It used to be close to impossible to find decent beer in cans. The only real options were certain English ales (e.g. Tetley’s, Old Speckled Hen) in “pub cans” (which contain a “widget” that releases CO2 to simulate pub draught). I’m happy to report this has changed significantly: there are now a number of microbreweries using cans (some exclusively).
- Cans are lighter, which reduces fuel use, not just saving money but also reducing carbon emissions. I did a quick calculation and found that a full 12 oz. bottle weighs 557g whereas a full can is 35% lighter at only 363g.
- Cans are also easy to recycle.
- Light blockage is another crucial quality. Beer is very sensitive to light. That’s why virtually any Heineken (at least outside of the Netherlands) is slightly skunky: they use green bottles. And I’m pretty sure they shove the wedge of lime into Corona to cover the skunkiness, since their bottles are clear.
I asked Chuck Williamson, owner/operator of Butternuts Beer and Ales, why he uses cans, and he offered another good reason: “As a production micro-brewery selling mainly wholesale, it was a tough prospect to compete on the store shelves. Going with the cans meant we could stand out and coupled that with our left of center marketing and labeling.” I would agree with Chuck’s assessment since I have definitely noticed the cans when looking at the array of microbrew offerings.
Avery Brewing of Boulder, Colo.
NEW! Baxter Brewing of Lewiston, Maine (review of Stowaway IPA)
Blue Mountain Brewery of Afton, Virg.*
Butternuts of Garrattsville, NY (review of Pork Slap Pale Ale)