How many Oz is in a tall boy beer?

A tall boy beer typically contains 24 oz (ounces) of beer. Tall boy cans are 16 oz cans, compared to the standard 12 oz beer can. So a tall boy contains 33% more beer than a regular 12 oz can.

What is a Tall Boy Beer?

A tall boy is a large, 16 oz aluminum beer can. Tall boys contain 24 oz (ounces) of beer, which is 33% more than a standard 12 oz beer can. Some key facts about tall boys:

  • Tall boys are 16 oz cans, compared to 12 oz for a standard beer can
  • They contain 24 oz total volume of beer
  • The cans are taller and slimmer than standard 12 oz cans
  • They allow brewers to package more beer in a single can
  • Tall boys first became popular in the 1950s and 1960s
  • They are still popular today, especially for craft beers and malt liquors

So in summary, a tall boy is a 16 oz beer can containing 24 oz of beer. The term comes from the “tall”, slim shape of the can compared to standard 12 oz cans.

Volume of Beer in a Tall Boy

The total volume of beer contained in a typical tall boy can is 24 fluid ounces (oz). Here is how the math works out:

  • Tall boy cans contain 16 oz of liquid volume
  • For beer packaging, about 4 oz of headspace is left at the top
  • So 16 oz (can volume) – 4 oz (headspace) = 12 oz
  • Since the beer is carbonated, 12 oz of beer fills up to 16 oz with carbonation
  • So the total volume of beer that ends up in a 16 oz tall boy can is 24 oz

In summary:

  • Tall boy can volume = 16 oz
  • Headspace = 4 oz
  • Beer before carbonation = 12 oz
  • Carbonated beer volume = 24 oz

More Beer than a 12 oz Can

A 24 oz tall boy contains significantly more beer than a standard 12 oz beer can. Specifically:

  • A tall boy has 24 oz of beer
  • A standard can has 12 oz
  • So a tall boy contains 100% more beer than a standard 12 oz can

Having twice as much beer makes the tall boy a popular single-serve container for beers like malt liquor. A single tall boy can contain a full large serving of beer.

History of the Tall Boy

Tall boy beer cans first became popular in the 1950s. They were introduced by several major beer companies, including Schlitz, Ballantine, and Anheuser-Busch. Reasons tall boys were introduced include:

  • The slim, tall shape allowed brewers to differentiate their beers
  • The larger volume allowed them to compete with bottles and cartons
  • They appealed to blue collar workers who wanted more beer for their money

The 16 oz Schlitz tall boy was particularly popular in the 1950s and 60s. Ballantine introduced their quirky cone-top tall boy design, which stood out on store shelves. Anheuser-Busch’s Busch Bavarian malt liquor brand helped make tall boys popular with urban markets.

By the 1970s, the novelty of the tall boy waned as standard 12 oz cans dominated the market. But tall boys saw a resurgence craft brewers and malt liquors in the 1990s and 2000s. Today they are popular with craft beers and are sometimes called “pounders” due their 16 oz size.

Tall Boys vs. Standard 12 oz Cans

Feature Tall Boy Can Standard Can
Can Size 16 oz 12 oz
Total Beer Volume 24 oz 12 oz
More Beer than Standard Can? Yes, 100% more beer N/A
Popular Beer Styles Craft beers, malt liquors Mainstream lagers

As the table illustrates, tall boys give you more beer in a single can. They contain 24 oz compared to just 12 oz in a standard can. Tall boys are popular with craft and malt liquor brands, while mainstream beers like Budweiser generally come in 12 oz cans.

Tall Boy Can Dimensions

Tall boy cans have distinguishing dimensions compared to standard 12 oz cans:

  • Height – Tall boys are about 6.5 inches tall, over 2 inches taller than a standard 12 oz can
  • Diameter – Tall boys have a slimmer diameter of around 2.6 inches
  • Shape – The tall, slim shape gives them the “tall boy” name

The shape of a tall boy can allows brewers to differentiate their products on the shelf. It also provides a larger branding canvas for the extra height. The slimmer diameter helps with grip and portability.

Advantages of Tall Boys

Some key advantages of tall boy cans include:

  • More volume – At 24 oz, you get more beer in a single tall boy can
  • Differentiates brands – The unique tall shape stands out on the shelf
  • Portability – The slim diameter is easy to grip and transport
  • Branding canvas – More space for eye-catching designs and branding
  • Pricing benefits – Often costs less per oz than 12 oz cans

For drinkers, the main appeal of tall boys is getting more beer for your money. For brewers, tall boys allow unique branding and designs.

Tall Boy Can Materials

Nearly all tall boy cans today are made from aluminum. Aluminum provides excellent advantages for tall boy cans:

  • Lightweight – Important for easy portability of a larger can
  • Resealable – Aluminum allows resealable lids to keep beer fresh
  • Recyclable – Aluminum has high recycling rates for sustainability
  • Durability – Strong enough to withstand drop impacts
  • Branding – Ideal printable surface for branding and designs

Aluminum tall boy cans keep beer fresh while providing sustainability. Thanks to modern aluminum can printing, the tall shape becomes a colorful branding canvas.

Steel Tall Boys

In the past, steel was also used for some tall boy cans. However, steel proved problematic:

  • Heavier – Added weight made cans hard to carry
  • Corrosion – Steel corroded over time, damaging cans
  • Leakage – Steel did not provide an airtight seal
  • Coatings – Required plastic coatings to protect the steel

Aluminum solved these drawbacks, making it the ideal tall boy can material.

Popular Beer Styles for Tall Boys

Certain beer styles are especially suited to tall boy cans today:

  • Craft beers – Tall boys stand out on shelves crowded with craft brands
  • IPAs – Hold up well to light and oxygen with tall boy size
  • Wheat beers – The extra volume suits sharing wheat beers
  • Malt liquors – More volume ideal for higher ABV malt liquors

The extra space is perfect for hop-forward IPAs and bold craft branding. Malt liquors use the larger volume for higher alcohol content. Wheat beers work well for sharing the larger tall boy size.

Beers Not Typically Found in Tall Boys

Some styles less suited to tall boys include:

  • Mainstream lagers – Typically sold in 12 or 16 oz packs, bottles
  • Porters – Often come in 6 pack 12 oz cans or bottles
  • Belgian ales – Typically in individually sized 12 oz bottles

Mainstream brands like Budweiser don’t offer tall boys. Higher end Belgian brands are usually in 12 oz bottles. While some porters come in tall boys, the style is still mostly sold in 6-pack 12 oz cans.

Tall Boy Can Sustainability

Tall boys cans offer excellent sustainability benefits:

  • Highly recyclable aluminum
  • Resealable lids reduce waste vs. bottles
  • Cans keep out light and oxygen for freshness
  • Slim shape uses less materials and energy
  • Aluminum cans chill faster, using less refrigeration

Thanks to recyclable aluminum, tall boys are much more sustainable than single-use glass bottles. And aluminum cans keep beer tasting fresher for less waste.

Recycling Tall Boy Cans

Empty tall boy cans are ideally suited for recycling:

  • Made from highly recyclable aluminum
  • Easily identified by recycling machines
  • Reprocessed into new cans or aluminum materials
  • Aluminum cans have high recycling rates
  • Recycling reduces energy needed to produce new aluminum

With proper recycling, a tall boy can could be remade into a new can within 90 days. Aluminum recycling significantly reduces energy usage and waste.

Buying Tall Boys

There are several ways to purchase tall boy cans of beer:

  • Single cans at convenience stores, gas stations, or liquor stores
  • Multi-unit packs at grocery stores and warehouse clubs
  • Cases of tall boys at beer distributors or liquor stores
  • Build your own case at some craft beer stores

The per-unit price is often lowest when buying cases or multi-packs vs. single tall boys. But singles offer variety, trying new craft beers.

Tall Boy Pricing

Tall boy can pricing considerations:

  • Singles are most expensive per oz
  • Multi-unit packs offer a lower per-can price
  • Buying full cases usually has the lowest per-unit cost
  • Can deposit fees add to cost where applicable

While singles allow you to mix and match, buying and multi-unit packs or full cases saves the most money when stocking up on tall boys.

Drinking Tall Boys

Enjoying tall boy cans requires some adaptations from standard 12 oz cans:

  • Use tall boy specific can holders, or grasp can directly
  • Taller cans mean tipping the can back further when drinking
  • Consider pouring into a cup or mug halfway through to avoid tilting can
  • Use both hands when pouring into a glass to avoid spills
  • For outdoor events, use koozies or insulators to keep cold

The slimmer diameter makes tall boys easier to grip than standard cans. But the extra height requires adjusting your drinking approach to avoid spilling.

Tall Boy Can Collecting

Tall boy cans are popular among can collectors for several reasons:

  • Unique shapes and branding stand out in collections
  • Vintage cans provide historical examples from the 1950s onward
  • Relative scarcity compared to standard 12 oz cans
  • Often showcase creative and artistic can designs
  • Clear labeling makes brands and dates easy to identify

Iconic designs like Ballantine’s cone top and Schlitz’s 1960s cans are especially sought after. Limited edition craft beer tall boy designs also attract collector attention.


A tall boy beer can contains 24 oz (ounces) of beer, 100% more than a standard 12 oz can. The tall, slim 16 oz cans first appeared in the 1950s. Today they remain popular with craft beers and malt liquors. Advantages of tall boys include more volume, unique branding, sustainability, and pricing benefits. Understanding can sizes like tall boys allows brewers to match styles appropriately, and helps drinkers get the right volume.

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