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  • Writer's pictureLori Rice

Why Beer Cans Are Better

As trendy as cans are in the craft beer world now, this hasn’t always been the case. It’s been a long road for beer lovers to finally associate canned beer with quality versus the expectation that it should be in a bottle.

But here at Full Circle, we’ve always been innovators and early adopters when it comes to things we believe in. We’ve been canning beer since day-one of Art taking over the brewery in 2016. Our purpose for canning goes beyond trends. There are core reasons why we can our beer and they range from beer quality to lessening our impact on the environment.

Cans protect the quality of beer

Beer is susceptible to something called light degradation. When exposed to sunlight, the bittering agent in hops undergoes chemical changes which ultimately results in lightstruck beer. Another term for it is skunked beer which pretty accurately describes the smell you get when you pop open the bottle. It’s why most of the beer bottles you find are brown, to reduce the light exposure.

But why reduce the light exposure when you can eliminate it completely? That’s what we think, too. Cans successfully block the light protecting the flavor of your beer and increasing its shelf-life.

Cans are more eco-friendly

Once you are finished with your beer, the can has a better chance of being recycled than a bottle. According to The Aluminum Association, cans have a higher recycling rate than other competing packaging such as glass. A can also has the potential to be recycled, renewed and recycled, over and over again creating a loop of reuse and fewer wasted materials.

Cans are most often recycled right back into cans and this is one of the most important factors for why cans are such a beneficial packaging. It does take energy to make a new can from aluminum, but a can made from recycled material uses just 8 percent of the energy needed to make a new one. Cans and their greater tendency to be recycled holds big potential for saving energy and improving our environments.

Cans also make us a more efficient brewery. Their light weight and stackability allows us to maximize our space. Saving space combined with a faster cooling rate for cans means that our coolers use less energy to keep the beer at an ideal temperature. Additionally, a study conducted by the consulting firm, ICF International, for The Aluminium Association found that the reduced weight and space savings of cans results in 35 percent lower emissions during transportation when compared to glass bottles, per ounce.

Cans make craft beer drinking more enjoyable

The lighter weight and quick cooling characteristics of cans also benefits craft beer fans. They are much easier to get around with and they stay cooler while doing so. Camping, on the beach, by the pool, in the backyard - you name it. Cans are better for it all. They’re lighter for loading into hiking packs or a cooler and there’s no risk of shattered glass to clean up if one gets dropped.

The biggest challenge for canned craft beer

The signs that cans are the best option for beer are all there, but the biggest challenge for canning in craft beer has been changing the perspective of beer drinkers. For a long time, bottles have been superior to cans as a marker of better quality and a more desirable product.

It’s not surprising. Throughout history, in the U.S. some pretty tasteless beers have been consumed from cans. But the industry has been proving skeptical consumers wrong for a while now. In 2020, 67 percent of all beer production was in cans, according to a report from the National Beer Wholesalers Association. It’s clear that the once disrespected can is now seen as the better option, not only for the best craft beer, but for taking better care of the world around us.

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