- June 25, 2015
Summertime means spending more time outdoors and cans make it even easier to bring your favorite brews along on outdoor adventures. Not only are cans one of the hottest packaging trends, they also protect the beer from harsh elements, block out light and are more environmentally friendly than bottles.
Leading the way for craft beer in a can, Oskar Blues began canning their flagship Dale’s Pale Ale in 2002. Another notable brewery, not so new to canning is Sixpoint. Originally offering their brews in 16 oz. cans, the Brooklyn-based brewery made the decision to switch to a sleek, 12 oz. can package. “Better beer at a better price makes people happy,” said brewery President Shane Welch. “I’ll drink to that.” 12 oz. sleek cans hold the same amount of liquid as the standard 12 oz. can, but they occupy a smaller space in the refrigerator because they are not as wide. Cans are also a staple at local brewery, Sly Fox – the first brewery in the Mid-Atlantic region to install a canning line. “Cans are much safer than bottles from a shattering standpoint and are therefore more acceptable to have outdoors,” says Sly Fox Beer Ambassador Jake Borer. The launch of Helles Golden Lager in 2013 marked Sly Fox as the first brewery in North America to utilize the innovative 360 Lid can technology, developed by Crown Holdings, Inc. The entire lid of the can is removable, enhancing the drinking experience. “This technology allows the full flavor and aroma of the beer to hit the drinker’s senses and makes the can an even more appealing package for outdoor activities,” said Sly Fox Head Brewer, Brian O’Reilly. Sly Fox 360 IPA is also available in these innovative cans.
The canning craze is far from over. More and more breweries are canning their beers and for good reason. Harpoon recently announced that they will be releasing all of their core and seasonal offerings in cans this year and, Firestone Walker released three of their popular beers in 12 oz. cans. Brewery co-proprietor David Walker explains, “We could have rushed into canning a few years ago, but we wanted the timing to be right.” Brewmaster Matt Brynildson adds, “The market for canned craft beer is now hitting its stride, and canning technology has come a long way in a short period.”
With so many canned options, the selection process can be overwhelming. Luckily, a few of our favorite breweries offer canned variety packs. Blue Moon’s new Brewmaster’s Summer Cans Sampler includes their flagship Blue Moon Belgian White Belgian-style Wheat Ale, Summer Honey Wheat and White IPA. Oskar Blues’ CANundrum variety consists of Dale’s Pale Ale, Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Old Chub Scotch Ale and the new, Pinner Throwback IPA. Sly Fox offers the quartet of Pikeland Pils, Phoenix Pale Ale, Rt 113 IPA and Helles Golden Lager in their Box Set, giving the sampler a glimpse into the potential depth available from a brewery that prides itself on authentic representation of classic beer styles.
Because there are so many wonderful canned beers available today, it only makes sense to pair them with some popular summer activities. So, no matter what your weekend brings, you will have a great canned craft beer companion!
Cycling has always been a huge part of Oskar Blues’ culture. So much so, that they created REEB cycles in 2011. Their bikes are created entirely in-house using 100% American-made materials. And, the brewery’s REEB Ranch, a 145-acre farm that serves as a beer and bike haven was opened in North Carolina last year. “We’ve been able to integrate our passions of the brewery, farm, restaurants and REEB Cycles into much of what we do,” says Oskar Blues founder, Dale Katechis, “and the REEB Ranch continues that effort.” The brewery’s newest year-round canned offering, Pinner Throwback IPA, combines eleven different varieties of hops for a juicy, tropical taste and aroma, perfect for refueling after a long bike ride.
Surfing and California go hand in hand and lucky for us, some California-based breweries make awesome craft beers in cans. Pack some Firestone Walker cans in your beach bag for your next trip to the ocean. Easy Jack, Pivo Pils and Union Jack are all available in cans. San Francisco-based 21st Amendment’s new session IPA, Down to Earth, and their popular seasonal, Watermelon Wheat, would both be excellent choices to bring to your next surfing lesson.
If a relaxed water activity, like sailing is more your style, bring some cans aboard. No other brewery knows how to navigate the water better than Heavy Seas. Pack some beers from the Baltimore-based brewery or you’ll be forced to walk the plank. This pirate-themed brewery offers adventuresome styles like CrossBones Session IPA and the seasonal Smooth Sail Summer Ale. Rhode Island is another state known for its beautiful harbors, and summer would be incomplete without some ice cold lemonade to sip in the hot sun. Narragansett Del’s Shandy is a deliciously refreshing collaboration between the iconic lager and the region’s favorite summertime treat, Del’s Lemonade. These beverages will put the wind back in your sails and be a hit on any ship.
Get in touch with nature while sipping some Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner, the brewery’s newest year-round offering, available in cans, or their flagship Pale Ale. Camping takes on a whole new meaning at Sierra Nevada and cans are a natural fit for this environmentally friendly brewery. Sierra Nevada “Beer Camp,” held at both breweries in Chico, CA and Mills River, NC is an annual celebration of craft beer and brewing, where novices brew their own beers with Sierra Nevada brewers. Each year, one beer created during Beer Camp is chosen to be sold across the country!
If you’re looking for a great local brew to take on your next hike, we’ve got the perfect beer for you! The environment means so much to Sly Fox that they’ve brewed a special seasonal release in collaboration with the Schuylkill River Heritage Area – SRT Ale. Sales of this golden, delicious hop-forward American pale ale will be donated to improve and maintain the 130-mile trail near the Sly Fox brewery in Pottstown and the original Brewhouse & Eatery in Phoenixville. “Brewing a tribute beer to the crown jewel of regional recreation was a natural for us,” says Brian O’Reilly. At 4.6% ABV, this beer was made especially for craft beer fans who love the outdoors. It’s the perfect, post-hike brew!
Southerners aren’t the only ones who love to fish, but they do make some great beers that pair perfectly with the catch of the day. Shiner Prickly Pear, brewed in Texas and the Louisiana-brewed Abita Seersucker Summer Pils both have fruity notes that pair well with fresh fish, gumbo and jambalaya. Bait shouldn’t be the only essential in your tackle box!
Laying on the Beach
If the only summer activity you have planned involves working on your tan, well then, “Find Your Beach” and grab some newly designed Corona cans or sip on 150 years of Mexican tradition and pride by enjoying Victoria, Mexico’s oldest beer, now available in convenient 12 oz. cans.
Wherever your summer takes you - there’s a can for that!