Nips. Cuartitos. Pocket torpedoes. It’s time to bring back wee bottles. Don’t let the fact that they’re damn cute turn you off to these diminutive packages of old. There are so many reasons to bring 7 oz. nip bottles (or other tiny totes) back into fashion that we’re gonna spread ‘em out over three posts. Let’s start with the fact that, despite their smaller size, smaller bottles mean you can get more beers.
To the best of my knowledge, last year Rogue became the only American craft brewery currently packaging in 7 oz. bottles, used for their XS series of high-octane beers. Indeed, Flying Dog concurrently experimented with a sampler pack of nips, essentially offering customers to taste a flight of beers at home, but they’ve since stopped. Anchor and Dixie gave up nips a long time ago as have most British breweries that used to sell 1/3-pint bottles, usually barleywines or Russian Imperial Stouts. And in Mexico, Coronitas and Pacifico are frequently sold in cuartitos, 6-7 oz. bottles.
Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse, most highly sought after beers come in 22 oz. bombers or 750 ml. wine or champagne bottles. Hands down one of the best things you can do with such beers is share them with friends, but sometimes you just don’t want to wait for just the right occasion. You want to try the beer now. Instead of gluttonously polishing off a large bottle alone, tiny-sized beers allow you to share… with yourself. Russian River and The Lost Abbey recently introduced corked’n’caged half bottles (375 ml.) of some of their Belgian-style ales like Consecration and Cuvee de Tomme, respectively. The bachelor who cooks for one, the beer geek who just can’t wait, and the tyro who wants to explore the world of extreme beers can all sip guilt-free with instant gratification.
Virtually every cupcake bakery offers mini cupcakes. Spirit connoisseurs can explore a wider range of offerings with 50 or 100 ml bottles. Sliders are all the burger rage. So, would you like to see nips become popularized (again) or do you exclusively like big beers coming with big price tags the way they are?
This is part of a 3-part series. Look for part 2 on Wednesday.