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TRENDS: Can The Beer?


Buckbean Beer, a Nevada craft brewer, uses
cans for its Black Noddy Logger and Orange
Blossom Ale. Photo courtesy of Buckbean

Is canned beer making a comeback among those who enjoy the finest? More craft brewers are turning to canning their brews. In the past, canning lines weren’t made small enough to handle small craft beer lines, so brewers had to use glass; glass became associated with quality beer.

While canned beer comprises a fraction of craft brews, some companies have started canning their beer exclusively, for environmental reasons as well as for consumer convenience:

  • Cans are more easily recyclable than glass.
  • Cans don’t have to be washed when they arrive at the brewery, thereby saving water.
  • A delivery truck can only be stacked 2/3 full with bottles but can be filled 100% with cans, thereby saving on fuel expended.
  • Cans are lighter and don’t break: They’re safer and easier to transport.
  • Cans are better for storage: Light and air affect the quality of the beer (and all food products—including wine, olive oil, and spices). Clear beer bottles expose the beer to light; it’s possible for air to seep through caps and for carbonation to get out.
(Although note that beer should be drunk fresh and not stored longer than six months, so this should be a theoretical argument. Resist the temptation to buy more beer than you need in any given month.)

On October 23rd a competition of canned craft beers, CANFEST, will be held in Reno, Nevada. Beer seminars, beer and food pairings, tastings of the competing beers and a forum of brewers are planned; celebrities from the beer world will judge the beers. A sample of the entrants includes Big Sky Brewing Company, Buckbean Brewing Company, Maui Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing Company, Oskar Blues, Rochester Mills Brewing Company, Surly Brewing Company, Ukiah Brewing Company and Uncommon Brewers. Ticket prices are $35 and room packages will be available. For more information, email Constance Aguilar, or call 1.775.323.2977.

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