Assuming that a "12 oz bottle" means that the bottle filled to the brim holds 12 ounces then how many ounces do most breweries put in a bottle?

Does the difference between the bottle size and actual amount stay constant, regardless of bottle-size (e.g. assuming a 12 oz bottle has 11 oz of content, would a 22 oz bottle have 21 oz), or is it a ratio?

Or: if a beer bottle holds twelve ounces in a normal fill, then what is the actual capacity of the bottle?

  • 2
    I think you need to first verify your assumption.
    – brewchez
    Oct 18, 2011 at 12:50
  • Updated: if there's 12oz of beer, what size is the bottle?
    – STW
    Oct 18, 2011 at 13:29

2 Answers 2


The bottle I just checked has a tiny 13 imprinted in the mold, and filled to overflowing, it held 13 fl. oz. It appears that a 12oz bottle of beer is a 13oz bottle with 12 oz of beer in it.

  • 5
    Left as an exercise is determining the volume of a "22oz" bottle. You'll need a bottle, some water, and a measuring cup.
    – baka
    Oct 20, 2011 at 2:11

I'd say they hold 12oz.

While I can't speak for the rest of the world, here in Oz bottles are labelled according to the quantity of the product you're paying for. If you buy a bottle of beer (with the beer in it) that says "375mL" and it's only half full, containing say 200mL, you get your money back. If the vendor is doing this on a large scale, we have government controlled organisations that will bust some ass for misleading consumers.

It may be different for a store that sells empty, unused bottles with a capacity of XYZ mL/oz, but I doubt it. You'd likely get away with calling them misleading if they did.

If you've got doubt about your bottles, measure out 12oz of water, pour it into an empty bottle and see where it gets to. Post your results back here!

  • good point that the label must be accurate
    – STW
    Oct 18, 2011 at 14:06

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