Intro : 00:08 Pull up a stool and get ready for today's bar chat from cheers all.com your go to podcast for answering all the questions you've never asked about beer, wine, and spirits. Cheersall.com sells premium bar accessories for your home bar, man-cave or she shed.
Ty: 00:24 Hey everyone, welcome to the first episode of the Cheers All podcasts. In today's show, we're going to discuss the highly controversial topic of cans versus bottles. There's opinions, there's facts. We're going to discuss it all right here in today's episode. I personally, prefer cans. Mainly because when I used to work as an operations manager for a brewery, we did a lot of research on when it was time for us to buy a new bottling line. Uh, we looked at the pros and cons of each and truthfully, if you're starting a brewery from a brewery operations perspective, a canning line is the way to go because the machines are cheaper and you get more bang for your buck. You can buy a really good bottling line for about $750,000 or an extremely good canning line for about $250,000 a major portion of this is that you don't have to label cans. They come pre labeled. Also from a brewer's perspective, cans are more efficient when it comes to storage. You can put a hundred cases of beer on one pallet versus 72 for bottles. So this is a probably a lot of the reason you're seeing this explosion in cans is that it's actually beneficial for the brewer and the brewery and also beneficial for the customer because the beer is prevented from having exposure to sunlight or UV light.
Ty : 01:36 And also the beer is prevented from being exposed to oxygen because in a can when they can, it's filled, the beer is filled all the way to the top of the can and then the top is mechanically fastened to the can and that's done on foam. And so there's no room for oxygen in the beer when it's sealed up on the flip side in a bottle, the beer, a shot in the top of the bottle and then kept on foam. But that then leaves the neck with about two inches of oxygen or actually CO2, but where there could be oxygen in the neck of the bottle. And so from a pure economical standpoint, a canning lines are often just the better choice. But really when it comes down to why a bottling line versus a canning line, um, from the customer's perspective, bottles tend to have a lot more drawbacks actually than cans.
Ty : 02:26 Cans are more packable, they're not breakable and they, they have a little more resistance than a bottle. So you can stay, you can throw them in a cooler, you don't have to worry about one of them shattering. You can stack them. And just in general, cans are a little more rugged than models. Now there are people that claim they can taste the difference between a can and a bottle. And that's quite possibly true. I would argue, however, that the difference that you're tasting is that the beer in a bottle is not protected as well and therefore not as good a quality as the period and can. So I'm not disputing that you can taste the difference, nor am I disputing you might prefer a bottle that's perfectly fine. But truthfully, the beer in a can is better protected. The reasons are a beer is highly sensitive to light.
Ty : 03:11 Uh, and that's why most beer bottles come in brown glass. They're trying to prevent the UV rays from penetrating the beer and changing the hop profile. Now in World War II, there was a shortage of brown glass. And so some companies had to switch to green or clear glass bottles. And many of these companies have still maintain these distinct colors of glass even though brown glasses available, just because they've now made the marketing position Heineken, if they suddenly switched to a brown bottle, people would be lost and not be able to find them in the grocery store. You know that when they're looking for their beer. So Heineken has has stayed with green glass, uh, and in fact they just can coat the interior of the green glass bottle and keeps that skunky flavor out of the beer but not forever. So eventually the UV light will penetrate and the beer quality degrades.
Ty : 03:59 that's where you get that skunky flavor that's coming from the hops being exposed to sunlight. This can happen very, very quickly in a beer glass if you have your, your glass poured in just sitting in direct sunlight. And it's a, if, especially if it's a hoppy beer, it will turn skunky very, very quickly. So keeping sunlight off of beer is very important and cans are 100% more effective at that than bottles because they are light and penetrable. So it's like a mini keg in the fridge. Another advantage from the brewer's perspective is that oxidization is a problem that happens in beer bottles and that's from the seal at the top of the beer, letting a little bit of air in at the top of the bottle, letting a little bit of Aaron, but also because just the process of bottling, they don't feel the bottle all the way to the top of the neck.
Ty : 04:51 And that little bit of space in there provides oxygen that will then eventually make its way into the beer. They, they do prevent this with bottling lines by shooting CO2 into the bottle first. Um, but all of these are mitigation factors and they're not actually bringing the oxygen down to zero a canning line. The reason why they are better at this is that you actually overfill the can, uh, with beer. So, um, if it's a 12 ounce can, it's actually pouring, right? Two 12 ounce. But because you're putting the lid on before that beer has a time to settle, you're essentially cap capping on foam. And so that top is sealed on when the CO2 is occupying that space. So you have much less chance of oxygen getting into the beer. The bottling line is reliant on a rubber gasket where the glass presses against the cap and that can deteriorate over time.
Ty : 05:43 None of these are real factors. In today's Day and age. We have a very tight window between when beer is produced and when it's actually made to the, you know, out to the grocery store and then purchased. Um, you know, I mean there's some longer timelines, but for the most part we're drinking beer relatively quickly these day and age. Uh, it's not sitting around on shelves like it did say in the forties and 50s when a shipping was more of an issue. You know, they are bringing it up from one central location in the u s and disturbing it throughout the United States. That's a very difficult task as opposed to now any of the major breweries, uh, Anheuser Busch, um, Miller cores, they have multiple breweries around the country. And so when you're purchasing your beer, you're getting it from a regional brewery that's probably relatively close.
Ty : 06:29 So there not sitting in the package that long between when it's produced and when it's consumed from a microbrewers perspective, your beer is likely not sitting on shelves that long because you're producing it, shipping it to your distributors and they're getting it out into the marketplace and it's probably getting purchased within 90 days, which is probably the best shelf life for most beer. Uh, just simply because things start to fade out after that. Now a heavy barley wine or a bigger beer, you may want to age it to sort of, um, tamp down some of the flavors. Perfect example of a beer that fits into this category would be dogfish, 120 minute IPA. Now that beer, no matter how long you age it is still gonna have an alcoholic burn because it's about 20%. And so you can leave it in the bottle for significant portions of time and the flavors won't be that effected because the alcohol is sorta keeping the alcohol is the primary flavor.
Ty : 07:28 So, so you will taste a difference over time, but it's not going to be as noticeable as it would be in say if you had a 4.5% IPA over time, that beer will degrade quite quickly because the flavors, the nuances are all pretty subtle versus one that has a really high profile to one way or the other. So, um, if you think of like a bell curve, any of the beers that are inside that median, uh, those are gonna be a little harder to keep for long times on a shelf if you're at one extreme or the other, uh, extremely alcoholy and hoppy or extremely alcoholy and, and heavy like a stout that will be a different flavor profile. But because it's so extreme to one side or the other that keeps the beer, uh, from being swayed so significantly by exposure to oxygen. Okay.
Ty : 08:24 So from the onset, I said that I'm biased towards scans. That's probably evident now. But let me just sort of recap the cans versus bottle debate. So from a canning perspective, one of the most important pros of cans is that they're air tight and they never get sunlight exposure. A another pro for cans is that they are lighter and uh, better for transport. So they're a little more environmentally friendly in that way. Also, cans are recycled 20% more often than bottles. I don't know why this happens to be a fact and it's probably to do due to breakage and you know, just loss of glass I guess over time. Uh, another thing that is a benefit for cans is that you can put more cases of beer on a pallet because bottles are taller. You can only get about 70 cases on a pallet versus cans.
Ty : 09:13 You can get about a hundred cases. So they're just more efficient from a shipping perspective. And aluminum cans are lighter, which also contributes to, um, making them more efficient from a shipping perspective. In 2012, the Huffington post had a sample of 25 people try four different brands of beer, both in cans and bottles and a blind test just to see if people could identify them. Um, and oddly enough, three out of four cases, the people actually chose the canned beer over the bottle. So when they are blind testing and they do not know the difference or where they're drinking it from, they actually prefer cans. It's also interesting because only 54% of the time people could correctly identify if they drink beer that was previously in a can or a bottle. So even though, uh, I'm arguing one way or another, it tells you that that flavor differences almost indistinguishable if, if you can't guess 54% of the time, that's almost 50, 50 shots.
Ty: 10:08 So it's almost just odds. So truly what it comes down to is the, in this day and age, there's almost no distinguishable difference between bottles and cans. It's really just a matter of personal preference at this point. So all this to say in conclusion, if you like bottles by baron bottles, if you like cans by beer in cans. So for me personally, I'm going to keep buying my 16 ounce cans. Thanks so much for listening to me ramble about cans versus bottles. I hope you enjoyed the show. If you did, please subscribe and leave a review. I'd really appreciate.
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