A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Knut -

I agree. Save the fancy bottles for special releases that you envisage the consumers may want to cellar for a while. Cans and standard bottles are much more appropriate for most beers.
And, if we are to continue shipping beers around the globe, cans are a much more sensible format.

dave -

Definitely agree with the can sentiment for session and "regular" beers, especially in helping keep the price down for those things. Keep the big bottles for the special releases (where the price point is a little more lax in my mind). Craft brewers are definitely utilizing the can more, but they still have a ways to go.

Peter Collins -

Agreed. This is why I had/have such a problem buying Beau's Lugtread in those beautiful ceramic bottles at the LCBO. A decent session beer for $7/750ml? And I only get $0.20 when I return the bottle? Sorry, you lost me on that one.

Sounds like Allagash thinks very highly of this lower alcohol beer.

makoskim -

This is why I am extremely luck to live down the road from a local brewery. I have some of the best beer that I get freshly filled into a growler. From this I rarely buy bottles, and get to reuse glass which holds better than cans!

My advice, stop buying so much distant beer, find a local place and get growlers! Most breweries I have been to do this.

Matt -

I was surprised on a recent trip out to Western Canada at how many of the Craft brewers are adopting the can. Far more than out East.

Jason Harris -

I hope people get over their trip on cans soon. I know a lot of craft brewers are starting to adopt them, and good! Bottles are bigger, heavier, fragile, and they let light in! They're harder to recycle...basically, nothing but disadvantages when it comes to bottles. Switch to cans already!

Perno -

Yup, switch to cans. Most beer lovers pour our beer into a glass anyways. Also while we're at it, does anyone else hate bottle-conditioned beers? I hate that I have to watch for the yeast to not go into my glass. Wheat beers are a different story since that's part of the beer, but stop with the bottle conditioning of other beers.

Knut -

I agree on the bottle conditioning, it is usually a nuisance, forcing me to pour the last 10% of the expensive bottles down the drain!

Jeff Alworth -

I'm not sure I'll go so far as the can, but you're right about corked bottles. Those suckers also have a mighty carbon footprint. So great that France recently introduced slightly thinner walled bottles for their bubbly.

Ilya Feynberg -

I make a post about craft beer in cans, and now it seems all I'm seeing are discussions about canning beer....awesome! :)

So on this note...

Switch to cans! Easy! What's the problem? in 2010 is there really still this big stigma about canning great craft beer? Well yes, unfortunately there still is plenty of that but it's time to keep running with it.

Think of the cost cutting that canning beers can bring to the consumer. The extra time and money a brewery can put in to brewing the beer because they've saving money on the cans. The difference in taste, texture, look etc. The difference in design even, and one can even goes as far as saying that cans are even more portable than bottles. Let's not forget they don't let any light in like glass does.

So why not go all cans? There are some seriously good craft breweries here in the states canning their beer. Oskar Blue's probably being the more popular of them all. So why not do it for many of the styles at many other breweries?

I love my bottles too and would be dammed to see them phase out or leave. Keep the bottles too! But start canning some of your beer. I think many breweries would be surprised to see the reception they'll get as a result of it.

And don't worry about those "I won't buy or drink craft beer in a can" beer douche's. Their just douche's and don't really love beer or the process behind it anyway. ;)

To beer in cans!


Ilya Feynberg -

@Jeff Why not go as far as the can?

@Jason Here here! Cheers to that! :)


Gary Gillman -

Alan, my own preference is cans or light glass bottles (what used to be called, plastic composition bottles, not sure if these are still available).

There was some craft beer in cans from the late 1990's in the U.S., but it started to take off after Dale's Pale Ale appeared in about 2002 (Oskar Blues). However, if I am not mistaken, a Canadian micro out in B.C. may have been the first to can beer even before all that. Could it have been Piper's Pale Ale? I can't recall now.

Since then it has grown considerably and there must be a hundred or more craft breweries using cans. I've always liked them mainly because they keep light out. Cans are lined today, so no tinny flavour should get in. The only thing that might concern me is, I once read that thin metal will resist heat (and chill of course) much less than glass, by quite a large factor. Especially with a non-pasteurized product, I would think, therefore, it is best to drink canned beer as soon as possible and keep it cold before consumption. Of course, that is true ideally of bottled or draft beer too, at least for the fussy beer fan, so that's not really anything new.

The aluminum can be melted and reused many times. It is much lighter to ship than glass. I think canned beer is an excellent option although I hope beer will always be available in glass too. The sensory qualities of drinking or pouring from a bottle are different and I wouldn't want to lose that.


Russ Phillips -

After talking with people and doing some research I found that Yukon Brewing Company in Whitehorse was actually the first commercial brewery to get a micro-canning line from the folks at Cask in Calgary. They didn't can much for very long and ended up sticking with bottles. MacTarnahan's in Oregon was pretty early on the canned beer wagon as well, ten years before Oskar Blues, but that didn't work out for them either. Dale's hit the shelves in 2002 and things have never been the same. The others were ahead of their time and Oskar Blues just happened to be there at the right time. Not only has this been great for the folks at Oskar Blues but Cask Brewing Systems in Calgary is swamped with business and has now installed canning lines at over 100 craft breweries (both US and Canada). Viva la can!

Anders Fagerhaug -

As a homebrewer I would really like to start canning my beer.
Washing, sterilizing and filling bottles have always been a hazzle.

Anyone that can help me out with links to where I can buy cans and a seaming machine.?

Seaming machines intended for manual operation and small batches are hard to find.


Knut -

Anders, I assume you are in Norway. Get in tocuh with David Dudek, he knows about these things. I don't know if it is viable to scale it all the way down to homebrewing, though.

Anders Fagerhaug -

Hi Knut
Yepp, Norway it is :)
Thanks for the help. Will let you know when I have managed to can my first batch.


Travis Carter -

I would love everyone to switch to cans. They are lighter to ship to customers.