Why is the craft beer industry moving to canned beer?
For hundreds of years, beer is mostly sold in bottles. More and more brewers are making the switch to aluminium and steel cans. The brewers claim the original taste is better preserved. In the past mostly pilsner was sold in cans, but in the last couple of years a lot of different craft beers sold in cans and are making an upswing. The sales of canned beers has increased by more than 30 % according market researcher Nielsen.
Cans keep light out completely
When beer is exposed to light for extended periods, it may lead to oxidization and an unpleasant “skunky” flavor in beer. Brown bottles are better at keeping light out than green or transparent bottles, but cans are better overall. Can prevent the contact to light. This results in more fresh and flavourful beers for longer period of time.
Easier to transport
Beer cans are lighter and more compact, you can transport more beer on one pallet and this makes it cheaper and more efficient to ship.
Cans are more recyclable
Aluminium is the most recyclable material on the planet. While only 26.4% of recycled glass actually gets reused, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) reports that 54.9% of all aluminium cans get successfully repurposed after
Cans don’t impact a beer flavor
Many people believe beer tastes better from a bottle. Blind taste tests showed that there is no difference between the flavours of bottled and canned beer. All cans are lined with a polymer coating that protects the beer. This means that the beer itself doesn’t actually come in contact with the aluminium.
1,5 years ago, Brouwerij Kees located in Middelburg (NL) switched completely to cans, although it is slightly more expensive for him. “Beer ages quickly due to sunlight. With a can, the sunlight can’t affect the beer and that is why the taste of the beer is better preserved,” says Kees Bubberman, owner of the brewery. “It weighs less than a bottle, you can place more beer on a pallet and if you drop the can, it stays intact. Canned beer has a bad image, he notes. “Many people believe it’s something for the homeless. We’ve lost customers, but we have also gained customers.” In the past few months, he has seen one brewery after another making the switch from bottles to cans.
The Swaen thinks it’s a good development that our customers keep trying to innovate their business.
References: NOS Journaal, The Take Out,
American Craft Beer, EPA