Friday, May 20, 2011

Getting Canned

It's the May long weekend, and already on my Twitter stream, folks are asking, "What's a good craft beer to drink... that comes in cans?" Good question.

Take a peek at this:
This is the best craft beer in Hawaii, as I discovered on my recent trip there. You know what? It only comes in cans. You know why? Well, this is ripped right off Maui Brewing's website:

...cans don't break like glass bottles do and it is particularly important for us to do whatever we can to keep our 120 miles of coastline, 30 miles of beaches, and other public areas free of broken glass! Cans can be recycled, are virtually unbreakable, and are lighter to carry and easier to chill than bottles. Also, key to the purity of our beers: cans eliminate light damage and the risk of oxidation. This will ensure that our canned microbrews will be flavorful, brisk, and satisfying.

The Myth of the Metallic Taste:
Bottles have long been considered the best packaging for good beer. This is no longer the case with modern aluminum cans because they are lined with an internal coating. This lining prevents the beer from ever making contact with the aluminum and ensures no metallic aftertaste.

This isn't just marketing, folks, there's a whole website devoted to the superiority of aluminum cans as a way to package beer. Personally, my favourite type of beer packaging is me, but I do confess a certain preference for cans over bottles, particularly when it comes time to return the empties.
So, suggestions.
Immediately, Central City Brewing's Red Racer lineup presents its cans like I was wearing a Sharks jersey and sitting in a penalty box. Before I got annoyingly serious about fly-fishing, there always used to be a sixer of their IPA under the seat in the canoe, and we'd crack 'em every time we hooked something. Even when it was just weeds. Or my hat.
Granville Island Brewing does nearly all their beers in can form. My fav is probably the Brockton as it won't smack you around as much as the RR IPA, but it's super refreshing for a hop-head. Honourable mention to Kitsilano Maple.

Howe Sound Brewing also now provides its lager in cans. It's getting near the temp where this'd be the perfect beer to suff in the bottom of the backpack for a good hike-in camping trip. This beer belongs wedged in some ice-cold creek, with a smoky campfire for ambience and the sounds of the BC wild for dinner music.
Oft-overlooked is Tree Brewing's canned beer. Unfortunately, none of their award-winning Hop-Head makes the leap to aluminum, and that's a special shame because Tree uses tall-boys, which are just about the greatest thing ever. Nothing is more satisfying than a perfectly filled pint-glass, and I've got my fingers crossed that Hop-Head joins Thirsty Beaver, Kelowna Pils and Cutthroat in 500ml form.
More Craft Beers from the Interior: Fernie Brewing (First Trax) and the aptly-named Cannery Brewing: Anarchy Amber or the Naramata Nut-Brown are the way to go here. Also worth a try are some of Nelson Brewing's beers. I like the Faceplant, but have heard good things about their new Hemp Ale.
For us Island-types, Race-Rocks and Lighthouse Lager would probably be my go-to summer canned beers. A lament for the Keeper's Stout in cans, but with the sadly limited appeal of darker beers, I can understand the move to only provide this delicious Irish-style stout in bottle format.

So there you go. Canada: you can't spell it without "can". Also "nada", but let's just overlook that, shall we?


  1. Cannery is another good canning brewery.

  2. ... which I've bloody well mentioned, haven't I?

  3. Yeee Haaaaaa!!! It's a Long weekend!!!!

  4. Brendan, you even mentioned GIB/Molson, but no Vancouver Island Brewery? We have Pipers Pale Ale, Spyhopper Honey Brown and Islander Lager in cans!

    Do you need some as a reminder?