the death of the bomber

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by SFACRKnight, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,005) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I noticed that a few breweries of note, Boulevard and Firestone Walker among others, have moved certain beers from the 22oz bomber format to the 12oz format. The beers of note all seem to be higher abv options.
    There are some pros and cons to this change, while a 12 oz bottle of 14% stout is certainly more approachable to drink alone, the price point per oz is going up on these beers as well. Anecdotally, I remember BA members lamenting on the price of a 4x of ten fidy, and while the price per oz was lower than equally tasty bombers at the time, people still found that $15 price tag as excessive.
    Personally, I enjoy most beer alone that I purchase, and while I have no issues with taking down a bomber myself, it will make life easier on me if I want BBQ or Succaba on a work night. It also will make cellaring beers easier. I get four, let's see how it develops. Conversely on the rare occasion I attend a bottle share, I will need to bring more bottles, and the price will go up as well.
    So what say you BA? How do you feel about the departure from the bomber format?
    Roguer, terence, HuskyHawk and 11 others like this.
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,786) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I was never a fan of the bomber format. My preference has always been 6-packs of 12 ounce beers.

    The price per ounce of bombers suck.

    The quicker bombers become obsolete the better IMO.

  3. Peekaboolu

    Peekaboolu Initiate (125) May 24, 2016 California
    Beer Trader

    I would like to see more people make 500mL (16.9 oz) cans/bottles. I find it to be the perfect size between the 12oz and 22oz options. Either selling singles of them or in a 4 pack.
  4. Squire123

    Squire123 Meyvn (1,292) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    For my use they serve no purpose. Too large for a single serving, too awkward for storing in the fridge, too heavy to easily handle when the surface gets wet and far too expensive for what is basically a beer storage unit.
    pro100, MrKennedy88, WWBF and 17 others like this.
  5. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Meyvn (1,425) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    I'm mixed between the two. Keep in mind, this is BA, where folks (apparently) want to be able to drink Parabola on a week night after getting the kids home from soccer practice. Folks outside of this niche community may get one bottle, and use it as a chance to sip and drink a good beer with friends and family. Sharing beer with special folks is why I want to see the bomber stick around.

    Plus, as has been previously mentioned, the price/oz may be going down, but how many folks outside of BA calculate that? Now you're telling your average costumer that it'll cost $15 for a 4 pack of what they could previously get for $8. That's not as easy to swallow, even though you get a better deal on the $15. Just take a look at Southern Tier switching their Blackwater series from bombers to 4 packs. The price nearly doubled to get the beer (to be fair, the beer doubled as well), and folks are hardly picking it up. I know a few shops incredibly frustrated with it. I've also heard Southern Tier is switching back. Folks will spend $8 for Creme Burlee, but not $18 for a 4 pack.

    Also, to the fault of the argument for 12oz bottles, most folks make the assumption it'll be available in a 4 or 6 pack. In the case of Firestone's Reserve series, we're not seeing that. So rather than paying $20 for 22 oz, we'll be paying $9 for 12oz. Not much savings there, and you get considerably less beer with the usual one per customer limit. Folks already complain about Prairie's pricing for a 12oz bottle of BA beer. I guess you can't keep everyone happy.
  6. Squire123

    Squire123 Meyvn (1,292) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    I could be happy with 250 ml cans for high ABV brews
    Raj, 19etz55, MJS08 and 7 others like this.
  7. BWood

    BWood Zealot (593) Jan 4, 2015 California
    Beer Trader

    The majority of my fridge is filled with bombers and 750s. I personally like the larger format.
  8. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,005) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Avery sells their big beers as single 12oz bottles. I always feel it's pricey, but I wouldn't blink at a $20 bomber of the same beer.perceptions I guess.
  9. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (4,594) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I will merely repeat what I've been saying for years:

    DEATH TO 22s!!!!!!!!!
  10. BeerBobber

    BeerBobber Devotee (459) Nov 23, 2015 Nevada

    I agree that the bombers are awkward to put into the fridge. Sometimes they are nice on tasting nights with the wife as it feels as if you are really sharing a beer with someone special. Cans are the most convenient in my opinion. They store easily in the fridge while keeping the contents cold and safe from light damage.I guess I could live with or without bombers because I can easily go to the growler for that shared experience. Intriguing question overall.
    Brolo75, Badfish and kwakwhore like this.
  11. Feel_the_Darkness

    Feel_the_Darkness Disciple (313) Oct 17, 2012 Virginia

    Yeah, good riddance. As I posted in a similar thread a few days ago, I much prefer the 16oz can format idea.
  12. zid

    zid Crusader (780) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Bombers were a way that brewers could charge more $ per oz. When those beers move to a smaller format, in some cases, I bet we'll see the $ per oz rise even higher.

    It's like the bomber was a necessary stepping stone for brewers to make us fine with spending even more money on a 12oz.

    Meanwhile, while we've all been distracted by the dying bombers...16oz, 16.9oz, and 375ml quietly snuck in as the new format that brewers could use to charge a lot of $ per oz.

    The cost to produce beers will vary from brewery to brewery and beer to beer... and some need to charge what they do to survive, while others will simply inflate the price.

    That said, as long as it doesn't negatively alter things like bottle conditioning I'm all for smaller bottles.
  13. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (2,941) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    I still like bombers...

    Or I guess, more appropriately, I like the choice.

    Scenario 1: Using Enjoy By as an example... Let's say I want some, but I don't want 6 bottles of it, and the store doesn't let me buy singles. Bomber fits the bill.

    Scenario 2: A new beer is available, in a (4- or 6-) pack or a bomber, but again, I can't break up the pack to buy one or two, and I don't know if I'll like it. Bomber solves the problem.

    Scenario 3: I like how it looks and don't care if the cost per ounce is higher... *buys bomber*

    Scenario 4: Trump doesn't like Mexicans or Muslims. Should that mean I can't have one? Wait... :astonished: That didn't work, but you get the idea... :stuck_out_tongue: :wink:

    Ironically, I have zero bombers on hand... :confused: *dammit* :flushed:
  14. rgordon

    rgordon Defender (685) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I don't worry about bombers at all. If there's a beer that is only available in the 22 oz format, that I want to try, I'll buy it. To me, the most perfect packaging is 12 oz SNPA cans.
    Mojo, 19etz55, surfcaster and 4 others like this.
  15. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (1,816) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Bombers and 750s are fine for certain styles, stuff you don't get all the time, but I never understood how popular they became. Especially with high gravity beers.

    It seems that the market started changing around the time that Pretty Things called it a day; that's one of the reasons they gave. Fortunately the bigger brewers like FW are able to adjust.
  16. JBogan

    JBogan Champion (822) Jul 15, 2007 California

    They can sell beer out of a used high top gym shoe for all I care as long as they don't keep raising the price per ounce on us.
  17. chimneyjim

    chimneyjim Aspirant (273) Jun 23, 2004 Oregon

    "The report of my death was an exaggeration." -- Mark Twain's bomber
    thebeers, 19etz55, Wolfhead and 5 others like this.
  18. MFMB

    MFMB Crusader (794) Jan 23, 2015 Idaho
    Beer Trader

    As someone who often drinks alone I say good riddance to the bomber. My recent experience with High Westified gave me hope that one day I might live in a world where huge beers are available 12 ounces at a time.

  19. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (271) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    Great points in here. Locally, I see many smaller breweries go the bomber route ASAP (just to get their beer on the shelf). Sorry, I am not dropping $10-$12 on regular products. I guess others are.

    Then again, maybe they are doing me a favor. If they happened to only sell six or four packs for the same price, and it sucked, they would have saved me about 40 ounces of wasted beer.

    It's tricky and I try not to support the format. I also try not to support retailers who choose not to split up sixers or four packs. The price/oz. on 12 ounce singles is WAYYY up there, yet it's easier for me to swallow a $2-$3 single, than a $8 six pack. So I can see why some like $9 bombers over $16 sixers.

    I think for the most part, breweries need to get their stuff together and bring proper formats to consumers. And consumers need to become aware and really speak with their wallet. With that, I am seeing bombers sit way more often than sixers/singles. At least at TW and such, the bomber section is rarely out of any beers, or even missing a single bottle on the shelf ( '15 Abyss sat for 12 months). So I do feel consumers are realizing there is value out there in better formats, and some breweries are taking advantage of that shift (Lagunitas High West comes to mind).

    WIth so much variety, I think the bomber format stays. I actually wouldn't mind a trickle down even further, to say 12 ounces (like Parabola is going), although with that beer I know I like it and want as big of a format as possible. But with so much newness, I would take a chance on a $5 12 ounce single of a local product over a $9 bomber
  20. HeavyDandtheGirls

    HeavyDandtheGirls Aspirant (256) Mar 7, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Never liked bombers. Sharing one with a buddy/wife neither of you get a full 12oz beer.
    Crowlers on the other hand you each get 16oz.

    16oz can is by far my favorite format.

  21. keithmurray

    keithmurray Meyvn (1,086) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut

    I'd personally love to see the death of the bomber (or at least see them on the "endangered species" list)
    Its fine for the one off release, but to me they have no place for regular release type beers and the cost per ounce is astronomical versus 12 oz beers. Also, for big ABV beers, I don't always want to consume 22-25 oz of 10+% beer in one sitting, which unless sharing you are forced to do when you crack a bomber.
    TongoRad and SFACRKnight like this.
  22. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poo-Bah (5,936) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

    what departure?
    SkipZ and 19etz55 like this.
  23. Uniobrew31

    Uniobrew31 Zealot (541) Jan 16, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Came her to say this. Cheers!
    Peekaboolu likes this.
  24. MNAle

    MNAle Crusader (752) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    That would only work for dank beers...
    SFACRKnight, JBogan and dcotom like this.
  25. zid

    zid Crusader (780) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    As long as they aren't reincarnated as stovepipes.
    NotHereForGold likes this.
  26. Sixpoint

    Sixpoint Meyvn (1,437) Jul 25, 2004 New York
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    We've been calling this for years.

    The bomber had an expiration date - and that date was once there was enough competition of quality craft beer accessible to all. That moment has arrived - almost every grocery store in America now offers at least a base selection of good beers.

    Once there is an abundance of variety, people start to make decisions based upon value. There simply is no value with bombers - you are paying the highest price-per-ounce, and they are very inconvenient for single serving occasions.

    They also have an awkward shape and take up a lot of space in your refrigerator. Furthermore, the largest glass surface area increases the amount of beer that is exposed to being light struck. Its just a crappy packaging format, that puts the customer in a position to fail.
  27. zid

    zid Crusader (780) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    And that's what makes it a complicated situation. If bombers (and the conventional pricing of them) allowed some brewers to be successful, then the format had some positives for the consumer. Maybe Pretty Things' business model couldn't have worked without that format. Jack D'or was the first flagship saison in the US. Does the bomber format allow for more variety in the marketplace? Despite this, I've been making an effort to ignore them. The timing of my 750 saison thread wasn't out of the blue. In some ways, it was me working it out of my system... not that I'll totally give up on 750s and bombers though.
    surfcaster and TongoRad like this.
  28. The-Adjunct-Hippie

    The-Adjunct-Hippie Poo-Bah (2,382) May 12, 2014 Nebraska
    Beer Trader

    I agree. A bomber is meant for sharing. At least in my case.
  29. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (2,081) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Yup. Burn in hell.
    rypkr and keithmurray like this.
  30. josanguapo

    josanguapo Poo-Bah (2,511) Apr 9, 2015 Spain

    Id love to see bombers dissapear, as nearly everything can be bought here in Spain as singles so the problem of having to purchase 4 or 6 packs doesnt apply :wink:
    connecticutpoet likes this.
  31. JayORear

    JayORear Zealot (589) Feb 22, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    If only there were easy-to-hold, attractively designed, slim 12oz. cans for holding even the highest ABV beers, available in easily stackable and shippable boxes!
  32. rgordon

    rgordon Defender (685) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I saw a 12 oz can of Oregon Pinot Gris the other day. Next thing you know there'll be screw caps on French wine and straws included with Champagne from a can. I used to love the little 7 oz Rolling Rock pony bottles, but really only to be able to conceal while driving. The most interesting and baffling package for me to understand are the 24 oz bottles of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Torpedo. Even in a big brown bag they're probably hard to hide!
  33. DonicBoom

    DonicBoom Initiate (129) Mar 26, 2015 Virginia

    The future is here! Canned wine sales have picked up a ton of steam in the last 1-2 years. Plenty of French wines have screw caps, though nowhere near the majority like in New Zealand. Sparkling wine cans have been around many years (Coppola was a pioneer), though traditional design will never handle the air pressure of a methode champenoise or spumante. And while you didn't mention boxed wines, they are gradually being tried for ever more expensive wine.
  34. rgordon

    rgordon Defender (685) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Oh, I was joking. Bombers are around for a while yet, but I don't think bladders will make a comeback. I was good friends with Ross Lawson (Lawson Dry Hills) back in the late 90s when (alive) and he was a spokesman for The New Zealand Screw Cap Initiative.
    DonicBoom likes this.
  35. Brolo75

    Brolo75 Poo-Bah (1,537) Aug 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I prefer the 12 or 16 ounce format over bomber size bottles. I like being able to have the option of one serving or two. I also enjoy most of my beer at home, prefer not to be out and drinking especially servings of high ABV beer.
    VABA likes this.
  36. Sixpoint

    Sixpoint Meyvn (1,437) Jul 25, 2004 New York
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    good design is not about the way beer looks, but rather the way beer works

    Andy311x, oldbean and JayORear like this.
  37. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (271) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    I think people like options too, and a perceived value. I take a huge hit when I buy singles of various seasonals. But knowing that if I like it a lot, I can buy a sixer or 4 pack wins me over. There is no going back with many bombers as that is the only format these breweries use.

    Too often, many buy a $12 bomber, feel burned, and won't sniff anything again from that brewery. There is a lot less at stake by buying singles and then rewarding the consumer/company by buying the bigger format(providing a value).

    As I mentioned above, I would have probably bought 90% of the bombers available, if they sold in 12 oz bottles, and of course, a lower price. It's why I am okay with BOMB! being $8-$10/single.

    Some examples. Three local breweries have "special" release bombers that come out once in awhile.. $12-$16 is a tough pill to swallow in the bomber format. I have passed on probably 14 bombers in the past 6 months. Some are 7% IPAs. Some are Saisons, some are basic double red ales.

    Compare that to singles. I have probably bought singles of more random beers, and followed that up with 4/6 pack purchases than I care to share. New Belgium is back into my rotation. Deschutes is always great with their seasonals. If some of their newer stuff was bomber only, it's an easy pass. There are probably dozens of beers that may be amazing but I will simply not take the bait on bombers.

    Someone mentioned competition. It's a beautiful thing. What used to be a convenient and easy method for smaller breweries to use bombers may now turn them into figuring out how to stay competitive
    Brolo75 likes this.
  38. MistaRyte

    MistaRyte Disciple (358) Jan 14, 2008 Virginia

    Bomber: (noun) a device meant to rape your wallet in price of beer per ounce.

    Farewell, bomber, you won't be missed
  39. shadyside

    shadyside Devotee (416) Feb 27, 2011 Georgia

    I like bombers and always have. If you don't like them, don't buy them.
  40. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (4,016) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I compare cost per oz or lb for items at the grocery store - why not beer?

    I don't understand that logic. If they just want to "try" a new beer at minimum buy-in, go to a store that sells individual 12 oz bottles.
    Dravin and ebin6 like this.
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