The Great Beer Debate: Bottles vs. Cans

The Great Beer Debate: Bottles vs. Cans

Posted in Drinks on February 02, 2017

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Bottle or can? It's a question you may be asked at a bar, at a BBQ, or anywhere else beer is involved. As reported by MarketWatch, there's a science behind this debate. On January 24, 1935, the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Co. with help from the American Can Co., sent 2,000 cans of Krueger's Finest Beer and Krueger Cream Ale to Richmond, Virginia. The tops of the cans were flat, meaning the drinker had to punch a hole for drinking and a hole for air intake. They were well received, and by the end of 1935, Krueger and its competitors had sold more than 200,000,000 cans across the country.

Cans have been a longtime staple of domestic beers, but the craft community was hesitant to join the growing canning contingent. In 2002, Dale Katechis, founder of Oskar Blues, canned Dale's Pale Ale as a way to differentiate and get customers to his brewery in Colorado. According to, 550 of the nation's more than 5,000 breweries now release their beers in cans.

So, why cans? Cans are cheaper to ship, and they also keep the beer in better condition. Aluminum prevents sunlight and lowers oxygen levels, two of the three enemies of beer.

So, why bottles? A Nielsen survey commissioned by the Brewers Association discovered that only 40% of drinkers felt the quality and freshness of canned beer was greater than or equal to that of bottled beer.

Are you drinking more bottles or cans these days? Let us know in the comments on Instagram @haveanight!