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10-12-2013, 12:13
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My local Morrisons and Tesco have recently created separate “craft beer” sections, stocked with a mixture of beers they already had, such as Punk IPA, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Innis & Gunn, and new introductions such as Shipyard, Point IPA and Professor Green’s Remedy. Not, maybe, something that will set the dedicated crafterati’s pulses racing, but a clear indication of how “craft” has established itself as a distinct category.
However, one distinguishing feature of these craft offerings is that they all come in 330ml or 355ml bottles as opposed to the 500ml bottles that dominate the Premium Bottled Ales section just down the beer aisle, even though the prices are often scarcely cheaper if at all. I have to say that I find one of these small bottles strangely unsatisfying, at least for normal-strength beers of maybe up to 6.0% ABV, and am much happier with the larger size which comfortably fits into a pint glass.
A couple of years ago I ran a poll on preferred bottle sizes (http://pubcurmudgeon.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/how-important-is-size-for-you.html) which revealed a wide divergence of opinion. And I’m reminded of this splendid rant (http://thebottledbeeryear.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/day-76-beer-76-meantime-lager.html) from Mark Dexter (aka The Hearty Goodfellow) against “test-tube sized bottles”:
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.It’s not a question of people preferring 500ml bottles simply because they want more beer – the smaller ones leave you unfulfilled and wanting more.
So is this an indication of yet another divide opening up in the beer market between the would-be hipster with his slim, trendy 330ml bottle, and the pot-bellied fogey with his pint-like 500ml?

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