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Can can beer be good beer and if it can why can it?

By Fergus Fitzgerald, also posted in News on

Ghost Ship cansWe’ve just launched Ghost Ship in a can and there have been a few questions asked about why we do such a thing. In the UK the perception is still very much that canned beer is the poorer cousin when it comes to packaging, not quite as unwelcome as PET but certainly not good enough to be invited around to dinner with the chic glass bottles. However, beer in cans has some very good things going for it. There is no chance of 'lightstruck' flavour (described as 'skunky' or 'onion-like') developing as all the light is blocked out. Amber or brown glass does a fairly good job of keeping out the specific wavelengths of light that cause beer to get lightstruck but it isn’t perfect. Cans are lighter, which as well as meaning it takes less energy to transport, comes in quite handy when you’re the one who’s volunteered to carry the rucksack that short 4 mile hike from the car park to the campsite. Cans generally do a better job of stopping oxygen getting into the beer than the crown closure of most beer bottles, although that has to be balanced with the fact that it is harder to keep the oxygen out when the cans are being filled. Cans have an advantage over glass in acclimatising to the temperature quicker so you can get your beer chilled down faster, the downside of this is that cans acclimatise to the temperature quicker so they heat up quicker. You can swap those around depending on your viewpoint. Regardless of all this, the single biggest factor that determines whether the beer coming out of a can will be any good, the thing that eclipses the pros and cons of bottle versus can, the thing that should matter the most, is whether the beer that is put into a can is any good. We think Ghost Ship is a very good beer and we’ve put it into a can, and so far we think it’s tasting very well.


Fergus Fitzgerald