Beer Blogging: Are cans better?


Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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18 Responses

  1. JosephFM says:

    Oskar Blues makes some great canned beers, for sure. Dale’s is one of my favorites.Report

  2. LawMonkey says:

    I’ve never had a problem with beer packaged in brown bottles being skunked. Green and clear bottles, though, ought to be banned, or else required to be packaged in 360 degree light-blocking cardboard. Other than that, glass does seem to resist temperature changes a bit better, giving you more time to enjoy your beer before it gets warm.

    Of course, at the moment I’ve got Old Speckled Hen and Brooklyn Lager in the fridge, both in cans. The former because OSH in clear glass bottles is invariably so skunky as to verge on the undrinkable, never mind the nitrogenation issue, and the latter because I’ve had a lot of trouble with Brooklyn longnecks foaming over when I crack them open–I wind up losing a quarter of the beer and making a mess all over the kitchen. Someone in Brooklyn needs to work on the quality control…Report

    • JosephFM in reply to LawMonkey says:

      @LawMonkey, Ah good point! Nitrogen beers pretty much have to be sold in cans.Report

      • LawMonkey in reply to JosephFM says:


        At least until Guinness licenses the “rocket widget” out, or their(?) patent expires.

        Side note on Brooklyn Lager: I just cracked open a can, and had the same problem as I’ve had with the bottles. Can fresh out of the fridge, popped the top, and next thing I know, foam out of the can and dripping all over the kitchen. Brooklyn could easily be my go-to beer if it weren’t for this issue, and I’m beginning to wonder if it’s just me or if this is something more widespread.Report

        • Jason Kuznicki in reply to LawMonkey says:


          I have never had that problem with Brooklyns. Could it be that your refrigerator is just a tad too warm, and their highly carbonated beers are the first to become unwieldy as the temperature rises?Report

  3. Sam M says:

    “(Dropping a can on a sharp rock was how a caveman first discovered how to shotgun a can of beer—another thing you can’t do with a bottle.)”

    Sure you can. You just need a bendy straw. I thought everyone knew this trick.

    Didn’t anyone here go to college? There is ALWAYS a way to drink your beer faster, regardless of the vessel. Please tell me you didn’t waste your extended adolesence.Report

  4. Rufus says:

    I did want to comment on this- probably the most important ideas ever posted here- but forgot to. So let me say that, for reasons I’ve never understood, it seems to me that you can get the beer colder in cans than you can in bottles. This scientific fact- just like magnets- is a mystery to me.Report

    • JosephFM in reply to Rufus says:


      Glass (as a silicate material) is a better thermal insulator than aluminum (a metal), so you can get cans colder faster and more easily, but they can also warm up more quickly.Report

      • JosephFM in reply to JosephFM says:


        Thus, if you place a can and a bottle of the same temperature in the same refrigerator, more heat will be transferred from the can to the air than from the bottle, resulting in the canned beer being colder. But if you left them both in a hot car, the can would take on more heat than the bottle (while both beers would likely be ruined.)Report

        • Jason Kuznicki in reply to JosephFM says:


          Why does no one put in a good word for decanting the beer? Every style has its preferred glass for optimum presentation value, aroma maintenance, and temperature. Yes, it’s more expensive than drinking right out of the bottle, but I would never touch a Czech pils or an India Pale Ale if it weren’t in the proper glassware. On that level, this whole debate is kind of silly.Report

          • JosephFM in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

            @Jason Kuznicki,

            Ah, true enough, and I usually do when drinking beer that deserves it (though sometimes not in the right kind of glassware, since I am a grad student blowing my money on fancy beer to begin with), but I think we were discussing more along the lines of storage and transportation.Report

  5. Boegiboe says:

    I have a hard time drinking any beer out of a can. I can smell (or taste, not sure which) the metal. Pour it into a glass, or plastic cup, and the metallic character is gone.

    So, I have no problem with canned beers if I can pour them. I do have a problem when people that offer me one expect me to drink it out of the can. On those occasions when I must accept out of politeness, the beer usually goes flat and warm before I drink it, and then it goes down the sink on my bathroom break.Report