Nip bottles do more than just enable more people to get their hands on more of the beers they desire. Prudently, craft breweries aren’t in the habit of advertising how caloric their beers are. Oh sure, Dogfish Head used to, but then again, maybe it’s for the best that whoever imbibes a 12 oz. bottle of 120 Minute IPA doesn’t realize he’s drinking 450 calories. Concurrently, that beer boasts 21 percent alcohol by volume. And brewing higher-octane beers is something that, for better and for worse, craft breweries habitually release.
Personally, I’m a lightweight when it comes to high ABV beers. Sadly, I’m no longer a lightweight on the scale thanks to the amount of beer I do consume. As bottles of 120 Minute return to shelves, if they did so in 7 oz nip bottles, not only could I drink a bottle and pack on merely 260 calories, I’d actually keep from getting sauced off just the one.
The stronger argument here isn’t calorie counts. Yes, consumers are becoming more calorie conscious, what with 100 calorie packs of Oreo cookie bites and 64 55 calorie beer, but as consumers of finely crafted eats and drinks rather than commoditized foodstuffs, we don’t generally skimp on items that, by their nature, are flavorless replicas of more substantial originals.
Having said that, while low-calorie beers aren’t a hot-button topic in the beer world, sessionable beers are burning up the blogosphere, i.e. Lew Bryson’s Session Beer Project. While there’s no set law dictating how alcoholic a session beer can be, it’s generally accepted for American craft ales and lagers to be 5 percent ABV or less. The primary argument against such lighter beers is that in skimping on booziness, they skimp on flavor. The nip bottle could bridge the gap between these two camps (or irritate them, supposedly). If your favorite Double IPA that clocks in at 8 percent ABV and conveys almost 500 calories from a 22 oz bomber to your beer gut were packaged 7 ounces at a time, you’d be able to enjoy 100 percent of the taste you desire in a guilt-free, 150-calorie portion.
As stated before, one of the best things you can do with high-ABV beers is share them with friends. But they’re not always there when you’re craving big beers. Instead of drunkenly polishing off a large bottle alone, tiny-sized beers allow you to share… with yourself.