Canned beer. “As American as apple pie”– at least since the early seventies.
I love American spirit and ingenuity; we’re the best in the world at working hard to be lazy. I say lazy, but I just mean we have a drive for convenience other countries don’t seem to prioritize like we do. Our ideas, wants, and needs(?) have driven the world economy since there’s been a world economy. Capitalism is great and everything but sometimes there’s a fizzy, flavorless price to pay.
Back in the sixties we started thinking; ‘Screw flavor, I want my beer to come in something I can crush on my head.’ (No, I cannot crush a can on my head, but I think it’s cool when people do). Obviously that’s not the reason, but interestingly enough, canning was cheaper than bottling and it afforded more real estate for labels and slogans. As far as quality goes and the taste difference between cans and bottles, it just depends on how old the beer is. Most breweries that can their beer don’t produce a delicious product anyways, so being in a can doesn’t matter a whole lot, especially if it’s only been on the shelf for a short time. Canned beer has given us a uniquely American product that made beer cheaper, safer, more convenient and more marketable. Granted, taste is diminished and can be straight up funky, but we’ll gladly make a small sacrifice for taste if it means we can consume it with ease anywhere we want to take it, and for less moolah.
I wonder if the big American beer companies of today, tasted better 50-60 years ago? Because it really is a testament to our love of drinking that we have such popular mediocre beer. And before any beer enthusiasts get their panties in a bunch I realize America is now the world leader in award winning high quality craft brews. In fact, my home town of sunny San Diego is quickly making a name for itself within the industry. With more then 20 craft breweries around the county there’s a multiplicity of options for enjoying good beer.
But enjoying a beer is different then beer drinking. Although there are some impressive beer drinking cultures, non have done so much, with so little, as us. You know what the difference is?
We don’t relegate ourselves to a bar or our living room…we like our beer outside or wherever we friggin’ feel like it. A cooler full of beer is an iconic American site to behold. Not because of our love for a high quality product, but for our desire to catch a buzz and relax wherever we damn well please. Sure bottles are portable, but drinking can also cause carelessness. A broken bottle in a natural surrounding or a place where children might play is just really disappointing. Sure people leave trash in nature regardless of what they’re drinking, but picking up a can is alot easier then a thousand shards of glass.
Myself being a lover of quality beer, I feel the need to further justify my stance on an important distinction.
There’s a difference between enjoying a beer, and beer drinking. Beer drinking requires affordability and drinkability with an emphasis on beer temperature. American light lagers are meant to be drank cold, no matter the season. Americans get alot of flack for cold beer, but what old world enthusiasts aren’t grasping is…we’ve perfected the art of drinking 30 beers…without being of direct German decent!
Coors Light is (to me), the undisputed king of canned light beer. Many factors are measured when determining this lofty title but I’ll break it down into the big two. First, why bother with canned beer instead of bottled?
There are only two answers. Affordability and packaging convenience. Canned beer is always cheaper unless you come across a super schweet deal, which’ll only occur when the store is trying to sell their old beer. So price…check.
Convenience comes down to a few things as well. Cans are more durable, cans stack better(more in a cooler), they get colder, and get colder faster.
Coors Light has unparalleled drinkability. Everyone has different tastes and I’m not gonna argue with someone that it’s the best tasting, however. I will vehemently stand by the notion that it is; THE MOST REFRESHING, INEXPENSIVE, CANNED ADULT BEVERAGE anywhere west of the rockies. To prove this, me and my buddies did a taste test of all the “big” canned beers.
We had lofty intentions of finding a king amongst peasants, but unfortunately… everything became a blur of mediocrity. We tried to be official about it with rankings, comment sheets and guesses as to what it might be, but we fell short because of time constraints and straight up forgetting to actually rank our favorites, doh!
It was alot of fun and I totally recommend it as a fun activity with friends,
but I really wish we had picked a winner. There were some that tasted pleasant at first sip, but immediately went downhill on the second taste. About halfway through, everything was tasting horrible and I was getting uncomfortably full. Note to self…wait a minimum of one hour after dinner to start a beer tasting.
Once again, it’s not that Coors Light tasted the best. But in a blind taste test, it was by far the most refreshing. None of my friends or I are very familiar with the other beers we tested. However, by the end we all realized why this was the case. When Coors Light popped up at the end there was a resounding “AHHHHHH, thats the stuff right there, that’s natures sweet nectar…that comes in a can for $.50.”
There was no winner at this, so the person with the least correct picks had to drink the dump cup.