When I started drinking good beer, someone told me that bottles were better containers for beer because they did not impart any metallic taste to the beer in the way that cans did. There is a certain logic to that. Coke from a bottle tastes different from Coke from a can. The Coke in the can has a tinny flavor. However, storing beer in bottles has limitations. Light is the enemy of hops, and even dark glass bottles let some light in, leading to a deterioration of taste. It may not matter with a beer like Corona which has no taste anyway, hell, they sell that stuff in clear glass bottles, but better beers are usually sold in brown glass bottles to limit the impact of light on the flavor. Some craft brewers use six pack carriers with high sides to further reduce light exposure. In terms of reducing light deterioration, cans are superior to bottles.
It was only a matter of time before a craft brewer started using cans instead of bottles, and Colorado’s Oskar Blues is the first that I am aware of to do so. I thought “marketing gimmick” the first time I saw their cans, thinking they were appealing to the hipster crowd who ironically drink Pabst Blue Ribbon from a can, but it does make some sense from a brewer’s point of view. Brief Sidenote: Is there anything that can be done to the thin the hipster herd a bit? I had such high hopes for the various Middle East Wars, hoping that a draft would be instituted and take some of those mopey bastards off the streets, but no such luck.
Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale pours a nice deep copper color with a medium. It is hoppy on the nose and the taste, mostly citrus, balanced by a bready malt flavor. Was there any metallic flavor? Yeah, I thought I noticed a slight aluminum taste, but I drank this with the bottle can in front of me, so it may have been entirely in my head. (That’s right, I wrote bottle at first, and posted it that way even after proofreading). I would like to either try this in a blind taste test or side by side with a draft to see if I still detect that aluminum. 6.5/10.
UPDATE: After getting some emails and a comment on the subject, I did some research and found that Oskar Blues uses a special coating on the inside of the cans which prevents any metallic flavors being imparted into the beer, so that “aluminum” I tasted was a complete figment of my imagination. I found this information by poking around the Oskar Blues website for all of about fifteen seconds. The lesson, as always, is that I am an idiot.