So I’ve had The Alchemist’s Heady Topper a number of times now, but with a four-pack enclosed in a recent shipment from Doc, I figured it was high time I actually paid enough attention to the beer to write a tasting note.*
*I actually sent Doc a reciprocal beer package as well, but thanks to Massachusetts having THE strictest alcohol shipping laws in the nation, it’s currently sitting in a UPS warehouse and can’t be delivered or returned. In Alabama, I’ve had dripping packages of completely shattered beer bottles delivered to my doorstep without the delivery-person giving so much as half a shit.Read the rest of this entry »
The craft canning revolution is upon us. Thanks to the pioneers at Oskar Blues in Lyons, Colorado (the first craft outfit to wholly embrace the beauty of the humble aluminum can), the rest of the craft beer industry is slowly coming to realize the superiority of cans to bottles. We’ve talked endlessly about the advantages of cans (easier to stack, easier to store, recyclable, light-proof, shatter-proof, etc.), but one thing we’ve failed to mention is that they just LOOK cooler than bottles. Graphics and marketing on a glass bottle are limited to the size of the label…but with a can, the entire container is your palette. This benefit has allowed craft breweries to design and produce some of the best looking beer label art EVER on the surfaces of their aluminum offerings.
Thanks to the good folks at CraftCans.com, you don’t need to look far to find a comprehensive database of these cylindrical brews (of course, it helps that there still aren’t THAT many craft cans out there…although new ones are being produced seemingly every day). I was able to use their database as a one-stop shop for perusing all the craft cans on the market and then culled that list down to a 30-pack of the coolest. Many of these reflect my own personal biases towards simple, clean design. But some of them are outrageous, gaudy, or just plan weird. Regardless of their aesthetics, they’re all worthy of celebrating: Read the rest of this entry »
“The chalice from the palace has the brew that is true”
It has been trending for at least two years — craft breweries are not just bottling, but canning their most popular brews. There are can-fans (even canned craft beer festivals) and of course, opposers. Beer’s fruity cousin, cider, is no exception.
Though Woodchuck Cider doesn’t quite fit into the “craft” category, it does have a nearly cult-following. Woodchuck President and CEO, Bret Williams, announced May 1 that their amber hard cider would now be available in cans. Read the rest of this entry »
The craft brewing proliferation over the past few decades has increased the number of beers on package store shelves exponentially. With greater variety comes a greater need to differentiate your product. You can certainly do that by making better beer than your competition. Or by pushing the envelope with extreme beers. Or by developing new, unique styles. But one of the easiest ways to truly set your product apart from others is through the tried and true method of good marketing. Slap a pretty label on your bottles and all eyes will be on your beer. Granted, you need a good brew to keep the masses returning to your suds, but a great label is still one of the best ways to get your product sold in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »
The Aleheads airwaves have been abuzz with the revelation that Oskar Blues will soon be adding 16-ounce cans to their product line. I, for one, can’t WAIT to shotgun a four-pack of Ten FIDY and then lie down on the ground and take a long, drool-filled nap. Alas, the Aleheads always find someone to argue about even the most exciting beer news. In this case, our disagreement relates to terminology. Kid Carboy assures us that 16-ounce cans should only be referred to as “pounders”. Slouch Sixpack believes that “tallboy” is the correct nomenclature. The interwebs, which generally determines such debates in a matter of milliseconds seems strangely ambiguous as to the proper term. So I’m relying on Alehead Nation to solve this conundrum for us.
What say you, drinkers of larger-than-average craft cans? What do you call your 16-ouncer?
Friend of the site and fellow beard enthusiast Cask Beerouac was recently promoted from “semi-employed journalist” to “fully employed suds-slinger” at Good People Brewing a few months back. As such, I asked him if I could swing by the ol’ ale factory for a few minutes to take some snapshots of the eponymous Good People doing what they do. I was able to sneak in during an IPA canning day and watch as a giant vat of delicious beer was magically transformed into thousands of tiny, little vats. I assumed this was done with some sort of combination shrink-ray/multiplier, but it turns out the actual process is a bit more mundane. Nevertheless, it was a great peek into the world of a local production brewery and I was very grateful to Cask and Jason Malone (the Good People brewmaster) for letting me wander around while they were busy, you know…working. Come join me as we take a trip into the most wild recesses of your imagination!* Read the rest of this entry »
We at Aleheads have talked often about the “canning” revolution currently taking place in the craft beer world. In 2002, Oskar Blues became the first craft brewer to begin canning their products, and since then, the floodgates have opened. There are a variety of crucial advantages to canning beer (better light protection, less breakage, cheaper to produce, easier to stack, easier to recycle, etc.) so as the stigma of cans as a vessel solely used for cheap, tasteless, watery suds has been obliterated, the humble can has become ubiquitous in high-end package stores across the country. While the glass bottle isn’t going anywhere, cans are clearly no longer a novelty.
No one knows this better than our friends over at CraftCans.com. Russ and Kelly’s site has become the go-to source of information about canned craft beers for beer lovers everywhere. And unlike Aleheads, a site which prides itself on a lack of accurate, useful, reliable information, CraftCans.com actually has a functional, easily searchable, and comprehensive database of every canned craft beer in the US. Simply put, if you like reading about big beer in little metal cylinders, Russ and Kelly are your guys. Read the rest of this entry »
Nice piece of news a few weeks back out of Grand Rapids, MI (home to the Aleheads’ perennial “Best Brewery in the World” contender, the Founders Brewing Company). It appears that a new ale factory, Brewery Vivant, will be selling their Belgian-style brews in 16-ounce “tall boy” cans.
Canned craft beers are hardly novel these days. Since Oskar Blues began the craft can revolution in 2002 with the release of their Dale’s Pale Ale, many forward-thinking breweries have jumped on board the aluminum bandwagon. You’ve probably read our discussions of canned beer in the past, so we won’t go into detail about the advantages those little metal cylinders afford (no light spoilage issues, easier to stack and ship, less breakage, cheaper to produce and recycle, etc.). Suffice it to say, when an idea makes this much sense, it’s only a matter of time before it goes from being a novelty to being the industry standard. Read the rest of this entry »
While I agree with everything said in the article (and I am 100% in favor of the canning revolution currently taking place amongst craft brewers), I would like to point out one thing that bottles still have over cans…namely, insulation.
Glass = excellent insulator.
Aluminum = incredibly bad insulator.
Simply put, bottled beer stays chilly quite a bit longer than canned beer. Sit outside on a hot, summer day with a can of beer and it will be steaming after about 5 minutes. A bottled version? You’ve got a lot longer before you’re drinking lukewarm brew.
Of course, if the canned beer is good enough…say an Oskar Blues Gordon…it should be empty before the first particle of sunlight even hits the metal.
We’ve talked about the Oskar Blues Brewery a number of times here at Aleheads. It’s a particular favorite of mine both for their extremely high-quality offerings and their whimsical take on craft brewing. The most notable feature of all of Oskar Blues beers is their packaging. It was the first microbrewery in the country to package and sell their beers in cans.
Oskar Blues was founded by an Alabama native named Dale Katechis in the lovely hamlet of Lyons, Colorado. The brewery was opened in 1997, followed by a brewpub in 1999. Dale started canning his beers a few years later. Read the rest of this entry »