National beer can appreciation day
January 24th, 2013
09:00 AM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

Once again it is upon us: National Beer Can Appreciation Day (not to be confused with National Beer Appreciation Day, which I believe is actually every day of the year).

People first got the bright idea of putting beer in cans back in 1933, when the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company teamed up with the American Can Company to produce a test run of 2,000 cans of Krueger’s Special Beer. If you’re wondering how it worked out, consider this: In 1941, people in the U.S. consumed roughly a billion cans of beer.

Despite the success of the beer can, in recent years, the craft beer industry has been wary of the allure of metal. Until a few years ago, most independent small brewers have been resolutely pro-glass.

That’s changing. Beer geeks are fanatical in their passions, and some will insist that cans are by nature an evil thing to seal a fine beer into. I’m going to stay out of that debate, but I will point out that there are now more than 180 craft breweries putting their brew into cans (out of about 900 total, not counting brewpubs). And that’s a fine thing. I mean, it may be 20 degrees outside, but you’ve still got to drink something at the beach, right?

A few of the better craft beers in cans right now include:

Anderson Valley Brewing Company Boont Amber Ale
From one of Northern California’s earlier craft breweries (founded in 1987), this red-gold ale has a luscious caramel-malt richness to it.

Avery White Rascal
A Belgian white ale from Boulder, Colorado, it has all the classic coriander-orange peel notes of the style, with strong yeasty notes.

Flying Dog Brewery Underdog Atlantic Lager
Crisp and lightly herbal-floral, this is a straightforward lager from Frederick, Maryland, that’s hard to not to like.

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA
Sierra Nevada’s big 7.2% alcohol extra IPA is in-your-face hoppy - a blast of citrus and pine - yet somehow perfectly balanced.

Sixpoint Brewery Sweet Action Cream Ale
Hazy-gold and malty, this Brooklyn, New York, craft brewer’s flagship beer has a great bittersweet character with a little hop influence at the end.

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soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. taco bender

    My favorite canned beer:
    Hop Knot – Four Peaks
    Resin – Six Point
    Deviant Dales – Oscar Blues
    Hop Ottin – Anderson Valley
    Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout – Anderson Valley
    Devils Ale – San Tan Brewery
    Dales Pale Ale – Oscar Blues
    G'Knight – Oscar Blues

    Now I am really thirsty. TGIF!

    January 25, 2013 at 11:04 am |
  2. M

    Dude, this article is absolute crap. Have you ever drank a beer? Stick to wine writing and stop embarrassing yourself on CNN.

    January 25, 2013 at 1:39 am |
    • Bann

      Speaking of embarrassing yourself, is English your 4th or 5th language?

      January 25, 2013 at 6:47 am |
    • Mmmmmm Ber

      "Stick to wine" – Might be time to expand your horizons my friend. There is a plethora of beer styles out there including barley wines you may enjoy. Anywho, this article was crap because they omitted some key facts like micro breweries are gravitating back towards cans because of the new water based can lining and cans have a longer shelf life than bottles. Light is beer's kryptonite.

      January 25, 2013 at 8:59 am |
  3. bill

    Wow...How did Sully get most of the top row....Good show 21A!

    January 24, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
  4. Judi

    What? No Oskar Blues? The King of Cans, started the beer can revival and the beer is AWESOME.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • Annon

      Agreed. DPA should be the first thing mentioned on this list! Torpedo is delicious though...

      January 24, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
  5. julie

    iam not a fan of beer but from time 2 time i like 2 enjoy 1 & 2day is a great time as my lil bro would say who is a big fan beer don't waste it self people do enjoy your can

    January 24, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
  6. jsamuelson18

    Reblogged this on Good Beer Better Hats.

    January 24, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  7. Cian

    Two words: Heady Topper!

    January 24, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • AT

      Heady topper, indeed!

      January 24, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • HopHead

      Heady Topper is the BEST but you better follow the directions and drink directly from the can because if you pour into a glass the sediment will just freak you out!!

      January 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
  8. Brooke

    This is a great day indeed. However, I would like to point out that Oskar Blues Brewing Company does not have one beer on the better craft beers in a can list. After all they were THE first craft beer brewery to package their beer in cans. Which they started over ten years ago.

    January 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
  9. HandySam Creations

    I got some beer cans for ya!

    January 24, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  10. peace love happiness

    I'm happy to hear that appreciation for beer in cans is growing. Beer cans can be recycled whereas it it much less cost effective to recycle glass bottles. Personally, I only drink beer from cans because they can be recycled. Cheers!

    January 24, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  11. beernpizzalover

    I'm going to get a vanity license plate that says 'BEERCAN' for my next new car.

    January 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  12. M T Nest

    "In 1941, people in the US consumed roughly a billion cans of beer"...I wonder what that # is now?

    January 24, 2013 at 9:42 am |
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