It seems appropriate enough to talk about the canning game in Oklahoma on Beer Can Appreciation Day. While these daily observance/appreciation days may seem silly it really helps remind us of where these grand ideas helped revolutionize our country. That may be a little heavy handed…BUT, canning beer dates all the way back to 1935 when Krueger Brewing Company of Richmond, Virginia first put beer in steel cans. This is thanks in part to American Can Company for manufacturing these steel cans that you opened with a church key.
Thankfully these days we have the stay-tab on all cans as well as wider mouths to imbibe a bit quicker and more conveniently. Most breweries in Oklahoma are canning their core beers or using the hottest new trend of Crowlers, a 32 oz can sealed at the brewery and typically reserved for specialty, one-off beers.
Another big advantage is the technology advancement with newer canning lines and the ability to date stamp when the beer was canned. This is a huge advantage to make sure you are drinking the freshest craft beer on the market. While cans have always been given a bad reputation as the blue collared beer drinkers’ vessel over bottles, much has changed over the years. With over 5,000 breweries in the U.S. the amount of beer production has increased with more demand from the public to be able to purchase outside of the brewery. Cans weigh less than bottles, are easier to package and ship and is the best home for beer. Why you ask? Cans don’t allow lights UV rays to skunk up the hops over time, keep the beer airtight so no oxidation occurs and can be taken more places than bottles like beaches, parks and lakes.
I’m excited to see more breweries in Oklahoma filling cans along with the funny and sometimes elegant decoration that you’ll see more so than on bottles. Artwork on cans has become a big part in marketing to the consumer in standing out on shelves amongst the hundreds of other craft breweries. Using bright, vibrant colors in unique arrangements has become the norm and can be seen in COOP’s lineup with bright primary colors. Angry Scotsman is doing something similar with tartan patterns (naturally) and colors that represent the style of beer that it houses. For instance a deep copper red for the rye pale or grayish black for Night Terror black IPA.
So it’s easier now than ever to go out and enjoy an Oklahoma brew from a can. The best perk is you can typically buy them straight from the brewery to consume at home. So what are your favorites to drink straight from the can? Do you always pour yours straight into a beer clean glass? Have you always wondered why a local brewery doesn’t can a taproom only beer? Keep the discussion going on our Facebook page!
Oklahoma Craft Beer Podcast