Cans vs. Bottles: What’s Really Better for Beer?
From Beer Snob City—inconveniently located at your favorite brewpub—to frat houses across the country, a clamorous battle wages without any signs of stopping. You’ve probably noticed it–the back-and-forth clashing of words that wrestle and fall short in the middle distance, the cry and slosh of a beer after it slams haphazardly on the bar, just catching the end of a branded twenty-five cent coaster. It’s been an ongoing debate for too long now: when it comes to beer, are cans better than bottles? You bet they are. And you know what’s even better? Draft inside a DrinkTanks growler
. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves–we have a debate to settle.
Cans Keep Your Beer Safer:
Light, oxygen, and heat. These aren’t the ingredients that make up the Power Puff Girls, correct, but they are the ingredients that will absolutely obliterate the quality of a brew. Heat and oxidization negatively alter the flavors and aromas in different ways for different beers and beer styles, but in most cases, oxidization will result in a flat or stale tasting brew. If you must choose between a can or bottle and a great tasting, refreshing brew is what you're after, a can is the obvious choice.
Aluminum cans are sealed airtight with nitrogen to keep away UV light and oxidation, leaving you with a cold, fresh, delicious beer every time. While amber glass bottles block out 99% of light, the same can’t be said of green, blue, and obviously clear bottles
Cans Are More Portable:
Glass bottles tend to break. Unless you’re totally cool with having glass shards of pointy death inside your hiking backpack (we’re not), a glass bottle isn’t ideal. Glass bottles simply aren’t durable enough to handle most outdoor activities, save for simply sitting and drinking—which admittedly is the best way to drink. But even then, a broken bottle means glass at your feet and around your campsite. Even worse, you’ve just wasted beer! If you’re the adventurous sort who likes a good hike and a nice cold brew (or six) along the way, cans are perfect because they’re both more durable and lighter than bottles. While the weight might not be a big deal initially, you’ll notice the difference a few miles into your hike—especially on the way back, and even more so if you still have some full beers left!
Beer Cans Are Better for the Environment:
Let’s look at the numbers:
A 2013 study by the EPA
revealed that 55% of all aluminum cans are recycled. Meanwhile, only a mere 34% of glass bottles ever find their way to the recycling bin. The study also reveals that aluminum cans are significantly lighter—17x lighter in fact—than glass bottles. This means companies can package and ship more product efficiently using significantly less materials, consequently reducing overall waste. What’s most striking: when comparing greenhouse gas emissions, those correlated with shipping and cooling aluminum cans are 35-49% lower
than glass bottles!
An added bonus: 70% of aluminum cans
are made from recycled aluminum.
Still not convinced? With a few beers, we can debate this all day (hint, hint). And it's true that some elements of subjectivity are at play here. But no matter what side of the fence you're on—or even if you're sitting uncomfortably on the fence—there's something everyone can agree on: nothing beats the taste or eco-friendliness of a draft beer. Want portability? Purchase an endlessly reusable DrinkTanks growler, fill it with your favorite draft beverage, and save the planet one delicious sip at a time.