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Friday, May 25, 2007

Can it!

There is no compelling reason against putting good beer in cans except for an aesthetic one. Of course, many winos - er, wine snobs - summarily dismiss beer out of hand, no matter the package.

In an uncanny coincidence this week (please pardon the bad pun), both the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun ran articles on craft breweries packaging good beer in cans.

Marty Jones of Oskar Blues Brewery
wearing a Clipper City eyepatch.
We're all friends in fermentation.

Tuesday's piece in the Sun by long-time (occasional) beer columnist Rob Kasper mentioned Oskar Blues and others. Rob did something very helpful, which wine columnists often do: he listed the importers/distributors that one can contact to inquire of stores which stock the beer.

Then, on Wednesday, Greg Kitsock, the Washington Post's bi-monthly beer columnist, followed with his piece "Yes, They Can". He anonymously quoted an unnamed mover and shaker of ten years ago about putting good beer in cans.
"Cans are for baked beans, not fine beverages," he scoffed.
The article continues by mentioning not only canning microbreweries, but their predecessors - Guinness and its widget kinfolk. Jim Koch of Boston Beer comes off sounding like a skunk in a bottle when he implies that 'all' cans have "tiny perforations" deleterious to flavor. (But do read this about the process.)

Both stories mention cans' convenience, their portability (for example, they may be taken where glass is prohibited), and, being opaque, the protection cans provide their contents against skunkiness. Would that make cans the ultimate beer sun protection factor (SPF)?

It's not in either article, but I'll mention it here anyway: beer can chicken, which is a method of cooking a chicken on a grill with an open can of beer stuck inside its, well, rear end.

[UPDATE 2007.05.29 The power of the press]
Several package stores in the area reported to me that they had a run on the beer after the articles appeared. Of course, they also factored in the extra business forthe Memorial Day weekend.

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