12oz can craft beer small pack

Betting on Small Pack

I’m not a large person. I don’t eat a lot (even when I want to). And yes, I’m in my thirties (slower metabolism, blah blah blah). I recently stopped in a yogurt shop and was chastised by the owner about how little I got from the self-serve machine. “Are you on a diet?” she asked. Nah, I just like to eat small portions! Don’t worry about me, I’m doing fine! Even when a Maß is the cheapest option on the menu (as it was recently on a Sunday afternoon at the Old German Beer Hall in Milwaukee), I can’t get through it. {But that doesn’t mean I don’t order it, and try!}

Unless I’m splitting a beer with someone, even 16oz is often too much for me. So I’m A-ok with 12oz bottles, cans are even better….and I’m super hyped about Off Color’s new announcement that they’ll be moving some of their beers into 8.45oz/250ml bottles. Per usual, Off Color is blazing trails. According to the Tribune article, the Brewer’s Association notes they are not aware of any other breweries using that package size.


If I’ve never tried a beer, I can rest assured it won’t be too expensive in a small package, and if I don’t like it, I won’t feel bad about ‘wasting’/dumping what little is left. If I have had this beer, then I will feel able to have two if I want, whereas if it comes in a 16oz can the likelihood of me cracking open can #2 from that 4pk is near nil. Most glassware isn’t designed to hold 16oz, so it is more likely to get poured into a glass and enjoyed if it comes in smaller pack.



The 12oz can is having a bit of a resurgence in craft at the moment with 12/15pk sales up for brands like Founders All Day, Bell’s Two Hearted, and even mixed packs like the ones from CANarchy including Perrin, Cigar City, Oskar Blues, and Squatters. 


No matter the size, cans sales continue to grow faster than bottle sales in craft.


As Brewer’s Association Chief Economist Bart Watson noticed in 2017,

“From a consumer perspective, this may be partially due to the closing gap in the perception of bottles and cans. Looking again at the CIP survey, bottles still outperform cans on consumer perceptions of taste, quality, freshness, and value, but those gaps have closed.”


Cans used to be seen as lower quality, lower class, low brow….but now they’re seen as lightweight, travel ready, economical, and impervious to light which can destroy beer. 


However, with the popularity of cans, and recent tariffs, breweries are having issues finding a good, solid supply of as many cans as they need. Maybe this is just the right time for Off Color’s move?
Ultimately, the 12oz vs 16oz debate will probably last as long as the kids in taprooms one will, and there is risk in trying a smaller package size, but I for one know what I’ll buy when I have the choice.


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