Everything old is new again in the world of craft beer, where the latest trend is cans. That’s right, canned beer, the kind your father drank when he was in high school, is becoming cool again. From CNBC.com: “The canned craft beer trend started in the United States and is now spreading to Europe, Asia and South America. The cans found favor within the ‘hipster’ subculture before recently landing in a prominent place in mainstream supermarkets and grocery stories.”
Underpinning this trend are several factors. Cans are lighter and cheaper to ship, plus they are welcome at some venues where glass is discouraged. They are 100% recyclable. The seal is tighter than a bottle’s. No light can penetrate to the beer, a special consideration for craft offerings brewed with more hops than mainstream products. Aluminum prices are down along with the rest of the commodity sector.
More from CNBC.com: “Around 55% of all beer consumed in the U.S. is served in an aluminum can, according to the Beer Institute. But drilling deeper, the Brewers Association estimates that canned craft beer volume in the country increased to 10% of total craft volume in 2014 from 2% in 2011. This was an increase of nearly 2 million barrels, or around 1% of the total U.S. beer market.”
The biggest success story is Colorado’s Oskar Blues Brewery, the first craft-maker in the U.S. to hand-can its beer. Sales growth has been off the charts for years, including a 30% year-over-year increase in 2015.
So take Dad out Sunday and surprise him by ordering something in a can. He’ll probably respond with, “I’ll have a Bud.” Then get him to tell you about the unique tool invented decades ago used to poke triangular holes in cans before pull-off or push-in tops were invented. Most people called them church keys.