The can revolution continues. More and more great beers are lining the shelves dressed in aluminum instead of glass, and the choices to bring to the beach or poolside seem to expand every week. With summer starting, there are more options than ever for canned craft beer. Still not sold on the benefits of cans vs. glass? Let me educate you.
Taste: There is still the misconception out there that beer from a can will have a metallic taste. Fear not. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, the aluminum cans used to package beer have a water-based polymer lining that eliminates any metallic contamination or flavors. In addition, cans actually lock in the flavor of beer better than even dark glass bottles. No light penetrates the cans and the seal is tighter than a bottle cap. Thus, your beer tastes fresher longer. No skunkiness.
Environment: Cans are more environmentally friendly. They are easier to recycle and require less packaging.
Cost: Cans are cheaper for the brewery and distributor to ship. Cans can be punctured, but they don't break.
Convenience and efficiency: Cans get cold faster and take up less space in your fridge. Plus, cans are easier and more convenient to bring along on outdoor activities such as camping, golf, hiking, a day at the beach or pool and any other activity that affords you the luxury of enjoying good beer!
Prefer a lighter beer? Kona Brewing Longboard Lager is delicious. Hop Head? Grab a Torpedo tall-boy from Sierra Nevada. In fact there are over one hundred breweries that are canning the beers, some exclusively. Here in Florida, cans are getting easier and easier to find. Here are some of my favorites that you can pick up locally.
Tampa Bay Brewing Company – Old Elephant Foot IPA (Tampa, Florida)
Located in the heart of Centro Ybor, and one of the cornerstones of the craft-brewing in Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Brewing Company is finally available outside of the brewpub. Available on draft around the bay Area, and now in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans, the Old Elephant Foot IPA is a bold brew that will satisfy the biggest hop-heads.
Oskar Blues Brewing – Dales Pale Ale (Lyons, Colorado)
Arguably the Kings of Cans - and certainly a big reason they have become so popular, Oskar Blues has been canning since day one, and their Dale's Pale is one of my go-to beers. Balanced but leaning toward the hoppier side, it's a crisp, refreshing brew that delivers amazing flavor.
Narragansett Beer Company – Cream Ale (Providence, Rhode Island)
"Hi, Neighbor, have a 'Gansett!," The iconic phrase still embodies the spirit of the New England brewery. Their retro styling and attitude have been brought back to life and are now branching out into some new styles and seasonals, including their Cream Ale. This is their first year-round craft style, and it is a malty, smooth beer that fans of the original 'Gansett will be surprised at, but love.
Other breweries of note that offer their beer in cans are:
Avery Brewing (Boulder, CO)
Harpoon Brewing (Windsor, Vermont)
Intuition Brewing (Jacksonville, FL)
Brooklyn Brewing Company (Brooklyn, NY)
So next time you are looking for a new craft beer to try, don't skip over the cans. Remember, they are not only great beers, but they travel better, are better for the environment, and keep much better.
Special thanks to the folks at craftcans.com for the research and information!