You are currently viewing the International Edition. You can also switch to the Hong Kong Edition.
Wednesday 1 July 2015

Craft beer ‘becoming like wine’

5th March, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

Craft beer is becoming increasingly more like wine, with the traditional 12-ounce bottle being replaced with 75cl wine bottles and even three-litre Jeroboams.

75cl bottles of Dogfish Head Positive Contact

75cl bottles of Dogfish Head Positive Contact

According to The New York Times, a number of new high profile craft breweries are choosing to house their beer only in large-format bottles.

One of the best-known craft breweries in the US, Delaware-based Dogfish Head Brewery, is to dedicate one of its two bottling lines to the 75cl format.

The trend for large bottles within the craft beer sphere is being dubbed “wine-ification”, with the beers boasting the high prices to match.

The NYT reports that the beers sell for as much as US$30 in shops and for considerably more on restaurant menus, much to the dismay of fans.

Craft beer drinkers have been complaining that the large format bottles are a challenge to finish in one sitting, and, unlike wine, are unable to be recorked.

Last year, about 3.5% of craft beer was sold in traditional 22-ounce bottles, but sales are booming, up 12% year-on-year, leading brewers to want to go large on their bottle sizes.

“We believe in the future of this format,” Sam Calagione, founder of Delaware craft brewer Dogfish Head told the NYT.

Prestige is driving the desire to use larger bottles, with the use of exotic ingredients like cacao nibs and honey along with ageing in whiskey barrels resulting in beers that beg to stand out from the crowd through their larger bottle size.

Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery

Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery

The larger bottles are also an attempt to move beer beyond its casual roots and elevate it to the same level as wine in a bid to attract a new audience.

“We want people to share our beer with a friend, pour it into a glass and actually experience the beer rather than just grab it and start drinking,” Ben Weiss, director of marketing for the Bruery in California, which uses only 75cl bottles, told the NYT.

The larger format bottles also allow brewers to sell their product for a higher price.

Though not everyone is happy with the move – traditionalists believe that big bottles send a signal that beer is trying to be something that it’s not, and that it needs to be more like wine or Scotch to win over high-end consumers.

“As soon as you say you want to be more like wine, the battle is lost. I don’t think beer needs to be more like wine. I think brewers need to keep being themselves,” Ben Granger, owner of Brooklyn craft beer shop Bierkraft, said.

2 Responses to “Craft beer ‘becoming like wine’”

  1. Here in Belgium we have several thousands of craft beers. A lot of them are available as 75cl bottles and this is the kind of bottle we share with friends. This is not considered as beer-snobism, this is the common way of enjoying beer together.

  2. Kurt Burris says:

    The logic of the 75 cl bottle is simple. It’s easier to bottle in to a bigger bottle. Half the cleaning, half the closures. And wine corks fit as well a crown caps. It may help the price point, but that wasn’t the original impetus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

If that's interesting, how about these?

Lidl hints at plans for online wine shop

UK supermarket Lidl has not ruled out launching an online wine shop, with wine more...

Oddbins woos Naked staff with love letters

Oddbins has allegedly been sending love letters and bottles of wine to key more...

Hardys invests £4m in summer of cricket

Hardys has unveiled a new £4 million consumer marketing campaign to tie in more...

Digital and Communications Executive

£22,000-£26,000 dependent on experience

BI offers 2014 imperial collection en primeur

Fine wine merchant Bordeaux Index is offering its clients a 10 imperial more...

Beck's forced to issue $50 refunds

Anyone that has bought a Beck's beer in the past four years could be entitled more...

Burgundian négociant celebrates gin smuggler

Burgundian négociant, Vallet Frères, has allowed a special bottling of more...

Sales Executive - Wines & Spirits Competitions

London, United Kingdom

Competitive

AB InBev invests $1.5bn in US

Brewing colossus Anheuser-Busch InBev has announced plans to invest over US$1 more...

Top 10 Hong Kong craft beer bars

Anyone looking to quench their thirst with a ginseng microbrew should more...

Diageo appoints North America president

Deirdre Mahlan, Diageo's chief financial officer, has been announced as the more...

PR Senior Account Manager/Director

London, United Kingdom

Depending on experience

Top 10 new craft beers

With new beers coming onto the market all the time, it can be difficult to keep more...

World's best beer and wine festivals

Forget Glastonbury, these are the festivals you should be making a beeline for more...

Wine from Napoleon’s carriage to be sold

A bottle of wine apparently found in Napoleon’s carriage after Waterloo – more...

Supplier Relationship Manager

London, United Kingdom

Wimbledon craft brewery starts production

Nearly two centuries after the first Wimbledon Brewery opened its doors, a new more...

Men down $1k of ‘aphrodisiac’ wine at airport

Two Chinese air passengers downed an entire bottle of aphrodisiac wine after more...

Beaujolais pushes for sparkling AOC

Beaujolais is trying to gain AOC status for its sparkling wines which, with it more...

PR Manager

Competitive

Mumm releases Santana sparkler

Legendary guitarist Carlos Santana has teamed up with Mumm Napa to release a more...

Antipodean craft brewers in tax tussle

A proposed tax refund for craft brewers in Australia should not be extended to more...

US Senate passes bill to boost spirits exports

The US senate has been applauded by members of the spirits trade for passing a more...

Business Development Executive

London, United Kingdom

£25-£30K + benefits, depending on experience

13-year-old drives drunken parents home

Parents in Texas have been charged with child endangerment after having their more...

Brewers and suppliers tack on to craft

Leading drinks suppliers and brewing companies are expanding their craft beer more...