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NYT: Craft Beer's Larger Aspirations Cause a Stir (large or small format bottles?)

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by lokieman, Mar 5, 2013.

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  1. lokieman

    lokieman Jan 20, 2011 Oklahoma

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/d...bottles-causes-a-stir.html?smid=tw-share&_r=1

    Saw this article on DFH's FB page. I've had similar debates in the past but usually come to the conclusion that 4 or 6 pack is almost always a better bargain. There are many breweries that couldn't survive if they tried to go to small format. I know locally for me Jester King said that there is no way they would still be in business if they tried 12 oz bottling. Just curious to hear others input on the subject. Cheers!
     
  2. tstigz

    tstigz Dec 6, 2010 Illinois

    I don't always want to commit to a bomber by myself after work. Especially if it is high ABV. I prefer 12 oz. for sure. I hate to say it, but if Sucks moves to 32 oz. only, I will be drinking a lot less Sucks and drinking something else instead.
     
    bound4er and Ri0 like this.
  3. kdb150

    kdb150 Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Larger format bottles used to bother me, until I discovered that bombers of high ABV beers are easily recapped and can be stored for a day or 2 (sometimes more depending on the beer) with little to no degradation of the beer. Cork-and-cage bottles can be capped with a wine stopper, and I highly recommend a wine stopper that either has a vacuum-seal mechanism, or that expands to form an airtight seal on the bottle.
     
  4. phooky

    phooky Jan 23, 2010 New York

    As much as I love the large format, I almost always buy 12oz bottles as I am usually cracking one after work, or with others who prefer crap beer or spirits.
     
  5. geocool

    geocool Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    IMHO there will be another great shakeout for craft brewers, and the ones who are able to switch to the more price-friendly 12 oz format are the ones that will survive and prosper while many good ones will perish.
     
  6. Hanzo

    Hanzo Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    I used to really only look at bombers until I came here and people pointed out how awful of a deal they were, then I started price comparison shopping and I now try my best to avoid bombers/750s, give me a single 12oz/four/six pack anyday.

    I would not have guessed this.
     
    VonZipper likes this.
  7. leedorham

    leedorham Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    I don't even sweat the how big a bottle no more, just straight up buy what I want and drink it.
     
    dipalova, Broden, Danielbt and 3 others like this.
  8. geocool

    geocool Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    Why do you think you had to come here? Why didn't you notice the price difference yourself? Not criticizing, but I'd like to figure out a way to get more people to pay attention to this kind of pricing. If it's only BA's noticing this, then we may as well give up.
     
    pixieskid likes this.
  9. SteelersX

    SteelersX Jan 30, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    I wish bombers would go the way of the beta tape. Oh and keep the wax for candles or whatever.
     
    juliusseizure likes this.
  10. Hanzo

    Hanzo Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    I really just didn't pay attention, I assumed that the price per ounce was roughly in the same ballpark between bombers/750s and four/six packs, otherwise people wouldn't be buying them and breweries wouldn't still be cranking them out, which I now know isn't the case.
     
  11. Smitty1988

    Smitty1988 Oct 16, 2012 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Just got a 750 ML of DFH 75 minute IPA, and trust me Ill finish it in one sitting... but Im just Ganster like that. The larger format doesnt bother me for beers that I already know that I will enjoy
     
    dipalova likes this.
  12. imfrommichigan

    imfrommichigan Jul 12, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Your avatar thoroughly creeps me out. I'm sure you've gotten that before. Those scenes are disturbing!

    To discuss the thread topic, I've never thought of it that way before. It would make sense for breweries who are starting small with little funds to release larger formats thus increasing their profit margin. I just don't see it working out in the long run. I think most people would prefer the smaller format bottles for the obvious reason of getting more for your dollar. Good topic OP!
     
  13. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    As long as there is a choice and 12 oz. bottles/cans of the everyday craft beers are available [i.e. SNPA and 6 - 9%IPAs & DIPAs], I don't give a crap if some beers are in 750 mls since the article and experience tells me it's the barrel aged, exotic ingredient beers that use the 750 format and I don't enjoy those kind of beers. Problem is 750s are only 3.35 ozs. more than bombers and I buy bombers of IPAs and DIPAs I enjoy if they don't come in 12 oz. size or I can't find a 12 oz. And I'm looking forward to Sucks in 32 oz. bottles. So I guess I'm kind of a hypocrite.
     
  14. LMT

    LMT Oct 15, 2009 Virginia

    I never tried this, and am interested in more specifics...

    Have you noticed a relative ABV point where this no longer works well? And regardless of ABV, what styles recap and stay freshest?
     
  15. kdb150

    kdb150 Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I think it depends mainly on the style. A big barleywine or stout will handle oxidation better than, say, a scotch ale. In fact, my first real experience where this messed up the beer was a bottle of Alesmith Wee Heavy. After 1 day it was already going downhill, and after 2 days it was no longer worth drinking. I've drank barleywines over 3-4 days and still really enjoyed them, but there will be noticeable oxidation if you keep it around that long.

    I haven't really tried it with a smaller beer, as I only find myself wanting to save part of a bomber of something that is high in alcohol. In fact, the smallest beer I've tried this with is the recapped 9% bourbon barrel porter that has been sitting on a shelf in my kitchen since Saturday, so we'll see if it held up.
     
  16. lokieman

    lokieman Jan 20, 2011 Oklahoma

    I like bombers and 750's for cellaring purposes...at least in my situation the large format bottles are actually easier for me to store. Plus when I get home from work I usually just pop a Sucks or a 12 oz'r of something...I don't want to commit to a bomber, I often like variety. This helps disuade me from popping bottles I intend to cellar for a long period of time. I don't thing 750's and bombers should go away but I think that beers like Hop Stoopid would do great in a 4 pack and probably sell a lot more. I guess I just wish certain breweries would make better bottling decisions sometimes...
     
  17. TNGabe

    TNGabe Feb 6, 2012 Tennessee

    I must be the only one who is dissapointed with the Jeroboam selection at my local bottle shop. Forget smaller bottles, I want bigger ones.
     
  18. atomic

    atomic Sep 22, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I think bombers are the craft industries way of making certain brews out to be more special than they really are, and justifying a huge over inflated price. I think bombers and wine bottles have a place with limited run beers, but most the bombers out there are just way too expensive for no particular reason. Hell, theres tons of beers that come in both bombers and 4packs, and if you were to do the math, the 4pk comes out MUCH cheaper, and you never have to commit to more beer than you can handle.
     
  19. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Subscriber

    When was that? There have always (well, at least since Repeal, since he mentions cans) been a variety of bottle sizes available from US brewers - cans and bottles of 16 oz and 7&8 oz. nips, ½ gallon picnic bottles, 24 oz. cans, gallon cans, 2.5 gallon mini-kegs, quart bottles, imperial quarts & 40's, standard 11 oz. and 22 oz. bottles on the West Coast...

    Of course, that was the era of the now-obsolete, old fashioned concept of charging less per ounce for those larger packages - passing along some of their savings (less glass, fewer crowns/labels, less packaging, etc) on to the consumer.
     
    JG-90, dagimp, TheBeerAlmanac and 5 others like this.
  20. zstef99

    zstef99 Dec 25, 2008 New York

    I don't think I've purchased a bomber in at least 4-5 months. Just not a fan of the cost or size, although I will occasionally buy one if it's the only way to get a beer I'd like to try.
     
  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I hope you are correct there with a minor modification: “the ones who are able to listen to customers and produce the more price-friendly 12 oz format are the ones that will survive and prosper.”

    Why Tony Magee (BA DogTown) who is the President of Lagunitas does not want to listen to customers who prefer Sucks in 12 oz. bottles is somewhat of a mystery to me. Why he feels compelled to address BAs by name calling is even a bigger mystery to me.

    Cheers!
     
    lokieman likes this.
  22. lokieman

    lokieman Jan 20, 2011 Oklahoma

    From everything I've ever heard....Tony Magee is a unique individual. Maybe success has gone to his head and he thinks whatever he puts out people will buy. I'd buy Sucks sixers without thinking about it...a growler of sucks...? Maybe once.
     
  23. papat444

    papat444 Dec 28, 2006 Quebec (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    There's a time and place for everything....
     
  24. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I did my best to try and convince Tony that producing Suck in both formats (12 oz. and 32 oz. bottles) would be a Win-Win but apparently I am not a convincing individual.

    Perhaps you have a better idea on how to effectively communicate with Tony?

    Cheers!
     
  25. phooky

    phooky Jan 23, 2010 New York

    Eh, I enjoy his posts - I think he's funny.

    To each his own.
     
    BrettHead likes this.
  26. dueserdo

    dueserdo Feb 18, 2013 Pennsylvania

    I will only buy Bombers of the brews I really like such as Victory V-12 at 12% ABV or DFH. High cost beers like St. Bernardus Abby 12 or Chimay are more affordable when available in 12 Oz or less. In my retirement years, cost is a factor.
     
  27. JulianC

    JulianC Mar 9, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I recap bombers and 750s all the time. I'm usually going solo drinking during the week, and drinking a whole BA stout, barleywine, or sour in one sitting can be too much. I usually just cap the high abv or extra sour 750s/22s for a day and they are completely fine the next evening.
     
  28. rmalinowski4

    rmalinowski4 Oct 22, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I would love to see a 6.7oz 4pk on high abv beers, say over 12%. It's the perfect size for a solo drink.
     
    LMT and BedetheVenerable like this.
  29. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    I get it that start ups need the money and want to make an impression that they know how to turn it up to eleven. But I just hope they re-invest and go at it for the long haul and take some of these lessons and put them into non kickstand inducing beers too. That said. I won't understand it if Sucks gets dropped from the 6'er realm. It's nice to have a beer that good with options for the evenings flight pattern.
     
    Beerontwowheels likes this.
  30. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Mar 18, 2010 California

    I only buy large format bottles if that is all the beer is offered in.
     
  31. lokieman

    lokieman Jan 20, 2011 Oklahoma

  32. lostandwandering

    lostandwandering Oct 14, 2009 New Jersey

    If the beer is good I will buy it in whatever format it's available in. I don't love dropping $15 for a 750 of DDBA, but if it's my only option then so be it.
     
  33. rrryanc

    rrryanc May 19, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    I actually prefer large format bottles compared to 4-packs or sixers. It's the same reason I don't buy a ton of stuff at Costco. I understand that the cost per unit is lower in the higher volume packs, but I'm willing to pay that premium for a smaller amount.

    Some stores let you buy 12oz bottles singly, which is nice - and a better option, but not all do. And if it's between a sixer and a bomber, I'm almost always going for the 22oz over the 72oz.
     
    westcoastbeerlvr likes this.
  34. Ri0

    Ri0 Jul 1, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Okay, can you explain the 6.7oz size? What is special about that amount vs 7 or 8?
     
  35. Franch

    Franch Mar 22, 2011 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    i am more likely to try a new beer at 10-15$ for a bomber rather than 30-40$ for a 6.
     
  36. geocool

    geocool Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    What beer is sold at $30-40 for a sixpack?
     
  37. rolltide8425

    rolltide8425 Feb 18, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I definitely prefer 12oz. bottles to bombers. I unfortunately don't have many friends who share my love for craft beer, so I often end up drinking them myself.
     
  38. Franch

    Franch Mar 22, 2011 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    i imagine beers that are $15 a bomber would be.
     
  39. rmalinowski4

    rmalinowski4 Oct 22, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    They already make bottles that size. I use them for homebrew.
     
  40. Haydn-Juby

    Haydn-Juby Dec 30, 2012 Vermont

    A lot of my local breweries do stuff in 500ml bottles. Personally I think that's the way to go. Its not to much to finish in one sitting of a high ABV beer and its just enough to split it into smaller portions for two.

    I don't really care for anything bigger then that. Most of my drinking is alone or with people who don't like to drink anything but BMC's so 750's are kinda a bitch to finish. I do like to keep 5-6 around on the rare occasion someone wants to drink one with me though.
     
    westcoastbeerlvr and pixieskid like this.
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