The current poll on bottle sizes was prompted by this post on The Bottled Beer Year complaining about the 4.5% Meantime London Lager being sold in a 330ml bottle:
The children's-sized bottle, however, quickly becomes a right old pain in the proverbial, especially when you realise that the happy event is pretty much over after around three average mouthfuls. If this were an act of love making, it would trigger a very awkward argument. No question about it.Obviously, in general, there’s a broad correlation between strength and bottle size, with the stronger the beer, the more likely it is to appear in the smaller bottle. However, there’s a wide overlap with, for example, the 4.9% Hoegaarden coming in a 330ml, whereas 500ml is standard for all the 5%-ish British premium bottled ales.
The cut-off point may also vary depending on the beer type. Beers like Leffe and Innis & Gunn, which are both around 6.6%, seem right in a 330ml bottle, whereas Pedigree VSOP, which has a similar strength, is more of a traditional British ale and seems more suited to 500ml.
BrewDog, wanting to be different, put all of their beers in 330ml bottles, even down to the 4.1% Trashy Blonde. And Tesco are stocking 330ml bottles of many of the well-known PBAs such as Old Speckled Hen and London Pride, usually at well over two-thirds the price of the 500ml equivalents. I’m not sure how many they sell, though, and the other major supermarkets don’t seem to have followed suit.
The bigger the measure, the more time it will take to drink it, thus giving it more time to warm up. This isn’t likely to matter much with ales, but it has been advanced as a reason for preferring lagers in small bottles (and even in 250ml “stubbies”) rather than 500ml.
It’s interesting how at this early stage there’s such a wide spread in responses to the poll – clearly, some people prefer 330ml bottles across the strength range, and others actively dislike them except for very strong beers.