Cutting Out BPA? Don’t Forget About Your Beer Can

Written by Lloyd Alter

CityLab and Quartz write about the increase in sales of canned beer in How the craft beer revolution made cans cool again. They describe how cans came to be acceptable for beer.

Concerns about canned beer bearing a metallic taste, which once was a factor that made bottles more appealing, should be long gone now. Decades ago, when the cans were made of tin and lined with lead, that was a valid worry. Today’s cans are made from aluminum and have a water-based polymer lining, though, so the beer doesn’t even touch the metal.

Photo Credit: U.S. Beer Institute

It’s funny; I know people who would go thirsty rather than drink from a polycarbonate bottle because of the danger of Bisphenol A or BPA, which has been variously blamed for contributing to heart diseaseobesityreduced penis size, even making girls mean and making you stupid and depressed. It is a synthetic hormone that’s now banned in baby bottles and run off the market in the water bottle world. Yet that polymer lining in every beer can is made with BPA.

Quartz credits Oskar Blues Brewing with starting this return to canned craft beer, and yes, they have BPA in their cans. According to Frank DiGennaro in Table Matters,

Oskar Blues Brewing Company, who exclusively can their beer, point to the lack of substantial evidence deeming BPA toxic and re-direct inquiries about its safety to the fact that much research is going in to development of BPA-free cans.

Mystic Brewery won’t touch the stuff according to Craft Beer Cellar.

On principle, we never let beer touch plastic in our process and upon researching cans we decided that it was very similar to bottling in a plastic bottle due to the lining. The BPA issue strongly affected this decision. We decided that we didn’t consider any type of plastic available truly food-safe by our standards. In our mission to make wholesome beer as beer was made for 5,000 years, plastic simply does not work with that philosophy.

An alternative to BPA lining doesn’t exist yet. Until it does, why does anyone take the risk of drinking canned beer? Why would people who threw away their Nalgene bottles because of BPA willingly get the same stuff from their beer? I will never understand this.

More on the same subject in an earlier post: More Americans Drinking BPA in Canned Beer, Thanks to Economy and Pabst Drinking Hipsters.

This post originally appeared on TreeHugger.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

62 comments

Marje Szelmeczka

If you must drink out of a can, reuse the can to hold fragrance candles. Put the candle in the can and heat it on a cup warmer. You get the fragrance without the smoke.

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Betty Kelly
Betty Kelly3 years ago

Glass is best for beer.

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Rosemary Diehl
Rosemary Diehl3 years ago

Beer is best out of a longneck bottle anyway!

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Kamia T.
Kamia T3 years ago

Don't drink beer out of cans. If it's not in glass, it's not going home with me anymore.

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Deborah F.
Deborah F3 years ago

thanks.

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Irene S.
Irene S3 years ago

I'm glad, most of our beer is seved in glass bottles here!

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donnaa d.
donnaa D3 years ago

ty

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W3 years ago

thank you for posting

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Nimue Pendragon

Whatever happened to food being put in fair dinkum steel cans? They were never lined with crap like bpa or anything else (at least not in Australia they weren't) I really think the food companies use bpa lining to disguise the fact they are not using proper steel cans. Let's go back to unlined steel cans the way they used to be, and ditch the bpa!

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Nimue Pendragon

Whatever happened to food being put in fair dinkum steel cans? They were never lined with crap like bpa or anything else (at least not in Australia they weren't) I really think the food companies use bpa lining to disguise the fact they are not using proper steel cans. Let's go back to unlined steel cans the way they used to be, and ditch the bpa!

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