We Love Magnums

Brewer Jason McAdam gets his nip, er, magnum on. Photo: Samurai Artist

One of the beauties of nip bottles is that they let you enjoy the exact right amount of strong beer when you’re simply partaking of a high gravity beer by yourself.  You don’t always have a ton of friends around when you wanna break into a tasty, coveted brew. But when you do have your buds around, why offer up a puny bomber? Go big or go friendless. That’s why, for the right, rare occasions, impress your mates with a 1.5L magnum. Pop into Burnside Brewing today for their ultra rare release (only 100 magnums) of Neptune’s Wrath, a 10.2% “Imperial Strong Ale with Oyster Liquor and Lemon Peel.” (Not for those with shellfish allergies or aversions to bivalves.)

At 1,500 mL, that’s almost 8 nips in one.


A Good Nip Blog


Love that we now know nips are 9 dimes tall (photo: A. McLeod?)

A Good Beer Blog‘s Alan McLeod recently posited on some “beer words (that) need more use.” The words?

  • Acrid
  • Drain
  • Heat
  • Lick(ing)
  • Water(y)

And two more that particularly stand out, one of them being “vom” which I honestly hadn’t heard before. If you don’t know from vom…it is not hard to figure out. But for our purposes, the one we love best, naturally, is nip. McLeod defines a nip as “the appropriate size for beer of 9% and more. Sounds like when you drain one quick around the corner when no one is watching.” Incidentally, his reviewed nip of choice is Anchor’s Old Foghorn. In typical fashion, meaning he busts out some of the best descriptors for beers we’ve had the pleasure of reading, he says the first American craft barleywine tastes like “Leathersweet Mennonite apple butter.”

Sanbitter: Soft apéritif

Puny aperitif. Photo: B. Yaeger

Apéritifs are generally served before a meal “to stimulate appetite” or something. The classic is Campari, maybe cut with sparkling mineral water. So no surprise those crafty, gastronomic Italians created a non-alcoholic version, Red Sanbitter, and since it hails from the land of the cutest little bottles, it naturally comes in a 100 mL bottle. Yes, ~3.5 oz. Which is fine since this stuff tastes like sucking on a grapefruit rind!

When it comes to beer, the best way to enjoy it as with meals. Or friends. Or better yet: with friends over a meal. I have a bottle of 24% ABV  Samuel Adams Utopias (when it retails for $200, don’t call it Sam). It’s richer than an oil tycoon and is generally enjoyed as an after-dinner drink, a digestif if you will. The ornate bottles are 24 ounces.


Our vote: it should come in 100 mL bottles. That’s 1/7th the size, and it should retail for $30, just like a snifter of the fine sherry or Cognac it resembles. And they can call it Samuele Adamo Utopias!