I recently fell in love with Green Flash's Double stout. I noticed their bottles feel significantly heavier than all my other bottles, and in looking online found this press release.

I know many of the 750 ml bottles I've purchased feel more substantial as well, and Maredsous 8 I seem to recall being heavier (and smaller), but is there reason to choose specific bottles for specific brews, ignoring the presentation aspect? I expect that higher pressure would only be related to higher levels of carbonation, which is curious as I certainly didn't think the double stout I had was in any way excessively carbonated.

4 Answers 4


Actually, yes. I've read that a longneck industry standard bottle is only rated to about 4 volumes of CO2 - so more highly carbonated beer styles, like weizens, lambics, and certain Belgians, need heavier glass bottles.

The last thing a brewery wants is to release a batch of bottle bombs, so the ratings typically have a generous safety factor applied, but when you consider brittle fracture mechanics, and the irregularities in the surface finish, it's completely necessary.

Plus, if you've ever tried the bar trick where you pop a bottle full of water by hitting your palm on the mouth, you've seen how little pressure is really needed to blow up a bottle. Try the same trick on a heavy Belgian 750 - it's almost impossible to break.

  • +1 if for no other reason than I now have to demonstrate physics at our next beer related get-together. Do you or any homebrewer you know specifically discriminate the bottles you use for specific brews?
    – Mlusby
    Apr 6, 2011 at 20:13
  • absolutely. if you're going above 3.5 volumes carbonation, use the heavy bottles - either the champagne-style ones (although it's sometimes tough to find these with a standard cap) or the heavy swing-top 16-oz bottles.
    – Brandon
    Apr 7, 2011 at 15:41

According to this cidermaker, "regular" beer bottles can hold up to 3 atm (45 psi), and "champagne" bottles can hold up to 6 atm (90 psi).

Champagne-style bottles with the large dimple in the bottom are the strongest. That bottom will withstand more pressure before failure than a flat bottom. I bet a standard crown cap would fail before the bottle--you'd need a cork with a wire cork basket to withstand 6 atm!


I suppose if you went crazy with carbonation, then you would. But at that point the beer would be so highly carbed it would be difficult to pour. If you look at highly carbed beers like hefe or some Belgians, there's nothing special about those bottles.

  • Hate to hear bogus marketing, or just wrong information from a craft brewery. I like the bottles though, the heft is a plus in my book.
    – Mlusby
    Apr 6, 2011 at 16:16

One good example of a substantial bottle containing a normal pressure beer is "Hovels". The 500ml bottle is heavy like a champagne bottle and it can indeed be used to brew "méthode champenoise". I have made some sparkling wines in them that have emptied on the ceiling (oops) once I flipped the top. So I have no real idea why Hovels use them. I generally have to pour their beer out!

High pressure brews can be safely stored in PET bottles. But don't store them for too long (eg past 6 months) as PET bottles allow slow diffusion of CO2 and may well be flat after (say) 18 months. But up to 6 months they are fine and donl;t seem to affect teh flavour of the beer (or any other brew).

Coopers make a double skinned bottle that curtails or stops such diffusion and can hold beer for some years. If it lasts that long....

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