Cans Keep Beer Fresher
Beer cans limit exposure to both light and oxygen, keeping the beer fresh and flavorful for a longer period of time.
When beer is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light for extended periods, it oxidizes and develops an unpleasant “skunky” flavor. Glass bottles can block out some light, but not all. While brown or amber glass blocks a significant amount of UV light, green and clear bottles are less effective. However, aluminum cans completely prevent any light from reaching the beer inside.
In addition, cans provide a better airtight seal compared to beer bottles. During the canning process, the aluminum container is fully sealed, preventing additional oxygen from reaching the beer until the can is opened. On the other hand, beer bottles allow small amounts of air to enter, which can accumulate over time. While certain beers, like traditional Belgian ales, require oxygen for bottle fermentation, most beers do not benefit from prolonged exposure to oxygen.
Canned Beer Is More Portable
There’s a reason why most people choose canned beer when packing a cooler. Bottled beer is heavier and more fragile. For instance, an average six-pack of bottles weighs over seven pounds, while a six-pack of canned beer weighs about two pounds less. Two pounds may seem like a small difference, but it becomes significant when you’re halfway through a five-mile hike to your picnic spot.
Cans Are Better for the Environment Than Bottles
There are multiple reasons why beer cans are more environmentally friendly. Firstly, they are lighter and more compact, requiring less fuel for transportation. Secondly, most communities have more efficient recycling and deposit programs for aluminum than for glass. According to the EPA, only 26.4% of recycled glass is actually reused, whereas 54.9% of all aluminum cans are successfully repurposed after recycling.
Aluminum Cans Don’t Affect the Flavor of Beer
Many people believe that beer tastes better when consumed from a bottle. However, blind taste tests have shown that there is no consistent difference in flavor between bottled and canned beer.
In a study, 151 beer lovers tasted the same beer from both cans and bottles, followed by a blind taste test. While more than 61% of participants initially preferred bottled beer when they could see the container, the results were almost evenly split between canned and bottled beer in the blind testing.
If you think canned beer tastes metallic or tinny, it is not due to the can itself. All beer cans are lined with a protective coating. The metallic taste is likely caused by issues in the brewing process, such as water chemistry and ingredient storage.
Also, remember that beer is generally meant to be poured into a glass for optimal enjoyment, regardless of whether it comes in a can or a bottle.