CANFEST 2012: Taking Canned Beer Back From The Hipsters

The craft beer world is still trying to undo the damage done by shitty pale American lagers to canned beer's reputation. It's a sad fact that most craft beer drinkers think that bottled beer is "better" than canned beer, when the exact opposite is actually the case. If we all agree that craft beer is most importantly about, well, the beer, then cans win hands-down. Here's why: they take care of the beautiful, tasty and refreshing liquid inside much better than bottles. They don't let any light inside—which can turn hops skunky with minimal exposure—and they keep oxygen out and the beer tasting like it's supposed to. The common myth that cans add a tinniness or metallic taste to beer is patently false. You might have noticed that kegs are made from metal, right? Well, modern cans are specially lined, so that nothing taints the flavor.

Plus, we don't need to tell you that cans are much lighter, a helluva lot easier to haul around and a whole lot less breakable. If you've got some hang-up about drinking from a can—especially when you're at home—pour the beer into your favorite glass (which you should be doing with bottled beer anyway). Beer poured directly from a small opening—be it can or bottle—doesn't show its best. You want to be able to see the color and head and get a good whiff of all the elements that going into making craft beer so delicious. This is why there are so many different kinds of glassware for the different styles of beer; they show off the beer's best assets.

We are not only in a golden age of craft beer right now, we are in a golden age of canned craft beer. Some of the best beers in the U.S.—New Belgium, Surly, 21st Amendement, Midnight Sun, Maui, Oskar Blues and on and on—are being put in cans. And we can assure you it's not just lawnmower beer. You can get imperial stouts, massive double IPAs, wet-hopped ales, doppelbocks, saisons—you name it! Don't believe us? Then you've gotta check out Reno, Nevada's annual CANFEST, which will be held November 3 this year. There will be dozens of breweries on-hand with their canned creations ready to convert the masses. This is the festival where no apologies are made for beer in a can. It is celebrated for the near-perfect craft beer delivery system that it is.

Let the hipsters have their $2 PBR tallboys. We're here to tell you that beer in a can gets a lot better than that. It may cost a little more, but it'll probably have a higher alcohol content and a lot more flavor.