Form follows function – or does it? There are hundreds of different beer bottles styles, shapes and sizes: some with long skinny necks and others with hardly any neck at all. Simply looking in the beer cooler at your local grocery store will give you a glimpse into the number of unique glass bottles available.
But what’s their story? Why choose one beer bottle style over another?
10 Different Beer Bottles Styles & What They’re Used For
The Stubby, also commonly referred to as a Steinie, is one of the most easily recognizable styles with its short neck and body. These were first introduced as a practical alternative to the North American Longneck, otherwise known as the industry standard bottle (ISB). These sturdy bottles are less likely to break due to their compact shape. Additionally, Stubby beer bottles' low center of gravity and short height make these bottles easy to handle and less likely to tip over.
Stubby beer bottles are lighter and more efficient to ship due to the short neck. Stubbies are very commonly used in Europe and Canada, but some U.S. companies, such as Coors Brewing Company, use Stubby bottles for their nostalgic aesthetic.
A special capping chuck is required for our 12 fl. oz. (355 ml) Stubby.
Although shorter and wider than the North American Longneck, Heritage bottles are similar in shape with a long neck and gently sloping shoulders. The Heritage beer bottle has slightly flatter shoulders than its industry standard counterpart. The wider base and shorter neck allow the Heritage beer bottle to have a lower center of gravity. And while not as compact as the Stubby, these bottles are similarly easier to handle.
Heritage beer bottles typically have a capacity of 12 fl. oz. (355 ml) and label panel to allow for convenient labeling. These beer bottles work great in applications where the brewery wants to stand out among ISB bottles while retaining the classic beer bottle shape.
3. North American Longneck
Our North American Longneck is also commonly known as the ISB. If you are living in the United States, this is likely the bottle that first comes to mind as it is a favorite among commercial breweries and home brewers alike.
As you can likely guess from the name, the North American Longneck is distinctive for its long and narrow neck, but what makes this bottle unique is its uniform dimensions and capacity. Sometimes the Canadian standard bottle is also referred to as an ISB Longneck, but these bottles are slightly smaller at 11.5 fl. oz. (341 ml) compared to the North American Longneck’s 12 fl. oz. (355 ml) capacity.
Outside of the North American Longneck beer bottle, The Cary Company also offers additional Longneck bottles. These bottles feature a long, narrow neck to allow for easy grip and shorter, flatter shoulders. This allows for a shorter transition between neck and body. These bottles have a slightly smaller overflow capacity but larger label panel than the North American Longneck.
Consumers will appreciate the slim profile and direct aesthetic of our Longneck bottles.
500 ml is a common capacity for many beer bottles across Europe, making this 16.9 fl. oz. (500 ml) Euro beer bottle ideal for European-inspired craft brews and imports alike. Euro beer bottles are round with a short neck and long, sloped shoulders. Due to their shorter necks, these beer bottles feature a tall body with ample space for labeling.
Euro bottles are also relatively short compared to their volume due to the wider neck and shoulders. The Euro beer bottle is even shorter than the 12 fl. oz. (355 ml) North American Longneck. The more compact size of the Euro bottle aids in shipping and storing efficiency.
These amber glass bottles also work great for any sparkling beverages that may be sensitive to UV light.
The Vichy beer bottle is a high volume beer bottle (16.9 fl. oz., 500 ml) with a smooth transition between neck and shoulders. Vichy beer bottles have a relatively short label panel due to their long, gently sloping shoulder. The label panel starts well below the end of the neck.
Vichy beer bottles are typically made in Europe and used for craft beer. These bottles often can handle a relatively high pressure rating – up to 4 volumes max carbonation without tunnel pasteurization.
Belgian beer bottles are characterized by their bulbed neck and ability to contain highly carbonated beverages such as ciders, sours and Belgian-style beers. The round shaped bottle is said to be both the strongest and lightest of glass containers.
Most of our Belgian beer bottles are designed to hold 3 to 4 volumes max carbonation with tunnel pasteurization. Options compatible with a cork and cage can often accommodate higher pressure ratings than crown seal alternatives.
Belgian beer bottles require a larger cork than some beer corkers can handle. Often, a corker with the ability to adjust the depth of the plunger is necessary, such as a Portuguese floor corker. The cork is only designed to go in about halfway. A hooded wire will further secure the cork. The cork may mushroom as the beer carbonates. And, while it requires a tool to cork the beer bottle, often the cork may be removed by hand due to the increased pressure.
While some companies and individuals use the term “Bomber” to refer to any large beer bottle, traditionally Bomber beer bottles are 22 fl. oz. beer bottles with a capacity around 651 ml. They are the beer bottles on the shelf looming over the smaller 12 fl. oz. bottles. Bomber bottles are often used for craft beer and have the advantage of containing more than the traditional 12 oz. bottle. Due to their larger size, beers packaged in Bombers are often shared between individuals and work great for restaurants where people want to purchase a bottle for the table.
As this style beer bottle is determined by size and not shape, we carry multiple Bomber style bottles.
Sparkling beer bottles got their name for their ability to contain highly carbonated beverages such as sours and Belgian-style beers. Sparkling beer bottles feature a slow transition between neck and body with curved, gently sloping shoulders. Outside of beer, these bottles can also be used for other carbonated beverages such as Italian lemonade, sodas and more.
With the ability to contain high carbonation drinks, Sparkling beer bottles feature a unique neck compatible with pry-off crown closures as well as a cork and cage. Due to their shape similar to Sparkling wine bottles, these beer bottles share many common features including an elegant and sophisticated aesthetic. Sparkling beer bottles are most frequently used for bottling sours.
A beer Growler is a 64 fl. oz. beer jug usually with a handle near the opening of the bottle for easy handling. While Growlers can be made of plastic or even stainless steel, Growlers are most commonly made from amber glass. There are also 32 fl. oz. (946 ml) "mini" Growlers available.
Most glass Growlers are compatible with a screw-on cap to provide a tight seal. When paired with the proper closure, Growlers can help keep beer and other carbonated beverages fresh when the entire contents are not consumed in one sitting.
Our Growlers feature a round base to offer additional strength, tapered shoulders and a narrow neck for easy pouring. Growlers are ideal for microbreweries and beer pubs to sell bulk beverages, beer and cocktails for customers to take home.
Are there more styles of beer bottles?
Yes! Just as there is a wide variety of craft beverages and brews, there are countless beer bottles styles and shapes. These containers are also ideal for your specialty cider, mead, sake and more. Check out our full selection of beer bottles here!