Small Wonders: Why Breweries Are Putting Big Beers in Tiny Packages

Revolution Brewing

Step inside my Brooklyn apartment—up three floors from the street and some 900 square feet—and your eyeballs will brim with barley wines and imperial stouts. Champagne-corked and 22-ounce bottles are dustily stacked on shelves like unloved library books because I’m rarely keen to consume that much intoxicant, 25 ounces of 12 percent beer a load too heavy for my liver. I’m not alone.

“I have piles of bottles at my house and a lot of them are big format,” says Firestone Walker brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “I’m just staring at them week after week going, ‘When am I going to have some friends over so we can crack into these things and check them out?’”

Everybody in the world was putting out bombers. We wanted to do something different that stood out.”

Your local beer bar has long served supercharged stouts and other bruisers in eight- or ten-ounce glasses. Now, breweries are ditching supersize bottles and packing strong beers in more reasonable formats. Concerning beer, big things are increasingly coming in small packages