The Session Beer Blogging Friday by Brookston Beer Bulletin The Session 98 Roundup.

The Session 98 roundup: Cans or bottles?

Thank you everyone who contributed to my self-serving blog topic: Cans or bottles? MicroBrewr is all about starting a brewery. One important question is how to package the product.

The price tag is pretty hefty for a commercial line for cans or bottles. Either one could cost hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars. So the question is important to anyone planning to start a brewery. Luckily, recent developments in mobile canning lines and mobile bottling lines have significantly reduced the price and the barrier of entry.

But the dilemma doesn’t stop at the bottom line.

It’s not just about what the customers want, cans or bottles. Clearly trends are shifting. Many people still holdout for bottles. Meanwhile cans, which once carried a stigma, are increasingly accepted and sometimes even sought.

It’s not just about the brewer’s preference for cans or bottles. Some purport that bottles protect the beer better, while many claim the same for cans. Of course brewers and brewery owners are not immune to the same personal preferences that sway decisions for customers. So their claims of logic in the decision are likely blemished by bias also.

To try and figure it out, since undertaking MicroBrewr last June, I’ve asked every guest of the podcast this same, simple question: Cans or bottles?

Some people think the debate is dead, but clearly people are still talking about it. It’s still worth discussing. Some of the guests find the question difficult to answer and some find it quite a dilemma.

Check out a more in-depth study of their answers in my contribution to The Session 98:

Cans or Bottles? 27 industry experts reveal their preference.

And here’s the page with ongoing tabulations.


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Here are the other contributions:

David Preston at Beer Tinted Spectacles writes a bunch about milliliters. Evidently the bloke is a Britton. I had to keep Googling conversions. He calls a 12-oz. can a small can, and says that’s the common size in the U.K. for soda, but not so much for beer, in which they have a much wider variety of serving sizes. In the U.K., beer in cans can be bought in 14-oz., 16-oz., or 19-oz. varieties. Be careful when you order a pint in Great Britain, you’ll probably get a 19-oz. “Imperial Pint” rather than the 16-oz. size you’re used to in the U.S.

His piece isn’t just about serving size. I really like that Preston dives into the whole notion of perception. “We say rational. We do irrational,” he admits. And it’s not up to us. The views of “opinion formers”—brewery owners—“are now impacting drinkers behaviour and perceptions.” But who cares he asks, “If beer drinkers become accepting of both, then that’s good for beer isn’t it?” Tune in for the plot twist that he sends us on in the last graph.

The Beer Nut writes from Ireland, next door to—but not part of—the U.K., which would be Northern Ireland. To commemorate The Session, he drinks and writes about 4 British beers, one of them is from a can. Mostly his piece just makes me thirsty. He does provide a link to another blog that argues against the ability of lower priced canning lines to seal out air. Alas, he writes, “For the moment I’m not fussed what a brewery puts its beer in, as long as what comes out is [high quality].”

Another Dubliner, Reuben Gray at The Tale Of The Ale, writes of one canned beer: “I’m not going to talk about the beer inside the can because it tastes the same as the draught version.” Then he presents pros and cons for cans and for bottles. In his presentation cans do seem best. Yet he does remind us in an asterisk that the plastic liner inside cans is made of plastic, which contains chemicals, a point that I keep having trouble getting past.

Jeremy Short at Pintwell writes specifically about a taste test of “a classic”: Pilsner Urquell. This beer lost a recent taste test among his friends, but he loves it. He has his wife pour the canned version and the bottled version so he can do a blind side-by-side comparison. Perhaps not a scientific study, “I had 50/50 odds anyway,” he admits. He doesn’t need such odds in his favor. “It was mind blowing to me how different the two beers were.”

You’ll have to read his post to find out which he prefers. Though I’d take it with a word of caution. I’ve done 2 separate cans versus bottles blind taste tests with friends. It was usually pretty easy to discern a difference in appearance, aroma, and flavor, but sometimes is was the canned beer that we preferred, and sometimes it was the bottled beer.

Related: Cans or Bottles? Surprising results from two blind taste tests

Derrick Peterman writes at Ramblings of a Beer Runner. “Plenty of beers come and go,” he writes, “but we’ve just got one planet. So the question for me boils down to whether bottles or cans are better for the environment?” Great point. I used to make my entire voting decisions based on this one notion. But I don’t mean to turn this into a political discussion. He writes of pollution during transportation, chemicals and energy use during manufacturing, percent recycled content. And finally he concedes, “No one really knows,” and he cites sources for this.

“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” is the phrase. And they’re listed in order of importance. Kegs and growlers are meant for reusing. And Peterman offers a neat, recycled (if I may) solution for single-use containers, too.

Alan McLeod from the Beer Blog has an interesting contribution, albeit a recycled one (there I did it again). He repurposes a post from 2006 that includes emails with the “Lead Singer” of Oskar Blues Brewery. Of course Oskar Blues is something of a pioneer for craft beer in cans. We have them to thank for their foresight and risk-taking, at the time anyway. As it turns out, the whole thing was some sort of a sick joke. Check out the piece for the full story and the definitive history of how we came to enjoy great craft beer in cans everywhere.

Craig, or someone else, at Oregon Beer Life kind of writes off the topic. I mean he wrote it off. I mean he wrote… Gosh it’s getting late. Well, he said that he has already written so much about this topic, that it seems like he has nothing more to write. Instead he just links to some other posts, mostly cans versus bottles taste tests.

Then a discussion at a book signing urged him to write more. He points out that mobile canning lines and mobile bottling lines make it cheaper than ever for startup breweries to put their beer and their dreams into packaging for distribution. “It’s increasingly less important these days,” he says, “for startup breweries to have to consider can or bottle packaging equipment if this option is available to them.” It’s a great point. I agree with him that, “to a certain extent I don’t think this question is as necessary when considering starting a brewery as it once was.” What great times in which we live…

Dan “the web nerd” of Community Beer Works ponders that they will one day have to make this decision for their brewery. In the meantime, fearing nothing new to contribute to the discussion, he does a taste test. His is not blind, he apparently poured the beer for himself. Although, I appreciate his efforts to keep it as “scientific” as possible. (His quotation marks, not mine.) Like Short at Pintwell, Dan notices a significant difference between the two.

“I can only say that because I’m sitting here doing my damndest to compare the two,” he admits. “If I had the bottle today and the can next week I probably wouldn’t notice much difference.”

After that, he throws us for loop. Then he admits, it’s all about laziness.

Liam at Drunken Speculation seems… I’m not sure what he seems. I’m not sure what to make of his feelings on the topic, although this is purportedly his first contribution to The Session in 6 months. So that helps alleviate some of my worries shared by some previous hosts about my topic being unworthy. He says bottles are preferred by Che Guevara, Richard Nixon, Joseph Stalin, and somehow genocide. “So I suppose you can have your bottles if you hate freedom,” he writes.

It seems Liam prefers cans. My favorite of his arguments against bottled beer is: “Get off your high horse you elitist prick.” And that cans will save the polar bear. It’s definitely entertaining, which I think might be the point.

Sean Inman at Beer Search Party is our “Lewis and Clark” of finding great beer. Not sure he’s the right guide for this party as he has “swung from bottles to cans and back and forth like a pendulum.” But he does attempt to sate my desire for “empirical evidence” about the question at hand. He does so with a list, 4 points a brewery should ponder when considering which package to use. He seems to present this lightly and with humor. Yet he offers good points for all brewery marketing, not just the choice in packaging.

Finally, Stan Hieronymus from Appellation Beer and one of the 2 co-hosts of The Session, is most concerned with beer aroma. “I’m not inclined to want to stick my nose up to that half-inch wide opening in the can,” he cautions.

My sister once licked the lid of a can of bean dip and cut her tongue deeply. I thought I would cut my finger deeply when I once got it stuck in the opening of a soda can. (It turned out okay in the end.)

Like McLeod from Beer Blog, Hieronymus quotes an email from Oskar Blues, who says beer should be poured from the can into a drinking glass. Yet, people are drinking from cans, Hieronymus says. He pours his into a glass. Me too.

Related: The Session 97: Up and coming beer locations


So those are some thoughts on the debate. Those are some ideas to ponder when trying to decide how to package your beer.

There are many factors to consider. And some people are still pretty adamant for either cans or bottles. Luckily, these days great beer is put into both types of packaging, and both types are doing very well in the marketplace.

Stay tuned for The Session 99 hosted by Fuggled, who has chosen the topic: Mile Ale. Keep an eye out for their announcement coming soon, or check back at The Sessions HQ.

Thanks everybody for contributing. Sorry if I missed anyone, leave a comment below and I’ll try to add it or something.


Jack Perdue at Deep Beer does love his beer in bottles. It’s a bit of a romance for him. He tickles a little at the logical reasons, but ultimately, for him, it comes down to movies, one movie in particular, The Shawshank Redemption. He linked to a clip and I watched it in-line with the reading. So now I might be biased as well.


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Cans or bottles? 27 industry experts reveal their preference.

Cans or bottles? 27 industry experts reveal their preference

The Session Beer Blogging Friday by Brookston Beer Bulletin The data for this post is kept current here.

This is my entry to The Session 98 that I announced last week. Stay tuned for a round up of posts from other bloggers answering the same question: Cans or bottles?

Read the roundup: The Session 98 roundup: Cans or bottles?

The Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday, is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts The Session, chooses a topic and creates a round-up listing all of the participants, along with a short pithy critique of each entry. (Find more info on Brookston Beer Bulletin.)

It looks like the host slot for the May session is still open, so if you’re interested in hosting The Session 99, drop a note to Jay (.) Brooks (@) gmail (.) com or Stan Hieronymus of Appellation Beer. His e-mail is stan (@) appellationbeer (.) com.


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Cans or Bottles? 27 industry experts reveal their preference

Cans or bottles? I ask this question of every guest on MicroBrewr Podcast. I think it’s an interesting study into both industry and consumer trends.

The craft beer industry is neat, in that the producers are often consumers as well. When a brewery owner answers this question, she gives her perspective not only as a manufacturer of an alcoholic beverage product, but also as a consumer of beer.

MicroBrewr is about how to start a brewery. A bottling line or a canning line is a substantial financial investment. So this question is a significant consideration to anyone starting a brewery. It brings varied and interesting answers.

At episode 14 of MicroBrewr Podcast, I started asking each guest the simple question, “Cans or bottles?” We’re now at episode 58, so we have a decent sampling of industry insiders.

The answers below were culled from MicroBrewr podcast episodes 14 through 58. With 44 respondents (one of the episodes was myself), the overall results were as follows.

Preference from guests on MicroBrewr podcast Count Rate
Cans 19 43%
Bottles 12 27%
Both 12 27%
Aluminum bottles 1 2%

Cans are preferred by 43 percent of the respondents, while bottles are preferred by 27 percent. That’s a 16 percent margin.

Furthermore, 27 percent of people could go either way. If you take the respondents who said they don’t prefer one over the other, and add them to the ones who prefer bottles outright, that’s 54 percent, beating out can fans by 11 percent.

Yet, if you threw a party with only canned beer, you’d satisfy 70 percent of your guests (43% + 27%). Whereas if you provided only bottled beer, just 54 percent of your guests would be happy (27% + 27%).

One respondent threw a curve ball. Philipsburg Brewing Company says that they are planning to package their beer in aluminum bottles.

“The canning machines… are awfully hard on beer,” said Mike Elliott from Philipsburg Brewing Company. “We’re looking for a away to utilize the convenience of aluminum, but get away from the problems with the canners. The machines for bottling on a small scale, like we need, have been much longer in development. Whereas the canning process is still pretty new and they’re still kind of refining the technology.”

I’ll continue to tabulate the answers.

So check here for the latest results.

In meantime, I was eager to dig in deeper. So I looked at the answers more closely.


The answers are affected by opinion

The first thing I noticed was that the answers seemed largely based on opinion. Simply put, people are biased and they have strong opinions about this topic.

From most of the guests, I could hear a change in the tone of their voice when they answer this question. It seems like their opinion is swayed by personal perception.

Oftentimes I perceived even a raised voice or an excited tone.

“Oh cans, all the way,” says Zachary Typinski from Neighborhood Brewing Co.

“Cans!” exclaims Nigel Askew from Horsefly Brewing Company. “Absolutely! There’s no competition.

“Cans, no doubt,” says Paul Benner from Platform Beer Co.

“Cans, totally 100 percent,” says Matt Katase from The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company. “I cannot wait until we start putting beer into cans.”

I do admit, this question is the first in a series of what I call “happy hour” on the show. The happy hour questions are meant to be light, friendly and informal. This could explain the change in the tone of their voice.

Some of the guests realized that their answer was based simply on opinion.

“I prefer bottles,” says Ted Sobel at Brewers Union Local 180. “I don’t know, I just prefer glass. There’s something I like about glass. Cans, I don’t know… cans remind me of cheap tin beer for some reason.”

“I have no objection to cans. I have no objection to bottle,” says Kyle Roth from Ferndock Brewing Co. “Certain beers I would rather have in a can. Take it on a boat, take it on the golf course. Some I would rather have in a bottle sitting on the dinning room table. That’s just my preference, I guess.”

“I actually used to collect beer cans so I had kind of a nice soft spot for cans,” admits Shaun O’Sullivan from 21st Amendment Brewery.

Modern cans for packaging beer are different from the their predecessors. New technologies have improved the packaging. Some guests seem to like cans because it’s a new thing.

“I gotta says cans,” says Randal Denver from Yards Brewing Company. “I think that’s the future of the industry.”

“I’m always looking on the newer and greater sort of things,” admits Audra Gaiziunas from Brewed For Her Ledger, “and I really like cans.”

“The new wave is cans,” says Brett Tate from Dust Bowl Brewing Company. “It seems to me that if you don’t do both [cans and bottles] in the future, you’re probably missing the boat.”

The question is difficult to answer

Several people found the question difficult to answer.

“Both,” answers Nick Ellis from Opposition Brewing Co. “Do I have to pick one?”

For some, it is a downright struggle to pick one packaging over the other.

“Cans,” says Cathy Smith from Philipsburg Brewing Company. “Or bottle!” she quickly changed her answer. “Or what? Oh, God—I don’t know.”

Mike Elliott was on the same call and he also had a difficult time answering.

“Oh, that’s hard,” he laments. “I love aluminum, but I hate cans. Let’s put it that way.”

For some, the dilemma is even troublesome.

“This is a really challenging question because from a science perspective cans are definitely a superior package,” says Chris Goulet from Birdsong Brewing Company. “But for me… in college and in my early career… it’s interesting because I always associated cans with crappy beer. So I guess I’m kind of personally at a conflict.”

“You don’t want to break glass by the pool,” offers Danny Robinson from Backshore Brewing Co. “Bottles… personally, I enjoy drinking out of bottles. The whole argument of what’s better, I don’t know. Honestly, I’ll take either one.”

“Whoa,” reflects Henry Thornhill from West Cork Brewing Company. “I was listening to Dan Gordon, he described, technically, how superior bottles were because less contact with the air. Up until that, I was going, ‘Cans, that’s the way to move forward,’ but now I’m re-assessing.”

Tiffany Adamowski from 99 Bottles beer store was politically correct in her answer.

“I almost always go bottles, just because there’s more variety,” she calculates. “But for storage, I prefer cans.”

Environmental stewardship affects the decision

Many guests cited the environmental benefits of cans over bottles.

Nigel Askew pointed out that aluminum cans weigh much less than glass bottles. Lighter weight, means lower transportation costs and the associated emissions.

“It’s lighter. Much more environmentally conscious,” he says. “Much more recyclable. Very few recycling places have the ability to crush the glass then re-melt it.”

Besides weight, the size of a can allows for more to be shipped in the same space, which additionally saves on transportation costs.

“It’s more portable in the sense that you can put 110 cases of cans on a pallet versus 70 for glass,” offers Shaun O’Sullivan. “I think 70 percent of all cans are recycled.”

“I also like being able to crush the cans,” says Todd Cook from Boulder Dam Brewing Company, “it makes my recycling thing a lot easier.”

Doing the right thing for the environment often translates to benefits for the bottom line.

“[Cans are] more environmentally friendly,” says Audra Gaiziunas. As an accounting consultant for breweries, she’s constantly thinking of the bottom line. “They’re not rising at the cost that glass is. I like them for transportation.”


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Product longevity affects the decision

Many people spoke about shelf life of their product.

“Technically speaking, cans are a superior packaging for beer,” says Nick Ellis. “There’s no argument. It protects the beer more than bottles.”

“We’re in bottles right now, 100 percent,” says Rich Weber from Sierra Blanca Brewing Company. “I think, ultimately I may end up [putting my product] in cans. I do like glass for my product, though. But no headspace, very low air, no light is appealing as well, in the cans.”

“Until 6 months ago, when I started doing serious research, I would have said bottles,” says Myles Stone from Borderlands Brewing Co. Myles knows about research, he started the brewery when he was in his second year of medical school. “Cans are like little, mini kegs. They block out all the light, they block out all the oxygen. They’re really shelf-stable.”

And Myles’ affinity for cans goes beyond the research to practical reasons.

“If you drop it, you pick it up, versus getting the mop if you drop a bottle,” he says. “You can take them to the beach, you can take them on the trail. I’m a big, big fan of cans.”

But there’s conflicting data. A few guests on the podcast have given statistics about how either cans or bottles are superior packaging.

“I was just talking to our lab guy their other day,” says Mark Carpenter, Brewmaster at Anchor Brewing. “The cans have the lowest air count. So the beer is going to last in cans. That’s keeps the brewer happy.”

Then there’s the argument for bottles, too.

“You can’t put a vacuum on a can. You can put a vacuum on a bottle so a double pre-evacuation filler is going to get you the best beer quality ever. That gets you oxygen content under 50 parts per billion of dissolved oxygen [in the bottle],” asserts Dan Gordon from Gordon Biersch Brewing Company. “So there’s minimal contact of any air with a beer when you’re filling a bottle.”

“That’s not the case with the can,” he continues. “With the can you have a large surface area, the top of the can diameter is exactly what’s being exposed to air during the process. And there’s transition between the filling of the can and the seaming of it, to put the top cover on it. So the oxygen content that you can get on a good filler is probably around 60-80 parts per billion. We average in our brewery about 20 parts per billion of oxygen [in bottles]. So the shelf life is much longer in a bottle than it is in a can.”

He doesn’t stop at dissolved oxygen.

“Let’s face it: The cases are sealed. The bottles aren’t going to be exposed to light that much.” The amber glass is also “filtering out a lot” of the light, he says. “And light reaction versus oxygenation, I’ll take light stuck any day of the week.”

Besides lab data from the brewery itself, I can’t help but wonder where the statistics are coming from. Obviously, the canning industry has an interest in making their packaging sound like it’s going to protect the beer more, but the bottle manufacturers have an interest in selling their product as well.

I’m interested to see any studies from an unbiased third party that covers a large sampling on a broad range of equipment.

RELATED: Cans or bottles? Surprising results from two blind taste tests


Portability and accessibility affect the decision

Many guests believe that cans allow their product to go more places.

“Cans, in Florida,” says Justin Stange from 7venth Sun Brewery, which was the first brewery in Florida to can a Berliner Weisse, a very popular beer style there. “We’ve got a lot of outdoor activities where bottles are restricted.”

“It is an outdoor state, so that’s kind of why we’re really researching it,” says Rich Weber in New Mexico. “There’s a lot of hiking, biking, mountain climbing, rafting, things like that, a lot of places that cans can go.”

“In Montana, the can is really popular,” says Mike Elliott, “because you can take a can outside to recreate and stuff.”

“[Cans] are much more easy to travel with,” says Brian Kelly from Elevation 66 Brewing Co. “and less chance for breaking them. So yeah, cans.”

Taking beer into the outdoors might not be such an important issue everywhere.

“I think in America people say how they’re going out and go hiking, and backpacking outdoors, you can take cans. That really isn’t the culture in Ireland,” says Henry Thornhill who co-founded a brewery there. “People drink [from] bottles at parties, barbecues, and stuff like that, but you wouldn’t go walking the hills and then have a can. I guess it’s just a bit more of culture thing, really.”

“In the last few years, there’s been an upsurge in outdoor activities. If you were bringing beer, people might think you’re a bit different, let’s say,” he advises.

I ask for clarification through the nuances of language. “Might think you’re a boozer, huh?”

“Yeah,” he cautions.

Cans still have a stigma

People who prefer cans are usually very enthusiastic about it. Yet there are holdouts for the bottle.

Oftentimes, people who prefer bottles are so confident in their answer and their preference that they don’t feel a need to elaborate.

“Bottles,” succinctly answers Matt Greff from Arbor Brewing Company.

“Myself, a bottle,” says Patty Elliot from Pecan Street Brewing (no relation to Mike Elliott).

“Bottle,” stated Eilise Lane from Scarlet Lane Brewing Company.

I pressed her further.

“You asked cans or bottles,” she laughed. “Bottles.”

Then she explained more. “There’s something about a bottle that just feels right for me. I know cans are great, I drink craft from can and it’s good beer. It’s a way to do it. But for me personally, I am looking forward to bottling. I just feel like it matches what we’re doing.

“When you are a bottle fan you are just a bottle fan,” she concludes.

Customers as well as producers perceive the stigma that cans bear.

“In New Mexico, some breweries are in cans and [some are in] bottles,” says Rich Weber. “Some are doing well and some are not doing well in cans. It’s kind of, you don’t know if it’s the package, it’s what’s in the package, or [simply] the packaging.”

“There’s still that stigma of a can,” admits Erich Allen from Studio Brew. “Case in point: I was standing at an incredible beer store one evening. And I was looking at a bottle of beer. It had the basket and the crown cap with the cork and the whole thing. And it was $32—$32 for a 750-milliliter bottle! And to the side of it was a can. And it was probably 32 to 34 ounces, standing there next to it for $8. Can I justify myself for buying that bottle for $32? Of course I did! On the $8? Well, I went ahead and bought it.”

Then he pauses.

“I got to tell you, the one in the can was just as good!”

And the stigma does seem to be waning.

“When we first started, it was interesting because we talked more about the can itself than the beer inside,” recalls Shaun O’Sullivan who co-founded his brewpub in 2000 and started packaging their beer for distribution—in cans only—in 2006.

“Cans have been hugely successful in the industry,” reports Mark Carpenter. “It’s what the public wants and accepts. Cans certainly seem to be accepted, and we’ve started canning. I think we’re going to see more can—customers like them. I think you’re going to see both cans and bottles around.”

“Once I kind of saw the light,” reveals Shaun O’Sullivan, “like, ‘Wow, this is going to be big,’ when Sierra Nevada, and New Belgium and especially Samuel Adams, I knew once those guys went into the cans, that this package was going to be accepted by beer drinkers and would be around forever.”

Whether packaging your craft beer product or just buying a brew, opinions and perception vary widely.

In the craft beer industry, producers are consumers. Among this set of producers and industry insiders, more people prefer canned beer. As canning technology improves and as the stigma of “cheap tin beer” fades, we’re seeing even more beer in cans.

But does the packaging affect the beer? That’s an important question that also draws varying opinions.

Stay tuned for the next post, where I talk about 2 blind taste tests that I did with friends to find the answer to the question: Cans or bottles?


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The Session 98 announcement: Cans or bottles?

The Session 98 announcement: Cans or bottles?

The Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday, is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts The Session, chooses a topic and creates a round-up listing all of the participants, along with a short pithy critique of each entry. (Find more info on Brookston Beer Bulletin.)

The last time was “Up-and-Coming Beer Locations,” hosted by Our Tasty Travels. The topic for The Session this month is: Cans or bottles?

Read the roundup: The Session 98 roundup: Cans or bottles?

I ask this same question to every guest of MicroBrewr Podcast. I think it’s an interesting study into both industry and consumer trends.

The craft beer industry is neat, in that the producers are often consumers as well. When a brewery owner answers this question, she gives her perspective not only as a manufacturer of an alcoholic beverage product, but also as a consumer of beer.

A bottling line or a canning line is a substantial financial investment. So this question is a significant consideration to anyone starting a brewery.

The answers give great insight. However, one thing I see lacking from the discussion is solid data.

Of course aluminum can manufacturers and glass bottle manufacturers each have an interest in showing their packaging is best. I have heard a lot of arguments on both sides, even data and statistics, but I haven’t heard many references from third-party studies. If you can offer this, that would be a great help.

In any case, I’m looking forward to reading the answers not only to see where the consumer trends are going, but also as research for the brewery I dream of opening.

Read: Cans or Bottles? 27 industry experts reveal their preference

What’s your perspective?

Will you write from the consumer point of view? From which kind of packaging do you prefer to drink beer? Why do you prefer that packaging?

Will you write from a manufacturer perspective? How do you want your brand portrayed? Which packaging suits your beer best?

Will you write from a distributors perspective? Which packaging do you prefer to transport and stock at retail locations?

Some other insight?

RELATED: Cans or bottles? Surprising results from two blind taste tests

To participate in The Session Beer Blogging Friday, leave a comment below with a link to your post on or before the first Friday of the month, April 3, 2015.

So far, The Session next month is still open. If you want to host The Session 99, check out the guidelines and reserve the next free month or any specific month not yet taken. To do this, please contact Jay (.) Brooks (@) gmail (.) com or Stan Hieronymus of Appellation Beer via email at stan (@) appellationbeer (.) com.


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The Session 97: Up and coming beer locations.

The Session 97: Up and coming beer locations

Our Tasty Travels is hosting this month’s installment of The Session Beer Blogging Friday. The topic is “Up and Coming Beer Locations.” I might be biased having recently been hired at a startup brewery in the East San Francisco Bay Area (more on that in a future post), but I really see an increase of beer activity in the East Bay.

The eastern shores of San Francisco Bay, or East Bay as Californians call it, is home to a diverse spectrum of communities and people. The ever-progressive Berkeley, often-in-the-news Oakland, and unassuming industrial corner San Leandro are a few of the colorful places. The East Bay has its share of the usual suburbs, and many of those have breweries as well.

The San Francisco Bay area has long history of beer. Anchor Brewing goes back to the late 1800s. Gordon Biersch and others hail form the infamous Craft Beer Class of 88. Of course there’s Lagunitas a little further north and Russian River is not far away. No doubt, there’s a lot going on throughout the Bay Area. Let’s focus on the East Bay a little while.

Small breweries are opening in the East Bay

In Oakland, a physical education teacher and his math professor wife operate a nanobrewery in their basement. To be clear, the basement is the pilot system. Tied House Brewery makes larger batches for Line 51 Brewing that go into distribution.

P.T. Lovern and his wife Leti Lovern both hold their full-time jobs and run the brewery in the off hours. They and 2 employees handle all orders, distributions, bookkeeping and other operations. According to NPR, they don’t plan to quit their day jobs. Nonetheless, the beer is available at an expanding number of venues in the East Bay.

Medium breweries are opening in the East Bay

A little further north, there’s a quiet little town called El Cerrito. Here, Elevation 66 Brewing Company opened a little gastropub a few years ago. They’ve already been awarded as having the best artisanal pub food in the East Bay.


They have a constant flow of at least 6 of their beers on tap and some of them are pretty darn good by my estimation. When I spoke with Elevation 66 on MicroBrewr Podcast episode 036, Brian Kelly told me they have trouble keeping up with demand. He wishes they had started with a larger brewing system and he says they’re already thinking about expansion.

Large breweries are opening in the East Bay

In San Leandro, 21st Amendment Brewery is bringing their operations back to the San Francisco Bay with their own production brewery. Many people know that 21st Amendment started with a brewpub in San Francisco. Not as many know that their beers are partner brewed with Cold Spring Brewing Co. in Minnesota.

“We do have people out there,” says Shaun O’Sullivan in MicroBrewr Podcast episode 035. “I have a whole staff that kind of manages that. I’m out there a lot. We have a lot of samples that are sent back and forth. It’s a huge amount of information that goes back and forth. You know, you would think it would be easier, but some ways it’s harder.”

This year, 21st Amendment will open the hundred thousand-square-foot brewery to increase production above what they’ll continue making at Cold Spring. The new facility will have a restaurant, a performance venue, and other amenities that will surely attract visitors from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

The East Bay is already burgeoning a beer scene and even a brewery scene. More venues, beers and breweries are on the way. And it’s going to be a better place for beer.

It better be—it’s virtually mid-way between San Diego and Portland!


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