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The Case of Beer - 24 beer cans (or beer bottles) of glory

Back in the day, we're talking all the way back to the 90s and prior, the case of beer was the definitive unit of measurement for starting a good time.

A case of craft beer (from 3 different breweries)
All of them were delicious

This was a time when beer brewing only happened in 3 places: St. Louis (MI), Golden (CO), or Canada. Domestic beer prices were reasonable, Michelob came in glass bottles (and not superlatives like ULTRA), and Super Bowl beer ads, thought up by suits in New York, showed cowboys being tough in states like Montana. The only customer reviews that existed were what your buddies down at the local Elks said during halftime.

If you were going to throw a party, it needed a keg, a few beer balls, or several cases of beer. There were no 30 racks. There were no 4 packs of craft beer.

A case of beer was 24 aluminum cans or 24 twelve-oz bottles.

A six pack was considered a personal amount and the start of a good night. A case of beers was a good thing to split with your buddy. Now, with high-test IPAs like Fort Hill Brewery's Jigsaw Jazz, an Imperial 9.3% abv IPA, a case of beers will leave you and your buddy wrecked and in the ER.

Miller, Coors, and Budweiser, were all stalwarts of the beer case. You remember the type, the one-sided on the bottom corrugated cardboard beer case that was universal, except for good ol' Coors and their skinny cans (the original White Claw can design, if we may).

The only way to buy a variety pack of ice cold cruisers was to buy a case of each. This all happened back when.

  • Seltzer? Gosh no. You had 3 American-style pale lagers to choose from, Bud Light, Miller Lite, and Coors Light. A case of Heineken was basically the craft beer of its day.
  • Home brew? Maybe in beer-forward states like Michigan.
  • Amazon? Drizly? Booze delivery? No, no, and no.

24 was an amazingly divisible number for a case of beer.

  • One or Two = The amount you'd have after a beer league softball game. Generally enough for the team.
  • Three or Four = The amount the rest of the team would have after the first few people had to leave.
  • Five or Six = The amount a few buddies sitting around watching the game would have.
  • Twelve each = A case race. The only proper number for such an amazing drinking game/event.

30 packs, 30 racks, and 30 stacks

Then the 30 pack came along and changed the beer packaging game forever here in the United States. Walmart started carrying 18 packs, 15 packs, and whatever other denomination big beverage could produce. 30 racks dominated the 2000s-2010s. They became the foundational purchase for parties, supplying round after round of low-abv ammunition to millions of games of flip cup, beer pong, and bag toss.

Cases existed, but they were forgotten.

Craft beer 4 packs of cans

Bottling slowed down throughout the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. Bottling was really shelved, pardon the pun, in the late 2000s as the craft beer explosion took over in the U.S. What did enjoy a rebirth through craft beer brewing is the glorious case of beer. Tall boy 16oz craft beers fit nicely into the 6x4 arrangement. Though the average price of a craft beer case comes in between $60-100, depending on which brewery you are at, you are still getting a case of beers. In this case, however, it is 24 tasty beers brewed and owned by folks in the United States.

Though we toss heaps of respect onto the big beverage brewers in St. Louis and Colorado, their profits are still getting shipped overseas. Drink local. And if you do, get yourself a tasty case of beers.

Beer Case Q&A

There are all sorts of questions you may be curious about when it comes to these relics of beer drinking enjoyment. Here goes.

How many bottles in a case of beer? How many cans in a case of beer?

Twenty four (24). It's the same no matter how you look at it.

How many gallons in a case of beer?

128oz per gallon. 12oz per beer. 24 cans or bottles per case. 2.25 gallons.

How much does a case of beer weigh?

Not much if it's a case of helium beer. Anyway, this depends on whether the case of beers is bottled or in cans. In general, about as much as a small dog. If you can pick up your puppers, case of beer shouldn't be too much.

  • Cans? Approximately 19-20lbs or so.
  • Bottles? Approximately 35-36lbs or so.

How much does a case of beer cost?

Back in the 80s/90s, you could get a case of beers for a little over 10 bucks. Say, Pabst Blue Ribbon or Strohs.

These days, $15-20, all the way up to $100 for craft beer. Despite what beer drinkers will tell you, beer has actually gotten cheaper. That said, it could be that quality beer has gotten more expensive.