Bottle Sizes for beer are standardized in most countries around the world, but this was not always the case. Early beer bottles in the UK frequently came in sizes known as the “reputed pint,” equivalent to one-twelfth of an Imperial gallon, 13 Imperial fluid ounces, 378 ml, or the “reputed quart,” 26 fl oz. The reputed pint is close in size to the regular modern US beer bottle size, the standard “longneck” 355 ml (12 US fl oz).
The reputed pint and reputed quart had been largely replaced in the UK at the beginning of the 20th century by bottles in Imperial pints and quarts, 568 ml and 1136 ml, respectively. However, stronger ales and barley wines were frequently sold in bottles holding one-third of a pint, 6.66 fl oz, known as a “nip.”
In the United States, standard bottle sizes varied between 325 and 385 ml (11 and 13 US fl oz), before settling at 355 ml. Other beer bottle sizes included the “split,” 6 US fl oz, for stronger beers. Larger bottles are usually 650 ml (22 US fl oz). This has become a popular size for American craft-brewed beers, as is the Champagne-style 750-ml bottle, often with a cork and wirecage. At the other end of the quality spectrum is the infamous 40-oz bottle, which has itself nearly become a synonym for cheap, nasty “malt liquors,” strong adjunct-driven beers peddled by mass-market brewers. In Canada the standard bottle size is 341 ml (12 Imperial fl oz).
After the mandatory use of metric units in the UK came into force in 1995, many British brewers used 550-ml bottles, although most have now changed to a standard 500-ml bottle. Smaller-size bottles in the UK are generally 275 ml or, more commonly, 330 ml. In Europe the EU standardized 330-ml bottle is common, although in the Netherlands a 300-ml bottle is frequently found. Larger bottles are generally 750 ml, and these are particularly popular in Belgium.
In the Northern Territory of Australia the “Darwin stubby” is a 2-l beer bottle, originally four Imperial pints (2.27 l), sold to capitalize on the region’s reputation for beer consumption. Two-liter bottles, with ceramic swing tops, are also found in Germany.
Magnums (1.5 l) and larger sizes are occasionally seen, although these tend to be collector’s items or display bottles, usually filled by hand at the brewery.