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The Truth About Canned Beer


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Maybe we’re a little biased, but we love craft beer in cans. We see it as the future go-to for beer across world. They can go anywhere, get cold in minutes, keep the beer sheltered from light, stack easily for shipping/storing, and won’t shatter if you it drop it. When it came to selecting our own packaging, cans were an easy choice

CANS ARE BEST FOR UV PROTECTION

There are still many misconceptions surrounding craft beer in cans. In July, Nielsen Research and Brewer’s Association published a survey revealing that consumers associate beer freshness with brown bottles more so than with canned beer. Infact, 47% claimed that they would buy bottled beer for freshness reasons. Only 4% of consumers reported purchasing canned beer for the same reason. 

Aluminum cans are much better at preserving beer than brown bottles for a number of reasons. The biggest advantage cans offer is their ability to block light. Everybody has had a skunky beer at least once in their beer drinking careers. When UV rays come in contact with beer there is a real chemical reaction that takes place. This change actually creates some of the same chemicals found in the spray of a skunk which is why it can smell and taste like, well, a skunk.

CANS LEAVE NO TASTE IN BEER

The next common misconception about canned beer is that the aluminum will leach flavors into the beer. Unless the last time you drank a canned beer was during the Nixon Administration, any adultered flavor you think you may taste is certainly not from making contact with the aluminum can. That’s because with modern can technology, beer never actually makes contact with the aluminum because of a special coating used by can manufacturers. This is true with any food or drink in a can today.

The benefits of using a coating on canned goods was actually discovered because of beer. The carbonation of beer prevented it from ever being canned until the 30’s when engineers realized that they could use the same coating from the inside of a keg to prevent cans from exploding. The formula for this coating has since evolved to prevent tainted flavors and corosion on the inside and outside of cans. This coating has become quite scientific over the years.  Each can manufacturer even has their own proprietery coating formula depending on the contents of the can.

CANS ARE COMPLETELY AIR TIGHT

Bottles and cans alike are purged with CO2 before they are filled and sealed. That’s because oxygen and beer do not get along. It’s generally accepted that pry-off bottle caps seal slightly better than twist-offs. Cans however provide by far the most superior air-tight seal to keep your beer safe.

For decades brown bottles were used for beer to signify quality but craft brewers like us are challenging that idea. Just as wine enthusiasts were reluctant to accept twist off caps on their bottles of wine, some beer drinking purists still believe that brown bottles are the only way to go. 

Also check out:
Brew Bus Blog: Why We Put Our Beer in Cans
Wired: The Secret Life of the Aluminum Can
A Dash of Science: Can Seams
Ball Corp.: How Beverage Cans are Made

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