgot some of the names. I still like 1/2 quarts and going to start using that around my friends to get a laugh.
     
  16. rockstar21

    rockstar21 Initiate (135) Mar 27, 2019 California
    Society

    I prefer 12 oz cans. 22 oz bombers cost more than just buying a 6 and drinking 2. 2 more ounces and about a 1/3 of the cost. I wish all beer were in 12 ounce cans or bottles. Modern Times here in Cali is all 16 ounce 4 packs. They brew great beer but wish I could drink two. Two is my favorite number. Old, frugal and crabby.....Yep!
     
  17. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Champion (866) Apr 21, 2014 Ontario (Canada)
    Trader

    Are we talking about 473ml cans vs. 355ml cans? I’m unfamiliar with the archaic system of measurement being used in this thread.

    If so, 355ml all the way, especially as the ABV goes up.
     
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  18. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,767) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society

    At the time, the industry often still referred to 12 oz. bottles as "pints" (yeah, yeah - a weird anachronism - kinda comparable to how a "2 X 4" ain't 2" by 4") and in general the term "pint" was also sort of thought of as signifying a small amount - e.g. "pint-sized" - so the brewing industry in general went with "Half Quart". At least that's the two theories I've read.

    Here Pabst, Reading and Budweiser 16 oz'ers are all called "Half Quarts", for instance:
    [​IMG]

    Pretty sure Schlitz (not them again!) coined the "Tallboy" term, but it was for their 24 oz. (aka "3/4 Quart") cans. circa 1956.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. VoxRationis

    VoxRationis Poo-Bah (1,552) Dec 11, 2016 New York
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    I can recall the saying "A pint's a pound, all the world around." Perhaps not as true any more, but still...
     
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  20. kojevergas

    kojevergas Poo-Bah (8,314) Aug 15, 2010 Colorado
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    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
     
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  21. stevepat

    stevepat Zealot (598) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Trader

    My favorite terminology I've seen used were on cans of moonlight brewings death and taxes, they called the can a 1/248th* barrel keg

    *that might not be the exact number but it's the one I remember
     
  22. VoxRationis

    VoxRationis Poo-Bah (1,552) Dec 11, 2016 New York
    Society Trader

    Ouin. I realize Auvoirdupois is no longer de rigueur in most parts of the world. Sad in a way, though, n'est ce pas?
     
  23. DoctorZombies

    DoctorZombies Poo-Bah (2,937) Feb 1, 2015 Florida
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    A pint of water weighs roughly 1.04 pounds :slight_smile:
     
  24. VoxRationis

    VoxRationis Poo-Bah (1,552) Dec 11, 2016 New York
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    Verdad, mi hermano!
     
  25. sgulner

    sgulner Initiate (149) Apr 16, 2011 Massachusetts

    With these 16oz offerings and higher ABV, I think someone needs to invent a cork for the can if can't finish it all. More then once I've cracked a triple IPA and then sat on it for over an hour, pouring small amounts.
     
  26. DoctorZombies

    DoctorZombies Poo-Bah (2,937) Feb 1, 2015 Florida
    Society Trader

    Funny, I was just thinking today how much I prefer the 16 oz can format over the 12 oz can/bottle; I personally want the additional liquid, and I’m hopeful more brewers will embrace the 500ml (16.9 oz) bottle/can. Cheers!
     
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  27. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Champion (866) Apr 21, 2014 Ontario (Canada)
    Trader

    Nice.
     
  28. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,767) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society

    Schlitz's flagship and Old Milwaukee 24 oz cans, labeled "3/4 Quart":
    [​IMG]
     
  29. Spade

    Spade Initiate (71) Mar 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Thanks for the info. Two of my favorite things- history and beer.
     
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  30. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,612) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    I'm with you there. Plus, if a beer isn't meant to be consumed by the pint/liter, then I'm not really interested in it anyway.
     
  31. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,413) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Society

    I'm curious, do the Heady cans still contain the recommendation to drink the beer from the can, or has the brewery given in and finally embraced the appearance of turbidity and the NEIPA style so that it's okay now to pour the beer into a glass?
     
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  32. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (2,047) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey
    Society

    There are certain styles that I feel lend themselves very well to 16 oz cans, mostly lighter-bodied lagers. I feel like anything over 6 or 7% generally does not.

    I had a Weizenbock recently that came in a 16 oz can. Wasn't an awful beer but it was definitely on the sweeter side and was pretty heavy. The can was a chore to get through and I was wishing the beer came in a can half the size.
     
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  33. PatrickCT

    PatrickCT Poo-Bah (1,956) Feb 18, 2015 Connecticut
    Trader

    We don't use the metric system because we were told we had to use the metric system.
     
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  34. surfcaster

    surfcaster Champion (802) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Just curious- are there many current things that you do like that you regularly find in a 16oz can/bottle? I agree with you if it was cask ale or a Bohemian pils but in my parts it is the VAST majority NEIPAs. Now a 16 oz draught of those does seem like the correct size :slight_smile:
     
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  35. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,612) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Thankfully, between regionals, like Jack's Abby, and imports there actually seems to be plenty available along those lines for me.
     
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  36. papposilenus

    papposilenus Meyvn (1,154) Jun 21, 2014 New Hampshire

    Personally, I always thought of the 22oz bomber as single serving sized.
     
  37. ShaneP

    ShaneP Initiate (115) Jan 26, 2013 Indiana
    Industry

    Speaking from a brewery perspective the reason many breweries do 16 oz cans is economics. We started in 16 oz cans because our view is that real beer is a pint and that is what we pour at our brewery so why not do the same in our cans. We were the 2nd brewery to do cans in our state (Indiana) way back in 2013 and now of course canning is much more popular. Also back then canning was still a minority of breweries compared to now.

    A case of 6/4/16oz cans sells for a higher price point than a 4/6/12oz cans case because it is 25% more beer. Also, in a case with 4-pk/16oz cans you have 6 sales vs 4 in a 6-pk/12 oz cans so it works better for higher priced cases since you have 6 vs 4 packs to split the cost of the beer.

    We do all our beers in 4-pk/16 oz cans (IPA, DIPA, Kolsch, Pils, Belgian Pale, Dunkel, Marzen, Bock, American Lager, etc.) and we do our two largest sellers in a 2/12pk/12oz case option as of last year.
     
  38. tjwarren

    tjwarren Disciple (333) Dec 31, 2008 Ohio

    I love pint cans. I seldom drink more than 1 beer at a time but 12 ounces is not enough and 2 x 12 is too much. 16 is perfect. When I see a pint I buy it.
     
  39. Milktoast75

    Milktoast75 Devotee (449) Oct 27, 2012 Wisconsin
    Society

    I have no problem with 16 oz cans. I like to use all of my pint glass. My fav silos ( regional slang ) are 4 pacs of Two Hearted. Just perfect in my glass. Not space wasted with air.
     
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  40. stevepat

    stevepat Zealot (598) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Trader

    A man after my own heart. When I hear people complaining about big stouts in big bottles I just think "are these people ants?"