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Canning Craft Beer Saves Money and Energy

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 by Hannah

While some beer drinkers still balk at the idea that good beer can come in cans, others, like myself and a growing number of craft brewers/drinkers, are starting to see the light.

My initial experience with beer in a can was, in all honesty, Busch or Golden Anniversary, back about 15 years ago. It wasn’t a great experience but I chalk that up moreso to the beer with which the can was filled, rather than the can itself.

A few years later when I started drinking Guinness, I learned that I preferred it from the can, rather than a bottle, if I couldn’t get it on draft. It always tasted fresher and the gas widget seemed to create a smoother body when coming from a can.

My first experience with craft beer packaged in a can was Oskar Blues Old Chub which remains, to this day, one of my favorite Scottish-style ales. From what I know, Oskar Blues packages all of their delicious brews in cans in lieu of bottles, just like the heavy, dark Russian Imperial Stout I got to try a few months ago for the first time, Ten Fidy.

Oskar Blues Beers Lineup

Why should breweries choose cans over bottles for packaging? Not only does it save them resources and money, but it does the same for us, the consumers. Plus, cans are less strain on our environment than glass bottles ever could be.

Even tiny microbreweries are taking the plunge to canning, according to I just read that Milwaukee Brewing Co. has begun canning their brews this past week, in an effort to leave a smaller environmental footprint and save money at the same time.

According to the article, canning has the following sustainable advantages over bottling:

  • Average aluminum cans are made from 44% recycled aluminum
  • Aluminum cans are the most recycled package worldwide
  • Cans use a fraction of energy used to produce, ship and recycle glass
  • Cans require less energy to cool down, so consumers can enjoy cold beer more quickly

On top of saving energy, resources and money, beer stays fresher for longer in cans, since there’s no light passing through, making a skunky mess of it all (think especially green or clear bottles here… blech).

I support canning beer over bottling and hope after reading a few of the benefits, you will too (if you don’t already). Cheers to all of those craft breweries already doing their part.


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9 Responses to “Canning Craft Beer Saves Money and Energy”

  1. Burke Says:

    (Good) Beer in cans has so many advantages. Protection from light, shipping, storage, transportation, etc.
    It’s a just a shame that so many frown at the idea of it. Just like winos frown at screw tops for wine, when just like beer in cans – that has pretty much EVERY advantage, as well.

    I think BIC should and will catch on more and more.

  2. Hannah Says:

    Burke – I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for your input!

  3. Lost Says:

    It’s funny that you post this article Hannah. There is a lot of hype about breweries going over to cans.

    This month on my website I’m actually running a poll to get people’s thoughts on whether using a can affects the flavor of beer. I’m very interested in what the results will be, as I think consumers have concern over a beer tasting metallic because of the can.


  4. Hannah Says:

    Lost – there is a lot of hype, indeed. I’ve never noticed anything but good, clean flavor out of canned craft brews, myself. I’ll head over to your site and take the poll now! Cheers :)

  5. Burke Says:

    They probably have a metallic taste from the mouth of the can. If they drank out of a glass LIKE THEY SHOULD – all would be good. :)

  6. wes froebel Says:

    Can’s are great. Just pour the beer into a glass when it’s time to drink.

  7. Hannah Says:

    Wes, Burke – EXACTLY. Pour the beer into a glass. You should be doing that anyway, no matter which vessel your beer is packaged in.

  8. jimmerz Says:

    i like beer.. i dont really care if it comes in a can or a bottle or a damn box.. as long as its hoppy wet and gets me tanked lol… i tend to drink dark amber ales and IPA, the more hoppy the better. in a can you can store it longer. pour into a glass and you wont taste metal.. becides most cans are lined these days to prevent that metal after taste. so get on board and take it in the can people. lol

  9. gvieve Says:

    The verdict still seems to be out on the Cans vs. Glass environmental debate. Taking into account all of the environmental impact variables, they end up coming out even…depending on lots of things. With so many variables, including how local the brewery is, it’s a tough thing to measure. Regardless, I’m all for going back to the can and I’m totally with you on your Guinness preference! I stayed away so long because of high school taste bud memories of canned Bud and Milwaukee’s Best. Happy to see it’s coming back around in a good way :)

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