Congratulations! You have made your intoxicating brew a mastery of subtle flavors ready for distribution to the thirsty masses. You now need to pick a container to both carry the brew and to deliver your marketing message. Truly the beer is your passion and your message but it needs to be carried in something. Beer bottles designs vary greatly in size and shape, but the glass commonly used is brown or green to reduce spoilage from light.
Short glass bottles are now called a ‘stubby’ but originally were called a ‘steinie’. Shorter and flatter than standard bottles, they pack into a smaller shipping space for transporting. A very practical choice if the main objective is quantity. The ‘steinie’ was introduced in the 1930s for mass distribution. The original ‘steinie’ bottle derived its name from their similarity to the shape of a beer stein, a traditional beer mug.
Once upon a time small 7 oz ‘pony’ bottles of beer were being promoted. On site they were sold by the bucketful. Each bucket was full of ice and beers. The motivation in the 1970s was to target lighter drinkers, and to ensure that the lager style beer stayed cold until finished. But not surprisingly the market for beer in small bottles is smaller than that in regular size bottles. It is considered more of a novelty or taster in today’s beer market.
A North American longneck is a 16 oz beer bottle with a long neck. It takes up more space meaning you can’t deliver as much beer in them with the same shipping space but they provide more of a canvas for a logo both on the bottle and the bottle carrying case be it a 6 pack or 4 pack. The standard longneck bottle has a uniform capacity, height, weight and diameter. Stores and consumers are very familiar with them. But sometimes even the standard longneck can seem small so a larger 22 oz “bomber” bottle was created for the expanding beer appetites.
As exciting as the size of a bomber is a growler is even larger. It is an air tight glass, ceramic, or stainless steel jug used to transport draft beer without degradation of quality. They are commonly sold at smaller brewpubs as a means to sell take out craft beer. The smaller and the more passionate brewpub the larger the take out growler size will be. The origin of the term “growler” is the subject of debate, and likely, the true story will never be known. But as the story goes, in the latter half of the 1800’s, growlers referred to metal pails that were used to transport beer from the local tavern to an individual’s home. There are those who believe the term arose from the sound that the pail’s cover made from the escaping carbon dioxide, while others believed the growling came from another source. The latter belief is that either the bartender or the customer would be responsible for the growling, as the bartender was supposed to fill the half-gallon container with only a pint of beer, while the customer wanted to get a pail that had much more than just a pint. Whichever party was left dissatisfied would “growl” about the issue. Today the pouring standards are pretty standardized. You can get your own growler at one of the many brew pubs in Boulder. Enjoy not only the beer inside the growler or bottle of beer but also the note the marketing images chosen to be put on the outside as well. The logo design speaks to the craft brewery passion for the beer itself. For your own brew what would you choose?