It’s been 75 years since the world saw its first beer can. Now, led by can-only breweries, we’re seeing a renaissance for brews that are colder, brighter, and just plain more refreshing.
Courtesy of Oskar Blues Brewery
Dale’s Pale Ale
Oskar Blues brewery tried its hand at all types of beer — a hefewiezen, a Scotch ale, a stout — but its basic brew is the best: bright and rich, not too bitter. Drink it cold or drink it just below room temperature: tastes delicious either way. And it should, since Oskar Blues has been canning all its beer since 2002 — long before the bigger craft brewers caught on.
Courtesy of Butternuts Brewery
Porkslap Pale Ale
Butternuts is an upstate New York brewery that’s deep in farm country, and all their craft brews bare proof of that provenance. The best, though, is Porkslap Pale Ale, a cult favorite flavored with a spot of ginger to spice things up. It clocks in at just 4.3 percent a.b.v., though, so you may need to keep this six-pack all to yourself.
Courtesy of the Brooklyn Brewery
Brooklyn Lager 16 oz
Back in 1988, Brooklyn Brewery set up shop in an old matzo ball factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where they taught visitors how to actually talk about hops. It took them two decades to put the stuff in a can, but it was worth waiting: it’s just as good as the bottle, but comes in a 16 oz tall boy — much more efficient than 12 oz of glass.
Courtesy of New Belgium Brewery
Fat Tire Amber Ale
In Fort Collins, Colorado, the new New Belgium brewery began canning its famous ale last summer, and it was just in time. In a can, Fat Tire tastes crisper, and you start to notice things about it, like its hint of sweet caramel, that explain why it’s so popular.
Courtesy of Surly Brewing Co
CynicAle 16 oz
If you’re in Minneapolis, head to any good liquor store for a four-pack of Surly Brewing Co tall boys. Surly offers all of its yearly and seasonal beers in cans, but we like the CynicAle the best. It’s a Belgian beer, so it’s light and crisp and perfect for summer. A note: If you’re not in the Twin Cities, it’s tough to find, so we suggest you start making friends from Minneapolis now.
Courtesy of the Anderson Valley Brewing Co
Boont Amber Ale
Anderson Valley is a little brewing company up in Boonville, California, and unlike Brooklyn Brewery, they’ve managed to keep their operation relatively small and charming. This spring, inspired by the environmental benefits of a lighter, more recyclable material, they started offering their Boont Amber Ale in cans. The brewery recommends serving this beer between 40 and 45 degrees, which means that, if you take it out of the refrigerator and throw it in a duffel bag, it should be just right by the time you get to the park. Try that with a bottle? No thanks.
Courtesy of Pabst Brewing Co.
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Because it’s cheap. Because it’s everywhere, because cans are easy at bars, and because that’s okay. It comes in glass too, but that just looks wrong.
Courtesy of Minhas Craft Brewery
Simpler Times Lager
Even cheaper than the PBR, this beer from Minhas Craft Brewery clocks in at 6.2 a.b.v and is about $3 for a six-pack at your local Trader Joe’s. The plus side? It tastes much better — slightly malty, with a twang of bitter hops — than the budget cans of your college past.
Courtesy of Genesee Brewing Co
One to Avoid? Genesee Cream Ale
Thick but flat, bitter but creamy. It’s cheap and it’s nostalgic and like so many sorta disgusting things, it’s a classic. So if you’re going to partake in this oddly named product, first introduced in 1960, do so out of a can.
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