The Best Beer Bottles for Every Type of Homebrewer
Whether you are just starting to brew beer at home, or have a few batches of homebrew under your belt, it's smart to assess/reassess your bottling options. Choose the right bottle and you'll increase your enjoyment. If you love the snap of a bottle cap popping off, you're more of a glass long-neck type. If you're still getting a hold of homebrewing and want to eliminate room for oxidation or broken glass, you'll want our Oxygen Barrier PET bottles.
Beer Bottle Guide
This guide isn't meant to provide an absolute answer as much as it is meant to allow you to read the facts regarding each bottle type so you can choose for yourself.
Both plastic bottle options compared here are BPA-free!
Oxygen Barrier PET Bottles
12 bottles – 740 mL/approx. 25 oz. each with Mr. Beer As their name would indicate, oxygen barrier bottles are built to be thicker and sturdier than a standard PET bottle. The thicker bottle walls were developed to protect against the threats of carbonation loss and beer oxidation. When your beer is exposed to oxygen while in the bottle, oxidation occurs. Oxidation degrades your beer's aroma and flavors, often leaving a winy or sherry-like off flavor. Beers that require a longer conditioning time are more at risk for oxidation, so if you're the type who lusts after bold recipes that take a little longer, oxygen barrier bottles are a smart selection. Safely use your oxygen barrier bottles for many batches of homebrew – they can take it. Even if one of these bottles falls and takes a tumble, it won't break. No need to worry about broken glass shards making their way into your rec room. As with standard PET bottles, these beer bottles can also be squeezed to detect the carbonation of your homemade beer. Being able to gauge carbonation without opening your bottles will take time to complete with confidence, so this option is great while you're still perfecting the art of homebrewing.
12 bottles – 740 mL/approx. 25 oz. each with Mr. Beer For brewers who are just starting out, standard PET bottles are ideal. PET bottles are reusable, durable, and great for watching and feeling your beer's progress (without letting light or oxygen in). Not only are the bottles reusable, but so are the small bottle lids – a statement which is not true of their glass long-neck counterparts. Cleaning is also very simple with PET bottles, though it can be even easier if you grab a nylon bottle brush to assist in the cleanup. No worries if these bottles get too sudsy during a wash and fall to the floor, because they're not glass.
Glass Long-Neck Bottles
24 bottles – 12 oz. each with Mr. Beer So you like popping the top of your beer with your cool keychain opener, a lighter, some other surface or object you shouldn't be – we get it. Aside from that, glass bottles more resemble what you grab from the local brewpub, beer shop, or brewery. To work with these bottles, you'll need to be sure you have a capper and plenty of standard crown caps on hand to seal your beers with. In terms of capping, you've also got a choice between a bench capper or two-handed bottle capper. You won't be able to apply the carbonation test by squeezing these bottles, but if you feel confident and read instructions well, it won't likely be an issue. As with the PET bottles, these bottles will make it through many uses, though their caps will not. They are tough, but we wouldn't call them durable – one drop and you're out. Notice that Mr. Beer's glass long-neck bottles are roughly half of the size of the PET bottles. If you enjoy a bigger brew, the plastic bottles may be a better choice.
Glass Swing Top Bottles
12 bottles – 16 oz. each with Mr. Beer, so you'll need 2 with one of their standard 2 gallon refills or recipes A vintage-style bottle that seals itself, the glass swing top bottle is very convenient. The self-locking swing cap is built to seal in your beer batch after batch. Polished, professional, and nostalgic, glass swing top bottles are perfect for those who aim to give homebrew as a gift or just have great style. These bottles may be reusable and self-capping(thanks to the swing top), but they are glass, so they aren't necessarily durable as they'll break when dropped.
Important Note on Growlers
If you're wondering where growlers are - they are most certainly not meant to be on this list. Growlers are a mode for transporting your beer after bottling or from the tap. Growlers are not a bottling option.