The Ultimate Guide To Beer Sizes

Regardless of whether you’re just getting started in homebrewing or you’ve been doing it for some time, there are hundreds of different varieties of beer!

The Ultimate Guide To Beer Sizes

These range from light lagers to dark stouts and each type of beer will typically be served in a specific style of beer glass that can vary in both size and design.

Typically, the size of beer jars and bottles will usually be determined by both function and tradition, including howlers, growlers, bombers, and more.

While that’s easy enough, understanding the differences between the various sizes is where the confusion often lies – which is where we come in to lend you a helping hand.

With that being said, in this article, we are going to be providing you with an ultimate guide to beer sizes.

Below, we are going to be taking a closer look at some of the most common styles of beer, how they differ, what sizes they should be served in, and which ones are best suited to your needs as a homebrewer.

So, without further ado, just read on to discover everything you need to know about the different beer sizes!

The Most Commonly-Used Universal Beer Sizes

Before we get any further, we first think that it would be a good idea to provide you with a helpful breakdown of the universal beer sizes used for all kinds of beer when selling them in either a bottle or can.

For ease, we are going to be using ounces as our measurement, and you can use this as a tool to refer to when deciding which type of beer container to use:

Beer TypeContainer TypeSize (Ounces)
ImperialBottle/Pint Glass7oz
US GallonBottle/Pint Glass12oz

Standard Beer Bottle Sizes

As mentioned earlier, the different types of beer bottles can vary greatly in size, shape, and design.

This means that you may find yourself having trouble figuring out exactly what size to use for your own brews.

Fortunately, however, there are a few standard sizes that have become pretty popular over the years, so let’s take a quick look at those below.

First up, we have the standard pint (or imperial) pint.

The standard pint is one of the most commonly used sizes of beer bottles around today and is generally considered to be the perfect size for serving a single drink.

It has a capacity of 16 fluid ounces, making it ideal for drinking straight from the bottle.

Next, we have the half-pint (also known as the English pint), which is slightly smaller than the standard pint but still large enough to serve two drinks at once.

In addition, the half-pint is also available in a number of different shapes and designs, meaning that you can easily choose the right one for your personal preferences.

Following on, you then have the US quart, which is slightly larger than the standard pint and is a great option for serving four people at once.

Alongside all of this, there is also another bottle size, which is typically referred to as the US Gallon Pint.

This particular type of beer is actually the largest of the most commonly-used pint sizes, which means that this particular size is a great choice if you want to serve lots of guests at once.

With a capacity of 32 fluid ounces, the fifth pint is also the perfect size for filling a keg with!

So, it should come as absolutely no surprise to hear that it is also commonly-used by homebrewers.

Standard Beer Can Sizes

Now, we will move onto discussing the different types of beer cans available.

As mentioned earlier, there are three main options here, each of which comes with their own pros and cons.

Let’s take a closer look at these now.

Firstly, we have the standard 12 oz can. These are probably the most commonly used cans in the world today, and they are usually found in both regular and diet varieties.

They are also very convenient because they allow you to carry a lot more beer at once compared to other options, such as the 5 gallon bucket.

Next, we have the six pack. While the six pack is certainly an interesting option, it isn’t really suitable for many situations.

That said, it is still a decent option for anyone who likes to keep things simple when it comes to carrying their favorite beverage around.

Finally, we have the 20 oz can and is sometimes referred to as the Tallboy.

This is the biggest of the bunch, and it is also the only one that is specifically designed to hold a full five gallons of liquid.

This makes it the best choice for anyone looking to fill a keg or carboy with their favorite brew.

Even though these are the most common beer sizes, it is still a good idea to make sure that you are aware of the different beer container types, as it will help you to better understand the various sizes that we have just covered above.

Keep reading to learn more about the most common types of beer bottles/glasses:

The Differences Between The Most Popular Beer Bottle Types


One of the most common types of bottle used is the longneck bottle, which is 12oz.

This type of bottle is commonly used in North America, although it is becoming increasingly more popular throughout the world.

Guide To Beer Sizes

After the prohibition period ended in the United States, many beer manufacturers began selling beer in 12oz bottles, and longnecks were deemed to be one of the best bottles for providing the user a more enjoyable way of drinking thanks to the elongated neck of the bottle…hence the name!


Even though stubby bottles aren’t as popular as they used to be in stores, they are still pretty popular in the beer crafting community.

Occasionally, these beer bottles are referred to as Steines, which refers to the German variation of this particular beer bottle size.

It is typically 12oz in size and was known to be a bottle that could be reused up to 4 times before needing to be thrown out, which makes it a great option for homebrewers looking to save money.


Offering one of the largest size capacities, the bomber (which is also sometimes referred to as the large format bottle) offers 22 ounces and is typically used to bottle large quantities of cheap craft beer.

Nowadays, these particular bottles are not as popular as they once were due to a decline in demand for this style.

However, it is worth keeping in mind that they are still sometimes used for beers that have been allowed to mature inside a barrel.


Next up, we have the Caguama – which is a Mexican beer bottle size!

This style of beer bottle became very popular after Mexico’s war of independence took place, in which German migrants began crafting and selling beer throughout Mexico’s many markets.

During this time (and even now to this very day) the Caguama bottle was used to bottle up a large variety of different beers and was celebrated for its whopping 32oz. capacity!

This not only made it perfect for those looking for enough beer to serve more than one person, but it was also ideal for sellers looking to sell large amounts of beer at once.


Last but certainly not least, the final type of commonly-used beer containers are growlers…which are also occasionally referred to as howlers, too!

Even though it is relatively unknown where these two names came from, there are some sources that suggest that the two names come from the sound of the beer inside the traditional pales used to carry leftover beer from the tavern.

In the modern time, growlers/howlers are typically sold by breweries to those wanting a large quantity of beer – as these extra large bottles have the capacity to hold up to 64 ounces! Impressive or what?

Does It Matter What Type Of Beer Bottle Or Can You Use?

Technically, it doesn’t really matter what size or style of beer container that you use.

In fact, if you’re planning on brewing your very own craft beer, it’s likely that you’ll find that you begin to develop your own beer housing preferences as you go along!

For example, if you want to store a lot of beer without breaking the bank, you might find that a growler is a great option for you.

On the other hand, if the quality of the drinking experience is especially important to you, then you might find that a longneck is the best option for you to choose.

Needless to say, just like we have already mentioned above, it should also be noted that there are some varieties of beer that are steeped in cultural influence and tradition.

So, in those instances, if you want to honor the history behind the type of beer that you are brewing, as well as enjoy an authentic taste – then you might want to consider storing your brewed beer into its traditional bottle.

Many home brewers like to research the beer that they plan to brew , so that they can ensure that their beer tastes and is bottled exactly how the brewer intended it to.

Wrapping Up

There we have it. As you can see, there are many different ways to package your beer into different containers.

While some people may prefer to use a keg or growler when brewing their own beer, others may choose to use a specific type of glassware, such as a pint glass or a tulip glass.

So, if you’re interested in brewing your very own beer, opting for the right beer bottle style and size is going to be key to ensuring that you are able to optimally enjoy the specific type of beer that you have brewed.

As always, it’s important to remember that no matter what kind of beer bottle that you decide to use, make sure that you clean them thoroughly before filling them with beer.

If you don’t do this, then you run the risk of contaminating your beer with unwanted bacteria.
After all, who wants to drink bad beer?

Thanks for reading, and happy brewing!

Andrew Carr
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