Take it in the can

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First Posted: 1/12/2015

Perusing beer stocked shelves at your favorite craft beer bar or store, you’ll notice there is an increase in the amount of craft breweries canning their beers. This trend has not gone unnoticed and many larger craft breweries are also starting to can their beers.

Breweries such as Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, Anderson Valley and New Belgium have gotten into the canned craft beer craze in recent years. The canning process is not done for trend factors, economical decisions, portability or even environmental impact alone. The can is perfect for craft beer as it allows no light to penetrate the beer making for a longer shelf life, not to mention it makes for a much more convenient carrying vessel without fear of broken glass or need for a bottle opener.

The can has long be co-opted for larger breweries and was once thought of as a second rate vessel to carry beer. However, it is now known to the masses to be great for beer and many craft breweries now solely can their beers and have ditched the glass bottle all together.

Here is brief list of breweries that only take it in the can with a few notable beers from each.

1. Oskar Blues Brewery: Oskar Blues is considered the first brewery to can craft beer with the release of their Dale’s Pale Ale in 2002. This release put them far ahead of any trend curve and many breweries at first saw this choice as the impending doom of the brewery. However, Oskar Blues not only proved them all wrong but rose to become one of the most prominent craft breweries in the United States. They now have two fully functioning breweries producing their world class beers; one in Colorado, the other in North Carolina. Some highly recommended beers from Oskar Blues are: Ten Fidy- an incredible Russian Imperial Stout that must be experienced, Old Chub- a delicious Scottish ale; and Deviant Dale’s IPA- a beer hopheads will surely love.

2. 21st Amendment Brewery: The brewery was founded in 2000 by Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan and has grown in popularity ever year. The brewery is in the process of moving to their new home in the San Francisco area that will see an expansion of beers to the lineup and also have more beer available to the public. The reputation for the brewery has been built on consistently brewing wonderful beers full of flavor and textbook examples of each style. Some great beers to try from 21A are: Brew Free or Die IPA: easily one of the best American IPA’s you will ever taste; Back in Black: a Black IPA that is smooth and balanced and Bitter American: a session ale with tons of flavor and low ABV that is perfect for every occasion.

3. Sixpoint Brewery- Hailing from trendy Brooklyn, New York, Sixpoint has quickly become a sought after brewery for many craft beer lovers. The beers are not only packaged in beautifully designed cans but are extremely flavorful and stand on their own in a very saturated craft beer market. Sixpoint began in 2004 as a keg-only business and demand grew which led to canning their beers for wider distribution. The results speak for themselves with an ever-expanding market. One taste of their beers and it is easy to see why demand surges every year.

Try: Resin, a full flavored, perfectly balanced IPA that hopheads will love; The Crisp, proof that when a Pilsner is brewed right it can be one tasty beer; and Diesel, an American Stout that is the brewery’s winter seasonal. It not only compliments the cold nights but is rich, creamy and a must have for stout lovers.

While trends come and go, the canned craft beer obsession will long live on. The aforementioned breweries are just a small sample of the many that are either canning beer exclusively or offering canned versions of many beers. The canning of craft beer will continue to grow and we can all be more thankful for it.