Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thirsty Thursday: Beer Cans vs. Bottles vs. Drafts

Did anyone else go through that time period when being able to drink a bottled beer was just about the most exciting thing in the world? You know, "holy crap I have a little extra money and instead of buying a sucky Miller Lite draft or a dollar Bud Light draft I can buy a BOTTLE of beer!" ???

Well...I know I did. Steve and I started having a conversation about this a couple of weeks ago. It came about because when we went to North Carolina for New Year's we brought cans of Yuengling. Normally we would buy bottles, but the cans were obviously easier to transport. Before that weekend I guarantee you I hadn't had a can of beer since Memorial Day weekend 2010 (I was at a NASCAR race, so sue me).

See? May 2010. NASCAR race.
The thing is, for whatever reason those cans of Yuengling that we bought were like gold. It was like we woke up and suddenly understood that all we needed was a cold can of beer. I'm not saying we'll switch back to cans for good, but you know what? Sometimes it feels good to pop a can in a koozie and feel like maybe you're back in college again.

All that said, though, in recent years we've been drinking so much craft beer that I've learned how much better a draft beer can be than a bottle. Because it's not exposed to oxygen, for one, and never know how old that six-pack sitting on the shelf of your grocery store is. Recently I was searching out some Duck Rabbit Milk Stout for a friend from Boston (you can't get it up there) and I had to go to numerous stores before I found one that actually carried the stuff and could tell me that it wasn't six months old or more! And when it came down to it, the bottled version was nowhere near as amazing as the draft of Duck Rabbit Milk Stout that I had at a beer festival in Asheville, North Carolina last year.

I guess I at least FOUND it, though...
So this is getting long - too long - and I'm going to wrap it up ;) The fact of the matter is, if you can find a decent canned beer (i.e. the aforementioned Yuengling), sometimes it's nice to take that trip back...but in general it's not hard to understand why we all loved splurging on those bottles back in the day ;) Still, if you're drinking the right kind of beer - you know, truly good beer - a draft is seriously the way to go. Trust me on this. If you've only ever had draft Miller or Bud or similar mass-produced brewskies, you're missing out. Pin It


  1. Draft beer is definitely the best but it can be good in bottles too, as long as the bottle is dark (NO sun should ever hit beer, so clear and light colored bottles are bad bad bad!). I do prefer drafts though. Cans are actually good containers for beer and a lot more craft breweries are using them (there's one in Detroit that uses ONLY cans, and Ska Brewing is kind of famous for it too), but cans still bring me back to college and Bud Light days, haha.

    I have also started seeing wine served via draft, and some beers are served via "nitro" draft. It's an interesting topic!

  2. Call me weird, but the only way I drink Miller Lite is out of a can. Everything else I prefer on draft. Red Oak's 'Humming Bird' is my favorite. Next time you're driving through NC you should stop by their brewing facilities. 5 dollar tours on Friday, free beer, and a free cup.

  3. @Stacy - Yeah, I hear ya on the bottles/light thing. Unfortunately the only way tot get our small batch brews down here is either in growlers right at the sight (though only Thomas Creek does that) or in bottles at a store, unless of course you go to a restaurant that sells them on draft. The one thing that kills me about cans though is that I feel I can never get the metallic taste out of my mouth! I think I'm like weirdly sensitive to it or something :-/

    @Nicole - Where in NC is Red Oak? We go to/through NC sometimes but only ever the western part of the state...