Canning the craft

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First Posted: 4/28/2014

As you peruse the beer selections at your favorite craft beer store or bar, you may notice a growing trend among the way they’re packaged. There are still large amounts of bottled beers, but many craft brewers are beginning to sell beers in cans.

While cans have been the mainstay for many mass-marketed beers for quite some time, craft brewers are taking back this drinking vessel and making it their own. They are not simply doing this as a statement against mass-marketed beer, but have instead realized just how great a can is for beer.

Yes, cans do make beer much more versatile and portable without the worry or fear of broken glass or constant searching for a bottle opener. However, the one true standout benefit of the can is the protection from UV lighting that it provides for the beer inside.

While brown bottles are still great for beer, they do allow some small amount of light to penetrate through. Over time, this can damage the beer; we see this spoilage occur even faster when beer is packaged in green or clear bottles. However, cans allow no light to penetrate through, and this is what many brewers see as great potential.

21st Amendment Brewery is one of those breweries that see all of the benefits to using this packaging – so many, in fact, that all of its brews are available in cans. Such fantastic beers include Black IPA Back in Black, the Double IPA Hop Crisis, the Belgian Ale Monk’s Blood, and the world-renowned watermelon wheat beer, Hell or High Watermelon.

Oskar Blues is another brewery that has an extensive lineup of beers that are all offered in cans as well. Oskar has long pushed the boundaries for what one would typically expect from beer made available in a can. The delicious Russian Imperial Stout Ten FIDY is widely available, as well at the American IPA Deviant Dale’s IPA and the extremely enjoyable Scotch Ale Old Chub.

Craft beer giant Sam Adams even got in on the canning of craft beer and began with its Boston Lager being packaged in cans last year. Sam has since moved on due to the success of Boston Lager and has begun putting a wide variety of its beers in cans, such as Summer Ale, Oktoberfest, and Cold Snap, and it seems like they have plans for canning even more beers.

The list of breweries that offer craft beers in cans is extensive and ever-growing. Breweries and beers such as Terapin Beer Company, RecreationAle; Avery Brewing Company, Joe’s Premium American Pilsner; Cigar City Brewing, Jai Alai IPA; The Alchemist, Heady Topper; Anderson Valley, Hop Ottin’ IPA; New Belgium Brewing, Fat Tire; and Founders Brewing Company, All Day IPA are just a small sample of some great beers available in cans.

While the can may be nothing new in the beer world, the craft beer canning revolution does offer something much different. That difference is the quality of the product inside the can because, after all, it really is all about the beer.

So get out there and drink some good beer – and don’t be afraid to get it in the can!