Well, I know I owe you my review of Dogfish Head Fort and I promise you that is coming. However, there has been a lot of news lately of new beers being released in cans and I decided I would weigh in with my thoughts.
First of all, I know for years know its been said that good beer comes in bottles and that they are the superior vessel for beer. This was mainly because cans used to tend to give beers what is considered an “off-flavor” which would be that of a slightly metallic taste.
Over time technology and materials have improved greatly and this situation has been resolved and we tend to no longer have that problem. With this rectified I personally am a fan of the can for various reasons.
For starters, light is one of the top culprits for giving beer an off-flavor or a skunky taste. All bottles tend to let in light however, brewers have gone to great length to change this. Most of your brewers now use brown bottles which reflect the most light and higher 6 packs to keep light out as they sit on the shelf. While the brown bottle and higher packaging doesn’t prevent all light from getting through it does greatly reduce it. However, this is a problem that is 100% rectified with the use of cans as they block out all light.
Furthermore, cans allow for easier storage and shipping. Since they are flat on top they can be shipped using less material (those pesky plastic rings) and are more environmentally friendly. Also, the flat even tops allow for less shelf space waste in your favorite beer store. They can stack canned 6 packs easier then they can bottles and therefore carry more variety in less space. Also, its much better in your fridge as stacking allows you to make great use of all that space.
Lastly, for the stouts and porters best served with a nitrogen pump like Guinness or Young’s Double Chocolate Stout the widgets that can be used inside of cans help produce a frothy creamy head when poured into a glass. I know the Guinness bottles have a widget as well but its not the same as the ones in the cans for some reason.
Oh and I can’t help myself but one less point is cans are not as fragile as glass bottles and won’t break as easily if dropped. Yes, if dropped its possible for a can to puncture but its less likely.
One downside to cans and an advantage for bottles is for the home brewers. Cans cannot be reused after a good wash and sanitation to be used to bottle home brew since they cannot be resealed with a capper.
The biggest issue that remains when it comes to the great wonderful aluminum can is for more brewers to embrace it and for us to get more variety out of a can. Imagine a day when you walk into your favorite bar and they have vending machines serving beer. Then you will no longer need to wait and struggle to get the attention of the bartender who is busy making all of those diet rum and cokes and vodka tonics for those that just don’t appreciate a craft beer.
And that’s … From My Mellin!!