Craft Beer Cans

When you think of craft beer from small and mid-sized breweries and brew pubs you probably don’t think of it in cans. Well, all that is changing and quickly. In 2002 Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, CO was the first small craft brewer to start putting their beer in cans. They did it by filling 2 cans at a time and sealing each using a table top machine. Today 968 craft brewed beers from 290 different breweries are sold in cans. Click HERE to see a list of the breweries.

Craft beer brewers waited until 2002 to start canning their beer because of the concern that beer drinkers would view beer in cans as inferior to that in bottles, the high cost of the equipment, and the large amount of space needed in their facility. Despite this they started to explore canning beer because of the advantages which include reduced shipping costs due to reduced weights, increased durability over glass, the ability to take beer cans where glass is prohibited, and decreased packaging. These seem to outweigh the disadvantages as today craft beers from 46 states can be found at grocery stores in cans.

The states with the most craft breweries canning beer are CO, CA, OR, WA, and WI. Although most of the craft breweries are either canning their own beer at their facilities or contracting with another brewery, 18 are using mobile canning services and it’s expected that this segment will continue to grow. The mobile canning industry began in 2011 in Northern CA with Can Van and in CO with Mobile Canning. Today there are 15 mobile canning operations serving the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest.

So the next time you are at the grocery store check out how many craft beers are in cans. Most of these cans have interesting, unique, and colorful artwork that would make a nice addition to your collection. Let us know what canned craft beer is popular in your area.


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