Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reno International Canned Beer Festival

Here's another article that I came across and thought was pretty cool. A festival celebrating canned craft beer is a pretty cool idea whose time has definitely come.

I've been of the belief that cans are the way of the future for the craft beer industry and the tide is (very) slowly shifting. More and more craft brewers are taking advantage of the can and I've been trying to make a point of picking them up when I see them in local stores. As a matter of fact, 21st Amendment is now being distributed in NYC and NJ, and I picked up a sixer of 21st Amendment IPA a couple of weeks ago at The Palisade in JC Heights.

By the way, The Palisade is the best beer store in Hudson County. Don't know if I've pointed that out in this space before...

From a beer quality perspective, cans have an advantage over bottles in that they are completely impervious to light. Cans also now have a thin lining (some kind of a ceramic, I believe) that prevents the beer from reacting with the aluminum in the can, so forget about any idea that you have about a tinny or metallic taste coming from canned beer. Get over it.

From the brewer's perspective, the relatively recent availability of the small scale canning line is the big development. Small canning lines are relatively inexpensive (relative to a bottling line), less complicated, and easier to operate. Some canning lines can successfully be operated by one person - think about how heavy a pallet of empty bottles is vs. a pallet of empty cans.

The problem for a brewer using cans is that they're pre-printed, meaning that you have to order a ton of them up front, which is a significant investment. You can't just slap a new label on when you come out with a new beer. But then again, ask any brewer running a bottling line and 9 out of 10 will tell you that the labeler is the biggest pain in the neck on the bottling line.

So buy some canned beer. If you have "a thing" against canned beer, get over it. It's all in your head. Besides, when you're done with it you can crush it in your fist or against your head. Or you can shotgun one. Try that with a bottle.

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