Monday, March 11, 2013

Craft Beer Bottle Sizes (Revisited)

A couple years ago I posted a short rant about the prices that many craft breweries charge for large format beer bottles (i.e., bombers and 750 ml). A few weeks ago Clay Risen contacted me to ask if I would talk to him for an article he was writing on a similar subject for the New York Times. After the article was published last week, I witnessed heated debate on message boards, Facebook, email, and in person from my friends. I heard a lot of interesting opinions both in support of and against the case presented in the article. Granted I was only quoted, so the negative comments didn't cut too deep.

The issue I had with a lot of the complaints was that they missed, what to me, is the main point: I see no benefit to the consumer that compensates them for the higher per-ounce price of larger bottles of the same beer. I understand some of the reasons that breweries choose to package their most interesting/expensive beers in larger format bottles, but that doesn't mean that it is a positive thing for me as a beer drinker! Don't think I'm blaming just the breweries here though, craft beer drinkers are just as much to blame for being willing to pay an inflated price ounce-for-ounce for the identical beer sold in larger bottles!

I have learned that in other parts of America it is less common for stores to allow "make your own six-pack" or similar deals to buy individual 12 oz bottles of any of the beers they have available. As a result, in some areas people might prefer a bomber for the lower total cost compared to a six-pack for sampling a new beer. However, this is still a sub-optimal situation from my point of view. I also worry about alcoholism masquerading as craft beer appreciation, just because I am physically capable of drinking 3/4 of a liter of 13% ABV Imperial Stout over the course of an evening (containing more alcohol than in a six-pack of Bud Light), doesn't mean it is a good idea!

The person who seemed most personally insulted by the article was Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewing. On Thursday he took to the Brewers Association Forum to post the message below. I thought he deserved a rebuttal, so I sent him the email that follows (to which I have not yet received a reply). If you haven't already, read Clay's article, and the chatter, and let me know what you think!

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Dear Forum,


Yesterday The New York Times published an article "Craft Beer's Larger Aspirations Cause A Stir". You can see it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/dining/craft-beers-trend-toward-larger-bottles-causes-a-stir.html?ref=dining&_r=0.
In this article, The New York Times, usually a fount of very good beer writing, essentially posits that craft beer producers - meaning many of us - are money-grubbing elitists trying to drag humble beer away from its populist roots. The writer says that 22 oz. and 750 ml bottles are "getting a chilly reception from many drinkers" and that "many beer drinkers are uncomfortable with the notion of drinking beer like wine, to be split among several people." Here's another quote for you:

"The trend toward large bottles is part of what is being called the "wine-ification" of beer, the push by many brewers to make their product as respectable to pair with braised short ribs as is a nice Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and at a price to match."

Let me be clear. I love The New York Times - half the internet would disappear tomorrow if it ceased to exist. But this article is so replete with omissions and chock-full of inaccuracies that I feel we cannot give it a pass. It is know-nothing opinion masquerading as reporting. Anybody here heard from customer saying that they don't want more big bottles of interesting barrel-aged beers? No, me either. We can't even keep up, and I'll bet you can't either.

Aside from this, wine itself is not "wine-ified". About ninety percent of the American wine market is bag-in-box or jug wine in a big bottle with a finger loop. This is the "true" American wine market, which looks exactly like the beer market - 10% at the top, and 90% at the bottom. And it was always so. Museums in Europe are filled with ornate gold and silver beer vessels, and beer has always been on the tables of kings and peasants alike - just like wine. The large bottle with the mushroom cork is original to beer, not to wine. So why is the "paper of record" telling us what beer ought to be? And our traditions and history? And what our customers are asking us for? It seems that the writer wants us back at the kid's table. And keep in mind that many, many other papers copy what the NYT does.

I don't know about you, but I'm very, very tired of this. If you think I dost protest too much, I suggest you think again. The NYT is massively influential, it's read world-wide, and this article will be read by many more people, I suspect, than reads the entirety of the dedicated beer press.

To their credit, when I complained to an editor, the NYT decided to open the online article for comments. As of this hour, there are 42. I want to see 400. Please let them hear from the rest of you. Comments and "top emailed" is how they keep score. Tell them the truth. Tell them what you've seen out there, what you're here to do, and what your customers are telling you. We need to send this sort of "journalism" packing. Please go to the Times website and weigh in.

Cheers,
Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster
The Brooklyn Brewery
Editor-in-Chief, The Oxford Companion to Beer
Brooklyn, New York
www.brooklynbrewery.com

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Mr. Oliver,

As the homebrewer (blogger, author, brewing consultant etc.) quoted in the recent NY Times article, I thought I’d offer you my perspective. I certainly don’t agree with everything Clay wrote, but I think the overarching issue of larger format beer pricing is a valid one.

A couple years ago I crunched the numbers at a local store here in DC, and for craft beers bombers were generally a 25-50% mark-up per ounce over single 12 oz bottles of the identical beer. That relationship is inverted for macro-bottles, with the larger formats discounted by the ounce. As a beer consumer, I always opt for smaller bottle when given the choice. Even if I was planning to share the beer, why not open two small bottles rather than one larger? Many beer drinkers are victims of price anchoring. Not realizing that a “reasonable” $10 750 is more expensive than a $28 six-pack.

I understand that big bottles can be beautiful, and raise the perception of beer, but packaging stronger beers in them creates problems. I’ve got a 2+ year old bottle of Black Ops in my basement, still waiting for the day when I have the right group of people over to enjoy it. On the other hand I’ve got a case of Bell’s Expedition that I’ve been drinking through a few bottles a year, watching it change. Something I could never do with a beer only available in large bottles.

Unlike a bottle of wine, beer will go flat after opening, making it less than ideal for drinking over multiple nights. Beer also has the sediment issue, the last pour from a large bottle is pretty murky after being passed around a table of 7-8 people at a tasting. Of course I still buy big bottles of barrel-aged beer and other fun stuff, but only because that is often the only choice breweries present me with. It is inspiring to drink beers created with daring and unique flavor combinations. However, I feel like some brewers (clearly not you) release beers based on a good idea that still needs refinement, packaging what is essentially a glorified test batch in a large bottle to extract the maximum amount of money for someone who “needs” to try it once.

Cheers, and thanks for everything you’ve done for beer and brewing!

Michael Tonsmeire

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The irony of this whole situation is that there is a high likelihood that Modern Times will be selling large bottles of our limited release beers. We'd originally planned to package 12 oz bottles of the beers from the barrel program, but as a result of a protest from the local police on the local licensing, we won't be able to sell smaller format bottles out of the tasting room. How forcing people to buy larger bottles of barrel-aged sour beer is in the public interest, I have no idea! Luckily after a year we'll be able to apply to have this restriction lifted, assuming we've been well behaved.

35 comments:

Reverse Apache Master said...

I completely agree with you. There is some value in the larger bottles but the serious reason why craft beer is shifting to the larger format and four pack is to charge a premium for beer that looks more valuable on the shelf compared to the traditional six pack. Commercial brewers don't like to admit it and can talk about sharing bottles as much as they would like but I can share 12oz bottles just as easily, if not easier, than a 750. It's sort of insulting to see Oliver act like beer drinkers can't do basic math and figure out there is a premium charged solely for the pleasure of buying the same beer in a large bottle. It's not even like people won't pay higher prices for 12oz bottles. St. Arnold's in Houston is releasing a series of excellent barrel-aged beers in 12oz bottles and still retailing them for (the admittedly extremely marked up) $12-13 per bottle.

The problem is that the large format/four pack model performs the intended purpose. For people who dabble in craft beer those formats are alluring as something special (and it probably is) so they buy them and the douchey beer advocate crowd doesn't care what the beer comes in as long as they can buy a case and tick it off their list. So we're probably not going to see it go away even though it's generally a disservice to the consumer.

Derek said...

Preach on, brother.

Heck, back when I used to bottle, I'd get mad at *myself* when I ran out of 12s and had to use 22s. It's an inferior format even with the beer is free :)

Sam said...

Even though what seemed to be emphasized was the diversification of beer and its implications on prices, I definitely have to agree here on the importance of serving size. It is completely non-intuitive from a beer drinker's perspective that beer should be sold in any size larger than 12oz. I even really like the idea of 21st amendment putting their barleywine in 8oz cans. It seems the homebrewing world has seen a trend toward downsizing recently in the form of the increased popularity of one gallon test batches and three gallon brew in a bag. Commercial breweries are obviously not brewing as much of specialty beers that they put in these 22oz bottles, so why don't they bottle in the smaller 12oz size so that they will have twice as many bottles. If they choose to sell these individually, they are reaching out to presumably twice as many beer drinkers. Just like any responsible beer bar will not serve you Firestone Walker's Anniversary beers in anything larger than a 6oz glass, I want this to translate to the bottled beer environment. I love you Firestone Walker but I want 6 little anniversary beers and not one big one.

I appreciate you bringing this topic to light, Mike. It seems it is time for beer drinkers to be able to respond to how commercial breweries do business.

Kai Troester said...

Michael, I'm with you on that. Today I went to the liquor store to pick up some nice beers and since I didn't want to go for a full six pack I opted for bombers. Looking at the price I thought that I could almost get a good six pack for that money.

Kai

Anonymous said...

I think the NYT article really mixes two separate issues. The first “wine-ification” is a non-issue which the author uses to imply a class war exists between the elitist wine drinkers and the beer swilling masses. I think Garret Oliver's reply pretty much refutes that idiocy. What Mr Oliver doesn't address is the second issue of over pricing larger formats. I don't blame him since his buisness benifits from selling beer for a higher price per once in the larger format. I think the current popularity of large format beer will end once more people realize they're getting hosed and competing breweries start offering more of what customers want instead. At least it should work that way assuming the laws of economics work the same in the beer world.

Josh G. said...

Comparing price by ounce across different formats does not account for the economies of scale and acceptable price ceiling set by the market. Smaller formats, especially 6 packs, are a volume based. There's a reason 6 packs are almost exclusively released by larger regional packaging breweries. More glass, labels, packaging are used in 6 packs, which results in higher unit cost. The volume business also means bottling equipment is more sophisticated, therefore more required labor, adding even more expense.

On top of higher unit cost, the acceptable market price is a lot lower, i.e. $8-10 6packs. If breweries were to take the same margin on 6 packs as they do on bombers you’d see a lot more $12-16 6packs, which most consumers wouldn’t support. This results in small breweries needing a significant increase in capacity to make 6 packs a sustainable, long term profit source. It’s also a reason why some smaller regional packaging breweries are switching to 4 packs. They can increase the margin a bit (cost per ounce to the consumer) without pricing themselves out.

I’m upset at how the article focused on an aesthetic argument and completely ignored almost all of the practical ones. Many breweries I know would love to have their beer in smaller formats, but they lack the capacity and financing to make it fiscally responsible.

The last practical reason is carbonation. Many of the beers I produce and purchase require the thicker glass to safely contain the higher carbonation these beers stylistically require.

I’m mostly disappointed that the basic response I’ve read is that breweries are trying to screw the consumer and are pocketing obscene sums of money in return. Talk to the brewer’s you meet who don’t package in 6 packs. Ask them why they bottle in the format they do. If they’re not an asshole or idiot they’ll probably give you a reasonable, satisfying answer, while commiserating on the need for smaller formats.

Moaneschien said...

Order a jenever in a dutch pub, you get a small glass, for wine the glass is a bit bigger and pils bigger again. The total amount of alcohol in each drink is about the same. Why not apply that concept in some way to packaging? Your Intergalactic Imperial Stout in a 200ml bottle, the Dubbels/Triples in 250-300ml and pils, bitter etc. in 330-500 ml. Wouldn't mind a 750ml of Berliner Weisse on a hot summers day though.

Bryan T said...

I can see both sides of this debate. Usually I prefer small bottles if I will be consuming the beer fresh or if by myself. Most times when I buy a large format bottle I will either consume it by myself over an eight hour brew day, or age it and share with friends. Having the choice of large or small bottles would be a great thing to see.
A few of my friends recently decided to all buy bottles of Barrel Aged Bigfoot so we can have some fresh and one each year after that until we run out. I have a good group of friends that I can trust to not drink the beer until everyone is there though.

Anonymous said...

Just another thing for the craft beer community to argue about. I cant take all the arguing and bitching that goes on in the craft community paired with chasing all these over priced beers that rarely exceed expectations. For now I will be focusing on homebrewing. Most of the time one can come reasonably close to recreating a beer for the price of what you would have paid for two bombers. Not trying to knock this blog, just venting about the direction the craft beer community has taken.

Raz0rwire said...

I feel the need to point out that it is specifically American breweries that are doing this. Example: the new DFH/SN collaboration costs $12 for a 750 mL bottle (there is no way it costs nearly THAT much to make.) I can buy a 4 pack of 90 minute IPA or a 12 pack of Torpedo for the same price. A bomber of Sculpin costs close to $10, but a six pack costs $15.
Meanwhile, when a Belgian brewery charges $10 for a 750 mL bottle, it's usually very close in price per ounce to their four packs (if they sell them.) These Belgian beers are obviously expensive to make, so they have an expensive price in either format, but at least we know that the larger bottle isn't just a trick to make us pay more.
Garrett Oliver and the Brooklyn brewery actually aren't very much a problem to me at all with these things. The beers that they sell in 750 mL format are obviously more expensive to make, and most of Brooklyn's beers are in very reasonably priced six and four packs.
I've never had any problems with large format bottles other than price. I usually have a couple people who are willing to share a larger bottle.

Anonymous said...

We can talk pure numbers or relations to other industries or even morals, such as limiting alcohol intake.

Personally I just want a choice. Being new to the craft beer & homebrew scene (~8 years), I just want to try as many new and exciting brews as possible. There are so many options available to us! This is why breweries serve tasting flights; so that patrons, such as myself, can find a beer they enjoy from a lineup and not commit to 20oz of something they dislike. I hate the idea of contemplating a deeply complex beer and then putting the majority of it down the drain due to the perishable nature of the product. If all you need is 3oz in order to get a feel for the beer, how many friends would it take to efficiently use a 750ml bottle? (Answer is 8) What if you’d like to find a good food pairing? Do you open a new bomber every day for a week when cooking dinner or end up making 8 meals in a day just to get the most from the single bottle? It’s just plain and simple waste.

However, the marketing correlation of beer and wine in large bottles is also fraught with poor logic. Treat it like a wine to justify the bottle size, but a fine red will still last and evolve over a few days allowing you to get the most of it.

You can treat it like a scotch and the complex flavors the spirit offers, but a scotch will be preserved after a few weeks on your shelf. Like a scotch, we can understand expensive processes and more wasteful packaging (smaller portions) influencing the price per ounce. But really, who wants to commit to 750ml of 25 year old highland without knowing what they’re putting hundreds of dollars into? I’d rather get an overpriced pour at a bar than buy the bottle outright. Same thing with beer. Smaller bottles allow us, as consumers, to sample the breadth of product a brewery has to offer and then find something to purchase over and over again.

With that being said, I bought my first ever bomber this weekend at DogFishHead. I wanted to sample the brew but it was not available on tap or in small bottles, so I was without an option. Hopefully I enjoy/appreciate it because if I don’t, then I’ll be less inclined to purchase their more expensive brews regardless of the allure.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I agree with you a 100%. I think he really missed the second point of the article, which as others said, could have been put forth a bit better.

He lost me when he said that “half the internet would disappear tomorrow if [The New York Times] ceased to exist.” Oh brother...

Fred Brown said...

A good friend just returned home from a Vermont trip. He visited The Alchemist, Hill Farmstead and Lawsons.

12 Cans of Heady Topper
3 Hill Farmstead Bottles
1 Bottle from Lawsons

70 bucks about for it all.

These beers barely make it off the packaging line before they are sold out.

In my local liquor store there are beers on the shelf I know I will never try because I refuse to pay $30 for a beer that I am not even sure if I am going to like!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Agreed on the current market price for six-packs, which is why I called out consumers in addition to producers.  As craft beer drinkers, we need to be willing to pay for the quality of the beer, not the bottle! Some of the blame lies with retailers as well, when I talked to Gabe Fletcher of Anchorage Brewing last year he was incensed by the high markups his bottles have been receiving compared to his intended retail price.

I don’t buy the carbonation argument. There are sturdy 375 ml bottles available now (see the Russian River, Lost Abbey, and North Coast joint design). Anyway,  I’d guess less than 1% of the craft beers packaged in corked and caged 750s have high enough carbonation to require thicker glass for safety (I doubt bombers hold any more pressure than standard bottles).

I certainly understand the position the market has put many small/artisan breweries are in, especially those operating with simple bottling lines where half-sized bottles mean double the labor. My bigger complaint is for breweries that have 12 oz bottling lines, and still choose to put these beers in larger format bottles.  I don’t think it would take much to change things, look at beers like the Jolly Pumpkin Reservas, bottled in generic 12 oz bottles, while their “standard” siblings are in 750s.

Fred Brown said...

I would also hope that you get a reply from Mr. Oliver and in that reply he covers the second portion of the article which he did not touch.

Piggy backing of your comments Mike, it would be great if he could share his take.

Will this change anything? Probably not but it at least makes for good discussion.

Derek said...

Pricing is also an issue that's going to be largely self-correcting as the irrational exuberance phase of craft beer consumption starts to wind down, which highlights the two separate issues here.

I don't really like bombers, but I *really* don't like $10 bombers.

Aaron & Hilary said...

Interesting development with the police not wanting you to sell smaller portions. When I lived in Oakland CA, an actual law went into effect that corner stores (but not places like Whole Foods, hello lobbying) could no longer sell single 12 oz bottles of beer. You had to buy a whole 6-pack. But you could still buy a 40 of malt liquor. The justification was "to reduce public drunkenness". Huh?

Best of luck with your own version of ridiculous laws!

Eric Branchaud said...

Here was my response to the article:

I have been a craft beer drinker since my college days in the mid-90's. Even in my younger days when I could put away a sixer of craft brew in one night, I would always choose to mix-a-six of 12 oz bottles whenever the option was afforded to me. I rarely drink the same beer twice, and I'm always on the lookout for a new experience.

The trend towards larger bottles is frustrating to me as a craft beer lover. Between my career and my family, I rarely find the time to enjoy more than 12 ounces of beer in a session (especially when it comes to the more potent craft beers). More and more often, I am stuck buying a large bottle of something I really want to try, only to dump half of it down the drain. It is rare to find a brew that is good enough for me to waste that kind of money more than once. If they were packaged in 12 ounce bottles I would be much more likely to make a return visit, even if it meant paying a premium price for a brewer's top-shelf/limited-release selections.

Eric Branchaud said...

I'd also like to add that routinely pay about 20-30 bucks for a mix-a-six for the typical beers I drink. I have no problem paying a premium price for premium beer. I just hate to be forced to buy more beer than I'm willing to drink.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

DC has a similar law. You can apply for an exemption, but I believe the local Whole Foods is still taping together two-packs of Orval to meet the minimum ounces requirement.

Thanks for chiming in everyone, glad I'm not crazy.

Gus said...

What's an oz?

Curtis said...

I very much agree.

When I am bottling my more complex, expensive to brew, or interesting to age homebrew I try to mostly use 12oz so Ill get more chances to try it. The only reason I use large format bottles for my fancy beers are for the more heavy duty bottles with sours, which pains me. Other than that functional need, which could be sufficed with a small belgian bottle like russian river's, I use bombers for sharing and risky experimental beers that smell funny so I dont want to waste time bottling if it might not be good. :)

Ive found comparing my practice to industry quite ironic.

The culture of industry is upsetting, I truly hope it will change to providing a smaller format where we can, as you said, watch a beer change.

I also appreciate your point about alcoholism and over consumption. I have some rare growler fills Ive been saving because I dont want to drink it alone. The same goes for almost every sour in my cellar, besides the aforementioned RR.

HolzBrew said...

Mike,

I concur with your personal preference for a 12 oz. bottle. Lord knows I have 22 oz and 750 ml bottles sitting around my place for months (even years) at a time waiting for the right group of like-palated individuals to come over to Casa de HolzBrew. That being said, I have no ethical objections to the sale of beer in 22 oz. bottles to the public. This is basic supply and demand at work. If craft brewers can sell their wares at heighten prices to their consumers then that is their option. However, as consumers in a capitalistic society we vote with our wallets. If consumers want smaller bottled brews then they need to stop buying the big bottles at inflated prices. Very few things will get a business owners attention like dropping revenues. Just my thoughts.

Keep brewing and blogging. Cheers!

Holz

Anonymous said...

Nobody has recognized the obvious. This is the same type of marketing currently in use by every distributor and macrobrewery in America. It's about saturating shelf space and driving out the competition.

Why does beer come in 12 oz 6 packs, 16 oz 6 packs, 24 oz cans, 32 oz bottles, 6 pack glass bottles, 6 pack metal bottles, 12 pack cans, 12 pack bottles, 15 pack cans, 18 pack cans, 20 pack cans, 24 pack cans, 30 pack cans and baby kegs? The SAME BEER COMES IN ALL THOSE SIZES AT ABOUT EVERY GAS STATION I'VE BEEN TO.

It's to force out competition.

Small brewers, whether we attach the craft label or not, are subject to the whims of the distributors who ultimately lay out the planograms for the stores.

By adding single bottles, 4 pack cans, 4 pack bottles, 750 bottles, etc.. you can squeeze just a teensy bit more shelf space from the 30/24/12/16/6 packs around it.

Marketing and business. If it was about the consumer, we wouldn't have the third party distributor system to begin with and be able to end all this nonsense once and for all.

Andrew said...

There must be someone out there developing a consumer-sized anti-winesaver (pun intended?) that repressureizes with CO2 and caps bottles.

Anonymous said...

I cannot agree with you more. I have people give me bottles that I can fill with tasty homebrew and I tend to keep all the good 12 (and flip tops) and recycle the rest. When my friends and I do wind up using any 22s, they are always the last to be drank. I usually tend to not even buy the 22s or 750ml just because it's not as practical. I'm gonna head over to NYT comments and post.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I recently saw something similar for growlers went up on Kickstarter. Seems like a great idea, if it works well! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1732077870/the-tapit-cap-the-beer-growlers-best-friend

Scott said...

I do agree with the higher price can be frustrating when calculated out.

I am a brewer at very small brewery (10 bbl system, 50 bbl fermentation soon to be 70) in Quebec, Canada.
We have a 4 headed filler ( Still 10K$) and the larger format (660ml) bottle allows us to fill about 125 cases in a full day of bottling 2 brewers and 2 volunteers.

Without the budget for a new bottler right now this allows us to almost be profitable with 2 full days dedicated to packaging.
We would not be a able to be a brewery if this was not the format we used.

Also depending on the beer some breweries avoid running bugs through their main bottling line, this will be our case in the summer/fall. Cheaper and slower bottlers.

Anyway, I do agree with your point and its nice to see people having strong opinions on the subject.

Cheers,
Scott

Curtis said...

Man that kickstart deal looks pretty awesome, has anyone actually used one yet??

dennis said...

seems obvious why 22oz is more expensive. it is the smallest "package" on the shelf. I can't buy a 12oz beer. I can buy a 6 pack (72oz), or a half keg or a keg. as those packages go up in size i pay less per ounce. i would assume that if I could buy a single 12oz at my grocery store that it would be more per ounce than a 22oz of the same beer.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Dennis, my price comparison was between a single 12 oz bottle and a bomber of the same beer. The bomber was still up to 50% more expensive. When I did the comparison using six-pack prices the difference was even more pronounced, about twice as much per ounce for the bomber.

Anonymous said...

Clearly some of these barrel aged beers have additional costs (e.g. purchase of used whiskey barrels, additional warehouse space), but not all of the high priced 22oz. bottles fall into this category.

I wandered into my local liquor store and wanted to try something new. I did not want to buy a whole 6 pack. I picked up a 22oz. bottle from a well know OR brewery. It cost 8 bucks.

I really enjoyed the beer, but I can't justify the cost. My dollars can go much further with great local (Boulder) beers.

I just started home brewing 8 months ago. I would rather spend 50 bucks and have 5 gallons of deliciousness.

Mike

Kevin said...

I, too would love more options as a consumer. I loved that Rouge started using 8 oz bottles, and long for the day that I can get great Belgian styles in cans/small bottles. (Hilliard's Saison 16oz 4 pack is a great step in this direction)

The problem with small bottles is the packaging/labor/equipment cost for breweries (especially new and small ones) and the non-justifying price consumers are willing to pay for it. (Josh G below covered this well)

Having said that, the brewery I work at will be bottling our first retail-packaged beer in two days. 33cl (11.2 oz) bottles filled via beer guns and capped by hand.

I wager some people will see us as price gougers for NOT offering big bottles.

I'm really glad 32oz growlers are starting to take off in my market. I wonder when people will start asking me to fill 16 oz flip tops in the taproom.

Anonymous said...

Along the same lines, what really gets to me is how much breweries are charging for a growler.

I went to a local brewery the other day and they were filling growlers for $20! There is less beer in a growler then a 6-pack and typically less overhead for a brewery then bottling.

In the end, it is up to the consumer to refuse to purchase products at certain price points. If the consumer continues to buy, then the brewery will continue to sell them higher.

WillofGod72 said...

Yea, I undoubtedly agree with the article. When a brewer chooses to save money on packaging by going with a larger bottle AND increases the price per ounce, that's just plain old price gouging. I'm extremely disappointed in the response of Brooklyn Brewery to the point that I no longer wish to retail any of their Bomber bottle's.

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