More and more people are asking the question, “Craft beer in a can, seriously?” For decades, canned beer and screw top wine have been associated with sub-premium domestic brands; however, these associations are more myth than reality. In fact, the can is actually a better container for that precious beer and has benefits and versatility that those old bottles just don’t…So, let’s talk cans!

One of beers greatest enemies is oxygen. Oxygen causes aeration, which can be a wonderful thing in the proper environment. When we open a bottle of wine and let it breath, we are aerating it. When we tap a cask of beer, we are introducing oxygen which will slowly change the flavors. Within a few hours, aerated beverages will display a range of tastes that showcase and enhance the product.  After a certain amount of time, things quickly go south and those same remarkable flavors you love will, in essence, taste like paper and wet cardboard.

Canned beer has the lowest oxygen content of any packaged beer product. Not only does this ensure a greater degree of freshness and a longer shelf life; but any anti-oxidants contained in the product will retain their beneficial properties. This is particularly important for Craft Beer as many contain (and may even boast) those advantageous antioxidants.

Another enemy of beer is light. Too many UV rays can burn your skin and chemically alter your beer. Light struck! No, I’m not falling in love, my beer has been skunked! That skunky smell you get from many glass-bottled beers is the effect of ultraviolet light chemically altering the product. Light reacts with the isohumolune oils in hops (which almost all beer contains) to produce a compound similar to the one a skunk sprays. Aluminum is sunscreen for beer – which brings us to the most important point of modern canning:

Can Liners. Can lining isn’t a Keystone specialty. Every can on Earth has a special lining which is actually water based and inert. It prevents the product from ever touching the aluminum. Soda products have twice the lining because they are so corrosive (in case you needed another reason to drink beer instead).

And then there is the sustainability aspect that makes aluminum even more enticing. The carbon footprint of an aluminum can is a fraction of a bottle’s when you consider the energy it takes to produce it and the gas required to deliver it. They also require about 70% less paper and cardboard than a case of bottles (with those fancy little carriers). And don’t forget that cans travel much better to parks, lakes, rivers, and yes golf-courses. Pack it in, pack it out.

My final “cantastic” proselytization is the can’s amazing (almost supernatural) ability to make chicken taste delicious! Yes, I am referring to Beer Can Chicken. One of my favorite recipes (because I am a curry freak) is a curry-infused masala rub, heavy in coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger. Crack a can of Craft Hefeweizen, rich with banana, pineapple and clove flavors, heat up the grill and you’ve got chicken tonight. May seem a little odd for an Italian/Irish boy, but we Craft Brewers are Craft Foodies, too!

Many award-winning microbreweries are jumping on the “can-wagon.” Ska Brewing Company of Colorado cans their popular ESB Special Ale, and Anderson Valley Brewing Company of California is also distributing beers in cans. Canned craft beers can be found locally at AJ’s Fine Foods, Sunflower Farmers Market and Whole Foods.

Canned beer is better, Craft Canned Beer is BEST!  Crack open a can with friends and food and you’ll see what I mean.

Stay tuned to for more blogs by our beer expert, and for some of the best darn beer in Arizona, pull up a stool at San Tan Brewing Company

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