This summer, someone might hand you a can of beer and it won’t look or taste familiar. Yellow, fizzy beer is no longer your only option. Canned Craft Beer (CCB) now has cache and is gaining shelf space around Los Angeles.
For years, cans were the sole domain of the large multinational conglomerates. To differentiate themselves and due to warehouse space and fiscal constraints, craft brewers usually started with taps only at the local bar or restaurant and then if they found success would branch out to six-packs and 22oz bombers. Craft beer became associated with bottles. To get a good craft beer you had to avoid the can at all costs. Now brewers and distributors are re-thinking that choice. Cans have their advantages. They block out all harmful (to beer) light. They are lighter to ship and of course, they will not break.
The comeback is starting to gain momentum. All About Beer magazine wrote about the trend in their July issue. Lisa Morrison, noted NW beer expert, has talked about the growth of style choices on her radio show and now you can find CCB at Whole Foods and BevMo. And the future looks bright, as canning machine costs lower and/or craft brewers grow bigger.
Here are my selections for you to take to the beach or golf course or any place where bottles are not allowed:
21st Amendment Brewery – Hell or High Watermelon Wheat
A great wheat beer with a noticeable kiss of watermelon flavor. Great cold on a summer day.
Maui Brewing – CoCoNut Porter
Dark, rich and complex. The coconut is a great addition. Wonderful in beer floats.
Oskar Blues – Mama’s Little Yellow Pils
The best industrial lager replacement I have tasted. Give this to the Bud fan and see their world expand.
Big Sky Brewing – Moose Drool
Crazy name for a solid, sturdy brown ale. Very easy to drink.
Harder to Find
Caldera Brewing – IPA or Pale Ale
Hops in cans. You can smell the bitterness after the can is opened.
Uncommon Brewers – Siamese Twin
BELGIAN DUBBEL in a can. Did you ever think of that happening? Great, big beer.
As Homework, buy both the bottled and canned versions of New Belgium’s Fat Tire Amber. See if you can tell the difference.
Also CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO for an excellent behind the scenes look at canning.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.