A Beer Container For Every Season

Does it matter what beer containers you use to keep your favorite beverage in? You bet it does. You can’t put the drink of the gods into any old beer containers, so here’s what you need to know to choose the right beer containers for your brew.

Beer Containers: Cans

Before you scoff, there are some benefits to beer in cans. But let’s start with the basics. Bottles have been around 4,000 years or so. Before that, you got your beer in a tankard or flask at your local pub, or you carried it home in a bucket if you wanted some. Then we started putting it in bottles, and while that was cool, it was also heavy. The first canned beers appeared in 1935 and revolutionized the industry. They were far lighter than any bottles, meaning it was easier to buy a lot at a time. They were much quicker to get chilled, which is always a plus. They were also cheaper to produce, and that meant it became cheaper for you to buy your beer. Again another plus for everyone. Finally, because the pull tab open had yet to be invented, there was initially less chance you might drop and break your can of beer than a bottle.

The problem with beer in cans, though, was that beer from cans tasted like…can. It tasted so much like can, in fact, that beer brewers soon had to invent a synthetic liner to keep the beer and the metal separate. This fixed most of the issues with the cans, and when aluminum replaced the old tin cans, you could just about hear the cheering from space. Of course, you still have to line those cans to keep the beer and the aluminum from ever touching, but cans are a decent choice when it comes to beer containers. In fact, they have one great advantage over bottles in that they eliminate any possibility of light damage that might oxidize the beer.

Beer Containers: Bottles

Although cans have made a serious dent in the beer market, they’ve never been able to make us break up with bottles completely. For many people, there’s just something about the cold, crisp pour out of a bottle that no can could ever beat. The bottle has some distinct advantages, too. Though they’re going to take longer to get chilled, they’re also going to keep the beer colder for longer after you take them out of the cooler. They’re also a lot lighter than they used to be, and (thank all the gods), most manufacturers are now making them with twist off caps. The bottle is so aesthetically pleasing that it’s unlikely they’re going anywhere fast.

Beer Containers: Kegs

Kegs are really convenient, especially if you’re hydrating a crowd. They’re especially great when you need to minimize the non-biodegradables and having a hundred cans or bottles lying around would be troublesome. Plus, if you want fresh, unpasteurized draught beer, you have to have to get it in a keg. Of course, the really big kegs are 150 pounds or more, so the main problem with kegs is transport and setup.

Beer Containers: Beer Growlers

Speaking of unpasteurized, there is one other way to get it, though it’s not convenient for a large group. The personalized growler is a relative newcomer amongst the beer containers, but its popularity is increasing by the day. You can run down to the bar or pub with your vacuum sealed growler and try anything on tap. Better yet, you can go to that brewery that doesn’t yet bottle their beer and use a stainless steel growler to bring back all the hoppy goodness. The growler is actually not a new idea, but today’s innovated personalized growlers definitely are.

Whatever your taste in beer containers, there’s something for you. Beer is only growing more popular by the year, with the craft beer market currently worth $23.5 billion and 14% of American drinking beer at least once a week. Isn’t it time you grabbed some custom growlers and joined the party?

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Francis Pitt

Francis Pitt

Francis Pitt has made a name for himself in farm-to-table organics, working at restaurants in Portland, Seattle and Burlington, Vermont. While he has a taste for the extreme, most of his restaurant’s top sellers are much more down-to-earth, regularly featuring mushrooms gathered from the slopes of the Cascades, and fresh wild-caught seafood from the Oregon coast. Inspired by trends in Portland, his latest restaurant offers the ultimate chef’s table: dinner begins in the morning at his island collective farm, and 4 lucky guests every week get to follow the food, literally, from the field to the plate! Francis is a firm believer that you are what you eat — do you really want to be a chemistry set?
Francis Pitt

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