How Many Ounces in a Pitcher of Beer? Is it Illegal to order a Pitcher?

Knowing the ounces in a pitcher of beer is important since beer is one of the most widely consumed alcoholic beverages around the world, and for many people, it is an essential part of social gatherings and events.

Beer is usually served in glasses, mugs, or steins, but in some cases, you may want to share a pitcher with friends or family. We have previously described the ounces in a tall boy to ensure you can enjoy your beer.

In this article, we will discuss how many ounces are in a pitcher of beer, how many ounces are in a mini pitcher, and what are the various beer pitcher sizes that you can choose from. Moreover, we will guide you on whether you can take a pitcher by yourself or the illegality in different countries and states.

Having been a craft brewery owner for over ten years, and having been the lead in organizing beer events throughout the world, you can stand guided on the beer sizes from different regions in the world from our years of experience and interaction with other experts in the beer world. Let’s dive in!

How many ounces in a pitcher of beer?

How Many Ounces in a Pitcher of Beer?

The most common pitcher size that you will find at restaurants and bars is 60 ounces, which is equivalent to serving 1.77 liters of beer per pitcher. Other than the 60 oz. or 1.77 Liters pitcher, you may also get to choose from the other two standard pitcher sizes which are 32 oz. (0.95 liters) and 48 oz. (1.42 liters) of beer.

The 60 oz. size is perfect for groups of friends or family who want to share a pitcher of beer, and it can be a cost-effective way to enjoy your favorite brew.

A standard beer is sold in 12 ounces servings such as a bottle, pour, or can. Thus, the 60-ounce pitcher is usually enough for 5 beers, and it is usually served on a stand, making it easy to pour and serve.

On the other hand, a 32-ounce pitcher and a 48-ounce pitcher will give you two ⅔ pours of beer and four pours of beer respectively.

The pitcher is a time-honored tradition among North American beer drinkers. You will find the tradition being honored in beer events such as Octoberfest.

One of the main reasons why some States make the selling of beer in a pitcher illegal is that it is easy to underestimate the intake of alcohol. It is recommended that you become very careful when consuming beer alone or with friends from a pitcher.

How Many Ounces in a Mini Pitcher?

The smallest size of a pitcher or mini pitcher is around 30-32 ounces, which is equivalent to around 0.88 liters of beer. Mini pitchers are perfect for solo drinkers who want to enjoy a beer without having to order an entire pitcher.

A mini pitcher is a smaller version of a traditional beer pitcher and is often used for serving individual portions or for small gatherings. The 30-32 ounces pitcher is equivalent to two ⅔ pours of beer.

A mini pitcher is typically designed to serve one to two people, depending on the size of the glass used for pouring. This makes it an excellent option for those who prefer to share a beer or for those who want to enjoy a small portion without committing to a full pitcher.

One of the concerns with mini pitchers is that beer may go flat in a smaller container. However, as long as the mini pitcher is properly stored and kept at the right temperature, the beer will remain fresh and carbonated. Additionally, the lid on the mini pitcher helps to keep the beer fresh and prevents air from getting in, which can cause the beer to go flat.

Another advantage of using a mini pitcher is that it can be more convenient than buying individual bottles of beer. Mini pitchers are often sold in sets, so you can purchase multiple sizes and shapes to suit your needs. This is a great option for those who like to host small gatherings or for those who simply want to enjoy a beer in the comfort of their own home.

Therefore, a mini pitcher is a great option for those who want to enjoy a small portion of beer without committing to a full pitcher. It serves one to two people, is easy to store, and helps to keep the beer fresh and carbonated.

Various Beer Pitcher Sizes

Various Beer Pitcher Sizes

As discussed above the standard pitcher size is 60 ounces pitcher which is equivalent to 3.12 imperial pints. The pitcher gives you great options if you are having a beer moment with a few friends.

It gives you a moment for sharing without having to open up bottles every now and then. However, it is not the only serving size. The smallest one is the 30- 32 oz. pitcher which may be a challenge when you are enjoying your drink with your two friends since the standard serving will not suffice for the three of you.

Here is a table showing the different beer pitcher sizes that are commonly used:

Pitcher size (ounces)Liters in the pitcherImperial pintsStandard Drinks (12 oz.)Can serve how many people
30-32 oz.0.95 Liters1.67 imperial pints2.67 beer cups1 – 2 people
48 oz.1.42 Liters2.5 imperial pints4 beer cupsUp to 4 people
60 oz. 1.77 Liters3.12 imperial pints5 beer cupsUp to 5 people

Even though we have described the sizes using the standard 12-ounce serving sizes, beer can be served in 10, 12, 16, or 23 ounces containers. The serving size depends on the location, beer type, beer strength, customer preference, and bar preferences among others.

Some strong beer styles, such as stouts, imperial, and strong ales, are best enjoyed in smaller portions, and it is recommended that you pour 10 ounces at a time.

This is because these beers are high in alcohol content and have a rich, full-bodied flavor that can be overwhelming if consumed in larger quantities.

For example, an imperial will have eight percent alcohol content by volume and the ABV can go up to 16 percent. This means using 12 oz. pours can overwhelm you easily.

Average Cost of a Pitcher of Beer Per Brand

The cost of a pitcher of beer can vary depending on the brand, location, and type of beer that you choose. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $30 for a pitcher of beer, with higher-end brands being more expensive.

The price will also depend on the location, with bars and restaurants in tourist areas or urban centers being more expensive than those in suburban areas.

Buying beer in a pitcher means buying beer in bulk which can be cost-effective. You just need to check with your friends how many beers they would want to have and order a pitcher.

Do Germans Serve Beer in a Pitcher?

No, in Germany, beer is usually served in a single liter of beer, known as a Mass. The Mass is a large, glass mug that holds one liter of beer and is traditionally used for Oktoberfest and other beer festivals.

Germans take their beer seriously, and they believe that each beer should be served in its own vessel so that its unique flavor and aroma can be fully appreciated.

The mass ensures that the Germans enjoy their beer cold, just not ice cold which makes the cold beer refreshing with higher carbonation levels.

The German festival is a well-known festival that is shining on bands, bratwurst, and beer. The festival serves beer in smaller servings compared to American festivals.

As you prime yourself for the Oktoberfest in Munich this year, just note that you will only get a 0.2 liters glass for Kolsch beer, 0.33 liters glass for a pilsner, or 0.5 liters for a wheat beer.

Is It Illegal to Order a Pitcher of Beer For Yourself?

In some countries, it may be illegal to order a pitcher of beer for yourself. For example, in some states in the US, it is against the law to serve alcohol to yourself, and you must have someone else serve it to you.

However, this law is not enforced in all states, and in some cases, you may be able to order a pitcher of beer for yourself without any legal consequences.

The History of Pitchers: From Pichers to Modern-Day Containers

Pitchers are an essential part of everyday life, used for storing and serving a variety of liquids, including water, juice, milk, and, of course, beer. Were the ounces in a pitcher of beer the same centuries back?

But the pitcher as we know it today has a rich history that dates back centuries, and its evolution has been shaped by advances in technology, culture, and society.

The Origin of Pitchers

The word “pitcher” is derived from the 13th-century “picher,” a jug made out of clay that was used for containing or serving beverages.

Pichers were widely used throughout the Middle Ages and were popular for their durability and versatility. They were made in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, and were often decorated with intricate designs.

The Emergence of Ceramic Pitchers

In the 16th century, the use of ceramic pitchers became more widespread. Ceramic pitchers were more durable than their clay counterparts and were able to hold liquids at different temperatures for longer periods of time.

This made them a popular choice for storing and serving beverages in households and taverns.

In Britain, large pitchers for storing and serving ale, beer, milk, and water were common household staples developed after the Roman occupation. The terra sigillata technique introduced by Romans was used to make most of the pitchers for beer serving.

The Development of Glass Pitchers

Glass pitchers emerged in the late 18th century, and they quickly gained popularity due to their transparency and ability to showcase the contents within. They used to carry beer home from a local pub.

Glass pitchers were also easier to clean and maintain than ceramic pitchers, and they became a staple in households and taverns across Europe and America.

It is important to note that glass-making started in the sixteenth century BCE in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Therefore, glass pitchers were latecomers in the use of glass for storage and consumption.

The Introduction of Metal Pitchers

Metal pitchers were introduced in the 19th century, and they were made from a variety of materials, including pewter, silver, and brass. Electroplated silver pitchers were quite common but were expensive starting at $50 per vessel in the 1880s.

Metal pitchers were popular for their durability and their ability to keep liquids cold, and they were often used in households and taverns as well as for travel.

In addition, metal tumblers made from aluminum were used together with a pitcher for alcohol consumption even in the 1960s. As Samuel Johnson described them, ” a tankard is a large vessel with a cover for a strong drink.”

The Evolution of Modern-Day Pitchers

Today, pitchers are made from a variety of materials, including plastic, glass, ceramic, and metal. They come in a range of sizes, shapes, and colors, and are used for a variety of purposes, from storing and serving beverages to cooking and baking.

Modern-day pitchers are also designed with convenience in mind, and many feature spouts, handles, and lids for easy pouring and storage.

Pitchers have come a long way since the 13th-century pichers, and their evolution has been shaped by advances in technology, culture, and society.

From clay jugs to modern-day containers, pitchers have been an essential part of everyday life, and their versatility and functionality make them a staple in households and taverns around the world.

Whether you’re serving a refreshing glass of lemonade or sharing a pitcher of beer with friends, the pitcher will always be a part of our lives and our cultures.


The article above has described the ounces in a pitcher of beer where the different pitcher sizes were comprehensively described. Moreover, we have given you tips on how many people can enjoy a beer in a pitcher.

There are 60 ounces in a pitcher of beer (a standard pitcher). However, we also have 30- 32 ounces mini pitchers and 48 ounces pitchers. These pitchers can serve a number of people depending on the size.

Which pitcher have you enjoyed and how many people did you enjoy it with? Give us your comments below