On Drinking from the Bottle

This stems from a post on Facebook by my friend Chris Hanrahan (owner of the famous Endgame game store in Oakland, California). Chris was asking:

“Why is it socially acceptable to drink a $4.99 beer out of a bottle but not an equitably priced Rose?”

I replied with a long (for fb) couple of comments and he suggested this would make a good blog post.

So here it is.

There are several things at work at the same time, I think. (Warning: possible cultural rift. Here is my take.)

  1. Size. A beer bottle is a single-user item (33 or 50cc), a wine bottle isn’t, and it is meant to be shared (75cc or 1lt, or more). Drinking from the bottle where other people will pour drinks is considered very uncouth. I bought a 75cl bottle of small brewery beer recently and I would have never thought of drinking it from the bottle. It was meant to be shared, just like wine. Nobody drinks from the bottle of a 75cl Chouffe…

  2. Alcoholic volume: a beer that you drink from the bottle is probably a mild lager or pilsner, has 3-4% vol. Wine (to be called wine) has to have around 10%. Beer can be drunk from the bottle because it’s only a small step from a soda. Wine is an alcoholic beverage, only drunks and alcoholics drink directly from the bottle of alcoholic beverages.

  3. And to close, let’s go against the premise: it is acceptable to drink from the bottle only if the beer is the classic “lager/pilsner whatever”. And even then there are probably several fans of czech and german beers now thinking bad things about me. I would NEVER drink a Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, a Banana Bread, any Stout or Porter (etc. etc.) from the bottle. It’s meant to be poured! Good beers need the space to breathe, they have to make the right amount of foam in the glass after pouring, their aroma and perfume need to expand… drinking a good beer from the bottle is really missing more than half of the experience.

Drinking from the bottle is for teens and tweens with Coronas, Heinekens and Adelscotts. Hopefully they’ll grow out of it ^___-

So there. And now you know, too.

Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0