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Canned beer popularity on the rise, nearly 53% of US beer consumption was from a can in 2011

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by Todd, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (1,685) Colorado Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member


    See the above link for an interactive chart of the US consumption of canned beer over the years versus bottles and draft. The article supporting the chart says that "almost 53 percent of the beer consumed in 2011 was served in an aluminum can, up from a low of 48 percent in the years leading to the economic slump that began in December 2007."

    Canned beer's consumption peaked at 60% in 1991, however "the container's popularity gave way to bottles and glasses amid growing demand for foreign brews."

    The article mentions the recession, proliferation of craft brewers canning, hipsters and PBR as some of the reasons why canned beer is making a comeback, while Charlie Papazian adds, "The image of beer in cans has changed ..."

    Indeed it has. The current #3 on BeerAdvocate's Top Beer (Popular) list is a canned craft beer (Heady Topper, The Alchemist), which is kind of badass.
  2. dmwcpa

    dmwcpa Savant (255) North Carolina Apr 24, 2008

    I try and avoid cans since the can liner contains the chemical BPA.
  3. hmph

    hmph Savant (320) Virginia Jun 9, 2011 Beer Trader

    BPA is most likely to leech from can lining when food or liquid is heated....don't microwave your beer and you should be fine...
    smutty33 and nickapalooza86 like this.
  4. dmwcpa

    dmwcpa Savant (255) North Carolina Apr 24, 2008

    From what I have read, contamination occurs even without heating.

    Heating increases the exposure greatly, most of the early reports were about heating food in plastic containers.

    I try and avoid all canned products. Beer, soft drinks, canned vegetables, etc.
  5. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (975) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    If given the choice I'd choose glass bottle every time unless of course where I am going doesn't allow them, or a stellar brew is only available in it, like Ten Fidy or Heady.
    3leven and chuckstout like this.
  6. hmph

    hmph Savant (320) Virginia Jun 9, 2011 Beer Trader

    Agreed in choosing glass over can but I wouldn't shy away from a can if I saw it.

    However, I think I can taste the BPA in Sixpoint's cans.... ;)
  7. Todd

    Todd Founder (1,685) Colorado Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    We're talking minuscule amounts though. You're probably picking up more trace amounts from other things on a daily basis.

    Anyway, the beer and canning industries are actively exploring alternative linings ... so hopefully cans will be BPA-free in the near future.
  8. bum732

    bum732 Advocate (660) Lesotho Feb 18, 2008

    Wait till you find out that the liner in the inside of a bottle cap most likely contains BPA.
  9. Mmmm Belgian pale ale... I need me some more BPA!
  10. dmwcpa

    dmwcpa Savant (255) North Carolina Apr 24, 2008

    I hope so.
  11. dmwcpa

    dmwcpa Savant (255) North Carolina Apr 24, 2008

    I do not know if it is in kegs. There does not appear to be a liner in my homebrew kegs. I can see the lining in food cans.

    My concern is, if we are not sure, why rush into cans over bottles possibly causing additional exposure?

    Everyone seems to be touting how great moving to canned beer is. I am not so sure it is a good move.
  12. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012

    Cans baby. Beer trading will be half the cost and time.
  13. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poobah (1,475) California Mar 18, 2010 Verified

    How do you figure that?
  14. It takes a lot less time to throw some cans in a box then it does to carefully pack a bunch of bottles. Cans should require minimal packing, thus saving time. Maybe not half, but whatever.
  15. vande

    vande Advocate (565) Illinois Jan 26, 2007

    Can't reach the link from work, but out of that high percentage of beer in cans being drank....how much was craft vs how much was BMC?
  16. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012

    6 pack of cans = 1 minute to pack.

    6 pack of bottles = 15 minutes to bubble wrap, secure as unit, bubble wrap unit, double box, blah
    bifrost17 likes this.
  17. dauss

    dauss Advocate (680) Colorado Aug 9, 2003 Beer Trader

    Most kegs are made from stainless steel, so it does not need a liner.
  18. mk66

    mk66 Aficionado (170) Pennsylvania May 20, 2012

    I have no explanation for this, but I have found that a canned beer pairs better with a cigar than a bottled or draft beer.

    Am I alone in this or has anyone else discovered this anomaly?
  19. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Advocate (730) Colorado Dec 9, 2011 Beer Trader

    When you consider that that 53% figure includes all of the macros in cans it can appear to be a bit misleading - at least as the people who are on this website are concerned.
    Antikythera likes this.
  20. ajfa531

    ajfa531 Savant (365) New Jersey Jun 2, 2007 Beer Trader

    All the kegs I have taken apart, cleaned, and filled were stainless steel. The heat, PBW, and acid sanitizer would tear out any liner if there was one. (at a commercial brewery.)

    - Joe
  21. I know a lot of old people, and not one has ever told me they got cancer from BPA.

    "The goddam can got me! Drink your beer out of a bottle, sonny, or you'll be sorry!"

    Nope, never heard that.
  22. I'm more worried about the water I drink than the BPA in a liner of a can.

    In regards to shipping, cans are also a hell of a lot lighter. The cost of shipping 6 canned beers versus 6 bottled beers is just about half.
    JCaweinstein likes this.
  23. chuckstout

    chuckstout Savant (255) Ohio May 22, 2006

    I will start buying cans, when a brewery starts passing this savings on to the customer!:)
    ClockworkOrange likes this.
  24. dedrinker

    dedrinker Savant (410) Kansas May 13, 2006

    yeah and most of it in bud/coors/miller/pbr cans. yay.
  25. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Advocate (660) California Jan 2, 2010 Beer Trader

    Some of my favorite beer are in a can: Furious, abrasive, torpedo, Ten Fiddy, Heady Topper. I'm not sure if it's the can but it isn't hurting them.
  26. dmwcpa

    dmwcpa Savant (255) North Carolina Apr 24, 2008

    BPA is an endocrine disrupter that mimics the hormone estrogen.

    As a 56 year old male I am not happy about having estrogen added to my beer consumption.

    I do not see the need or wisdom of rushing to can craft beer when this is an issue.
  27. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Advocate (730) Colorado Dec 9, 2011 Beer Trader

    Looks like you're on the bottle for a while.
    chuckstout likes this.
  28. Blanco

    Blanco Advocate (545) Pennsylvania Oct 11, 2008 Beer Trader

    I know a lot of old people and no one I know has gotten cancer from smoking cigarettes, either. Now pass me a Camel, non-filtered.
  29. afrokaze

    afrokaze Advocate (675) Arizona Jun 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    The real questionis, how much beer is consumed on the can?
    mfdish likes this.
  30. BPA is in pretty much all canned product. If you eat canned food you should have no issue with canned beer.

  31. Ranbot

    Ranbot Advocate (620) Pennsylvania Nov 27, 2006 Verified

    The exposure is not acute, and at 56 years old you'll more than likely die of other health issues before any complications due to long-term chronic exposure to BPA from the occasional canned beer.

    And if BPA really does worry you, you should really worried about a lot of other things in your environment. Like developing cancer from breathing 1,2-dichloroethene released by air fresheners and scented candles. Benzene fumes from filling your gas car's tank. If you bring dry cleaning into your home you're exposing yourself to potentially harmful levels of tetrachloroethene. All asphalt is contaminated with several bad poly aromatic hydrocarbons. Many soil and rock formations have naturally occuring arsenic that can contaminate groundwater or be harmful to breath the dust. I don't mean to make you paranoid, but the concern over BPA exposure, particularly for post-puberty adults, is way overblown. How do I know this? I'm an environmental consultant who studies these things for a living....

    Besides the well know benefits for blocking light, cans have many other environmental benefits...easier to recycle and they can be transported more easily (i.e. less fuel needed for distribution)

    Bring on the cans!
    dianimal, MrDanno96, lionoa7x and 6 others like this.
  32. dmwcpa

    dmwcpa Savant (255) North Carolina Apr 24, 2008

    I am not worried about death.

    I am concerned about extra non neccessary expose to estrogen. I avoid all canned products, beer included.

    I will stick with bottles.
  33. Todd

    Todd Founder (1,685) Colorado Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    Then you should do some more research. There's a long list of foods items that you most likely consume on a daily basis that should cause you much more concern.

    According to many researchers, beer is one of them. Apparently both barley and hops are rich in estrogen/estrogenic effect; especially hops.

    JimKal and Levitation like this.
  34. dmwcpa

    dmwcpa Savant (255) North Carolina Apr 24, 2008

    Like I said before, non neccessary exposure.

    To me beer is neccessary, canned products are not. I do not want the added estrogen of non natural products.

    I stay away from all canned products.

  35. Todd

    Todd Founder (1,685) Colorado Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    Then it sounds like you've got it all worked out. Good luck.
  36. That was my thought when I saw the thread title. Does this figure correlate with the price of the beer purchased, or with the brand name?
  37. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Advocate (730) Colorado Dec 9, 2011 Beer Trader

    Probably with the brand name since prices vary from place to place.
  38. I'm curious -- how much of the increase is due to craft beer? I feel that it is more likely that the sale of canned BMC-level products has risen in response to economic decline. That is to say, Joe Common-Man can no longer afford those fancy imported bottles of Heineken and St. Pauli Girl, so instead he settles for a 30-rack of Bud Light or PBR.
  39. Focusf111

    Focusf111 Savant (340) Vermont Jun 21, 2012

    screw that, there is NOTHING like a freshly microwaved beer on a hot day! ahaha the visuals Im getting.
    66jzmstr likes this.