Dear Rob Tod. I have realized that I don't think I really care about that corked 750 ml bottle after all:
We have been doing cork-finished beers for a number of years and early on we wanted to come out with a lower-alcohol, pretty full-flavored but around 4.5%- to 5%-alcohol beer. It was called the Allagash Special. That was in a cork-finished 750 mL bottle and it didn’t sell in that package. It cost us a lot to make it and cost us a lot to package in that bottle, so we had to charge a lot for it. We got beat up for it and people didn’t buy it. I think people want higher alcohol with the bigger, cork-finished special releases. I’ll welcome it when the consumer will buy those lower alcohol, fuller-flavored beers in that package. I think it will be great.
Why in "that package"? Look, I don't want to suggest Rob is the moving force behind corked bottles but he does give a very good quote. And he takes a question well. I was fortunate enough to catch a moment him when I popped into the Allagash retail shop last summer when I mentioned my unhappy reaction to one of the annual editions of Victor. He was patient and listened, not indicating at all that he was staring at a sunburnt Canadian beer blogger somewhat smelling of fried clams and ice cream with a child tugging at his arm who really didn't make that much sense. It was, rather, Ron Jefferies who, when he was kind enough to give me the best part of an hour at the end of a Friday, I asked about the price implications of the corked bottle. I was shocked.
So, in telling you about the only two times I have ever talked to actual US craft brewers my point is this: the bottle may well add two bucks to the price of a beer. If the point of a session is to comfortably have more than one (or even more) why do I want to see so many dollars dedicated to filling the recycling bin? If Knut of Norway can have a cheap and cheery Rodenbach from a can, what beer shouldn't be packaged in that consumer friendly format? Even if not in a can, if you want to to sell your session beers please make them reasonably affordable to buy. Like a bottle of Allagash White or Jolly Pumpkin Bam. h/t Lew.