RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:


Cans versus bottles - what's best for beer?

A little ripple ran around the brewing industry when Arran Brewery launched Arran Blonde as “ab” in cans. We asked the brewery owner Gerald Michaluk what brought about the move

Gerald Michaluk Arran Brew

Arran, known for quality and tradition, surprised the market by bringing out its flagship brand in an aluminium can.  Admittedly in a 'craft design' but none the less it was an unpredicted move.

So what are the pros and cons of cans versus bottles when it comes to beer?

"Cans offer less waste so more efficient filling; they weigh less so there's lower distribution costs and, therefore, a lower carbon footprint; they offer an air tight barrier that maintains the flavour, and the beer, which is light sensitive, is held in complete darkness thus providing longer life," explains Gerald. "The can also positions a product in the 'craft' market and cans have a larger printable surface than a label on which to tell the story of the beer.

"However, the bottle offers a consumer a better drinking experience and it's a traditional artisan style highly regarded by both the trade and the consumer. It's also great for short production runs and hence true artisan beer. It has a more elegant look, which reflects on the beers image, and the new lighter weight bottles improve the distribution costs and carbon foot print compared to older bottle types. Bottles still account for the largest percentage of sales."

Is there a difference in the Arran Blonde in cans compared to bottles?    

"Well given the normal variations in craft beer because of the small batch production. Craft beers can vary quite a bit between batches normally.  However, the larger the production run the more blending of different batches the more consistent the beer becomes.  So the difference in reality between can and bottle is minimal in a fresh beer and contained within the normal batch to batch variances.  

"In older beers the difference may increase.  However, as it’s almost always better to drink craft beer young, there are exceptions such as barley wines and other beers designed for aging, then there is really not going to be that much of a difference. That is except in the mind of the consumer so it really is simply a matter of what you prefer, bottle or can, the beer will be the same in either vessel.

"Therefore, your Arran Blonde tastes the same in can as in bottle."

11 July 2017