Cans. They’re everywhere. But I’m not talking about the massive amount of Budweiser cans that you see in the trash (rightfully so). I’m talking about the 16-ounce craft can filled with delicious, handcrafted, golden, bubbly, liquid.
Before this all started, I was all about glass bottles. A large reason for this was because all the big beer conglomerates sold its consumers the majority of their beer in cans. Cans are cheap, just like their product, and it ensures the greatest amount of profit for their business. So as a craft beer drinker, I wanted to stay away from everything that made me think of cheap beer… cans. And mostly because cans weren’t widely popular in the craft beer industry 10 years ago. So for years this was the norm for me, until now.
Since I began sharing my beer venture with you all, cans are all I’ve been seeing on social media. Cans, cans, and even more cans. Beautiful cans, nonetheless. Breweries have gone out of their way to design cans with beautiful artwork; some even going as far as to hire designers to create an appealing can to attract consumers. But they don’t just sell these cans. They make it an event. Many breweries are beginning to hold can release parties which attract hundreds of craft beer enthusiasts, creating lines around the block hours before the actual release, all of them trying to score a few four-packs before they sell out. These can releases have become more and more popular within the craft beer community and acquiring them is like adding a trophy to your collection of different beers. I like to call it the “Bucket List of Beers”.
Breweries such as Treehouse, Trillium, Monkish, Other Half, Magnify are only a few of the many that I’ve seen. The list goes on. Big craft beer companies like Dogfish, who were always known for selling their beer in bottles, are now starting to sell their beer in cans. Even the local beer market seems to be hopping on the craft can wagon. Local breweries such as Peekskill, Rushing Duck, Pine Island, and Newburgh are all selling cans. Shit, there are even awards for the best can designs which Millhouse Brewing Company, another local brewery near me, has won numerous awards for their beer cans. My fridge used to be full of glass bottles. Now, all I want are cans. Craft cans. They have erupted in popularity, but why? I had to do some research.
First of all, what is better that drinking a fresh, cold beer that just came out of the tap? For me, there’s nothing better. Where does that beer come from? It comes from a keg, and if you think deeper into it, isn’t a can just a mini keg? When you go to the bar, you’re likely getting your beer from a tap, so the best way for breweries to give you the freshest beer is in something that can preserve the beer similar to a keg, which is? You guessed it, a fucking can! You see, glass is transparent. No matter what color it is, brown, green, or clear, it’s going to let sunlight in. Since I’ve been learning about homebrewing these last few weeks, one of the most important things about fermenting a beer is to put it in a cool dark place. Basically, sunlight is your enemy. So why drink from something that could be damaged goods? You see what I’m saying?
Now that the most obvious reason is out of the way, let’s move on to the ingenious reason. Recently, I was waiting in line for cans at a Magnify Brewing release party. I spoke to a few people who have just driven a few hours so they can pick up these cans. People from all over are flocking to these breweries just so they can get their hands on a few four packs. So I thought about it. Instead of distributing the cans throughout the US, why not cut out the middleman and sell cans exclusively at the brewery. It’s fucking genius! Breweries are filling their seats with asses creating the ultimate marketing campaign. People aren’t just buying the cans, but their staying at the brewery and drinking their beer. I love it.
Lastly, the Beercation. Sometimes you need a reason to take a vacation. Sometimes you actually need some motivation to get your ass up off the couch away from that new TV show. What’s more motivating than beer? I want nothing more than to drink a glass of Treehouse or Trillium.; both are just over two hours away. Why not take a vacation exclusively for the beer? Let’s take a “beercation”, grab some awesome fucking cans, and show the Instagram world why I’m awesome! Sounds like an amazing idea to me.
Seeing the craft beer industry flourish like this in what I think is a very unorthodox way is very encouraging for the industry as a whole. I can’t wait to see what it grows into. So let’s grab a beer, sit back, relax, and watch this community grow. It’s just You, Me, & Brew.