Craft-beer watchers have seen numerous respectable breweries can their beers during the past few years, after Oskar Blues Brewing Co. proved that cans do not necessarily negatively affect the taste of beer. (Last month, I wrote about Ballast Point Brewing Co.’s decision to can one of my favorite IPAs, Sculpin.)
The Boston Beer Co. and its founder Jim Koch have strongly resisted the whole craft-beer-in-a-can movement, but the company has apparently come up with a brand new can design, and it will release Samuel Adams beer in cans “in time for beach cooler weather,” according to Boston.com.
“The two-year effort cost more than $1 million, including the hiring of a renowned design firm and professional beer consultants, as well as the purchase of expensive canning equipment…
“The hourglass curve [or the can] and wider lid deposits the beer further in the mouth so a drinker doesn’t have to tilt his head back…
“The bigger lid forces people to open their mouths wider, allowing more air to pass through and go up into the nasal passages. This increased exposure to the smells brings out the flavors of the beer — the hops, the grains, the fruitiness — earlier in the drinking experience, which is what consumers associate with a fresher beverage…the outward-turned lip pours the beer directly on the palate, maximizing the sweetness from the malt.”
Personally, I don’t really care if my beer comes in a bottle or a can because I don’t think cans affect taste. I also almost always pour my beer into a glass. But cans clearly have a number of advantages over bottles; they’re lighter; they don’t shatter or break; they’re easier to carry in bulk for recycling; and they take up less space and are stackable. These reasons and more are why so many brewers today are canning their beer instead of bottling. And its nice to see another craft-beer pioneer embrace aluminum cans because it means Sam Adams will be served in more places, in venues that may not welcome glass bottle, such as sporting arenas.