For whatever reason, I associate drinking beer in the summer with cans. Does beer taste better in cans when it’s hot outside? Possibly. Do cans get colder than bottles? Some believe so, but I generally don’t want ice-cold beer anyway.
Whatever the case, cans do offer distinct advantages to bottles. Cans don’t allow light or oxygen in so, in theory, the beer tastes better. (I’ve heard some complain about a metallic taste, but that’s hogwash — most cans have a spray-coated lining inside to eliminate this.) Cans are also much easier to transport — to and from a cookout, hike, swimming hole, etc.
With more craft breweries offering their delicious wares in cans, it’s worth finding some that please your palette. Here are five I enjoyed and that cover a variety of styles.
Dog Days Lager, Two Brothers Brewing Co. (5.1 ABV)
Two Brother’s Dog Days is the most crowd-pleasing of the cans I tried. There aren’t a lot of big flavors here, but a simple enough hop presence is countered by an equal amount of citrus — most similar to a lemon zest. The Dog Days is ideal for after sweat-inducing outdoor activities — yard work or sand volleyball come to mind — because it’s refreshing and endlessly drinkable.
Firefly Amber Ale, Jackie O’s Brewing Co. (4.5 ABV)
Oh Jackie O’s, can you ever do me wrong? The Athens brewery has been producing great beer and recently made its beer available in cans in the Columbus market — currently only at Weiland’s Gourmet Market. The Firefly Amber Ale has a slight malty sweetness that’s followed by a more-potent-than-expected earthy (Cascade) hop profile. Not my favorite of Jackie O’s beers, but worthwhile nonetheless. The Chomo-lung-ma Brown Ale is also available in cans.
Hell or High Water Watermelon Wheat, 21st Amendment Brewery (4.9 ABV)
21st Amendment has a wealth of great beers in cans — hello, Brew Free or Die IPA. But it’s the brewery’s fruit beer that intrigued me. When it’s done right these beers can be quite refreshing, even if that’s generally not your thing. The Hell or High Water isn’t overpowered by the watermelon — watermelon isn’t a very powerful flavor — giving it an initial sweetness that quickly fades as a crisp wheat beer takes over.
Resin, Six Point Brewery (9.1 ABV)
This is the canned beer for the hardcore hop lovers. Six Point’s Resin is a double IPA with huge, bold hops — best described as just straight dank. The piney, slightly floral hops are somewhat countered by some citrus notes, but it’s minimal. It may not be ideal for summer drinking, but this is a great DIPA. And if that’s your thing — I feel you, brother — this is the beer in a can for you.
White Rascal, Avery Brewing Co. (5.6 ABV)
My favorite of the beers I sampled for this article. The White Rascal is an unfiltered — giving the beer its cloudy coloring — Belgian wheat with a nice mixture of flavors throughout. While the flavors (coriander and orange peel spice, with a subdued hop profile) are quite welcome, the beer’s refreshment factor was most surprising, offering the best combination of both.