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.
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 BeerAdvocate.com. 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.