What percentage of your packaged beer purchases are cans?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by mambossa, May 22, 2020.


What percentage of your packaged beer purchases are cans?

  1. 0%-25%

  2. 25%-50%

  3. 50%-75%

  4. 75%-100%

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. mambossa

    mambossa Aspirant (221) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio

    At least on the shelves in my store, the cans are outnumbering the bottles drastically. I also purchase almost exclusively cans, with the exception of a handful of my favorite imports, and certain beers I love that only come in bottles.

    My estimate is that cans take up about 90% of my purchases. Bottles seem so clunky nowadays, and not very transportable or easily disposed of.

    Soooooo what percentage of your retail beer purchases are cans?
  2. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,745) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Cans are preferred but for some things you got no choice but to go with the bottles. Overall I'm probably hovering around 75% cans lately.

    Hats off to Hermit Thrush and their Brattlebeer, however; a rare fantastic wild ale packaged in 16oz cans. A great new addition to my local shop, which just may push that percentage higher. :sunglasses:
    #2 TongoRad, May 22, 2020
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  3. Specialmick

    Specialmick Initiate (99) Aug 26, 2019 Connecticut

    Most of the premium ipas or pilsner options are cans. The last couple of really good Imperial stouts have also been in cans. A trend not soon to leave with the advantages of cans over bottles being that light will not enter the product for both stouts and freshness dependent ipas
    dukeandduke, hottenot and Barettes like this.
  4. Hoos78

    Hoos78 Aspirant (279) Mar 3, 2015 Ohio

    I would say 75% and growing. Bottles are going the way of the dinosaur, unfortunately so...I think. I get why cans are preferred and in many ways superior. However, if I am drinking from the vessel I prefer a bottle 10 times out of 10.
  5. Insomniac

    Insomniac Initiate (48) Nov 5, 2019 Ontario (Canada)

    In Ontario, the vast majority of provincially brewed beer is canned unless it is a one off or special seasonal release. Bellwoods would be the one notable exception off the top of my head. With American releases that come here, it’s probably half and half between cans and bottles. Almost everything Belgian I see is in a bottle as are most German beers. I would say about 80% of my beer is in cans, which is way up from say a decade ago.
    dukeandduke, hottenot and Amendm like this.
  6. jzeilinger

    jzeilinger Poo-Bah (7,247) Dec 4, 2004 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I'm in the 50-75% category with can purchases. It's really interesting how cans made a comeback over the years with the improvements in can liners and I think for the better in a lot of cases, but not all. Some beers just need to be bottled and aged in a cork and cage. Period.
  7. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Devotee (442) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin

    As much as possible. Bottles have no value compared to cans. Cans ship better, are lighter, are able to be easily recycled, get less breakage, are safer for consumption where you don't want glass, taste the same (call BS for those that say Al taste), are more shelf stable (UV stable and keep O2 out), and are better for the brewery with 360 degrees branding vs. a fraction bottles offer. We are holding on to bottles just because, not for good reason!!!
    free2scour, Jwhit, NickSMpls and 7 others like this.
  8. mambossa

    mambossa Aspirant (221) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio

    you’d be surprised at the amount of customers that still wince at the idea of drinking a beer in a can. With wine it’s more understandable, since it’s a (sort of) relatively new thing.

    I always try to politely explain what you mention in the rest of your post, and that it’s just generally an excellent, excellent way to preserve a great libation for consumption.

    It is usually followed up with “well it won’t have that metallic taste, right?”

    I just reassuringly shake my head and say “of course not!” while I’d rather be slamming my head through a wall at that point
  9. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,064) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    Cans are probably 85% of my purchases. The items I enjoy that are not in cans I will get but most of what I like is can based.
  10. jvgoor3786

    jvgoor3786 Poo-Bah (1,853) May 28, 2015 Arkansas
    Society Trader

    Cans are so convenient to store, refrigerate, and transport. Although, it would be weird to see KBS or Expedition in cans. That said, one of the best stouts I've ever had, Ozark BDCS, is in cans.
  11. scream

    scream Meyvn (1,144) Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin

    I avoid cans where possible. The reason you ask. Bassically many times I only wany abou 1/2 of the 12 oz. being an old fart. I can recap bottles very easily and get a tight seal. Cans not so much. Who knows maybe I'll change
  12. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,324) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I'm not really sure but I'd guess 50/50 or so. I tend to just buy what I like in whatever format it comes in. When things are offered in both then I resort to freshness, quantity (some stuff is in 6x12 bottles but 12x12 cans), price, and where I plan to consume it (can't beat cans for adventure drinking). Definitely see the move toward cans generally though. I'd say in the last decade the stores I frequent have gone from 90/10 bottles/cans to maybe 40/60, maybe even fewer bottles
    dukeandduke, Judgie, hottenot and 5 others like this.
  13. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,947) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Hard to say what percentage I was "forced" to buy in cans, but if I had a choice to buy all my beers in cans or bottles the number in cans would be zero.
  14. DavetotheB

    DavetotheB Devotee (419) Sep 30, 2017 Pennsylvania

    I went with 50-75%. In thinking through the last year, a lot of the winter beers (stouts, etc) seem to come in bottles. Right now my fridge is almost exclusively cans with the exception of a few left over winter beers.

    The question I'm asking myself is, "If I had the choice between cans or bottles where it's the same beer, same date code, same price, which would I choose?" Not sure I know the answer to this. But luckily, this situation is rarely encountered...
  15. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Savant (999) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    When I have a choice It's always bottles.
  16. johnnybgood1999

    johnnybgood1999 Disciple (348) Oct 31, 2008 Virginia

    About 25%. Most of my beer comes from grocery stores and in my area they mostly have bottles. Specialty shops seem to trend heavy to cans and that's where most of my can purchases come from. I prefer cans though. I drink a lot of nationally distributed craft, like Sam Adam's, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, Founders. The beers I buy from them typically come in bottles. Got a 12 pack of Summer Ale a month ago in cans. Haven't seen it in cans since.
  17. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,403) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    I voted 25-50%, mainly out of necessity instead of preference. I'm solidly in the bottle camp, unless you include those aluminum abominations.
  18. officerbill

    officerbill Devotee (485) Feb 9, 2019 New York
    Society Trader

    I'm at about 70% because my “year round” beers are all canned while my “seasonal” beers (various wheats, stouts, belgians, barleywines, et Al) are bottled.
  19. The_Kriek_Freak

    The_Kriek_Freak Poo-Bah (2,069) Aug 18, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I just looked at my log and, for this year, cans have made up 85.1% of my packaged purchases, with bottles making up just 13.6%. The rest is crowlers and growlers...

    No wonder I haven't added too many new items in my bottle cap collection so far this year
  20. orcrist_cleaver

    orcrist_cleaver Meyvn (1,441) May 3, 2014 New York

    Most of my purchases are brewery direct, and its fair to say other than the occasional 750mL btl, and everything else seems can. Crowlers were creeping on growler space, and covid only increased their footprint. #covidcrowlercreep

    Alas, sometimes I miss being able to grasp my beverage without having to hear that crinkling tin. Maybe I just have a strong grip. Its the little things that count.
    dukeandduke and Singlefinpin like this.
  21. milkshakebeersucks

    milkshakebeersucks Initiate (194) Feb 10, 2020 Maryland

    This is what it really boils down to for me as well. If I am looking for a particular beer then I will buy it despite the format.

    FWIW, if those posting here could take the 'way back machine' back 10 years (assuming you were still of drinking age) were you advocating for cans back then as vociferously?

    One minor reason I like bottles (like, not prefer) is the cardboard 6pk holder. They make it much easier to identify the style on crowded store shelves than some of the artwork on cans that list the style in obscured fine print
  22. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,403) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    See, that's another thing most people don't consider. :wink:
  23. SudsDoctor

    SudsDoctor Disciple (333) Nov 23, 2008 New York

    Before all this COVID crap it was in the 50%-75% range. At the moment though, since I'm getting all my beer shipped/delivered, it's 100%.
  24. beerwego

    beerwego Initiate (63) Dec 5, 2019

    Nearly all. I only make exceptions for exceptional brews which don't come in cans...and imports, which are slowly turning to cans
  25. Foyle

    Foyle Savant (953) Sep 29, 2007 North Carolina

    I would go 100% if possible, but some brews I enjoy are still only in bottles. Cans keep the beer fresher (at least in my mind), they are light weight (so my once a month recycle pickup does not weigh a ton :slight_smile:), I can fit more cans than bottles in my beer fridge, and cans are friendly for the beach.
  26. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (3,078) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    At least 80%, probably closer to 90%. The only bottles I buy are SN, Founders, and some Three Floyd's. Everything else is cans.
  27. BergBeer

    BergBeer Crusader (730) Aug 21, 2013 Virginia

    Looked back at all of my beers in May

    2 Bottles and 11 Cans

    Bottles made up 15% of a random month

    I prefer can in just about every aspect.

  28. guzzleacoldone

    guzzleacoldone Disciple (365) Feb 3, 2007 Ohio

    The container doesn't drive my purchases but generally speaking I would say 2/3 to 3/4 of what I see in stores and what I purchase is cans. Big change from 10 years ago. I prefer cans now. More compact in my view for packing the fridge. I would say I miss the creative bottle cap art.
  29. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,153) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    I'm gonna turn down beer that I love just because they still come in bottles? Not going to happen. That said, I do prefer cans.
  30. hbbeeremptor

    hbbeeremptor Initiate (126) Aug 12, 2018 California

    My beer purchases are primarily cans (75 to 100% as I voted) because that seems to be where the industry is heading, regardless of my personal opinion on it. If there is an option between bottles and cans for a beer, I will pick the cans every time.

    As a consumer, I prefer cans because they're lighter, easily recyclable, immune to being light-struck, and less likely to be oxidized due to something like a poorly fitted/loosened cap.

    As a beer buyer, I prefer cans because of the same reasons, in addition to the fact that they are far harder to damage compared to glass (in my experience) and you can fit far more of them on a shelf (e.g. you can fit maybe five 6 packs of 12 oz bottles in a single facing, compared to about eight 6 packs of 12 oz cans)
  31. Barettes

    Barettes Aspirant (286) Aug 4, 2019 Washington
    Society Trader

    Probably more like 65-75% cans, because IPAs are typically in cans. The other 25-35% of my purchases are saisons, wild ales, stouts and European imports which tend to come in bottles.
  32. stoumi

    stoumi Devotee (444) May 12, 2015 California

    The only bottles I recall buying recently are from Russian River (Pliny & Pig). Some of the more expensive stouts I have are bottles
  33. MightyTrustKrusher

    MightyTrustKrusher Initiate (74) Nov 5, 2014 New Jersey

    I'm all for cans being the main way to store beer. I do purchase a good amount of Belgian beer as well as American made wild ales or Belgian inspired beers that come in bottles. If they switched to cans I wouldn't be upset, provided the ones that are bottle conditioned were instead "can conditioned" as I think having the beer packaged on yeast has a unique quality that I wouldn't want to lose. Off the top of my head I know that Sierra Nevada still conditions their beers in cans and don't force carb.
  34. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,499) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    That is the situation with cans of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. But to the best of my knowledge no other canned Sierra Nevada beers are can conditioned.


  35. lightman1

    lightman1 Initiate (88) Oct 19, 2013 Arkansas

    I'm over 75%. Mostly because my daily drinker is Founders All Day that comes in 15 packs of cans and partly because all of our local beer is canned. I prefer bottles!
    dukeandduke and Singlefinpin like this.
  36. honkey

    honkey Zealot (589) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
    Society Brewery Trader

    I hate bottles. I don’t buy them when the beers I want are in cans, which is most of the time
    JMN44, Singlefinpin and traction like this.
  37. traction

    traction Zealot (531) Dec 4, 2010 Georgia
    Society Trader

    Before I found BA I used to think I was a classy drinker because I drank my natty light out of bottles. Nowadays I realize how ridiculous that is and when I see a bottle the first thing that comes to mind is I am going to be much more $/oz of beer. I'd much rather drop $24 on a 4-pack of 16oz cans than spending pretty much the same for a bomber. I'm glad the majority of breweries and moving to shipping the majority of their product in cans.
    dukeandduke and Singlefinpin like this.
  38. OK_Denise

    OK_Denise Initiate (144) Apr 10, 2020 Oklahoma

    I bought like 12 different beers yesterday and I think only 1 was a can. I tend to drink the trappist ales and German Hefes and they mostly are in bottles.
  39. ESHBG

    ESHBG Aspirant (289) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I'm 50-75% now. Many of my locals are cans only or what you see more often, and fresher, is in cans. I love the portability of cans (I grabbed a canned 15 pack recently and that was so easy to carry), how quickly they cool down, how easier they are to recycle (as in they don't fill mine up as quickly), etc. However, I do think that beer tastes slightly "fuller/rounder" from a bottle, as it just seems to be a better pour. Enough for me to want a bottle over a can if given a choice? Eh not really, but that is one thing that I do like about bottles.
  40. traction

    traction Zealot (531) Dec 4, 2010 Georgia
    Society Trader

    Great choices in beer but as I mentioned earlier I avoid the bottle tax when possible. Imports are going to be expensive regardless. I pay $25 locally for a 4-pack of Chimay White for a bit of context.

    If a beer I *need* to try is only available in bottles (I'm looking at you, Westbrook) I will buy it regardless but there is a good chance I am going to complain about it the whole time.
    Singlefinpin likes this.