Canzilla vs. King Bottle

Canzilla is coming!! Run! Wait what’s that over there? Oh no it’s King Bottle.  It looks like there is going to be a fight on our hands.  Look! Canzilla is using it’s radioactive tinny breath to hurt King Bottle. Ewww. King Bottle counters by flinging its poo.  It looks like this is going to be an epic battle for supremacy.  Who will win? Only time will tell.

As I became aware of craft beer I was told that bottles are superior to cans.  For years I drank only bottled craft beers and looked down on all beers in cans (yes even craft beers in cans).  I mostly looked at craft beer in a can as being cheap and somehow not as good.  It wasn’t until I began to look into why people felt this way about cans that I learned we all are hypocrites.

My parents (and I’m sure several of yours) told me how beer from a can used to taste tinny.  And that seems to have turned into some sort of psychosis where people see canned beer and assume it will have a tinny taste.  In fact I have seen people drink beer from a can and say they can’t drink it because of the tinny taste.  This is completely absurd. Yet most people prefer to drink their cheap beer from cans. 

First off cans now have a sprayed in, water-based liner that’s been in all cans since the 80’s.  There is no chance the beer will taste like aluminum because it never actually touches aluminum. If you still taste metal it’s probably because the top of the can does not have the same layer that is on the inside.  If you find this problematic your soda probably tastes like aluminum too. What that means is you should pour the beer into a glass.  As a sidenote all craft beer should be poured into a glass.  This allows aroma and flavor to be much more prevalent.  It sounds snobby, but it really does make a huge difference in how beer tastes since a lot of the flavor is actually aroma not taste.

Why is it that nobody complains about the taste of tin from a draft pour?  Kegs are made of aluminum.  He makes an excellent point.  Seriously, cans are mini-kegs. 

There are so many more reasons to drink beer from a can rather than a bottle.  Let’s list a few: Cans are lighter, easily recyclable, you can take them anywhere, it takes a can 60 days (once purchased) to be back on the shelf with more beer in it (as in before it’s already been recycled and refilled), they are better for the beer (blocks out 100% of the light, a brown bottle only 95%), easier to make beeramids, and just way more awesome.

Recently switching to cans has been a trend among craft brewers.  New Belgium did it with a few of their beers including Fat Tire, Sunshine Wheat, and Ranger IPA (at least that I’ve found or heard of so far, and yes only Fat Tire in a can is available in Kansas. Maybe the others will be someday too).  Boulevard did with an aluminum bottle of Wheat. High Noon Saloon does it with Annie’s Amber Ale.  And most recently Tallgrass Brewing Co. switched to cans (read their Canifesto).  These are the most common and most local beers you will find in cans.  Others include Schafly (only a couple so far and I haven’t found them in Kansas yet), Oskar Blues Brewing, 21st Amendment Brewing, Surly Brewing Co., Maui Brewing Co., and several others that I can’t think of right now (not to mention the list of canned craft beer is getting fairly extensive).

Craft Beer Cans

I’ve heard from people that say since switching to cans craft beer costs more in the can.  Not really.  All craft beer costs more.  Mostly because of the quality ingredients being used but there are other factors too.  Shipping will always add to the total price, local taxes will as well, and then there is pricier ingredients.  Some beers just cost more than others; it’s a fact of life.  For instance, I know Oasis (Tallgrass Brewing Co.) costs more because they use more malt and more hops to make it than any of their other beers.  Factor into that shipping.  If someone in Missouri wants an Oasis it will cost them more because it is further away from the brewery than those of us near Manhattan, KS. 

Another problem people seem to have is the notion that canned beer isn’t as high class as bottled beer.  Being associated with a brewery that has recently switched to cans I have seen some very bitter (no pun intended) and angry people over their precious bottles going away.  It is the same beer whether it’s in a can or a bottle.  Why does it matter so much?  Literally I have seen people vow to never drink a beer from a company because they can their beer.  That’s just idiotic.  If you enjoy a well crafted beer it shouldn’t matter what it comes in. 

The bottom line is Cans are better.  It’s something the larger breweries got right.  There will always be people against cans but until they realize that kegs are cans they will just keep complaining and annoying some of us.  Take a chance.  Buy a canned craft beer.  Go home.  Grab a pint glass.  Open, then pour the beer into the glass.  Then drink.  If you find that you still think there is a tinny taste buy the same beer in glass and have someone give you a blind taste test with the can and bottle.  If you can tell which came from a can and which came from a bottle then you are truly better at tasting than I. 

As for me, I enjoy a craft beer in a bottle and can.  I will push the fact that I would rather have a can than bottle as I find it easier to recycle.  I will also push for cans as it protects the beer.  But I will also not turn away a beer because of what it comes in.  I will embrace the change and be happy that there is such a choice of beer. 

If you are wondering why I chose to use the imagery of Godzilla vs. King Kong in the introduction it’s because in most people’s eyes Godzilla is ugly and unwanted much like cans are for beer.  The funny thing is if you watch the Godzilla movies he starts out as a villian but winds up saving the day.  I have a feeling that somehow in the end of this battle cans will win against bottles and our beer will be as safe as ever.

Or maybe they’ll mate and create some crazy awesome aluminum can/bottle hybrid.

Prost!

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