Where’s your beer – in a can or in a bottle?

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    The debate between canned beer and bottled beer did not start until the 1930s, Professorshouse.com informs.

    Until the 30s tin cans could not hold beer without exploding. It wasn’t until 1935 that a vinyl liner was invented to prevent the beer from busting that can’s seam. The first beer to use the new canning technology was Krueger’s Finest Beer, in Virginia, the US. It was a huge hit with the public.

    Gradually, beer in cans spread in popularity to Europe. Unfortunately, production of canned beer was stopped everywhere during World War II due to rationing. Production of beer in cans resumed after the war, and quickly reached high popularity with the introduction of the flat top can.

    The main reason for the success of canned beer was convenience. Because they were smaller than bottles, stackable and didn’t break as easily they were easier to sell. The invention of the liner that made canned beer possible also allowed beer to be sold in metal kegs instead of wooden casks. This made it easier to transport to bars and easier to keep for longer periods of time.

    Everyone knows cans are more convenient and easier to transport, but what about the taste? This has been a decades long debate. It really comes down to personal preference. Some people think that the can gives beer after taste, especially since we switched to using aluminium cans instead of tin. Other beer drinkers think that the bottle does a better job of preserving the flavor and carbonation used in the beer.

    One thing that is without dispute is beer temperature. Once you open the can of beer the container has trouble keeping the liquid cold. Because of the nature of glass, beer in bottles stays cold longer even after it’s open.

    What about the impact on the environment? Hands down, bottles win in the debate on environmental impact. In fact the best thing you can do for the environment is to buy bottle beer from local brewery that is known to recycle glass for its bottles. This saves gas used in transportation, and avoids using aluminium.

    Aluminium itself is not the problem. The problem is in the process. Aluminium is the third most common element in the world. There’s no danger of running out of aluminium anytime soon. The environmental impact comes from how aluminium is made. To make aluminium usable it takes a great deal of energy. Using energy uses oil, and oil is a resource that is running out.

    So long story short, if you are someone who believes in recycling, likes your beer cold, and believes glass improves the flavor then you want to drink bottled beer. If you are someone for whom convenience is more important and who drinks beer at any temperature, then canned beer is the solution for you. If you’re like most people, you drink canned beer and bottle beer depending on the occasion. You might take canned beer when you tailgate and drink bottled beer at home. It’s a win-win situation for everybody. Cheers!

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