This script is from the first season of Beer Notes, which you can listen to at beernotes.org.
Most millennials understand that craft beer is better in cans, but the rest of us might not be convinced. This week on Beer Notes, we’re exploring the differences in canned and bottled craft beer.
In 2016, 58% of all craft beer sold was in bottles, while 12% was in cans. Can production continues to rise, particularly with smaller breweries.
Historically, beer drinkers preferred bottles based on their perceptions of taste, quality, freshness, and value.
Perception is not always equal to fact, however.
The three enemies of beer are sunlight, oxygen, and heat. Light creates a chemical reaction that gives beer that “skunky” aroma and flavor. Oxygen may dull the flavor of the beer or create a taste “like paper or wet cardboard.” Cans are better at keeping out both light and oxygen.
Packaging and shipping considerations also favor cans. Weighing 30% less for the same volume of craft beer, cans are less expensive to ship. Glass can break down, as Sierra Nevada found out in January 2017 when they recalled their bottled beer across 35 states.
Cans can go where glass cannot. Think the beach or poolside. Campers and hikers can now get their favorite craft beer into the wilderness and pack it back out compacted and ready to recycle.
Still, some believe that cans cause a metallic taste despite decades of improvement in can liners.
So, compare for yourself. Pour your favorite craft beer into a glass, from a can and a bottle, and see which you prefer. For Beer Notes, this is Ann McGinnis Hillyer.