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The Canned Beer Experience

By March 18, 2013Beer Travel
Our cooler of canned beers ready for a another Cedar Key sunset.
Hipster Ale can pier side in Cedar Key, FL

The can goes places that bottles can’t.

Love them or hate them canned craft beers are here to stay. The convenience and environmental factors make it a hard package to ignore  Even craft beer giant Samuel Adams has caved on it’s long standing stance against cans and have announced plans to cans it’s Boston Lager.

Maria and I have always been fans of the medium as we like to get outdoors and cans allow us to take beer places that we normally can not…or should not. So she hatched the plan to have mini canned beer fest during our extended stay in Cedar Key, FL. Many of our nomadic friends were going to be there as well and since they look to us for beer advice we figured this would be a cool way to share new beers and new styles while showing off the versatility of cans.

Our cooler of canned beers ready for a another Cedar Key sunset.

Paring canned craft beer with a Low-Key Sunset

We picked up a good 2/3 of our samples on stop at Bottle Mixx in Raleigh, NC on our way down to Florida and augmented those with some others we have been saving from our journeys. Our final line-up looked like this:

Back in Black | 21st Amendment Brewery (San Francisco, CA)

Brew Free or Die IPA | 21st Amendment Brewery (San Francisco, CA)

Boont Amber Ale | Anderson Valley Brewing Co (Booneville, CA)

Second Wind Pale Ale | Mother Earth Brewing Co (Kinston, NC)

Ten FIDY | Oskar Blues (Longmont, CO)

Hipster Ale | Evil Twin (gypsy brewer)

Wittekerke | Bavik-De Brabandere  (Harelbeke, Belgium)

Pearl Snap | Austin Beerworks (Austin, TX) (Courtesy of our travel blogging friends OverYonderLust)

Caldera IPA | Caldera Brewing Co (Ashland, OR)

Triangle Belgian White Ale | Triangle Brewing Co (Durham, NC)

Triangle Belgian Style Strong Golden Ale | Triangle Brewing Co  (Durham, NC)

and of course

Heady Topper Imperial IPA | The Alchemist (Waterbury, VT)

The array of styles just goes to show you that cans can accommodate pretty much any style of beer and still do it justice. The main drawback of cans is the lack of a large opening to allow the aromas to out. For our tasting we provided samplers glasses (from our numerous tours and beer fests) to allow the beer to really open up.

Another Cedar Key sunset

Any good beer tasting starts with an awesome sunset.

We gave a brief description of each beer before pouring.

We gave a brief description of each beer before pouring.

Drinking by the water.

We proved that canned beers taste better on a dock.

Our nomadic friends were quite impressed with the range of flavors and styles and there were a couple that stood out. Oskar Blues Ten Fidy was a hit as many didn’t expect such a dark and thick liquid to come from a can. Many compared it’s impossibly black color to pouring like motor oil.

The Back-in-Black from 21st Amendment was also a winner to the crowd as many had never even heard of a black IPA before and enjoyed the balance of hops and grain. This is personally one of my all time favorites so it was nice see others enjoy it.

The other stand out was Austin Beerwork’s Pearl Snap Pilsner which is probably what everyone expects when they think of canned beer…except good. Austin Beerworks has taken a commonly mundane style and brewed a tasty variant that I wouldn’t mind after mow the lawn or softball game.

In the end everyone left happy, and little more knowledgeable, and slightly tipsy. We now send them out on to pursue their own beer travels as they meander around the country with a better appreciation of canned beer and thirst for seeking out local beer in new places.




Author Brian

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