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Should Beer Be Bottled or Canned?

Should Beer Be Bottled or Canned?

If you drink beer, and many people do, you are probably of the persuasion that believes beer just tastes better served in cold glass (whether it be a beer bottle or a frosty mug) than it would in a can. Personally, I know I am not a fan of canned beer, as it seemingly never tastes as good and brings up (literally) painful childhood memories of cutting my toes on discarded peel-away tops while walking on the beach. So I am biased, but there is something to be said about the presentation of a particular edible or drinkable item, as I mentioned in a previous piece. But despite the enduring popularity of the beer bottle, and the déclassé nature of the beer can, the beer can is on its way back into acceptance, and maybe even back into vogue.

While the last few decades have seen a drop off of beer cans, there has been a new resurgence, even trendiness, surrounding beer in a can. Craft brewers are discovering the usefulness and economy of packing and shipping their product in beer cans. The cans keep the beer away from damaging light, which can dull flavor, and it also keeps out more oxygen than the traditional bottle cap does on a bottle. And cans are not nearly as heavy as bottles to ship – cutting down on shipping costs and emissions significantly. But how about the flavor of beer in cans? Advocates for canned beer say it is as good, if not better than what you would find on tap, and far better than bottled beer that has been sitting in the sun.

For me, however, I just really can’t get behind canned beer. Maybe this is my beer prejudice or maybe I just haven’t been given 12-ounces of evidence that would sway me. How about you? Are you a proponent of beer in a can? If so, why? What are some of your favorite brands?

9 Surprising Uses for Beer

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.


+ add your own
10:24AM PDT on Jul 29, 2013

taste better in a bottle.

5:49AM PDT on Jul 13, 2013


5:40AM PDT on Jul 10, 2013

If they're recyclable

1:19AM PDT on Jul 10, 2013

Recyclable bottles of course, as not to poison ourselves!

11:25AM PDT on Jul 9, 2013

When the fights break out - I prefer the cans. Less damage. ;)

11:04PM PDT on Jul 8, 2013


11:03PM PDT on Jul 7, 2013


People don't get this. The issue should not be one of aesthetics. This is actually quite a serious health concern.

After each soccer game the guys get together in the locker room for a "cold one" (or several).
They bring an ice-filled cooler filled with cans of beer. The price is much cheaper than it would be at a pub, but I bring my own "bottled" beer. Why?

Aluminum ("tin") cans are lined with bisphenol A, and while there is some controversy as to its dangers, mostly due to industry "shills", it is well documented that this hormone mimicker is dangerous. Remember the sun heated plastic water bottle issue raised by Sheryl Crow.

Here is a good example. Read through to the end.

Here is a "better" one IMHO.

In any event, I much prefer the "precautionary principle" and have stopped drinking any beverages from "aluminum cans". I tell my soccer team mates that I do not want to develop man-boobs ("moobs"). They laugh, but still drink copious amounts of barley water.

We are, in this generation, undergoing huge biological experiments with our health.

Discussing which you prefer, cans or bottles, is akin to worrying about cell phone towers because they are a blight on your surroundings, rather than being concerned over the radiation they emit. Please watch:


5:38PM PDT on Jul 7, 2013


2:08PM PDT on Jul 7, 2013

I like both beer in a bottle and a can but I find that I feel better, more social polite with the bottles and if possible will transfer the contents of a can to a glass. :)

(*quick note to those who drink non-alcholic beer, I find that if you top it up with lemonade it takes the malty flavour away - learnt this in a dry country where the only beer for purchase is non-alcoholic/ handy if you want a beer and have to drive in other countries too!)

7:53AM PDT on Jul 7, 2013

Me and my friends prefer bottles. Tks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Great speech. Gee, I'd love to see a Warren/Sanders ticket for the next election.

One thing it will mean is a whole lot of new jobs!…

Something workable and effective, please

4:58AM PDT on Aug 5, 2015 Thank you


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