I’m a fan of the can
My thoughts about the canning explosion…
Eight years ago, when I turned 21, I looked down my nose at canned beer. My view of the canned beer world included Bud, Coors, Miller, Red-dog, Ice House, et al. My impression was that all canned beer tasted the same…that was if you could discern a taste from it. I vividly remember consciously walking past the stacks of thirty packs for $17.99 to go buy a 12-pack of a craft beer (ok so I admit I only got the craft beer when it was cheep because I was in my dark ages) or import for $12.99. I didn’t care about the quantity but I cared about the flavor, so I sure as heck wasn’t going to buy beer in a can even if it was economical for college students.
Flash forward a few years, I still was unaware of the idea of craft beer(I couldn’t define craft beer either) in cans until another guest at a New Years Party had brought a 6 pack of beer which if I correctly recall was Old Chub from Oskar Blues, the pioneer of craft beer canning. At first I doubted his story and thought it was just another one of the big guys’ new brands. It is kind of fuzzy due to time, and sangria, but I remember talking with him about this canned craft beer and didn’t think much of it because I had not sampled it and also it was a few months before 2beerguys was started. Post enlightenment, I began to learn more about the beer I was drinking and discovered that oxygen and light are huge factors in the quality of beer and the length of time it takes to degrade. Why not can the beer? Not only does it preserve better but it also is environmentally friendly, takes up less space for shipping which can reduce costs, and it is less likely to be damaged than glass bottles.
Over the past few years I have not only discovered the joys of canned beer but also anxiously wait for it to become more popular amongst breweries. Until the past year there was a dearth of quality canned beer available in the area. I salivated at the thought of a can from Oskar Blues be it Dale’s Pale Ale, Old Chub Scotch Ale, Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Gordon Ale, Gubna Imperial IPA, or the amazing Ten Fiddy Imperial Stout. This spring my patience, however small it may have been, was rewarded with the availability of more craft beer in the aluminum cylinders which I love. Out of F.X. Matt Brewing Company, Saranac Pale Ale is available in 4-packs, year round, and I also understand that there may be more canned Saranac brews that are not available near me.
In May, Harpoon also announced the release of their IPA and Summer Beer in cans for the 2010 summer in order to give their customers beer in something other than glass whilst they enjoy the outdoors. Harpoon brewed the beer at their Windsor VT facility and trucked it to F.X. Matt in Utica, NY for canning. Amazingly enough, Harpoon announced their canned beer and its canning location prior to F.X. Matt even announced Saranac Pale Ale being canned. BrewDog out of Scotland is looking into the possibility of canning their Punk IPA and I would gladly welcome it as long as it’s available in New England.
I am busy trying to compile a list of breweries that can craft beer and have discovered there are over 75 that offer the aluminum wonders. Stay tuned for more info on those 75….or at least some of them.