Like every other industry, craft beer is no stranger to trends. From going crazy with hops to aging in bourbon barrels, there's always something new that initially takes fans by storm and is completely overdone 6 months later. One trend that may weather the storm is canning beer, and we're about to see quite a bit more of it in Kansas City.
This afternoon, Tallgrass Brewing Co. out of Manhattan, KS, released their "Canifesto" on Twitter and their official (redesigned) site. Reciting a story involving one of their rural customers looking for a way to return/recycle cases of empty bottles, Tallgrass is looking to minimize their environmental impact while also likely seeing a decrease in cost. Tallgrass will be going to market with larger, 16oz cans that they hope to have out in stores this May. The Wine & Cheese Place out of St Louis recently reported word that Schlafly will have their Summer Helles available in 12oz cans this summer.
You can already find a number of canned craft beers in the Kansas City area. Breweries like Caldera and Ska have various brews available, while some of the larger breweries like New Belgium and Leinenkugal have single offerings like Fat Tire and Summer Shandy, respectively. Restaurants are even getting into the act, as Prairie Village's BRGR Kitchen & Bar has an extensive list of craft and mass produced beers available in cans.
While some people may debate that beer tastes better from a bottle, a lot of people will tell you the beer should be poured into a glass regardless. Can technology moved from risking a metallic taste a long time ago. As the craft beer industry continues to grow, it's important for our regional breweries to find ways to minimize the impact on both environmental and financial resources. Compared to bottles, cans weigh significantly less while blocking out larger amounts of light and air. The days of cans being filled only with cheap swill are quickly fading. Time to get your koozie ready and enjoy a summer of canned, craft refreshment.