Sixteen-ounce tallboys evoke light beers, summer, campfires, bar dance floors and tailgating. Or do they? This winter, a crop of high-gravity brews—stouts and winter warmers creeping into double-digit ABVs—debuted in the larger cans.
So are consumers expected to start slamming gingerbread stout to the face on gameday? Uh, not quite.
“Now, I’m sure there are people out there that don’t share it, but it’s a 12% ABV beer. It’s a big guy. I wouldn’t take down a 16-ounce by myself unless I was planning on not doing much for the rest of the night,” says Nick Davidson of Evansville, Indiana’s Tin Man, which began canning its Russian imperial stout, Csar, in tallboys this season. “Ultimately, a 20-ounce bomber, it’s too much for one person usually. It’s more for sharing between two people. I think a 16-ounce is pretty close to that.”
Other new big beers in tallboys come from Chandler, Arizona’s SanTan, which this year launched its 9.5% Winter Warmer in 16-ounce cans, and L.A.’s Golden Road, which debuted its 8.5% Back Home Gingerbread Stout this winter. All three are a reminder to check the ABV on a can of beer before grabbing it from the fridge for an afternoon session.