Beer in Big Packages: More of Everything Good


Interesting article. I didn’t know ulage in beer bottles affects quality and frankly don’t believe what he says. Magnums are better for ageing wine without a doubt but I don’t believe this about beer sizes as written here. One thing I know is in US alcohol is taxed based on size. The smaller the container the percentage tax is higher thus alcoholic beverage is cheaper per ounce as vessel size increases. American drinkers do have an affinity for counting alcohol consumed in quantities. Smaller container means the drinker is cooler and more macho by consuming more. I don’t know the whole story

The recent arrivalof a mini-keg of Newcastle Brown Ale in the Esquire offices (okay, a DraughtKeg, if we’re being picky about trademarks) prompted a discussion about beer. Specifically, about why it comes in such small packages. Standard volume in the U.S. isjust 12 ounces. You can get 8-ounce cans if you want. We’ve seen imported cans of Sapporono bigger than a Red Bull. And in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, you can buy all the 10-ounce Budweisers you want. (It’sa great story.)

Overseas, things are different. Bottles and cans start at afull imperial pintand go up from there. A lot of traditional brewers use 750-milliliter bottles — a wine bottle, that is, or, if bourbon’s your frame of reference, a fifth. And we here are huge fans of the half-gallongrowler.
The reason is simple: big packages make for better beer. More liquid and a lower proportion of air-to-liquid (air trapped in the neck of the bottle) means less oxidation of the flavorful stuff and more raw material for the happy forces of aging and bottle-conditioning to work on. This is something Champagne makers have known for generations — it’s why bubbly often comes in magnum bottles (1.5 liters, twice the standard size). So, your assignment for the weekend: buy a big bottle of something good. An imperial pint, at least. A growler if you can. Or, hell, anebuchadnezzarif you can find one.
If you do, please let us know.

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