Why You Should Avoid Craft Beer In Big Bottles

Why Buying Craft Beer in Big Bottles Probably Isn't a Good Idea Right Now

It's no secret that when you buy anything you should choose your container based on unit price. Well, as VinePair notes, when it comes to craft beer sold in growlers and bombers, you'll likely pay more for the bigger bottles than you would if you just bought a six pack.

Photo by TheDigitel Beaufort.

Part of the rationale here is worth considering though: you spend money on craft beer to support small breweries, and in some cases you get reusable containers that are great for other things (or just holding more beer that you might get a discount on when you refill them), but that all considered, VinePair explains you should still consider the cost per ounce:

As craft beer has become more popular, the romanticism behind the beverage and the packaging that holds it has grown. Showing up with a large bottle of beer now doesn't seem cheap or hobo-ish, it seems dignified and refined. It is much more acceptable to place a large bottle on the dinner table — just as one would with a bottle of wine — than a bunch of cans or twelve ounce bottles. It's a look that helps legitimise beer as a beverage just as worthy for pairing with serious cuisine as fine wine.   In addition, large packaging also allows for collectability. Beers in large format containers are viewed as being more special and rare compared to their six-pack brethren, which suggests that there's a scarcity component to their availability.   All this means that craft beer sellers are now able to sell Bombers that were once sold at prices cheaper per ounce than 6-packs, at prices that are sometimes now double that of a 6-pack's price per volume.

They also go on to note that for the most part, many craft beer fans are fine with this — they actually feel like they're getting their money's worth, so if that's you then by all means go for it. On the other hand of course, it's just as easy to pour a can into a glass (or your mouth) as a bottle, and you're less likely to have beer slowly going flat or skunky if you pour what you want from smaller containers than growlers you might leave partially empty.

Either way, the bottom line is the same as anything else you buy — per unit pricing is the number you should look at on the shelf, not the overall price, and buy intelligently.

See also: Taste Test: Rocks Brewing Co. Chocolate Milk Stout

If You're Buying Large Format Craft Beer, You're Getting Screwed [VinePair]


    With most growlers and larger bottles I feel like you're paying for the container as well as the beer as you noted. A lot of them nowadays have logos and stuff and it's more about brand support - more like buying a jersey from your favourite football team - than it is about getting value for money (you could buy a much cheaper jersey than a sydney fc jersey, for example).

    Last edited 04/03/16 10:24 pm

    Craft beer fans buy large format bottles mainly because many beers with limited releases are only sold in this format.

    Unit price only applies if a comparable beer is offered in six pack and bomber sizes which is rarely the case in the upper end of the craft beer catalogue. In many cases such as Crooked Stave, Trinity or Almanac to name a few a single 12 oz beer will cost more than a 12 pack of Blue Moon or Shocktop and will be worth every penny.

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