How Many Ounces in a Can vs. A Bottle of Beer? Have you ever found yourself standing in front of a wall of beer options, wondering why some cans are 12 ounces while others are 16? Or why bottles can range from 11.2 to 22 ounces?
It’s a question that has puzzled many beer lovers and even led to heated debates among friends. But the answer goes beyond just satisfying your curiosity. Understanding how many ounces are in a can versus a bottle of beer can help you make better purchasing decisions, ensure proper portion control, and even prevent you from accidentally overindulging.
So, let’s dive into the world of beer ounces and discover the true significance behind this age-old question. We have previously comprehensively described beer crowler vs growler in terms of size, longevity & usage for your ultimate choice.
How Many Ounces in a Can vs. A Bottle of Beer?
It depends but the standard can and bottle have the same volume of 12 ounces (354 ml), there are many other sizes for both packages. The sizes vary depending on whether we are getting a nip, crowler, or stovepipe. Moreover, the ‘small’ or Longneck, Industry Standard Bottle (ISB) or North American longneck is also 12 US fl oz or 355 ml, so they are, content-wise, the same. In Europe, both the ‘medium-sized can and the ‘Steinie’ glass bottles contain 330 ml or about 11,2 US fl oz of beer, and so they are again the same.
To understand the differences in size and volume, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common beer containers.
- Standard Can: A standard can of beer is 12 ounces (354 ml) and is the most commonly used container for beer in the US.
- Tall Can: A tall can, also known as a “tall boy,” is typically 16 ounces (473 ml) and is popular for craft beers and specialty beers.
- Crowler: A crowler is a 32-ounce (946 ml) can that is filled and sealed on-site at breweries and taprooms. It’s often used for takeout or for sharing with friends.
- Standard Bottle: The standard bottle is also 12 ounces (354 ml) and is the most commonly used container for beer in the US.
- Large Bottle: A large bottle, also known as a “bomber,” is typically 22 ounces (650 ml) and is popular for craft beers and specialty beers.
- Steinie Bottle: A Steinie bottle is a shorter and wider bottle compared to the standard long-neck bottle that typically holds 12 ounces (355 ml) of beer. It’s often used for European beers.
While the size and volume of beer containers can vary, it’s important to remember that the alcohol content of the beer is what really matters. The alcohol content, measured in ABV (alcohol by volume), tells you how much alcohol is in the beer. The higher the ABV, the more alcohol the beer contains.
Common beer bottle sizes
Here’s a table describing common beer bottle sizes and their corresponding volumes:
|Bottle Size||Volume of Beer||Popular beer having this serving size|
|Nip / Pony / Grenade||7 ounces (207 ml)||Coronita, Rolling Rock, Miller High life, Dos Equis Lager, Modelito, Michelob Ultra, Tecate, Coors, Bud Light|
|Stubby / Steinie||12 ounces (355 ml)||Has a shorter neck: Miller Lite Ice Beer, Coors beer, Red Stripes, Labatt’s beer, Session lager, Molson Canadian Lager|
|Longneck||12 ounces (355 ml)||Industry-standard bottle (ISB): Heineken, Budweiser, Beck’s, Tuborg, Corona Extra, Stella Artois, Staropramen, Bud light, Peroni beer, San Miguel, Jever beer|
|Belgian||12.7 ounces (375 ml)||Lambic’s and Gueze’s best friend: Fonteinen Oude Geuze, New Belgium La Folie Sour Brown Ale, Castle Bacchus, Vinny pry|
|British||16.9 ounces (500 ml)||Standard bottle for Brits: Bombardier, Jaipur, Lord Marples, Astryd, Old Speckled Hen Beer|
|Bomber||22 ounces (650 ml)||For Special releases and craft brewers for example Imperial Stours|
|Large Format||25.4 ounces (750 ml)||Packaging for cork-and-cage occasions. Used for other distilled liquors and champagne|
|Caguama / Ballena||32 ounces (946 ml)||For Mexican beer that goes grande|
|Forty||40 ounces (1183 ml)||Olde English 800, Mickey’s, and Colt 45|
|Howler||32 ounces (946 ml)||The size of half a growler: Can be used for beer transportation|
|Magnum||50.7 ounces (1500 ml)||For holidays and displays as well as transporting beer|
|Growler||64 ounces (1893 ml)||Standard size for beer transportation.|
It’s important to note that some of these bottle sizes may vary by region and may not be available in all areas. Additionally, the alcohol content of beer can vary greatly depending on the brand and style, so it’s important to always drink responsibly and in moderation.
1. Nip/ Grenade/ Pony
A nip, also known as a pony or grenade, is a small beer can that typically holds 7 ounces of liquid. The term “nip” has its roots in 17th and 18th century England, where a “nipperkin” referred to a small measure of spirits, usually no more than a half-pint.
While this size is less common than others, it is still used today by certain beer brands like Rolling Rock, Miller High Life, and Coronita.
Nips are often served chilled in a bucket of ice, making for a cute and refreshing beverage option.
2. Stubby / Steinie (12 oz)
The Stubby, also known as the Steinie, is a short and stout beer bottle with a slightly smaller neck than the standard 12-ounce bottle. Its design is similar to that of a beer stein, hence the name Steinie.
This bottle style was popular in the mid-20th century, but its usage decreased over time. However, in recent years, some beer brands have revived the use of the Stubby.
Coors Banquet brought back their 1936 vintage Stubby bottle in 2013, while Budweiser released a limited-edition amber lager, Budweiser 1933 Repeal Reserve, in 2017.
In 2015, Miller Lite also revived its 1975 Steinie design. These throwback designs give consumers a nostalgic feel while also providing a unique and distinctive packaging option.
3. Long neck (12 oz)
The long-neck beer bottle, also known as the Industry Standard Bottle (ISB) or North American longneck, is the most common beer bottle size found in grocery stores.
It typically holds 12 ounces of beer and is sold in 6, 12, and 24 packs. The design of the long-neck bottle features a long, slender neck that flares out at the top and a cylindrical body that tapers toward the bottom.
This shape makes it easy to hold and drink from, and the long neck provides a convenient grip for opening the bottle. The long-neck bottle has become the industry standard for beer packaging, and its iconic shape is instantly recognizable to beer drinkers around the world.
The Belgian beer bottle is a popular packaging choice for lambic and gueuze-style beers, though it is not necessarily limited to Belgian beer.
The typical size of a Belgian beer bottle is 375 ml, or 12.7 oz, although some Belgian beers are packaged in smaller 330-ml (11.2-oz) bottles. The shape of the bottle is often tall and slender, with a distinctive bulge at the neck.
This shape not only provides an elegant and traditional look but also allows for the beer to be easily poured while leaving any sediment behind. The Belgian beer bottle has become an iconic symbol of quality beer, and its use has spread beyond Belgium to other regions around the world.
5. Bomber / Large Format (650 ml or 22 oz / 750 ml or 25.4 oz)
The Bomber, also known as a Large Format bottle, is a beer bottle that typically holds 650 ml (22 oz) or 750 ml (25.4 oz) of beer. These larger bottle sizes are often used by brewers for special limited-release beers and barrel-aged beers such as imperial stouts and wild ales.
Bombers are frequently dressed up with wax dipping, while the larger 750-ml format bottles are corked and caged, similar to a bottle of champagne.
The use of larger bottle sizes like the Bomber and Large Format bottle has become more common in recent years, allowing brewers to release unique and special beers that may not be feasible in standard bottle sizes.
The larger size also makes these bottles great for sharing among friends or as a special gift for the beer lover in your life.
6. British (500 ml or 16.9 oz)
The British beer bottle is the standard beer bottle size in the United Kingdom, holding 500 ml or 16.9 oz of beer. The size and shape of the British beer bottle are similar to the long neck bottle used in North America, with a long neck and cylindrical body.
However, the British beer bottle may be slightly wider and shorter than its North American counterpart. While the 500-ml bottle is the most common size, 330-ml, and 275-ml bottles are also used in the UK for certain types of beers.
The British beer bottle has become an iconic symbol of beer in the UK, and its use has spread to other regions around the world.
7. Caguama / Ballena (940 ml or 32 oz)
The Caguama or Ballena bottle is a large beer bottle commonly used by Mexican beer brands such as Tecate, Sol, and Pacifico. These bottles hold 940 ml or 32 oz of beer, making them ideal for sharing among friends or enjoying on a hot day.
The name “Caguama” is derived from the Spanish word for sea turtle, as the bottle’s shape is reminiscent of the animal’s shell. The Caguama bottle is a popular choice among Mexican beer drinkers and has become an iconic symbol of Mexican beer culture.
While primarily used for Mexican beers, some American craft breweries have also adopted the Caguama bottle for their larger-format beers.
The growler is a large, resealable container typically made of glass, designed for transporting beer from a brewery or taproom to be consumed fresh. How Long a Beer Lasts in a Growler is a worry among different people.
The growler can hold up to 64 oz of beer, making it perfect for sharing with friends or enjoying over a few days. The term “growler” is said to have originated in the 19th century when people would carry fresh beer from the local pub in metal pails that would make a growling sound as the carbon dioxide escaping.
Today, growlers are a popular choice among beer enthusiasts and are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, including stainless steel and ceramic. They offer a convenient and sustainable option for enjoying a fresh beer at home or at a party.
Common Beer Can sizes
Sure, here’s a table of common beer can sizes and their corresponding volumes:
|Beer Can Size||Volume||Common Beers with this can size|
|Nip||8 oz.||Miniature can: Lil Buddy, Accused, Harvest, Lawson’s Maple Nipple|
|12 oz.||12 oz.||Standard beer can: Heineken, Budweiser, Yuengling, Goslings|
|Tallboy||16 oz.||Trendy standard size for most beers: Berrier, Tank 7, Shiner Bock, Budweiser, Coors Light, Miller Lite, Corona Extra, Heineken Lager Beer, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Guinness Draught Stout Beer.|
|Stovepipe||19.2 oz.||Tall and slim (mostly for craft beer): Oskar Blues, Imperial Pint|
|Crowler||32 oz.||Another emerging size for lightweight beer takers|
Note that there are other less common beer can sizes as well, but the ones listed above are some of the more widely available sizes. It’s also worth noting that beer cans can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so the volumes listed here are approximate and may vary slightly depending on the specific can in question.
1. Nip (8.4 oz)
The nip is a small beer can that typically holds 8.4 oz of beer. It is similar in size to its glass counterpart, the nip or pony bottle, which is typically used for serving small amounts of spirits.
The nip can is popular for certain types of beer, such as German lagers, that are best enjoyed in smaller quantities. It is also a convenient size for outdoor events or when you want to limit your alcohol consumption.
While not as common as larger beer can sizes, the nip can be found at some breweries or specialty stores and offers a unique way to enjoy your favorite beer.
2. Standard can (12 oz)
The standard can size of 12 oz has been popularized by macro lagers and has become the norm for many beer brands, including craft breweries.
This size has been widely adopted due to its ease of transport, lasting quality of beer, and design capabilities, making it a practical choice for many breweries. It is also the perfect size for a single serving of beer and is often sold in packs of 6, 12, 15, 18, 24, and 30, making it easy for consumers to purchase and enjoy their favorite beers.
While the standard can size may not be as visually appealing as other sizes, it remains a popular choice due to its practicality and convenience.
3. Tallboy (16 oz)
The 16-oz pint can, also known as the “tallboy,” is a popular alternative to the standard 12-oz can, especially among craft brewers. The larger size allows for more beer in a single can, making it a popular choice for those looking for a little extra.
Tallboys are most commonly sold in 4-packs, and their popularity has grown in recent years, as more and more breweries are adopting the size for their canned beers.
The larger can also provides more real estate for branding and design, making it an attractive option for breweries looking to stand out on the shelves.
4. Stovepipe (19.2 oz)
The stovepipe, also known as the “tall can,” is a relatively new beer can size that has been gaining popularity in recent years. At 19.2 ounces, it’s slightly larger than the traditional 16-ounce tallboy.
The size is becoming increasingly trendy with craft breweries, as it offers a larger canvas for unique designs and labeling. In addition, according to market research firm IRI Worldwide, stovepipes experienced the largest growth of packaged beer sales from 2015 to 2017.
Sierra Nevada is one of the notable craft breweries that has adopted the stovepipe size, releasing its BFD (“beer for drinking”) golden ale in this size.
5. Crowler (32 oz)
The crowler is a can-growler hybrid created by Oskar Blues brewery in 2012 in partnership with the Ball Technology and Innovation Center in Westminster, Colo. Made of aluminum, this container has a similar shape to traditional beer cans and does not have a shape similar to a crowler.
Crowlers are filled and sealed on-site, making them perfect for taking home freshly brewed beer from local breweries. Additionally, they provide a longer shelf life than traditional growlers, as the aluminum can block out light and oxygen that can spoil the beer.
Crowlers are also recyclable, which makes them more environmentally friendly than glass growlers.
Why knowing beer size is important
When it comes to purchasing beer, understanding the size and volume of beer containers can help you make better decisions. For example, if you’re looking to share a beer with a friend, a tall can or large bottle may be a better option. On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a quick and refreshing beer, a standard can or bottle may be the way to go.
Additionally, understanding the volume of beer can help with portion control and prevent overindulging. Many people enjoy beer as a social activity, but it’s important to drink responsibly and not consume too much alcohol in one sitting.
In conclusion, while a standard can and bottle have the same volume of 12 ounces (354 ml), there are many other sizes for both packages. The sizes vary depending on whether we are getting a nip, crowler, or stovepipe.