Do you prefer drinking from cans or bottles?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by SerialTicker, Feb 17, 2013.


Would you rather drink your favorite beer straight from a can, or a bottle?

  1. Cans

    95 vote(s)
  2. Bottles

    80 vote(s)
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  1. BeerKangaroo

    BeerKangaroo Initiate (0) May 30, 2011 Alaska

    Though "smell is a large factor in how we perceive tastes," should`t we as beer reviewers not hold it against the brewer about possible "metallic" perceptions from the can and if our noses are pre-inclined to "metallic" aromas make sure we are reviewing from the correct glassware? I admit I`ve never had a heady topper, but I've often heard people say we`re supposed to drink it from the can. Just wondering if those reviewers said anything about a metallic taste in their reviews on the number one rated beer on BA?
  2. BeerKangaroo

    BeerKangaroo Initiate (0) May 30, 2011 Alaska

    As far as the topic is concerned, I`m torn, both have pros and cons. So I would choose either if I had a choice.

    Sorry immortale, don't think I was being a jerk, just questioning your train of thought, that`s all.
  3. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,031) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Gotcha. It's a good point. The "strike" I have against cans is a small one and, like I said before, depends on the style of beer. In my experience, it seems like IPAs are a style that's safer from the metallic taste of cans because the flavors are generally more intense than in a pilsner or wheat beer. Which is why I've enjoyed Caldera IPA, OB Gubna and CCB Jai Alai from the can but found the metal to get in the way of the flavor with Avery White Rascal, OB Mama's Lil' Yella Pils and 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon. Just my two cents.
  4. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,031) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Oh and, when I had Heady Topper the one time, I thought it would be a shame to drink it from the can because the aroma was my favorite part. Just my opinion.
  5. Steamer

    Steamer Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2012 Missouri

    I prefer the bottle even though I can't say it makes a difference in taste. The beers that only come in cans taste every bit as good as those in bottles, so I guess it all comes down to personal preference for me. If I have the option, I'll choose the bottle.
  6. BeerKangaroo

    BeerKangaroo Initiate (0) May 30, 2011 Alaska

    Good to know, just in case I'm ever able to get any of those brews. Ok, I understand what you're sayin - more of a style sort of thing, thanx for clarifying.

    Yeah, I can only imagine trying a once in a life time brew and to have to smell it from the can, b/c the brewer tells you to. And as respectable BA's - most of us want to respect The Alchemist's wishes. I hope if I ever get a hold of it, I get at least two, one to respect the brewer to have it from the can and one to pour for the appearance test.

    Also, just wondering, do you think it could be a quality thing on how the aluminum can is produced that could affect certain "metallic" smells or tastes come out easier in certain styles?

    Sorry Alextricity for straying from the topic, I can always start a new thread (don't want to be labeled as the threadjacker guy).
  7. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,031) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Well all the cans are supposed to have plastic lining on the inside so the metal doesn't touch the beer and affect the taste.
  8. Beefytits4

    Beefytits4 Initiate (0) Nov 2, 2011 Illinois

  9. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Devotee (400) Nov 21, 2008 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Niether, but at least cans allow some aroma to come though. i guess you can get some aroma from a bottle if you drink from it like a girl fearfull of looking slutty. Most people create a "seal" around the bottle that allows no aroma out during most of the sipping mechanics. Cans are poured into ones mouth allowing some amount of aroma to reach the nostrills.
    jgluck likes this.
  10. BattleRoadBrewer

    BattleRoadBrewer Crusader (705) Oct 8, 2005 Massachusetts

    I don't drink straight out of cans even when I'm supposed to (e.g. Guinness). Almost always use glassware even if it's a Dixie cup, and only rarely drink out of bottles. A big part of drinking beer is smelling the beer.
  11. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,258) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    You sure about that? Guinness Draught nitro-widget cans have always specified pouring in the glass (twice, in this snippet from an early 2000's label).


    Perhaps you're confusing it with the newer bottles of Guinness Draught that don't have the widget?
    RobertColianni likes this.
  12. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    I prefer cans if I am pouring in a glass, but if I have to drink straight from the vessel give me a glass bottle. Aluminum cans have a distinct smell to me, so when I take a drink and my snout is that close I can smell the can and I don't like that.
  13. muletrane

    muletrane Initiate (0) Oct 26, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I prefer to "drink out of" a glass.

    What the beer "sits in" before said glass doesn't matter. I guess it depends my environment.
    RobertColianni likes this.
  14. kneary13

    kneary13 Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2010 Massachusetts

    pint glass. but as stated above, cans will preserve freshness longer, so give me a can and let me pour it into a pint glass, tulip, whatever.
  15. Eduk8traz

    Eduk8traz Initiate (176) Nov 13, 2010 Arizona

    I prefer cans. They're easier to store.
    VABA likes this.
  16. chcfan

    chcfan Devotee (466) Oct 29, 2008 California

    If you're hauling tens of cases per week, maybe. Otherwise, that miniscule change in weight will have an extremely small effect on your fuel consumption.
  17. joel66

    joel66 Initiate (0) Sep 1, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    My wifes uncle works for a distributer... If you don't mind putting your lips on mouse feces then cans are great!! I won't ever drink directly out of a can only with a straw. Bottles are at least capped and not exposed

    That being said, ill take the risk for heady.
  18. SerialTicker

    SerialTicker Poo-Bah (1,760) Jun 18, 2012 Michigan

    They sterilize the tops of cans.

    And if I happen to see any dust or debris on my can, I rinse it off first. As far as the feces thing, if it's true or not, doesn't bother me ... I haven't gotten sick.

    Canned mushrooms have maggots.
    Raspberry flavored candy comes from a beaver's (?) ass (I forget which animal it is).
    Jell-O is made from bone.

  19. yamar68

    yamar68 Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2011 Minnesota

    This thread is a breath of fresh air - thanks OP!
  20. RobertColianni

    RobertColianni Zealot (527) Nov 4, 2008 Pennsylvania

    If by fresh air you mean another ridiculous thread, I agree.
    BoneyardBrewer and yamar68 like this.
  21. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,433) Mar 18, 2010 California

    Mythbusters did an episode on that and it was busted.
    ForkAndSpoonOp and Manoftyr like this.
  22. Manoftyr

    Manoftyr Initiate (0) May 6, 2009 New York

    If no glass is available I suppose I'd prefer a can, if only because bottles tend to foam up and spill over on me.
  23. Nocontrol1977

    Nocontrol1977 Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I'm sure that this has been said many times over, a can. What's a keg? GIANT can. Everyone loves draft beer.
  24. Nocontrol1977

    Nocontrol1977 Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    It is possible with a straw and a lighter.
  25. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,258) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    (Also said many times in reply) - A keg is a "Giant can" made out of stainless steel from which beer is drawn and poured into a glass, not a polymer-lined aluminum vessel from which (in the case of the OP's "survey") people drink directly, their lips on exposed metal. Without a proper pour, the beer's aroma is muted and excess CO2 is not removed.

    Not everyone (again, said many times) - some people claim a sensitivity to it, others get bad pours, old/flat beer or off-flavors from improperly maintained systems.
    RobertColianni likes this.
  26. Judgie

    Judgie Aspirant (218) Nov 21, 2012 Indiana

    75% of the tour of SunKing Brewery was spent extoling the virtues of cans. Spent too much time tasting after the tour so I forget those virtues. But I do remember being impressed. So, cans.
    jgluck likes this.
  27. GreenCoffee

    GreenCoffee Initiate (0) Jul 2, 2012 Illinois

    I'm sure OP's aim with this thread was to gather about 4 dozen obvious replies regarding the superiority of pouring beer into a glass due to aroma, head, etc. About halfway there everyone!
    SerialTicker likes this.
  28. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (548) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Sure for the tiny brewers doing independent distribution like the Pipeworks and Spiteful guys, no. But say for a brewer like New Belgium or a Sam Adams were it is at the scale of x number of barrels a week being bottled or canned and shipped and if that journey is however many miles from Colorado, or California to points Middle Amerika or the East Coast. Or vice versa. A six of can's dry is about 3.3 ounces while that six of bottles dry is over 2.5 pounds. Drop that added weight into a trip through the mountains and smack it with a headwind across those ever loving plains states. It becomes a huge difference.
    Somewhere buried in their blog, Lagunitas pretty much spelled it out that from a bean counter perspective, their decision to open a second brewery that the costs of shipping being saved is going to inevitably wind up being a huge factor in both their expansion and more importantly their hanging a shingle in Chicago. As gas prices continue to rise, this is going to become a very significant decision and the 12 oz bottle is on the losing team. Brewers who take pride in their product being this or that about the environment and wind this or fire that should also begin to talk turkey with their logistics and how much fuel they consume delivering said product.
  29. ForkAndSpoonOp

    ForkAndSpoonOp Initiate (0) May 4, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Whatever vessel helps my beer taste colder.
    RobertColianni likes this.
  30. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (548) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Derp. I'm obviously doing the OP a disservice. Should I mention how I hate how color looks on aluminum over it being on paper labels? Or, how about those breweries who still bottle and use a two color matte and textured paper over gloss finish or that plastic coat stuff And then; how about those breweries that get glue which makes the lable impossible to peel off in the humid months of summer.
  31. GreenCoffee

    GreenCoffee Initiate (0) Jul 2, 2012 Illinois

    I mean, he even says in the OP that beer is obviously best enjoyed after pouring it in a glass, making the correct choice obvious and thus not part of the intended discussion. I took this topic to be more of a "if you can't have a glass, what would you rather drink out of?"

    Apparently the answer is to commit ritual seppuku rather than befoul one's lips with the alternatives and thus the question remains unanswerable to many BAs. The more you know!
    SerialTicker likes this.
  32. JamesShoemaker

    JamesShoemaker Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Maybe it's just me, but the first time I had Torpedo out of a can, I thought it made it taste slightly metallic. The only times I ever drink beers straight from their original container are a) when I've had that beer dozens of times and am no longer interesting in really analyzing its taste, or b) when I needs my dranks to get me supah crunk.
  33. SerialTicker

    SerialTicker Poo-Bah (1,760) Jun 18, 2012 Michigan

    I didn't even bother responding to them. I expected that to happen though.
  34. gentlystewed

    gentlystewed Disciple (387) Dec 12, 2010 Georgia

    Cans of course. Cans protect the beer from light.
  35. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    Glass > hard plastic "glass" > colored solo cups > can = bottle > Paper cup > thin plastic cup > used styrofoam coffee cup > no beer
  36. ThickNStout

    ThickNStout Poo-Bah (2,104) Mar 8, 2011 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    Facinating how close the poll is!

    There are several ways/ considerations in answering the question.
    The DIRECT question is which would I prefer to drink out of. With the larger opening that allows more aroma through, for the purposes of this survey I voted can

    Cans also have many other things going for them but I will ultimately always prefer bottles for a few reasons:
    1- I can't cite any studies but I've heard that can linings can degrade over time & I wouldn't want to open a cellared 5 year old can of barrel aged imperial stout to find that it's ruined.
    2- I feel like I can get all of my beer out of a bottle. There always seems to be a little more trapped in the "corner" of the can that I just can't get into my glass.
    3- I collect "trophies" from my beers. I like to keep cool bottle caps and I have a wall in my basement decorated with the sides of 4/6 packs. Cans give me neither (which is yet another reason that they are environmentally more responsible, I know).
  37. MammaGoose

    MammaGoose Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2013 Wyoming

    I (like everyone else) prefer appropriate glassware if it's available. But I'm often in situations when glassware is not. After a hunt, 5 miles up the stream flyfishing, camping, camping off of the motorcycle, at the barn after a ride, etc. All situations where I would like a brew but do not have a snifter or tulip or even a regular pint.

    In said situations, I honestly prefer drinking out of a bottle. I almost wish I didn't. As storage/transportation vessels, I'd say I prefer cans. But if I have to put said vessel to my lips, I'd rather it be a bottle.
  38. Revenant

    Revenant Aspirant (280) Aug 8, 2012 Minnesota

    I prefer it from a can into a glass.
  39. Revenant

    Revenant Aspirant (280) Aug 8, 2012 Minnesota

    Can we have one thread without the mention of Heady Topper?
  40. mellowmark

    mellowmark Aspirant (263) Mar 31, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I prefer chewing on cans and drinking from broken bottles.
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