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Beer Time Stories – Chapter 3 – Don’t Fear the Can

It’s time to stop fearing the common can. 

It’s not uncommon that my beer recommendations are met with an ever-so-frustrating ‘Oh no, I won’t like that, it’s in a can.’ In fact, I hear this daily. So why is it that people hate the thought of consuming beer from the trusty tin?

The most common reasoning I hear is that the beer leaches a metallic flavour from the can, however, modern cans have an inner lining to stop just this. In fact, if we’re worried about beer in metal containers why is no one concerned about ordering a pint from a big old keg that has been ferried up and down the country hundreds of times?

The reality is that beer is probably at it’s best when served from a can – I can feel the eyes rolling already, but it’s true! Beer truly is a fragile potion and two of its biggest weaknesses are UV light and Oxygen.


UV Light

UV rays react with the isomerised alpha-acids(The bittering component found in the common hop)in a beer, creating a chemical reaction that is often referred to as skunking or as I like to call it,’The green bottle effect’; the resulting compound is almost identical to what skunks use to ward off predators. Cans avoid the terrors of skunking with their opaque walls, thus allowing you to enjoy your super-duper, triple dry-hopped, tongue flaying, double IPA without inducing flashbacks to the time you tried to impress a girl at camp but only received a faceful of skunk blurt.



While oxidation can be desirable in a few particularly robust styles, it poses a number of threats to most styles of beer, not only as a myriad of off flavours but also in muting existing flavours. The list of possible off flavours is extensive, ranging from paper and cardboard, all the way through lipstick, corn, green apple, butter and in very particular cases burnt rubber!

But that’s not the half of it. Can you imagine popping the cap off of your favourite IPA, expecting to greeted by a wave of fruit so ripe, and pine so intense that your eyes damn near roll back into your head in satisfaction, only to be greeted by a pathetically mild aroma of, well, just ‘beer. Oxidation truly can take an outstanding beer down to the kind of beer you wouldn’t even gift to your in-laws but because cans have a considerably more airtight seal than a bottle this proves to be far less of a problem.

And it’s not just the taste and smell of your beer that cans are great for. Because of their lightweight construction, cans prove to be far cheaper than bottles, create a considerably smaller carbon footprint and are much easier and safer to take on-the-go. Who wants to take a clunky, heavy bottle up a mountain when they can easily take a can, and then crush it and toss it in their pack without adding any significant weight or taking up valuable space?

So as you can tell I am a big advocate of beer being packaged in cans and I think you should be too. Go ahead, give it a try – I promise it won’t bite. You might even find you prefer it that way.

Come in and check out our fabulous can selection, you’d be crazy to miss out on the chance of trying North End’s Pitboss; a fantastic, malty lager style with the just the right amount of smokiness to compliment the beer without overruling all the other subtleties this beer exhibits. If Doppelbocks aren’t to your taste though, fear not, I’ve got plenty of variety to go round. Garage Project’s Death From Above IPA takes influence from a Vietnamese mango salad and includes mint, mango, lime and chilli to really kick the beer up a notch. Sunny day? Hard to go past a tin of Urbanaut’s perfectly crisp, Kingsland Pilsner. And if you prefer something dark you’d be hard-pressed to find something more exciting than Garage Project’s Cereal Milk Stout; now carbonated with nitrogen as opposed to carbon dioxide(but only in the cans!), it’s the creamiest, smoothest stout that I’ve tried from a New Zealand based brewery.