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24 ounce can question

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by cid71, Dec 26, 2012.

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  1. cid71

    cid71 Mar 2, 2009 New Jersey

    So i dont buy a lot of adjunct lagers but when i do its in a 24 ounce can usually Yuengling. One of the reasons i do this is i dont generally want a whole six pack but also cost. It seems with all those who make 24 ounce cans universally its cheaper to buy 3 24 ounce cans than it is to buy a six pack usually by as much as a dollar. This is true of BMC, Heineken and Yuengling. I can only assume this is an economical and efficient way to package beer. If thats true i was wondering why craft brewers dont embrace this. Im sure there are costs associated with this that would be prohibitive to the smaller brewers but if Yuengling can do it Im sure some of the larger craft companies could afford it. How great would it be to get a 24 oz can of SN pale ale or SA Boston lager AND if that was cheaper per unit than a six pack. Beats the whole 'bomber" concept. So Im sure Im missing something in my overly simplistic thought process so if there is anyone out there in the industry that knows why this isnt a good idea I'd love to know. Thanks
  2. Derranged

    Derranged Mar 7, 2010 New York

    I love the idea but I already know many BAs would not be in favor of it.
  3. NickMunford

    NickMunford Oct 2, 2006 Wyoming

    I'd guess it has something to do with marketing and perception.
  4. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Mar 23, 2008 California

    People will pay a premium to tick a craft beer.
    People won't pay a premium to drink 24oz. of macro beer.

    Cost or efficiency of the 24oz can has nothing to do with it.
  5. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    How is it any different from a bomber? It's just a larger container, sold at a smaller per ounce price which was long the convention in the brewing industry.

    The "bomber concept" is something new, a racket by the craft brewers who have got their customers happy to pay more per ounce even though the brewer saves money by using fewer bottles, crowns and labels, no six pack baskets, and usually a plain corrugated case rather than a color-printed w/graphics one.

    I'd imagine that if a craft brewer decided to go with the 24 oz. can, they would price them similarly to their bombers and their customers would pay for that new canning line (figuratively and literally).

    Contract brewing companies that are used by craft brewers like Genesee, Cold Spring, City, The Lion all have 24 oz. canning lines, so it would be relatively easy for their craft clients to switch to that package.
  6. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    make it a liter in a can and we'll talk turkey.
  7. Chaz

    Chaz Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Any love for the concept of a 40oz can? Those Liter cans always leave me a little bit thirsty. ;)
    afrokaze and Schwantz like this.
  8. champ103

    champ103 Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Beer Trader

  9. Derranged

    Derranged Mar 7, 2010 New York

    I dont think a 40oz can has ever been done I think the most is 33 but I could be wrong. 40oz can would be epic.
  10. Chaz

    Chaz Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    This collector of all things rusty, old, and beer-y agrees with you! Glug glug glug! :)
  11. TwelveOunces

    TwelveOunces Nov 7, 2011 Kentucky

    I would like a 24oz of SN pale ale as well. However I dont think big cans are going to catch on for craft breweries. Larger bottles/cans leave more to drink at one time otherwise temp/carbonation gets off wack. Also craft beers are less likely to be used to drink a lot of at once. BA's drink for flavor and not so much feel in my opinion so thats a lot to drink at once. And if you do want to drink that much at once then just open two. I like options. I'm also not a fan of 650ml or 750 ml bottles. I like the 12 and 16oz serving sizes for my craft beers.
  12. Derranged

    Derranged Mar 7, 2010 New York

    I agree it would apply more to the craft drinkers who like a good buzz. However it might also draw in some BMC binge drinkers. I also believe many BAs like "the feel" more they'd like to admit.
  13. Rekrule

    Rekrule Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    In the craft world, they would charge more.
  14. Rekrule

    Rekrule Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

  15. MPLSbrewer

    MPLSbrewer Dec 7, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    correct me if im wrong, but was oscar blues doing 19oz imperial pint cans now?
  16. Derranged

    Derranged Mar 7, 2010 New York

  17. CA_Infidel2o9

    CA_Infidel2o9 Dec 1, 2012

    I have to admit i have never tried a craft brew in a can, do to perception, so i personally know this is one reason. I think another reason is because the brewery would have to set up a whole new canning line like SN just did. Which i can only imagine would force the brewer to expand and buy more equipment, making it a pretty pricey endeavor...
  18. Providence

    Providence Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    If I could purchase 24 oz. cans of Noble Pils for cheap I would be a very, very happy man.
    jlenik likes this.
  19. kingofhop

    kingofhop May 9, 2010 Oklahoma

    I like the idea. Reduces the risk of carpal tunnel, with less pop-topping.
  20. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Nov 21, 2012 Oregon

    Cans have a negative stigma for the majority of craft drinkers (and even a lot of brewers). Cans carry a 'mass market' connotation, whereas glass is associated with more of an artisanal product. But beyond the perception there are some actual real differences. From what I've gathered there are only two substantial advantages with canning, one is that you remove the possibility of the beer becoming light struck, and second is the lower production cost once the equipment has been paid for. However I see, and have heard more negatives with the can than positives;

    1. Upfront cost of a canning line is higher than a bottling line
    2. The Chemical lining inside a can imparts flavor to the contents (it has been debated whether or not this is true, but the EPA themselves have acknowledged it and regulate the amount that can be used). * not a taste thing but a health issue
    3. The production of an aluminum can is pretty horrific compared to glass
    4. Cans collect bacteria on the surfaces and crevices that eventually the beer touches when you pour it (you can certainly clean it before opening but that's an extra step and one that most people have probably never even thought of)
  21. jlenik

    jlenik Jan 22, 2009 New Jersey

    I love the Yuengling 24oz cans. Always tastes fresh and delicious.
    JoeyBeerBelly likes this.
  22. JoeyBeerBelly

    JoeyBeerBelly Dec 15, 2006 New York

    While a 24oz can of Yuengling, Olde English 800, Steel Reserve, Genny Cream Ale, Bud, Bud Light and Coors Light sometimes works well a 24oz can of Westy 12, BCBS or Prima Pils just doesn't sound too exciting to me.
  23. erway

    erway Jul 28, 2006 New Mexico

    2 of the 3 biggest craft brewers in the country are now canning (Sierra Nevada and New Belgium). The fastest growing craft brewer of the last decade only cans (Oscar Blues). Some of the biggest names in craft brewing of the past few years and decades are putting their beers in cans including but not limited to....

    Surly, The Alchemist (Heady Topper), Cigar City, Sixpoint, Sun King, Avery, Midnight Sun, Schlafly, Sly Fox, Revolution, Four Peaks, Brooklyn, Half Acre, Snake River, Anderson Valley, Maui Brewing, 21A, Big Sky, Caldera, Marble Brewery, and even La Cumbre :) (I could go on, but I think you get the point)

    The advantages of cans are many.
    1) Weight. The weight of an empty can is about 1/100th of an empty bottle making it much more cost effective and WAY more environmentally sound to ship both empty and full.
    2) Sunlight. Zero UV rays can penetrate a can.
    3) Infinite recyclability. Approximately 5% of bottles that go into recycling bins are actually recycled as opposed to ~99% of cans.
    4) Packaged airs. The amount of packaged air in your average can is lower than in a bottle resulting in better shelf life of beer in cans.
    5) Safety. Cans don't break nearly as often and when they do, they don't take anyone's eye out.
    6) Cost. It's true, in the end, cans are a much cheaper package... after you get those pesky packaging lines paid for... and they're expensive.

    The production of aluminum is VERY environmentally unsound, but that being said, about 70% of the aluminum being used today is recycled and that percentage is going up every year. So what's worse, filling our landfills with more and more broken glass, or continuing to produce less and less aluminum every year.

    As far as the BPA, the EPA has actually come out and said that they have found no conclusive link between BPA and any health concerns, but that hasn't convinced me nor has it convinced much of the public. The fact is that if that is going to change, it is going to have to come from the media/public. The craft brewers are not going to be able to make that change at Ball, Rexam and Crown. Soda makers will have to lead that charge with their consumers.

    As far as bacteria... that's a reach. But for most of us running canning lines, the final rinse is with either peroxyacetic acid or chlorine dioxide followed by an air knife. BTW, when was the last time you drank a can of soda right from the can?

    Any brewer who is trying to call into question the merits of cans is simply trying to protect their own investment and brand (as one could say I am as well). Cans are simply a better way to package beer for the reasons mentioned above. The more that brewers can, the better IMO. It will result in an industry with better, more shelf-stable products overall, with a smaller environmental footprint to boot.
  24. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Nov 21, 2012 Oregon

    Glass bottles can be recycled endlessly into other glass bottles just the same as cans. I'm not sure where you got your statistic from but from what I've seen that 5% number is completely bogus. Roughly 28% of glass bottles, and 55% of Aluminum cans are recycled every year in the US. Those numbers come from the Clean Air Council and the Aluminum Association. So that means roughly 50 billion cans are landfilled or incinerated every year.

    Aluminum cans are derived from Bauxite. Each ton of aluminum cans requires 5 tons of bauxite ore to be strip-mined, crushed, washed, and refined into alumina before it is smelted, creating about 5 tons of caustic red mud residue which can seep into surface and groundwater. People and animals have suffered from the effects of bauxite mining in Jamaica, Brazil, Australia, and other tropical areas.

    It's true that a higher percentage of aluminum cans are recycled than bottles, but the environmental impact that each produce is vastly different. You have to account for the entire lifecycle of the product, from how the raw material is collected to the impact it makes when it ends up in a landfill or becomes recycled.

    “Between the mine and the brewery’s loading dock, at least, glass bottles are the clear winner. Aluminum is made from bauxite, which requires substantial, land-scarring effort to extract from the Earth; the United States imports virtually all of its bauxite from the likes of Australia, Guinea, and Jamaica, where mining operations have caused environmental controversy. Glass, by contrast, is made from the more easily accessible silica. As a result of bauxite mining’s environmental toll, manufacturing a 12-ounce aluminum can is twice as energy-intensive as making a similarly sized glass bottle: 2.07 kilowatt hours of electricity for the can vs. 1.09 kilowatt hours for the bottle.”

    The lining of aluminum cans contains bisphenol A (BPA).

    A 2011 study by Harvard University analysized the urine of seventy-five people for BPA. Each participant ate a 12-ounce serving of either fresh or canned soup for five days in a row. They were advised not to otherwise alter their regular eating habits. After a two-day break, the groups switched and ate the opposite type of soup. The study showed the canned soup eaters had 1,221 per cent higher levels of BPA in their urine than those who ate the fresh soup.

    In 2012 the FDA did ban the use of BPA in baby bottles, however the Environmental Working Group called the ban "purely cosmetic". In a statement they said,"If the agency truly wants to prevent people from being exposed to this toxic chemical associated with a variety of serious and chronic conditions it should ban its use in cans of infant formula, food and beverages." The Natural Resources Defense Council called the move inadequate, saying the FDA needs to ban BPA from all food packaging.

    A 2010 review at Tufts University Medical School concluded that BPA may increase cancer risk.

    ...I could go on but I'm pretty sure 99% of you have stopped reading. The point is glass is safer for the environment than aluminum cans, and safer for your body. It's used because in the end it cost businesses less money period. Naming a bunch of companies that have decided to use cans over bottles doesn't validate their use, it just proves that they make good 'financial' choices. As a craft beer drinker however I don't chose the beer I drink based on how financially savvy the company that produced it is, if I did I'd probably drink something from AB-inbev...it's no surprise they love their cans.
    Schwantz likes this.
  25. afrokaze

    afrokaze Jun 12, 2009 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Some good points there, but your BPA example didn't mention the health risks of high BPA levels at all. And there isn't any proof that the lining in modern aluminum cans breaks down or leeches into the beer at a significant rate. But bauxite mining is bad stuff, no doubt.
  26. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Nov 21, 2012 Oregon

    Proof of leaching: ...1,221% higher levels of BPA in their urine...

    "A 2011 study by Harvard University analysized the urine of seventy-five people for BPA. Each participant ate a 12-ounce serving of either fresh or canned soup for five days in a row. They were advised not to otherwise alter their regular eating habits. After a two-day break, the groups switched and ate the opposite type of soup. The study showed the canned soup eaters had 1,221 per cent higher levels of BPA in their urine than those who ate the fresh soup."

    Health Risks: ...prevent people from being exposed to this toxic chemical associated with a variety of serious and chronic conditions...A 2010 review at Tufts University Medical School concluded that BPA may increase cancer risk...

    "In 2012 the FDA did ban the use of BPA in baby bottles, however the Environmental Working Group called the ban "purely cosmetic". In a statement they said,"If the agency truly wants to prevent people from being exposed to this toxic chemical associated with a variety of serious and chronic conditions it should ban its use in cans of infant formula, food and beverages." The Natural Resources Defense Council called the move inadequate, saying the FDA needs to ban BPA from all food packaging.

    A 2010 review at Tufts University Medical School concluded that BPA may increase cancer risk."

    I could certainly add more though;

    In a 2004 study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found BPA present in the urine of 93 percent of those tested, and also concluded that many Americans are exposed to bisphenol A at levels above the safety threshold set by the EPA. In addition, the National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has concluded that there is definitely reason to be concerned that BPA may cause developmental problems in children’s brains and hormonal systems.


    The leaching of BPA from the polycarbonate plastics and the polycarbonate plastic lining of containers is particularly alarming in light of the serious health risks associated with BPA ingestion. More than 200 lab animal tests to date strongly suggest that BPA exposure, even at very low doses, creates risks of dangerous developmental, neural and reproductive health effects. Exposure to BPA, even at low and short-term doses, is linked to a staggering number of health problems, including:

    breast cancer

    prostate disease and cancer




    impaired, altered, and compromised immune system and functions


    impaired female reproductive development

    sperm defects

    lowered sperm count

    chromosome abnormalities

    chromosome sorting errors

    Down’s syndrome

    Turner Syndrome

    Klinefelter Syndrome

    early onset of puberty

    impaired learning and memory

    increased aggression
  27. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Mar 18, 2010 California

    Everything should be 12 oz.
  28. erway

    erway Jul 28, 2006 New Mexico

    Glass bottles are put into recycling all the time. The fact is that it is far cheaper to make new glass than to recycle it, and that's not coming from me, that's coming from the bottle producers themselves. Aluminum on the other hand, as you pointed out, is incredibly energy intensive to produce, and harmful. As I said, I am not convinced in any way that BPA is truly safe, but to attack craft beer in aluminum cans over the literally thousands of other products that are packaged in materials containing far higher levels of BPA (think water bottles) is a bit one sided.

    As far as financial choices, there is nothing sound about spending over $100k for a small company like ours when we could have easily done about the same level of production for about half that for bottling. It was a very costly choice to go into cans. For the big brewers it does make great financial sense, but not for little ones. It takes years to recoup the cost. The choice for us was about the quality of the product and that's what you hear from nearly all of the breweries that are doing it. Just look at the list of the top IPAs, and DIPAs and count how many are now available in cans. There's a reason and it has nothing to do with $$$. No small business goes out and spends 2x as much as they need to to save money a few years down the line.

    To me, it sounds like you might have an agenda? You go off on a BPA rant, and I never argued that it was safe, but you never address any advantage that cans have. Is it because you care less about the amount of gas that it takes to transport bottles (~33% more)? Is it because you care less about the quality of craft beer? Is it because you care less about the safety of the brewers that are packaging the products you drink, the distributors that handle it, or the retailers that stock it?

    I am not saying that glass has zero advantages. But you seem to throw every craft brewer that cans completely under the bus. You sound like your reasoning is BPA. In that case, are you keeping ALL plastic bottles out of your refrigerator? No milk cartons? No orange juice cartons? No soda cans? No plastic toys for your children (If you have them)?
  29. dangle47

    dangle47 May 16, 2007 New York

    24 oz can of Prima Pils sounds quite tasty to me! Also,a 24 oz can of Heady Topper...I'm sold on that idea!
    afrokaze likes this.
  30. mborden

    mborden Jan 28, 2009 New York

    I had this one at a wedding in NH this past February:


    Was it great? It was ok. Did it feel pretty boss to be rocking a 24 oz can? Yes. And with a name like "Iron Mike", I'm just glad it didn't stomp on my testicles.
    hudsonvalleyslim likes this.
  31. jhartley

    jhartley Aug 22, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    It sounds like an interesting concept, however I don't think it would sell in the craft market.
    Personally I don't worry too much about the package, I am more concerned with the product and that the brewery is supplying a quality beer.
  32. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Nov 21, 2012 Oregon

    You are construing the facts. First there are bottle manufactures using cullet (crushed glass) in their production, and it often makes up 70% of the new product when used. Although even if the amount of cullet used in new glass was as small as you make it out to be the fact is, glass is often used in other materials once it's recycled. For instance since the '60s it has been used in road and parking lot bases to make aggregate. Its also used for;

    -Sand Blasting
    -Sand Bags
    -Construction Blocks
    -French Drains
    -Eco Glass
    -Counter tops
    -Filtration Systems
    +more but "you get the point"

    I'm not attacking craft beer over other industries, just stating the facts. There is nothing worse than pointing the finger at others and saying "yeah but they're doing it too". The debate is in regards to craft beer moving from glass to cans (not other industries). Moving from a product that has no health side effects (drinking from) to something that potentially has many, plus a much larger environmental and social impact is a move in the wrong direction.

    It's called ROI (Return On Investment) sir, and every business owner, manager, and banker knows the term quite well. And a good ROI is 5 years, so in your own words if your recuperating your investment after only 3 years then it's certainly a great 'financial' decision. No bank or private lender would give you the money unless the numbers penciled out.

    Of course you (and the companies you mention) would say this, you're protecting your purchase and decision. As far as the amount of IPA's offered in cans goes it's no surprise, as I said before it's a 'mass market' thing. Pure financial decisions are based on creating the lowest cost of production. I can't argue with you about the fact you say your reasoning is because of 'quality', but to paint the picture that your financials didn't have a large stake in the process is ludicrous.

    I have only the agenda of a consumer of craft beer. I am in no way affiliated with a company that would profit either way. I'm concerned both for my health, and the possible dwindling of choices on the shelf if other craft brewers get duped into thinking this is a good idea. I did indeed list the advantages to cans; 1. Lower production costs, 2. Zero possibility of becoming light-struck.

    David Allaway - Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Packaging Expert

    “The break-even point is where you’re using more energy to transport your recyclables than you’re saving when the market uses those recycled materials. You want to ship those materials a shorter distance than the break-even points. Glass requires more energy to transport than aluminum does, but if you transport a ton of glass by rail (a common method) to get it recycled, you can transport it 9,000 miles before the emissions from fuel use by the railroad equal the benefit of getting that glass to a recycling plant. Even though glass has lowest benefit per ton you can still ship it 9,000 miles. By comparison, you can ship aluminum 450,000 miles by rail before you hit the break-even point. Again, the point is, don’t sweat collecting it, and don’t sweat transporting it.”

    No it's because I deeply care about the quality of craft beer...and my health.

    This seems completely ridiculous to me, I have no facts on this but I can make an educated guess that there are VERY FEW people ever injured from beer bottles braking.

    BPA is one of the reasons I stated, the other being the impact of the production. To me those are two VERY LARGE reasons to use bottles over cans, I don't need any other. To your other points, again we are discussing beer not other products (yes I also think they should be banned from using BPA).
    crushedvol likes this.
  33. baconman91

    baconman91 Dec 13, 2009 Ohio

    lemme tell ya what's perfect for say..a quick 9 (golf) or just, "ehhh whenever" ..u don't want a 6er.. ( but its "about" the same anyway ;P )
    -- cans we talkin' ?
    .. Sierra Nevada Torpedo in 16 oz. 4 pk.
  34. baconman91

    baconman91 Dec 13, 2009 Ohio

    --- ya know, bottles sometimes (on the Course).. they can be a Pain in the a**.
    - not many "Good" ( i mean "Real" good ..."Yuengling" isn't one of them..or a lot of beers mentioned here, except from the ONE guy -- i thought so once too, give it some time fella...one day (you) won't think it's That good anymore Either) beers come in cans mind you...but they Are starting to make it out to the Market.
  35. erway

    erway Jul 28, 2006 New Mexico

    I don't want to spend this kind of time every time the issue of can vs. bottles comes up. That being said, no bank would have ever loaned us $100k for anything other than the purchase of real estate. We have tried. Not gonna happen. As far as ROI, that kinda goes out the window when you throw a very large percentage of your working capital at a project like the one we undertook, and I think you mistake me for a businessman, which I wish I was, but really, I brew beer. That's what I do. If I was a good businessman, the craft brewing industry is not the career path I would have chosen. We invested heavily in cans because we believe in the machinery, and the packaging. We knew that we could only package one product for quite some time because of that decision. Oh well. We're really happy with our decision. The greater brewing community seems to be happy with the move and the craft beer drinkers seem to be pretty happy with availability of great beer in a very portable and recyclable package.

    If the can producers stop using BPA, either by force or voluntarily, great. I am all for it. The craft brewers aren't going to be able to make that change. Simply not going to happen.

    And as far as the recyclability of glass, you live in Portland. Drive east to Hood and tell me what you see just to the North of the road... (hint; the nations biggest glass pile) There's a reason it's there. No one is buying it. It's the same here in Albuquerque. For anything to be recycled, there has to be a market, and right now, there isn't one. You can state all the figures you want to from whatever you have read on-line. I have had the discussion with the manufacturers themselves and I'll take their word over anyone's especially when their pointing out the drawbacks of their own products. The production of Aluminum is anything but clean, but it is recycled, because there is a huge market for it.
  36. TwelveOunces

    TwelveOunces Nov 7, 2011 Kentucky

    Yeah, I think we all like the feel. So its probably better for us if they keep it in 12ozers hah
  37. Derranged

    Derranged Mar 7, 2010 New York

    There was a thread about getting drunk recently, many BAs implied they frowned upon that sort of thing. Some even said they hardly even get a buzz and do everything possible to avoid it. They must have some high tolerances.
  38. TwelveOunces

    TwelveOunces Nov 7, 2011 Kentucky

    I also have a high tolerance. For me, the point where I get passed "buzzed" is the same point where I wake up and say "not worth it". I get hangovers way to easy, which is natures way of keeping me from being an alcoholic.
  39. hudsonvalleyslim

    hudsonvalleyslim May 29, 2003 Massachusetts

    Who doesn't like big cans? A brewer told me he had researched canning and it was much cheaper, the tops of the cans costing the most. So, all things being equal, and if canned brew delivers the same flavor, (and I'm not 100% sold on this), and the packaging is cheaper.... Well, that's where the marketers screw it all up. But perceptions change quickly - there are many fine beers in cans now.

    But if big cans are back in style again (nod towards Taj Mahal), don't expect them to pass the savings on to you. (Jeezus, 'scuse me for becoming a cranky old guy.)
  40. Derranged

    Derranged Mar 7, 2010 New York

    I see what you mean. I don't get "obliterated" as much as I used to. I get drunk on craft frequently but I'm usually still functional. And the worst hangovers I get are from when I get very little sleep after heavy drinking.
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