The Truth About Cans
It’s a question we have been asked a lot in our first week of being open. What is the fundamental difference between canned and bottled beer? Whilst some breweries swear by the quality of canned beers others aren’t so sure. In the UK the likes of Beavertown, Magic Rock, Moor, Northern Monk and Fourpurehave decided to almost exclusively can their beers save for a few special or seasonal releases. The recent surge in brewery can releases from American East Coast breweries such as Trillium, Other Half and Tired Hands have also done a lot to highlight the renaissance of the can in beer drinking circles.
So why does there seem to be a stigma against cans? There are many factors- the link between canned light lager, anti social behaviour and littering seems to have ingrained itself into public consciousness whilst the myth that cans impart a metallic flavour on beer still exists. Whilst perceptions of canned beer aren’t easily changed one thing we can prove beyond doubt is that cans don’t make beer taste metallic. Modern beer cans are lined with a polymer lining that stops the beer from ever making contact with the aluminum. Further to this, the environmental benefits of cans far outweigh those of their glass counterparts. Not only are cans infinitely recyclable but they also cost a lot less to transport as they are both lighter and smaller than bottles. Bottles are also a victim to light strike, which is an issue for beers like IPA’s and Pale Ale’s where hop compounds are vulnerable to oxidisation from light. The big argument against cans, at least from a brewers perspective, is the amount of oxygen the beer is exposed to between being filled with beer and being “seamed” (which is the process of putting the top on the can). Whilst there are valid arguments and enough evidence to suggest that the infiltration of oxygen is an issue when canning beer there seems to be a train of thought that the pro’s of canned beer far outweigh the cons.
We personally always try to inform customers of the merits of canned beer and some of our favourite beers happen to be canned too. If you are, or ever have been unsure of canned beer we’d welcome you to pop in and try some of the beers we have in cans. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!