Saturday, 7 February 2009

Is small beautiful?

A couple of years ago, when Greene King reduced the strength of draught Old Speckled Hen from 5.2% ABV to 4.5%, they also announced that henceforward, the 5.2% bottled version would only be available in 355ml bottles. The supermarkets made valiant efforts to sell these at a similar price to competing beers in 500ml, but eventually admitted defeat and the 500ml bottles were back.

Now I note my local Tesco selling 330ml bottles of a few ales, including OSH again and Hobgoblin, alongside the 500ml ones. However, I really can’t see these taking off, especially as the price/volume ratio is higher than it is for the bigger bottles. If you’re buying to drink at home, you want to a have a near-pint 500ml, not some titchy little measure that only comes halfway up the glass. I’ll give it six months...


  1. Are we a glass half empty Curmudgeon then?

    I hesitate to make the next comment as I've often been critical of the like but small bottles might appeal to "the ladies", and possibly the elderly.

    Stronger beer like Brew Dog is most welcome in smaller bottles me thinks.

  2. If there's a market for it, then fine, but I just think they're trying it on.

    As a general rule I'd say anything up to 6 or 6.5% ABV is best in 500ml bottles, anything above that is best in 330ml bottles.


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