Beer in Cans? Just the way Dad used to drink it.
On a Friday night a few years ago I was talking with the manager of Kappy’s in Medford. I was looking for Wachusett Green Monsta IPA. He found some 12-packs of their other varieties but no 12’s of #GreenMonsta. We started talking about beer. Imagine that!
He said he brings the canned beer in carefully, he’s not sold on it yet. Some breweries do a better job with the cans than others. I’m sure I looked like an un-educated fool as the look on my face probably said “whadda ya mean?”
I got the impression he felt that quality ale and beer in cans was a bit of a fad. Eventually connoisseurs would go back to drinking craft beers from bottles and quit buying anything in cans.
At the time I thought he may be right. In 2014 craft brewers were just starting to use cans.
I drank crappy beer out of cans for years and was perfectly happy. I was all of 22 when I discovered Bass Ale in bottles.
So many breweries are putting their fine ales in aluminum cans now. Even Sam Adams is canning beer. A few years ago the Mega Breweries used cans, but the craft breweries only used bottles or kegs. Aluminum was blasphemous. Bite your bottle opener! I love all of the fine craft ales. The past twenty years have been a great time to be a “beer” drinker.
I never really cared about the argument over green glass versus brown glass. My beer never hung around long enough to notice any difference. Good beer in glass bottles was good beer.
I drank my first Sam Adams Boston Lager in 1986 at a cast party at the Huntington Theatre. It was in a bottle. I had my first Harpoon IPA at a bar in Kenmore Square that same summer. At the time Harpoon was only available on tap, or so I was told.
When that first Sam Adams Boston Lager hit my palate I felt like I had finally tasted beer. This was what beer was supposed to taste like. Much like finishing a marathon, my life was changed for ever by that experience. The Revolution was on.
I had always been searching for flavor in beer. Bud, PBR, Michelob were all variations on American light. My friends and I started drinking Bass Ale and Newcastle in the bars when we could find it. It wasn’t until I came to Boston in the Summer of ’86 that I had my first American Craft Beers. It’s been 35 years of mostly joyful drinking with a few nasty hang overs sprinkled in over the years.
About ten years ago I began to see craft brews in cans at the local package stores. I looked them over, but for the most part I wasn’t familiar with the brewers. I like to try new brews but felt I wouldn’t get the true flavor in a can.
At about the same time a friend of mine brought some fantastic cans of beer to the Lone Gull 10K in Gloucester. As we sat on the grass and had a few post race cold ones, I began to realize that delicious nectar can come from a can. I was coming around.
Last summer I bought a few 12-packs of Cisco Brewers of Nantucket ales. I like to sit in my hot tub and have a beer or two. Wrestling with a bottle opener can be a pain, and there’s always the chance of dropping a bottle on the patio. Wet hands and all.
The idea of taking a can or two out to the hot tub seemed like a good solution. Cisco makes some great ale and the cans didn’t seem to affect the flavor at all. Sitting in the hot tub, I drank the beers from the can. Only a dummy takes a pint glass out to the hot tub.
Since those initial experiments with beer in cans, I’ve tried different breweries canned offerings. Except for a cheap 12-pack from a brewer I had never heard of before (Lion’s Head), they have all been quite enjoyable.
What do you think about beer in cans?
I’m sure that you have tried craft beer and ale from a can. They are everywhere now. All of the breweries use cans and it seems to be the favorite container for the newest breweries.
Do you always pour these into a glass or do you drink from the can? What’s your favorite canned offering?
Since those first craft ales in cans a few years ago I’ve come to appreciate them.
What ever they have done, the can doesn’t seem to effect the flavor.
Cans are also easier to deal with. You don’t need an opener and they rarely break.
Drink well my friends, and be smart.
2 thoughts on “Beer in cans?”
There’s an interesting article in “All About Beer Magazine” (http://allaboutbeer.com/article/canned-mythology/) about beer-in-cans. They (and others) maintain any taste difference is in your head, not in the beer (or can). My theory is this:
Once upon a time (say pre-1990) you had a choice between domestic beer (available in bottles and cans) and imported beer (available in bottles). You could also oversimplify and say that domestic beer was flavorless (but cheap) and imported beer was better (and more expensive). We’ll put aside any valid arguments about degradation of imported beer during shipping and the existence of decent American brews.
Since humans have such trainable minds, we quickly associated “good beer” with “imported” and “bottle”. Canned beer was domestic and uninspiring. We think we see a cause & effect relationship, and that misconception endures… UNTIL… you have your first drink of a craft beer in a can.
My first was March 23, 2010 at the Brickskeller in Washington DC. The beer was Oscar Blues’ Tenfidy Imperial Stout. (You always remember your first.)
All that said, can you look at the picture of the Narragansett can and NOT hear Curt Gowdy in your head??
It does bring back memories.
I will always remember sitting in the grass drinking a surprisingly good beer from a can.
The convenience of a can and the taste of great beer. What’s not to love?
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