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Beer Container Sizes

Given that beer (and other beverages) come in a range of sizes and that those sizes are sometimes quite odd, I decided to do a bit of research into where these volumes came from. Canada, being heavily influenced by both British and US measures, has a distinctly weird collection of container sizes. But, once you take a look at the difference in size of the Imperial and US fluid ounces the original size of many of the strange metric volumes become more obvious. That said the historical origins - as opposed to the original size - is work for another day.

Below I created a table with some of the common bottle and can sizes and their Metric, Imperial and US measures. The items in bold are likely the source measure of that container size - e.g. a 341 mL beer bottle comes from the original 12 Imperial oz measure.

If you have a size that you'd like to see added to the list, let me know -> bottles -at-sign-

NamemLUS ozImp ozDescription/Comments
US oz29.57351.0001.041
Imperial Oz28.41310.9611.000
Small Euro Bottle250.08.58.8Small European bottle
Some Euro beers come in bottles this size
Glass227.37.78Common glass size for draught beer
much more common pre-1990
European Bottle330.011.211.6European and other imported cans and bottles come in this size
Canadian Bottle341.011.512.0Standard for Canadian beer bottles
US/Canadian Can355.012.012.5Standard for Canadian and US Cans
Most Canadian brewers buy their cans from the US
Australian Bottle375.012.713.2Seems to be a 1/2 US 1/5 Gallon (strange)
Commonly seen in Australian bottles
Schooner426.214.415Sometimes seen as a draught beer size
Common in Australia though sometimes seen in Canada
Euro Can/Bottle440.014.915.5odd sized larger import can and bottle
Seen in Grolsch bottles and Guinness cans
US Pint473.216.016.7Commonly used in shadier pubs in Canada that try to get you to think that you're getting a real pint
Euro Can500.016.917.6Common size for imported cans and bottles
Imperial Pint568.319.220.0Standard used as a pint in Canada
20 US oz bottle591.020.020.820 oz bottle
Mostly used for large serving specialty sodas
650 mL (Bomber)650.022.022.922 oz/large bottle
Sold as large single bottles
70 cL700.023.724.6A very rounded 1/5 US Gallon
Some Belgian style bottle conditioned ales come in this size
710 mL710.024.025.0Tallboy cans based on 24 US ounces
Brands that could be called middle to low-brow use this format for volume efficiency
750 mL750.025.426.4Metricized standard 26er or 1/5 of a US Gallon
Some Belgian style bottle conditioned ales come in this size
1/5 Gallon768.926.027.1The standard 26er or 1/5 of a US Gallon
Some Belgian style bottle conditioned ales come in this size
1 L1000.033.835.2Nice round 1 L
Some specialty beers will sell in this size
2 Imperial Pints1136.538.440.0Imperial 40 oz bottle
Usually shown as 1.14 Litres. Rare larger size
US 401182.940.041.6US 40 oz bottle
Generally serving up 40 oz of fun in a brown paper bag for a nice bender in the park
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Updated: Apr-20-10
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