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A collage of beer bottles and beer cans at a manufacturing facility

Beer bottles vs. cans—which is the better choice when determining how to package beer for your brewery?

In this post, we cover everything you need to know about the nuances of cans and bottles. Read on to see an unbiased comparison of these two options for packaging beer

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An Overview of Beer Packaging

Beer bottles became the standard in 1879 when Henry Barrett invented the screwtop beer bottle. Around two decades later, the crown cap was invented and is now the preferred way to seal bottled beer. 

Bottles are the classic choice for packaging beer. This is because all-aluminum beer cans didn’t surface until 1958 when the Hawaii Brewing Company tested them out for the purpose of reducing weight during transport. This pragmatic shift eventually encouraged other companies to follow suit. Nowadays, a number of brands and customers prefer beer cans over bottles. 

But which option for packaging beer is best for your business? For this, we need to look closely at the unique benefits of beer bottles and cans.    

Hundreds of empty beer bottles

The Advantages of Bottled Beer

1. Flavor or Perceived Flavor

Although there is no scientific evidence that cans impact the flavor of beer, there is still a prevalent perception that it does. Many people believe that aluminum cans give beer a slightly metallic taste. This is enough to sway some people to opt for bottled beer.  

2. Holds Coolness Longer

Although canned beer will get cooler faster than bottled beer, the latter will hold the coolness longer. This is due to the nature of glass. Unlike aluminum cans, glass bottles retain the cold temperature longer, even after being removed from the source of cooling. 

3. BPA-Free

As an option for packaging beer, aluminum, by itself, can’t do the job. Aluminum beer cans need to be lined with BPA, a chemical that keeps foods and drinks from reacting to aluminum. Some customers may want to avoid it because it has been linked to disruptions of the endocrine system, however the amount in each can is considered to be low-level exposure. At the end of the day, this may cause some to prefer bottled beer. 

4. Traditional & Elegant

Bottles are the traditional option for packaging beer. So when considering beer bottles vs cans, bottles tend to have the aesthetic advantage. Bottles bring a sense of nostalgia—and because drinking beer is an experience, looks matter. 

The Advantages of Canned Beer

1. Keeps Beer Fresher For Longer

Aluminum cans keep beer fresh for a longer period of time because they are opaque and have a tighter seal. Thus, aluminum cans are better at preventing photo-oxidation—a chemical reaction that causes beer to develop an unpleasant skunky flavor. 

2. Lightweight for the Freight and for the Cooler

An aluminum can weighs less than a glass bottle. So whether the beer is getting transported by freight or being carried inside a cooler to a party, the lightweight advantage of aluminum cans comes into play. 

3. Cools Faster

Aluminum cans cool faster than glass bottles. So for people who prefer a reduced cooling time for their beer, canned beer might be the better choice. 

4. More Environmentally Friendly

Aluminum cans are more environmentally friendly for two reasons. First, cans are more lightweight and therefore, would consume less fuel during shipment. Secondly, beer cans are easier and more energy-efficient to recycle.  

Rows of beer cans

Choosing the Best Option for Packaging Beer

This wraps up our guide comparing beer bottles and cans. Some brands may choose one—or opt for both! If you’re looking for insight into the best options for packaging beer, we’re here to help. 

Brew Movers provides a full suite of industry-leading shipping solutions for brewers in North America. Among our other logistics services, we provide and transport kegs, cans, or glass for all your business’s needs.
 
Get started with a quote, or contact us today to learn more about our services!  

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