In early October, John (of John Eats Cheese) and I ventured out to SingleCut Beersmiths in Astoria. They pride themselves on being the first brewery in Queens since the prohibition. They also like to point out that both their address and flagship beer are 19-33 (or 1933), the year prohibition ended. During the brewery tour, they informed us that they will begin canning their beer in the future, but will never bottle it.
Thus begins the debate: draft, canned or bottled?
For the most part, it would appear that craft beer in America is sold in bottles. With bottles, you might have noticed a few where the cardboard comes up all the way up the neck of the beer (think Sam Adams). This is to prevent something known as skunking. Skunking happens when light essentially destroys compounds in the beer and creates a rather foul taste and smell (read more about the science). Thus, beers sold in clear, green or blue bottles are the most at risk for skunking. From what I understand, brown bottles are better are filtering out the ultraviolet light although no glass is thought to be perfect.
Bring in the can. Widely regarded as cheap (think PBR or Miller Lite), it would appear as though more and more craft beer companies are selling their wares in cans. If you think about it, cans are typically cheaper and you don’t need an opener, thereby making them more convenient. They also stack better in your fridge. But are there any downsides to the can? I have seen arguments about aluminum consuming more energy to produce but it would appear as though some of this is alleviated if you live in a recycle-centric town (woot! New York!). In regards to taste, there are some metallic-taste arguments (for and against) but it would appear that this is relative. Additionally, there is the epoxy lining (re: BPA) argument in which nay-sayers argue that the lining sprayed in the inside of the can is being leached into your beer. However, those for canned beer say that this is negligible and if you think about it, your beer was stored in a large metal can to begin with… the humble keg.
Draft (or draught)
Are there really any arguments against draft beer?
About the author
Kim drinks beer. Or, to be more specific, craft beer.
As those of you who follow this site know, John eats cheese. Kim personally doesn’t mind cheese and has often joined John on trips to Murray’s and to peruse the cheese sections of various markets. Likewise, John follows Kim as she ogles over gleaming bottles of fermented malt and helps her sample them. Thus began the idea to do a column about craft beer. What’s better than beer and cheese?
Kim’s true love for beer didn't really begin until she took up residence in the countryside in Japan. Since Japan’s beer market mainly revolves around three major breweries (Kirin, Asahi and Sapporo), she made it a point to try the local brews of whatever city or town she was traveling to. Her love for craft beer was magnified threefold upon moving to New York with bars that have daily rotating draft lists and breweries in its backyard.
Kim is not a professional beer sommelier but simply enjoys the pursuit of trying new beers and breweries. Every weekend you can find her with a craft beer in hand.
Follow her on Instagram: @kimukku