I really enjoy craft beer from a can. Not that I really enjoy drinking it out of a can, but I like it's convenience for certain situations. It seems to be superior to the bottle for freshness as well. My friends and family already are sometimes baffled by my fascination with old beer. Why do I care so much about fresh beer now? Maybe that's for another blog post.
Cans don't allow any oxygen in. Cans don't allow any light in. Bottle caps, whether twist-off or pry-off, let in a small bit of oxygen. Bottles are made of transparent colored glass. Brown is best, green not so much in my opinion. So theoretically cans keep distributed beer fresher longer.
My wife and I are music fanatics. We've gotten in the habit of hitting two camping festivals in the Summer. For one of these festivals in particular no glass is allowed onsite. This used to present an unfortunate challenge. My first experience ended in a terrible debacle which included five or six 30 packs of Busch Light. Now I've been able to bring some excellent canned offerings. From Oskar Blues in Colorado we've packed Dale's Pale Ale, Mama's Little Yella Pils, Gordon, Gubna & TenFidy. Gordon has recently had a name change to "G'Knight Imperial Red Ale". Thanks BA.com for that info. From Caldera in Oregon we've brought their IPA and Pale Ale. I recall their cans being extremely brittle. Had two 'spolde on me in transit. Last Summer we fell in love with 21st Amendment Brewery's Hell or High Watermellon Wheat Beer and Brew Free! or Die IPA. They've now chopped off the "Brew Free! or Die" from the name and it's simply known as the IPA. They've got some colder weather goodies as well. So now we can bring lots of good craft beer on our music & camping weekends. There are some new (to me) canned brews I'd like to get this season. Suggestions anyone?
On to the economy of cans. I was happy to see Brewer's Art bottling some of their house specialties. Resurrection Ale is one of my very favorite beers. I like that I can travel with a bottle to share with friends and family who may not be able to get it. Priced at about $10 for a 22 oz/750ml (can't remember exactly which it was). Not terribly bad, but it breaks down to about $5 a serving. At a bar, I've got no problem paying $5+ for a craft pour. But at home? Seems a bit much. Last year they began canning Resurrection in six packs, priced at about $10. Now I can buy 72 oz.of a craft favorite in a can for the same price as about a third of that in a bottle. I certainly understand the expense that goes in to both methods and their shipping difference. So, why still buy the bottled version? Some like the mystique and romance of a pretty bottle and paper label art work I guess. I can certainly appreciate both sides here.
I guess what I'm really getting at here is to encourage people to be more adventurous when picking out beer. Don't be afraid of that colorful can over there, the one from the brewery that you've never heard of. Check the price, about the same as your six pack of your favorite go-to bottled craft ale, right? Maybe a slight difference, but nothing not worth risking. You know your "go-to" beer well, give the new one a shot. You may find a new favorite. Support those breweries that are canning. Who else is canning and needs more attention? Please share!