Once the preserve of big brand lagers, smaller brewers are turning their attention to the possibilities cans have to offer. Canned options from craft brewers both big and small havetaken off in America and the UK in recent years with everything from session pale ales to big imperial stouts finding their way into cans. Now a growing number of Irish brewers are making the move.
The benefits to the brewer is that cans offer easier handling in the brewery versus glass. They are also easier and therefore cost less to transport. From an environmental standpoint cans take far less energy to produce and are easily recycled compared to bottles.
However the real benefit for both the brewer and the consumer comes down to quality. Cans are far less likely to spoil due to light exposure or oxygen exposure both of which can have an effect on the freshness and flavour of the beer. Light can react with compounds in the hops to produce off flavours sometimes referred to as being “skunked”. This is why you will see the majority of bottle beers in brown bottles, the brown bottles reduce the harmful effects of sunlight. On the other hand canscompletely eliminate this issue.
Technological advancements in can production also means the beer does not taste metallic due to specifically designed cans using a thin layer of water based lining which protects the beer form touching the aluminium.
Quite simply fresher beer makes for better beer. But why not test it out for yourself. I have picked a selection of canned beers form Ireland, perfect for cheering on the team in the rugby tomorrow.
Lining out first for Ireland is Metalman, the first Irish microbrewery to can their beer. Metalman produce a range of beers in can but for this blog I am recommending their super smooth and refreshing Equinox wheat lager.
Next up is Rascals who I had the pleasure of visiting when they were canning (as seen inphoto above). Rascals produce a range of great craft beers, I have chosen their Big Hop Red, which as the can rightly declares is lively, piney and zesty.
Finally it would be remiss of me if I didn’t include KPA form Blacks of Kinsale. Thisexcellent fresh and zesty pale ale is currently on offer for 6 for €10 in store.