16 oz vs 12 oz cans

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

  1. Giantspace

    Giantspace Champion (813) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    This shirt was at Pabst gift shop last spring. The guy at the shop told me Schlitz was the first to use 16oz cans.

    My wife won’t wear it.


    bmugan, desint, mushroomcloud and 8 others like this.
  2. scream

    scream Meyvn (1,202) Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin

    lovin' those 12 oz btls. :sunglasses:
    LuskusDelph and mushroomcloud like this.
  3. freewill35

    freewill35 Zealot (562) Oct 27, 2007 Indiana

    I told my wife and my best friend the same thing. I’d rather have 12 oz. cans. 16 oz. cans are too much alcohol.
    VoxRationis and AlcahueteJ like this.
  4. AWA

    AWA Disciple (320) Jul 22, 2014 California

    I'm obviously missing something. Isn't a 16 oz can 33.3% better than a 12 oz can?
    BSW, Dweedlebug, Lonestar9 and 13 others like this.
  5. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,748) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Only if the price isn't any greater than 33.3% more.
  6. Jaycase

    Jaycase Meyvn (1,351) Jan 13, 2007 Illinois

    Wait til he gets a load of the keg format.
  7. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Meyvn (1,092) Apr 21, 2014 Canada

    We use the metric system and yet we have beer sold in 341ml bottles, 355ml and 473ml cans suggesting that we don’t really use the metric system...
    TNGriff, Brehnert, JamFuel and 11 others like this.
  8. beersampler6

    beersampler6 Poo-Bah (1,847) Apr 4, 2018 Michigan
    Society Trader

    There’s still a recommendation printed on the side to drink it straight out of the can. No pouring into a glass! Personally I always pour into a glass because I want to see what I’m drinking, and I think part of the enjoyment is the appearance of the beer - haziness, color, opacity, head, lacing, and such.
    PapaGoose03 and AlcahueteJ like this.
  9. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,560) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Right, but the question was more so how did the popularity of the 16 oz. four pack of cans come about.

    You did address it by saying Surly was popular among beer geeks. But Heady Topper was the number one beer on Beer Advocate for quite some time. The 4 pack of 16 oz. cans of Heady Topper is iconic in my opinion.

    I didn't even know Surly had 16 oz. cans in 2007. Surly was popular for sure overall, but The Alchemist ONLY brewed Heady Topper for awhile, and it was the number one beer on Beer Advocate. I think that was what really launched this phenomenon.

    I have no idea why a double IPA, never mind a TRIPLE IPA or an imperial stout need to come in a 16 oz. can.

    Why do the stronger beers (like the double IPA) need to come in 16 oz. cans?

    Not unless you're driving.

    And also to smell the beer...
  10. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,471) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    Oskar Blues was putting Gknight in tall boys prior IIRC.
    jakecattleco and Bitterbill like this.
  11. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,471) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    Alcohol weighs less than water :wink:
    Bitterbill likes this.
  12. MistaRyte

    MistaRyte Zealot (553) Jan 14, 2008 Virginia

    Definitely pro 12 ounce format vs any other format. Though 16 ounce would be second place... bombers/500 ml/750 ml can all go to hell.
  13. BeastOfTheNortheast

    BeastOfTheNortheast Devotee (482) Dec 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Just you. I love 16 oz cans. I buy some 12 oz cans/bottles, but usually seek out 16 oz cans first.
    SFACRKnight, Bitterbill and beerluvr like this.
  14. jonphisher

    jonphisher Aspirant (286) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey

    I wish everything was 12 oz bottles or cans. 16 oz to me is just too much sometimes, especially as stated above when ABV is higher.
    LuskusDelph and AlcahueteJ like this.
  15. meefmoff

    meefmoff Devotee (469) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    I think 16 oz is the perfect amount of beer (I want my glass full damnit) but agree that things gets a bit wonky when you get to the higher ABV styles.

    I think it was @AlcahueteJ who pointed out how strange it is that Lawson's Sip of Sunshine (essentially a DIPA) comes in 16 ounce cans while their Super Session IPA comes in 12 ouncers.
  16. BrewmanCapote

    BrewmanCapote Aspirant (266) Feb 3, 2013 Illinois

    Google "soda pop tops."
    HopsAreDaMan and Amendm like this.
  17. islay

    islay Disciple (333) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    Plastic wrap and a rubber band. Works like a charm for a day or two.
    LuskusDelph likes this.
  18. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,560) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    It has to be a marketing thing. People expect hazy New England IPAs to be in four packs of 16 oz. cans.

    Session IPAs...well Founders All Day comes in 12 oz. cans too in 15 pack format, so it works I guess.
    meefmoff and Amendm like this.
  19. Amendm

    Amendm Champion (805) Jun 7, 2018 Rhode Island

    I like 12-oz. bottles however I buy based on what beer I'm interested in trying or revisiting. Cans or bottles, the 12-oz. beers go in my 16-oz. mug and the 16's go in the 20.
    If the ABV is above 7% I sip slow, most quality beers warm well.
    LuskusDelph likes this.
  20. NickTheGreat

    NickTheGreat Crusader (769) Oct 28, 2010 Iowa
    Society Trader

    Maybe it says something about me, but I really like 16 oz cans. Sometimes it's too much to have 2 of those in a sitting, but most of the time it works out okay.

    I live in a deposit state, and really put off redeeming my stuff. So I prefer aluminum cans to glass bottles greatly also.
  21. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Champion (834) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    Breweries are a businesses. They don't care if you finish the beer once you pay for it. They can sell 4x16oz=64 for the same price as 6x12oz=72oz (and so then have more beer to sell!) because the consumer is foolish enough to accept it and has. Just like how cereal box sizes keep shrinking, but the price never goes down...
  22. AWA

    AWA Disciple (320) Jul 22, 2014 California

    If I get to tell my wife I only had a couple beers, but I'm sneaking in an extra 4 oz each, it's worth any price. And yes, that's where I'm at.
    BSW, bubseymour, Brehnert and 5 others like this.
  23. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Defender (646) Mar 28, 2009 California

    I like the 16 oz cans. Can’t say I prefer the 12 oz or the 16 oz can over the other because in some case I prefer 12 and other I prefer 16.

    What I don’t prefer is the transition from 12oz 6 pks to 16oz 4 pks and Being charged the same or more.

    Why would I want 8 ozs less and pay more? The funny thing to me is this trend is due to customer demand. Breweries are loving it. The customer wants to pay more for less. Awesome!
  24. ShaneP

    ShaneP Initiate (125) Jan 26, 2013 Indiana
    Brewery Trader

    Economics and inventory management are both reasons from a brewery perspective on why 16 oz cans are used so much. Breweries wouldn't be doing 16oz cans if it didn't make sense for the business.
    *Buying multiple sizes of cans means more inventory costs and more things to manage purchasing. Unless you have high volume beers to put in both a 12 oz & 16 oz format most breweries are picking one size and running with that on all their beers. The default for many is 16 oz. I have seen some variation on the default depending on the part of the country. For example, seems in Colorado/Rocky Mountains/West more breweries are using 12 oz format than the Midwest/East where 16 oz cans seem to be the most common.
    *Our default can size for all beers is the 16 oz can. We can charge a lower price for a 4-pk/16oz format than we could for the same beer in a 6-pk/12 oz because it is 64 oz of beer vs 72 oz of beer.
    *Even if it is the same cost per oz people are generally happier with a $10 to $14 cost for a 4-pk/16oz vs a $15 to $20 for the same beer in a 6-pk/12oz.
    *The cost per unit is higher because there are six 4-pks in a case and only four 6-pks.
  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,610) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Sounds like something John Wayne would say!:wink:

  26. pbrian

    pbrian Defender (682) Feb 8, 2001 Connecticut

    But every wife should know that a couple means a few...
  27. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,610) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Is there a reason that many breweries seem to choose the 16 oz can format over the 12 oz?”

    Deep Throat knew the way to answer this question when he advised Bob Woodward to “Follow the money”.

    Breweries can sell 4 packs of 16 ounce cans for the same price as 6 packs. 4 x 16 = 64 ounces while 6 x 12 = 72 ounces. That is a percentage change of 12.5%. What business would not want a revenue increase of 12.5%? What if your boss called you into your office and said: “Starting tomorrow your salary will be increased by 12.5%”.

    As long as consumers are willing to pay an ‘extra’ 12.5% for beer the breweries will be happy to take your money.

  28. beerluvr

    beerluvr Meyvn (1,218) Jan 2, 2001 Canada

    16oz. cans are the perfect serving size for me. No matter what style/alcohol content. Perfect.
  29. Purp1eOne

    Purp1eOne Devotee (486) Oct 23, 2010 Illinois

    As far as craft beer goes Half Acre since 2009 has been using 16oz cans from what I can remember.

    I am not a big fan of the 16oz cans.
    tylerstubs and VoxRationis like this.
  30. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (160) Mar 15, 2014 California

    Because the 16oz can with a minimalist, slap dash label was the epitome of the rebel craft movement. To go against what was once a neverending sea of 12oz and 22oz offerings, a true take home pint, never too much or too little "The drink of the Faux-letariat" lol
    Scrapss likes this.
  31. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,430) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Me too, I also think bombers are the perfect vessel to test run a new beer. You get enough to shake it out, and if you hate it your not stuck with 5 full cans to suffer thru.
  32. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Champion (834) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    We have a couple of stingy breweries that do 4 packs of 12oz cans with pricing similar to competitors 4/16oz or 6/12oz.... Perhaps the 3 pack of 16 oz'ers isn't far behind...
    VoxRationis, meefmoff and AWA like this.
  33. AWA

    AWA Disciple (320) Jul 22, 2014 California

    And that is a damn fine point.
    LuskusDelph and pbrian like this.
  34. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,610) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Boy, that is very sad to hear. :slight_frown:

    I truly hope that this practice doesn't happen in my area.

    Non-cheers to this crap!!
    LuskusDelph likes this.
  35. AWA

    AWA Disciple (320) Jul 22, 2014 California

    But those 5 cans are have the reason I keep some of my friends around. They'll drink anything.
    HopsAreDaMan and nc41 like this.
  36. zstef99

    zstef99 Initiate (58) Dec 25, 2008 New York

    The same reason that bombers were once so popular: People are bad at math.
  37. TrouserSneeze

    TrouserSneeze Initiate (125) Sep 11, 2005 New York

    The metric system is a commie plot!
  38. ChazMania

    ChazMania Aspirant (219) Jun 13, 2006 California

    I like 16oz cans in 6pks, ala Pizza Port. Swamis IPA in this format at $12 a 6pk is my jam.
  39. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (2,127) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    My belief is that early Craft Beer Era* breweries in the U.S.A. chose the 4x16oz packaging of cans, principally for retail sales, as it worked best in a couple of ways:

    1) 6 - 4-packs per case
    2) 16oz = more economical than 12oz

    This all had something to do with the bulk purchase of cans for the purpose of filling of course, and 16oz cans seemed to work well running through the Cask Brewing Systems line, enough so that 12oz cans were an afterthought, initially. <— hyperlink

    A lot has changed since then, but the sense I have is that many (retailers, consumers, and especially consumers who don’t ordinarily drink Craft Beer) very quickly recognized the 16oz cans as a signifier of the pricier Craft Beer segment, and so it became fairly standard early on.

    Feel free to correct me - I just cracked my first can of the day. :grin:

    (This is my recollection, also with focus on the early canning history of Oscar Blues, which wasn’t in the local market at the time but which was already becoming legendary by the time I left beverage retail.)

    *c.f. 2000 to Present.
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  40. eppCOS

    eppCOS Meyvn (1,439) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado

    I like pints of whatever up to 8%, but then need the external control that a 12 oz can offers (forces?) if it's over 8% or... I'm fucked.
    Yes, I'm over 40.
    Get off my lawn.