In the past years we have seen an increase of well-known craft brands moving from glass bottles to aluminium cans, some even exclusively, so - why is that?
In our opinion it is not only for economic but for quality and environmental reasons too.
Glass - the traditional beer packaging.
For centuries beer has been bottled in brown glass to keep out ultraviolet light which in overexposed periods produces skunk flavours in the beer. That is why craft breweries stay away from green and light coloured bottles. Also bottling plants do not always seal entirely and let in small amounts of air in to the bottle, and exposure to oxygen is not great for your beer - except of you are in to Belgian Ales or Sour Ales… Then there is the weight issue - a bottle weighs between 500 and 600 grams and the environmental impact - only 35% of bottles are reused or recycled worldwide in 2018 (find out more).
This brings in the newcomer - the aluminium can.
Economically cans are cheaper by 20-25%, canning plants are also cheaper to acquire but harder to calibrate and they weigh a 1000th of a fraction compared to glass. But the real reason is freshness: cans do not let in any light and seal much better than bottles, without mentioning the easy and high recyclability of aluminium - 75% of aluminium gets recycled.
So, this is the reason why cans are starting to be more popular in the craft beer industry: cheaper, lighter, better for the environment in transport and recyclability, but first and foremost better for the beer they produce! The mental barrier is also a myth as this 2016 study has proven (read more). They taste the same in the blind test even though the test audience preferred glass over cans by 61% when they say the beer being poured.
In any case, beer should be poured in to a beer glass to fully appreciate it not straight out of the bottle or can!