Cheers.
January 23, 2009 12:06 PM   Subscribe

The aluminum beer can just celebrated its 50th birthday. Beer cans, first marketed in the 1930s, were originally made of tin-plated steel. Though often frowned upon by beer snobs, aluminum cans are making a comeback among some microbreweries.
posted by mudpuppie (25 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Did you know Aluminum used to be worth more then gold? And that we once thought the worlds supply of Tin would be exhausted?
posted by delmoi at 12:08 PM on January 23, 2009


I LOVE aluminum bottles. There, I said it. I don't believe the beer is colder, I don't believe it's "fresher," I just love those damn bottles. Thank you, beverage industry, and thank you mudpuppie for giving me a forum to express my love, once again, of aluminum bottles.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:13 PM on January 23, 2009


The issue people have with aluminum is that when you drink out of it, it imparts a strange taste to the beer. Glass does not. However, if you're drinking a craft beer, whether it's from a bottle or a can, you should be pouring it into a glass to enjoy it to the fullest extent. In this regard, the aluminum can isn't really bad at all, since the inside of the can is lined, and will not impart a foul taste.

Aluminum bottles are pretty cool too, but I've only experienced them in Japan, and even then, drinking only soft drinks. It's really the alcohol+aluminum mix that makes for the nasty taste, and I'll still snob it up about drinking from a can, but if a good beer comes in a can, I'll gladly buy it, provided I have a glass to pour it into first.
posted by explosion at 12:33 PM on January 23, 2009


Great just one more reason I'm doomed to get alzheimer's
posted by manosthf at 12:40 PM on January 23, 2009


Sly Fox. East Coast represent!
posted by fixedgear at 12:43 PM on January 23, 2009


The issue people have with aluminum is that when you drink out of it, it imparts a strange taste to the beer.

Miller Light would have at least have some taste if that statement were true.
posted by peeedro at 12:52 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


We, the good beer drinking elite have the tendency to over think beer. Sometimes, on a hot day beer doesn't have to be full bodied, cask aged or high gravity. Sometimes a sacrilegious can of PBR or Coors does exactly the job necessary.

After hiking with some friends one July, we found some OLD cans of beer in the trunk of his car. We took them and put them in the mountain stream by the car and made sandwiches while we waited. When we drank them, they were dank with Aluminum flavor and they tasted old. But you had better believe it was one of the best beers I have ever had.

My point is, what tends to make drinking a beer great is context more so than hop profiles or mash temperature. If that beer had been a Microbrew my brain might have exploded with happiness. The joy of opening a canned Fat Tire, in the middle of summer time overrides any aluminum contamination flavors. Plus, for backpacking, I won't have to pack out bottles if I want to drink good beer in the high country. Crunched cans ride much lighter than bottles.
posted by JimmyJames at 12:56 PM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oskar Blues makes great beer; if any microbrewery can singlehandedly turn beer snobs like me onto cans, they can.
posted by gurple at 1:30 PM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Plus, for backpacking, I won't have to pack out bottles if I want to drink good beer in the high country.

Mrs. gurple and I, though we're both beer lovers, generally drain a bottle of wine into a water bladder for backpacking. Unless it's really hot out, in which case we've been known to pack up a couple of those big Sapporo cans. If we could get a German hefeweizen in a can, now that would be refreshing.
posted by gurple at 1:34 PM on January 23, 2009


Oh god, really? What next, wine with screw-caps? Gag.

We all know beer tastes best out of a plastic cup with maybe some peanut shells floating in it.
posted by jabberjaw at 1:36 PM on January 23, 2009


I've seen those cans at my local "good beer" store, but they look so out of place on a shelf full of bottles.
posted by smackfu at 1:36 PM on January 23, 2009


Cans are awesome. Even your brown-glass-bottled beer will skunk, given enough light exposure. In a can? Not so much.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:44 PM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


The problem with cans is that you can't reuse them if you're homebrewing. I mean, I guess you can, but houseguests tend to cast a wary eye toward an aluminum can that's resealed with a few wraps of duct tape around the top.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:45 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I recently had my first canned microbrew when a friend brought back a sixer of 21st Amendment from San Francisco. At first I was a little wary, but damn if it didn't hold up really well. Also, according to some friends in the brewing industry, it is apparently much cheaper to set up a canning line that it is a bottling line. (If I remember right, a figure quoted to me a few years back was $15K for a canning line, vs $100K for bottling, but I was likely drunk during that conversation, given the topic.)
posted by slogger at 1:46 PM on January 23, 2009


The problem with cans is that you can't reuse them if you're homebrewing.

No, but you can refill those gravity-fed 5L kegs. Which are sort of like really big cans.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:51 PM on January 23, 2009


Also, you can't shotgun a bottle. I mean, you can try, but you will fail.
posted by uncleozzy at 2:05 PM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh god, really? What next, wine with screw-caps? Gag.

Funny you should mention that; I was at a winery in Sonoma last year, and during the tour someone asked about screw tops. The opinion of the person giving the tour was that, while this particular winery did not yet sell wine with screw tops, they were looking into that direction because of the benefits (which included wine that simply keeps better over time prior to initial opening, and no concern about the cork disintegrating.) The takeaway from her opinion was that we should stop considering the presence of a screw top as indicative of a bad wine, and the presence of a cork as indicative of a good one, and judge it on the quality of what's inside.
posted by davejay at 3:11 PM on January 23, 2009


Flanders, I thought you had the wrong word, but then I found the aluminum bottle wiki entry and bottlecan.com. Weird.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:17 PM on January 23, 2009


Oh god, really? What next, wine with screw-caps? Gag.

Here in South Australia screw caps (or stelvins if your fancy) are becoming common place. And not just on the cheapies either. The majority of wineries offer their products with either caps or corks, some are doing runs of both on the same product. Ive sat for quite a few evenings discussing this with my old man and his friends. They are divided on the issue. Some still believe that the cork is the only way to go, but most are happy to admit the benefits of having a consistent aging process.

Its cheaper for the producer to put the screw caps on (buy a huge factor, cant recall what i was told, was a little inebriated). The wine will also age consistently and wont suffer from corkage. Plus no bottle openers is a bit of a boon.

We also have a few brands branching out into aluminium bottles too, i bought a BrightLite on a whim just because of the bottle. Here is an article about the BrightLite wine

Other interesting things that happen here in SA include cask wine (or goon), usually a cheap wine that is nothing special. Though some slightly better wines are appearing in 1litre cask containers, presumably to get around glass bans at events in the summer.

Glass beer bottles are still the order of the day here, but cans are ever present. Especially at major events. Nearly all the beers in cans are complimented by stubbies (glass bottles, ~345ml) so it is up to personal preference, or your desire to fit more in the fridge. The cans are usually cheaper by a decent amount too.

And on that note, Im going to get a beer.
posted by bosun_bones at 6:59 PM on January 23, 2009


Screw tops on wine are good. The failure rate of cork is completely unacceptable.

Sorry, Portugal.

Also, what explosion said about pouring the contents of the can into a glass.
posted by Wolof at 7:02 PM on January 23, 2009


Yeah, Oskar Blues kicks ass. In fact, I'm having a Dale's Pale Ale right now. In a glass. Probability-wise, that's not very surprising given that there's usually a case of them in my fridge.

Has anyone heard of Bell's Brewery in Michigan? They don't seem to have reached NYC yet, but a coworker of mine in Virginia says they make good beer.
posted by A dead Quaker at 7:50 PM on January 23, 2009


Has anyone heard of Bell's Brewery in Michigan? They don't seem to have reached NYC yet, but a coworker of mine in Virginia says they make good beer.

Bell's Oberon Ale is easily in my top 3 beers of all time. It's seasonal, March through October, which means this is an especially sad time of year for me; but when I'm walking the aisles of my local grocery/liquor store and I spot that familiar label my eyes open wide and I've been known to shriek like a little girl.
posted by fore at 9:53 PM on January 23, 2009


Has anyone heard of Bell's Brewery in Michigan?
MMMMM...Bell's Two-Heart Ale is one of the official beers of my house. I heard wonderful things about Bell's Oberon, but wheat beers give me horrid, pounding headaches, so I avoid them all.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:15 AM on January 25, 2009


Two-Hearted Ale is indeed very good. I make a point of getting some when I'm in that part of the country. Expedition Stout is also good--come to think of it, Michigan has some pretty decent brewers.
posted by box at 9:17 AM on January 25, 2009


One pro-can note. They have their place in outdoor cookery.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 9:20 AM on January 25, 2009


« Older EYEZMAZE Strikes Again   |   Who said what now? Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments