While there is no shortage of debates surrounding beer, there is one discussion that never seems to get old: are cans better than bottles? From skeptics to outright naysayers, it's time to set the record straight. Backed by data, and our partial opinion, here's why CANS ARE KING.
Three of beer's biggest enemies are light, oxygen, and heat. When combined, no they do not summon Captain Planet, but these three things become highly lethal and will obliterate the taste of the beer.
It has been said that glass bottles block up to 99% of the wavelengths of light that can harm beer, but it's still not 100% and the same can’t be said for green, blue, and obviously clear bottles. And unless you want to chemically alter your beer to not respond to UV light, like Miller High Life, the only way to guarantee that your beer didn't take a ride through skunktown is to make sure it was packaged in a can.
Where cans really drop the hammer on bottles is their power to deliver a completely sealed product that is free from any and all exposure to air. By design, the aluminum can forms a perfect airtight seal with none of the neck space that a bottled beer has. Because of this, when it comes to oxidation and throwing off the taste of your beer, cans take the win.
Approximate weight of one 12oz bottled beer: 1.2lb
Approximate weight of one 12oz canned beer: .8lb
The difference looks minimal, but just wait until you have to walk 1/4 mile in the sand carrying a cooler full of 30 beers to the beach. Not to mention that if you dropped that cooler and a bottle or two broke, you would be pretty bummed on the copious amounts of shattered glass you would have to deal with.
Those 10 extra pounds, combined with the fragile nature of the glass, versus the durability of an aluminum can makes drinking beer just a little bit easier and a lot more safer.
And lets not forget about the places where we buy our beer. Any bar, restaurant or bottle shop employee will tell you how much easier cans are to stack and store.
BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT:
In 2015, a study by the EPA revealed that 54% (0.7 million tons) of aluminum cans were recycled, where glass was only 26%. Don't get us wrong, we are stoked that people are taking the time to recycle both and hopefully those numbers continue to grow together, but unfortunately bottles have a limitation to the number of times they can be recycled, whereas aluminum can be recycled indefinitely. In fact, the average can contains 70 percent recycled aluminum, more than 3x the amount of glass.
After all the above being said, beer from a bottle doesn't mean it's bad beer or that you are an environmental terrorist, heck, some of our favorite and the most legendary beers are bottled in glass. However, when it comes to cracking a cold one, cans win over bottles in every category in our book. And while there are many out there who may disagree, there is one thing that we all agree on – nothing beats a cold beer when shared with friends. Regardless of what vessel you drink it from.