The Booze Street Journal: Cans vs. Bottles, Which is Better?

As the days have raged on, the divide between the two camps has grown only bigger and with no end in sight. The battle becomes more heated everyday. I’m not talking politics either. No, this is much more serious stuff. I’m talking about how you want your beer delivered, by can or by bottle. This fire-like debate is something even beer cannot sizzle out. My personal preference is to go for the bottle, but even within my own home there is no consensus. It’s time to find the cold, liquid truth.

Contender 1: Bottles

To start with, I have to go with the personal favorite, which as I did some digging, has some cons. Bottles weigh a bit more which makes transportation a bit more expensive. However, this only matters when a brewer, or beer nut, is moving mass quantities of beer. If we take environmental concerns further, we see that bottles are less eco-friendly and tougher to recycle. The shelf life of bottles is comparable to that of cans. Although bottles let in more light, there is generally less air in bottles so it still takes a while to skunk. Once it gets time to drinking, bottles warm up more slowly when being held than cans. However, when they are just sitting around, bottles and cans heat up at the same rate. Finally, the taste, no matter what people say, is pretty much the same either way.

Contender 2: Cans

Although I touched on a lot of aspects of cans, it still gets its own section. For moving around, cans are easier to move in large quantities and you can go outdoors with cans more easily. Cans also don’t make a big mess like glass if it gets dropped and is more environmentally friendly, if that matters to you. As far as shelf life, cans let in zero light, which makes up for the higher oxygen count in cans as there is no chance for a reaction to take place. Cans will also heat up faster in hand than bottles, but again they heat up at about the same rate when they are just sitting around. A potential game changer though is that cans get colder faster than bottles when kept in an ice-water bath, aka a cooler. And just to reiterate, cans and bottles taste the same.

Dark Horse: Aluminum Bottles

This newcomer has been making waves, especially at sports-ball games. Shaped like a bottle, it still has that same bottle feel if you are worried about the feel. However, it’s just as easy to transport as cans, just as eco-friendly, possibly even more outdoors accessible (@ sports games) and can be dropped like cans. Aluminum bottles also let in no light like cans, yet also have a low oxygen count like bottles. Just like the cans, too, they will heat up in hand faster, but will cool down faster as well. It is also re-sealable, which is pretty nifty and no one can put stuff in your beer.

My winner: Aluminum Bottles

After some research, aluminum bottles seem to be the best of both worlds. They just work and they satisfy my need to have a bottle in hand. Who knows, maybe wine-in-a-can will become wine-in-an-aluminum-bottle, although a bit less catchy, possibly even more efficient. Regardless of which you think is the best, may your beer be cold, your home warm, and your body ravaged from eating too much.

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