Canning Beer(book excerpts)
At the brewery, the cans undergo a very similar treatment to that experienced by the bottles. Just like bottling, the canning of beer is one of the most complex aspects of brewery operations and the most labor intensive of the entire production process. Although very few craft breweries can their beer there has been a growing interest in recent years. Some of the reasons why more craft breweries are moving to canning include: (1) cans are 100 percent recyclable, (2) require less material for packaging compared to bottles, (3) cans aren’t affected by exposure to light (unlike beer bottles), (4) cans are more portable (lighter), and (5) cans are hermetically sealed (air-tight), which prevents oxygen from affecting the beer. The disadvantages of cans include a negative (but fading) consumer perception compared with other packaging options and the susceptibility of empty cans to damage in the packaging process. While it has become somewhat less expensive to invest in a canning line, the startup costs are still prohibitive for a lot of small brewers. Bottling in-house remains a simpler, cheaper process. Small breweries may find it difficult to buy and store enough cans to satisfy a minimum order.
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