There’s nothing quite like a cold beer after a hearty ride through the woods. But then the crew gets back to the vehicle and low and below the newbie brought, WHAT, CANNED BEER……Now this, in and of itself, would usually call for a 29’er wheel to the face,
but wait it appears to be a microbrew. How can that be? Hey we all know that canned beer is inferior to bottled beer. And that nasty metallic taste, who wants it? But if the Microbrewery’s are serving it up then what’s the deal? For decades we’ve assumed that canned beer only comes from the big commercial breweries and the can ruined the taste. But now it seems that’s not necessarily the case.
The first can of beer rolled off the line on January 24, 1935 in Richmond, VA. The advantages for the large breweries were numerous, including economy of scale and associated decrease in cost. Retailers like it due to storage efficiencies and lower energy costs to cool the cans. And consumers like it due to the loss of a bottle deposit. However, all of this came with a big disadvantage. The original steel and eventually aluminum cans did leech a small amount of their constituents into the beer giving it that metallic taste. But as with everything else technology has come as long way. Today’s cans are actually lined with non-reactive materials that ensure the beer never touches the metal. As far as storage goes, canned beer might have a slight advantage over bottles in that cans actually protect beer from light and oxygen. Cans are airtight and oxygen-free. When light consistently hits a bottle of beer, it can turn skunky and ultimately undrinkable.
Oxygen can also leach into a bottled beer under the bottle cap and affect the taste, which could potentially destroy the beer. Cans also chill quicker than bottles; they don’t break as easy as bottles; and they are versatile for taking biking, hiking and other more extreme outdoor activities. And consider the numerous places you can’t take bottles anymore, sporting events, parks, beaches. So now instead of taking that 6-pack of swill, you can get some of your old favorites in a can, and better yet they don’t break when you whack your friends with them.
There are now over 20 microbreweries offering beer in a can, including New Belgium (Fat Tire), Caldera Brewing Company (Caldera Pale Ale), and BrewDog (Punk IPA). You can also get your old favorites like Guinness or Grolsch.
And while you may not think the experience is the same, you might just be surprise to find out that even the most discerning pallets can’t tell the difference. Like anything, drinking beer comes down to personal taste. If you feel like drinking a watered-down beverage, that’s a personal decision. However, with the numerous choices these days there’s no reason you can’t leave the store with a quality 6-pack of canned beer. After all, life’s way too short to drink shitty beer…..