Cans? Really? You want me to drink beer out of a can? Seriously? Like my dad? No Way!
There is a nice little discussion going on in the beer world right now. To can or not to can, that is the question. Can craft beer come in a can? The answer: HELL YES it can!
Amongst craft brewers today, there is a nice little trend to offer their tasty brews in cans as well as the bottle. Why? Well, until recently if you wanted to go camping, to the beach, on a bike ride, go to the park, whatever, you were limited to macro brews and nothing too fancy and full of flavor. Now that has all changed!
First, some history. The beer can was invented in the late 1920′s, and for that matter ALL can beverages began here…with beer! Cans began with a cone top that was sealed with the same crown used to cap bottles. Eventually they became plain flat or “punch tops” in the 30′s which lead way to the zip top that even us thirty somethings remember prior to the conventional tabs we see today.
Little trivia tidbit: ACCO (American Can Company) first explored the idea of canning at the request of Olympia Brewing Company founder of Leopold Schmidt early as 1909, but the can technology wasn’t sufficient enough to stand up to pasteurization. Oh well…
So, even though beer has been canned since the 1920′s why did it take until about 80 years later for someone to can a craft beer? Who knows?! Whatever the case, in 2002 Oskar Blues Brewery bucked the system and canned their flagship Dale’s Pale Ale and started a whole new avenue for craft breweries. The one thing that Oskar Blues understood was that the stigma of a “metal” taste when your beer came from a can was all in peoples heads. In fact, if you were unaware almost all cans contain a coating or liner on the inside that prevents the liquid from ever actually touching anything metal. Feel free to blind taste test someone and have them try to find any “off-flavors”.
So not only does a can not impart any unwanted flavors into our favorite beverage, it also protects it from the two worst enemies of beer: oxygen and light! When a can is sealed, it’s sealed! There is no worry of additional oxygen seeping in, which is possible with normal crowns on bottles. Now some breweries worry about the surface area on a can being larger and that allowing more oxygen to find it’s way in during the filling process… well, not to worry! This has an AWESOME solution! Can-conditioning! Yes! The same idea behind bottle conditioning (an additional fermentation in the final package to create natural carbonation) is being used to rid the can of any extra O2 in the package!
Now I will tell you this 100% of the time…My favorite Fat Tire is from the can! They can-condition and it adds this wonderful extra layer of complexity to an already dynamic beer! Try one, they are amazing!
Now as for light…do I really have to explain this? OK, short version. Obviously the aluminum from the can is not transparent, duh. Well, that cannot be said about glass. Why is this important? The harmful UV’s from sunlight and florescent light that cause the skunky aroma in beers cannot get in to harm canned beer. Ever tried Heineken from a bottle side-by-side with a Heineken from the can? You should! Hell, I’ll do it with you!
So…by now I think you get my point, can beer is good beer. You might be willing to go as far as to say that it is SUPERIOR beer! It can go any where, it weighs less, it’s compact, it gets colder faster, they are fun to collect, they protect the beer better… the list goes on and on!So next time you see something in a can…guess what! It’s just as good, if not better than the bottle!
If you were wondering, JJ Taylor Craft Breweries that carry beer in cans include: August Schell’s, Breckenridge Brewery, Brooklyn Brewery, Leinenkugel’s, Magic Hat Brewery, New Belgium Brewing Company, Shiner Beers, and Sprecher Brewery.Joe FalkowskiCertified CiceroneImport/Specialty Brands Sales Rep
In a few short weeks, Indianapolis will play host to the 2012 Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is one of the largest attended sporting events in the world and one of the biggest advertising and media focused events to boot. It’s a tremendous opportunity for the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana to shine as business leaders and celebrities descend upon us.
What better time to show the world what fantastic things Indiana brewers are doing?
Of course, the Super Bowl is a corporate event and the corporate beers pay dearly to get their names onto signs, banners, shampoo bottles, potato chip bags and just about anything else that has room for print. Frankly, it’s an advertisers wet dream and the stakes are way too big for Indiana brewers to compete on the level as the big boys.
But we have the advantage. In Indiana we have real people making real beer. And we have passionate drinkers that care about what they consume and who they get their beer from. And we have the means to let visitors to our state know about it.
During the week of the Super Bowl, Monarch Beverage and World Class Beer will be sponsoring free shuttle buses that will run between downtown, Fountain Square and Mass Ave taking visitors to bars, restaurants and stores along the route. On that bus will be advertising for our “Drink Local” campaign along with a Twitter hashtag, #IndianaBeer.
During Super Bowl week, we strongly encourage everyone to use the #IndianaBeer hashtag to get the word out about local beer and where it can be found anywhere that Super Bowl attendees might be drinking!
World Class Beer works hard all across the country to give people access to great beer. As beer distributors, our only profit motivation is to sell beer and we think that Beer Spy helps us to do that, by giving the beer drinker access to information on where the beer is and can be purchased. Beer Spy makes it possible for anyone to search for beer locations nearest their zip code!
What is Beer Spy?
Beer Spy is a complete sales history of each beer distributor in the World Class Beer network. It’s a list of all their brands and products and the locations that are selling them. Each day, we submit many thousands of new records to Beer Spy by importing the sales history of our distributor partners to our website, making them searchable by brewery, beer style, brand and then making it possible for you to search that data to find the beer you want at the beer seller closest to your zip code.
It’s also mobile friendly. It renders very nicely on smart phones of all brands as long as they have a web browser. It’s not a native app (we’re working on that!) but all the features of the web version are available on your smart phone right now!
It Only Lists Certain Brands
Yes, though we’d love to list them all and are working towards that goal. Frankly, we list the brands we sell. That’s easy. But we’re always open to listing any other brands, even our competitors brands, as long as we can get the data for them. In some cases, individual brewers are happy to send us that data and we post it to Beer Spy, even though we don’t sell it.
Some of the Locations are Out of Date
Perhaps. We list what we sell and we list those locations for a 90 day period. After that, we drop them from the list unless the location has re-ordered. Most days we list around 45,000 different stores, bars and restaurants across the United States and there’s no way for us to look on every shelf or be certain that the beer is still there. It might have sold out the day it arrived, but that’s why we list telephone numbers and other stores that carry the beer you’re looking for.
It Isn’t Perfect
No, it isn’t. I sort of think of it like Winston Churchill’s take on democracy, it’s the worst possible tool for finding beer, except for every other one that has been tried. I think it’s the best possible solution to provide accurate beer locations on a large scale anywhere. It relies only on facts and it can track many thousands of different beers in many different states.