Time once again to tackle the Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday: a monthly opportunity for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their unique perspective on the same topic. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts The Session, chooses a topic, and creates a round-up that lists all of the participants.
The topic for The Session this month is: Cans or bottles?
I ask this same question to every guest of MicroBrewr Podcast. I think it’s an interesting study into both industry and consumer trends.
The craft beer industry is neat, in that the producers are often consumers as well. When a brewery owner answers this question, she gives her perspective not only as a manufacturer of an alcoholic beverage product, but also as a consumer of beer.
A bottling line or a canning line is a substantial financial investment. So this question is a significant consideration to anyone starting a brewery.
The answers give great insight. However, one thing I see lacking from the discussion is solid data.
This is super-easy and something I actually have an opinion on, which is why it’s the first Session I’ve done in six months.
Here’s what I love about bottles.
I love that bottles smash when you drop them, creating glass shrapnel that you will find three months later with your foot or, worse, drenching the bar in precious, precious beer and having to endure calls of “Taxi!”, as if that was ever amusing and not a sign that you didn’t get enough love as a child.
I love that bottle conditioned beers are pretty much grenades waiting to lacerate your face and waste your homebrewing efforts.
I love that bottles are generally shit brown and when they come in green, it means the beer tastes like cat piss. Worse still are the ones that are clear – insert your culturally relevant reference to Miller, Corona or Great Northern here.
I love that I could, were I insane, spend up to $100 on a bottle of imperial stout and the oxygen ingress around the cap will turn it into a $10 bottle of black sherry.
I love that bottles are super heavy, taking more energy to transport and will be single-handedly responsible for the extinction of polar bears. Thanks glass.
Yeah, I’m in favour of cans to the point where the ghost of Che Guevara (who, incidentally, haunts me and at least three other bloggers on a rotational basis) is telling me to be a bit less militant about it. He keeps repeating “Es sólo cerveza” over and over again and rolling his eyes. What a douche.
But the real kicker is that these guys all preferred bottles over cans for their beer:
Whereas cans are the choice for these men:
So I suppose you can have your bottles if you hate freedom.
I will note that there are two exceptions to the rule for coolness reasons:
- Beers that have to be bottled in champagne bottles (refer face laceration above) because how does pouring a magnum of saison not make you feel like the world’s nerdiest rapper-pimp?
While I appreciate the above has been less than useful, I really don’t understand how this is still an argument. I’ve broadly heard three in favour of bottles:
- “I’ve invested in a bottling line for my brewery”
- “Industrial beer sometimes comes in cans and I don’t want to associate with that”
- “It tastes funny from a can”
To which my responses are:
- “Don’t care because there’s no way putting money into a brewery can be reasonably described as an ‘investment‘; a lottery ticket, maybe”
- “Get off your high horse you elitist prick”
- “That’s been proven to exist only in your head. I bet you believe in homeopathy as well”
To summarise this completely absurd line of argument, all beer should be canned because bottles are dangerous, evil and anti-polar bear.