Beer Can Dimensions in Other Places
The standard in most European countries is 330 ml (11.6 imp fl oz or 11 US fl oz). The 330 ml is also used in India. In some European countries the 500 ml (equal to 17.6 imp oz and 16.9 US fl oz) is used more frequently for beer.
The 500 ml is almost equal to the US “tall boy” (measured at 473 ml or 16.7 imp oz). The “tall boy” is used in the US for beer too. In Europe, the 500 ml is also for beer and the 330 ml for other drinks.
The beverage and beer can size in Australia is 12.7 US fl oz (13.2 imp fl oz or 375 ml). In South Africa 330 ml cans are used (11.2 US fl oz and 11.6 imp fl oz). For promos, beer and average companies use 440 ml sizes (equal to 14.9 US fl oz or 15.6 imp fl oz).
Diameter and Composition
The standard can diameter in the United States, New Zealand and Australia is 65 mm. This diameter is also employed for soft drinks and other beverages. In Europe the diameter often used is 52 mm. However, some cans in the US have started using the European size, notably the energy drinks.
Whatever the beer can size, it is made of aluminum. This rule is applicable only in the US. In Asia and Europe, the cans are composed of 45% aluminum and 55% steel. On average, an empty can weighs 1 ounce or 15 grams.
Types of Beer Cans
There are many types of beer cans but collectors divide them into three categories: self opening, flat tops and cone tops. Most beer cans today make use of pull tabs, and these variants are not widely available.
The flat tops were used before the tab tops. Unlike modern cans one had to use a church key to open the can. These cans were usually 12 ounces. They were 2 5/8” in diameter. The average height was 5”. The cone top referred to any can with a cone shape spout.
Like the modern beer can size, cone tops were 12 oz. It was comprised of 3 parts (body, cone and the bottom). However some cans came in at 32 oz. The high profile cone tops were 5 5/8” high and 2 5/8” in diameter.
The self opening can introduced the concept of removable tabs. Later on the tabs became a part of the beer can. Before sizes were standardized, some beer cans came in at 16 oz. There were also 3 3/8” tall cans, and some 6.25”. Diameters also varied with some at 2 5/8” and others at 6” in diameter. The 6” diameter was for the 9” cans.
With competition heating up, it won’t be surprising if beer can sizes change as companies try to make their products stand out from the rest.