How Many Ounces in a Pitcher of Beer?

Beer lovers seem to have a unique language when it comes to drinking and enjoying beer. Not only do they call this ancient drink by different names such as ale, brew, booze, jar, and so on, but they also have varieties of measures and packages for the beer.

The uncertainty about the US pitcher and how many ounces in a pitcher is a common question. Many beer lovers are also not sure are there any differences in pitchers regarding the amount of beer and the pitchers’ sizes and types. Let’s get this straight once and for all.

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The History of Beer

Believe it or not, the history of beer dates back to Mesopotamia and Egypt’s ancient cultures, 7,000 years ago. That strikes the fact that beer is a genuinely cherished and respected drink throughout the millenniums, not just centuries.

Therefore, many ancient cultures, such as Sumerians, Chinese, Greek, and Roman, knew the process of beer brewing. Luckily, it has been passed on to us, so we can enjoy sipping the beer in the coziness of our homes, pubs, restaurants, and modern breweries. One would say it is the drink of Gods, and probably it is true, as it lasted for so many years.

Next time when you pour yourself a glass of beer or you order it, you should keep in mind that some ancient Egyptians enjoyed it as you do it now but 7,000 years ago. You must be wondering how much did they drink and from what.

There has been evidence that some Sumerians drank beer from communal bowls. Using reed straws, they sipped from the bowls, meaning they had enjoyed it as much as you do now.

Glassware and Packaging

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If the beer is not served from kegs but packed for further distribution in markets, stores, and supermarkets, then you can find it in cans, glass bottles, and plastic bottles. These are the standard packaging of beer, easy to store in fridges to be cold and refreshing.

In case you order a beer in the HORECA sector, you can quickly make a mistake when ordering. The measures are not the same in Australia, Europe, or the US.

You can order a jug of beer in Australia, a container of about a liter of beer, or a bit more. Sometimes it can happen that you don’t get glasses with a jug, as it is assumed you will drink all by yourself from it.

On the other hand, you will usually get a pint of beer in England or about half a liter in a glass. You can also order half a pint, and your beer will come in class in that case. When it comes to the US-style, you can order a pitcher of beer. There are several beer pitcher sizes, and the most common are those between 64 and 128 ounces (2 – 4 l).

The Pitcher of Beer

Initially, the name comes from the word PICHER from the 13th century. It was an earthen jug used for serving drinks. Actually, it was a container for liquids and had the same meaning as the jug.

However, the amount of liquid inside made the difference between these two over time. The US pitchers have several sizes as their standards of 32, 48, or 60 ounces.

So, let’s use that 1 ounce equals 29.5735 ml, which is the measure of one ounce calculated in milliliters in a metric system. As you can calculate, 60 ounces pitcher contains 1,774.41 ml. In other words, if you order 60 ounces pitcher of beer, you will get almost 1.8 liters of it.

If you are an American, you will know that drinking 60 ounces pitcher of beers means that you will deal with six glasses of 10 ounces or five glasses of 12 ounces. If you are used to pints, you will get three-pint glasses. Now, you can find the most suitable measure and be sure what a 60-ounce pitcher is.

Additionally, 48 ounces pitcher will contain 1,419.53 ml, meaning you will drink about 1.4 liters of beer. That is why it comes with extra glasses so you can share it with your companions. Usually, you can have four glasses of 12 ounces of beer.

In the end, 32 ounces pitcher has 946.353 ml of beer. That is the smaller pitcher, and it is almost three glasses of 12 ounces of beer. To be precise, there are 2 and 2/3 glasses, so be careful when splitting between 3 members company. In such a case, you shouldn’t fill it to the top.

You will usually get a 12-ounces one when you order a glass of beer in a bar or restaurant. You can now calculate how much there is in different pitchers, and you don’t need to wait for a waiter for refills. With a pitcher on your table, you can refill on your own.

Other Beer Vessels

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There are a lot of different vessels you can drink your beer from. If you appreciate stronger materials and like to call on ‘cheers’ often, I suggest taking either beer stein or tankard. In this case, you will have a strong beer vessel in your hand without worries that it can break under two ‘cheers’ impact.

More and more popular in beer bars are beer towers in the middle of the table. You can pour your beer from it on a tap. Plus, it keeps the beer cool and drinking more fun.

Unfortunately, due to the safety rules, at some public events such as concerts and festivals, the only beer vessel you can get is a plastic container. Luckily, these are the situations you don’t have so often. Therefore, the compromise of a plastic container is bearable, or should you say ‘beerable.’


Some would say there is no such thing as too much beer. However, next time you order the pitcher of lager, you will have a clear picture of how much beer you are supposed to drink. You can now calculate and relax by yourself or in good company, just as our ancestors have done for many millennia back. Cheers!

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