If you fancy yourself a beer snob, you may be a bottle- or draught-only beer drinker. But, according to Greg Taylor, professional brewer, cicerone and business development manager at Fizzics, you may want to check your ego at the door if drinking the freshest, best-tasting beer is truly at the top of your priorities. Because cans, despite the stigma attached to them, are actually the best.
“Cans are arguably the best package for beer,” says Taylor. “No light passes through, they aren’t oxygen permeable, they’re eco-friendly, more affordable to ship, lighter, less breakable, more portable.” There’s a reason The Alchemist Brewery, which produces some of the most sought after craft IPAs in the country, plasters “DRINK FROM THE CAN!” in all caps right on the top of their cans.
If your beer snobbery can be more accurately defined as “IPA snobbery,” you have even more reason to drink your beers from cans. “Skunking is caused when UV rays interact with the alpha acids dissolved in the beer, [breaking] them down to a compound that reacts with the sulphur in the beer,” says Taylor. “Alpha acids lend bitterness to the beer and come from the addition of hops in the boil. Hoppier beers are therefore more at risk for skunking.”
This also explains why Alchemist stresses so strongly to drink their beer from a can. It’s an unfiltered IPA made with extra hops, meaning it’s even more vulnerable. And, while some beers like Miller High Life contain TetraHop extract, a chemically manipulated hop product that doesn’t break down as easily in the presence of UV light, these products, Taylor says, don’t offer the wide array of flavors and aromas of traditional hops.
Not only are cans more efficient at keeping your beer fresh while you’re drinking, they’re infinitely better for storing. We often only think about the importance of storing sensitive spirits and wines, but you should be cognisant of how you store beer too, and cans are the best vessels for the job.
“Beer should be stored in a dark, cool environment without major temperature swings,” says Taylor. “Even fluorescent light will degrade a beer packaged in glass bottles.”
That’s right. Your bottle of beer might be halfway to skunktown before you’ve even had a sip, if someone left them sitting in the kitchen or outside for too long. So, if you’re a true beer lover who wants to enjoy their beer in the best way possible, be sure to enjoy your next cold one out of a can.