Its just not right is it? Craft beer from a can? That awful, metallic, tinny thing we all associate with generic mass produced lagers can not surely be a vessel even considered to contain our beloved ale. Us Brits know our beer, it comes in dark brown bottles with quirky labelling and would never be right in a can, right? Wrong!
Following as always trends set by our American friends, craft breweries in the Uk are leaning more and more towards canning as opposed to bottling. And if you weigh up the pro’s and cons, you can’t blame them. Cans are lighter and more managable to transport than bottles, are more enviromentally friendly. The inside of modern cans come with polymer linings, which acts as an impermiable barrier between the aluminium and the beer. So no metallic tinny tastes. Also once the can is sealed its completly impenetrable by light. Which makes the shelf life of its contents increase.
The cost of canning is beginning to fall due to changes in technology and many microbrewers are installing there own canning lines now as opposed to out-sourcing to a canning company. It is beginning to become more noticable too with a range of well known real ales from Badger, Blacksheep, Morland and Wychwood to name a few, having cans filling the craft beer shelves in our supermarkets.
I have of course had my samples. And in my opinion it has to be said, that I found the beer to be a lot fresher than what you would normally get from the traditional bottle. Head retention was better also. No tinny tastes or off flavours,and was as close to a fresh pint from a cask as I’ve probably had. So maybe canning is the future. If over 400 microbreweries in the states are doing it. There cant be too much wrong with it I suppose. Being such a traditionalist nation though. It will be interesting to see how popular British craft beer in a can becomes.