Sly Fox Brewing Company has been a canning pioneer for quite some time, but they’re not so rare nowadays. Canning craft beer is a common practice now, and until recently, Sly Fox was canning their beers like everybody else; nothing special, just a standard beer can. Until now that is. Enter the topless can, or as Sly Fox calls it, the “360 Lid.” I prefer the former title, but regardless of phraseology, it’s one killer idea.
The new 360 Lid works kind of like a soup can, with a pull-tab that peels back, exposing a 1.75-inch opening. Some might see this as a safety concern, although I think the average consenting adult can handle their metal tabs. Nevertheless, Sly Fox and the company that designed the can, Crown Beverage Packaging North America, says this isn’t a problem.
“Once the lid is removed, consumers do not come into contact with any rough edges as they drink from the can,” Brian Thiel, a sales manager for Crown told TODAY.com.
Apparently it isn’t the first of its kind. The 360 Lid made its debut at the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament in South Africa, that time for SABMiller. It’s also been used in parts of Asia and Latin America. Sam Adams considered a similar design for their new can, but dumped the idea when they learned that the tab violated litter laws in certain states.
The crew at Sam Adams was also concerned about the lid allowing dust and other particles into the beer, a point I flat out disagree with, as the whole purpose of the design is to create a wider opening. Of course the opening makes the beer more susceptible to outside particles, but doesn’t a glass too? Either way, they didn’t go through with it.
So Sly Fox is the first to use the can in North America. For now, they’re offering the topless can with only one of their beers – the Helles Golden Lager. This German-style beer has a 4.9% ABV, and if I had to guess, I’d say they chose the Helles Golden Lager because it’s more a of a session beer that will appeal to a large range of drinkers.
The can was present at the Craft Brewers Conference in Washington, D.C. last week, and apparently it produced a decent buzz. I’m in one of three states where Sly Fox distributes (New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania), and I gotta say, I’m pretty pumped to try it out.