The New York Times recently wrote an article about the large-bottle beer, calling it the wine-ification of the industry:
Several new, high-profile breweries are putting their product only in so-called large-format bottles. Dogfish Head Brewery, one of the bigger, better-known craft breweries in the country, will soon dedicate one of its two bottle-filling lines just to the 750-milliliter format.
The trend toward large bottles is part of what is being called the “wine-ification” of beer, the push by many brewers to make their product as respectable to pair with braised short ribs as is a nice Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and at a price to match. Bottles sell for as much as $30 in stores and much more on restaurant menus. (full story)
This portrayal didn’t sit well with Brooklyn Brewery’s Garrett Oliver, and he wrote a reply. A taste:
Let me be clear. I love The New York Times—half the internet would disappear tomorrow if it ceased to exist. But this article is so replete with omissions and chock-full of inaccuracies that I feel we [craft brewers] cannot give it a pass. It is know-nothing opinion masquerading as reporting. I am not hearing from my customer saying that they don’t want more big bottles of interesting barrel-aged beers. We can’t even keep up. (full story)
I’m with Mr. Oliver on this one. While it would be great to have anything in the world cheaper, whenever I buy a large bottle I know that the ingredients and craftmanship going into it is worth the price. Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace, pictured above, is my favorite beer brewed in New York. I would not love it any more if it was in a 6 pack, 4 pack, or 20 pack.
What about you? Are you a fan of the big bottles or are they too expensive for your tastes?