Friday, April 19, 2013

Crafty and Canny

More and more craft brewers have decided to package their product in cans rather than bottles and I’ve become a big fan of that approach. Cans are much easier to pack up and take with you. You don’t have to worry about that potentially embarrassing (or worse if you’re bringing beer somewhere you shouldn’t) clinking of bottles banging together. You also don’t have to worry about having an opener on hand. I admit that there is something to be said for the tactile feel of a bottle in your hand that’s superior to a can, but if you’re drinking good beer you should ALWAYS be drinking it in a glass (and a clean one at that). And I love to see the inventive label designs that craft brewers that come up, but there’s no reason that you can’t have great designs on cans too. The most important advantage of cans for those who take their beer seriously is that it’s the best way to preserve the full flavors of beer.

Surly was one of the first craft beers that I enjoyed out of can. Now, there are scores of brewers who package that way including Tallgrass, 21st Amendment, Avery, Big Sky, Great River, Indeed, Karbach, Oskar Blues, Ska, Steamworks, and a score of others. I was recently in Miami and was pleased to see that Tampa’s Cigar City is now available in cans. And many others well-known brewers like Sierra Nevada and Two Brothers are now offering some of their beers in cans. There’s a great site called News and Reviews for the Canned Beer Revolution that tracks all the brewers who can and the beers they have available.

The latest brewer to join the can revolutions is Finnegans Charitable Beer Company which is based in Minneapolis. In order to promote the switch to cans, they’ve come up with a unique contest:

Cans are a beautiful thing. Environmentally-friendly, easy to transport, and better at protecting and preserving what matters most (the beer, of course!), cans are perfect for gratifying an active lifestyle.

That's why FINNEGANS, the beer company that turns beer into food by donating 100% of its profits to hunger relief charities, is thrilled to announce the launch of its new can packaging at Third Street Brewhouse in Cold Spring, MN. Having been "canning" hunger for more than a decade, the time has come for some real aluminum. This green company just got greener.

FINNEGANS donates all of its profits to the FINNEGANS Community Fund (501c3) to support hunger alleviation programs in every market where the beer is sold (MN, SD, ND, WI, and FL). Beyond just donating a lot of food, FINNEGANS works with local farms to distribute fresh produce to those area food shelves (in Minnesota, this is through the Emergency Foodshelf Network's Harvest of the Hungry Program).

In celebration, FINNEGANS is seeking CANverts everywhere! During the month of May, fans are invited to pick up the cans--available in both Irish Amber and Blonde ales at retailers statewide--and make fun crafts out of them. Take a CANdid picture and upload it here. Yeah, we're crafty craft brew buggers over here. The most creative photo will receive an entire year's worth of FINNEGANS beer.

I’m not usually much of a craft sort of guy in that sense, but a year’s worth of beer is a year’s worth of beer.