Tampa Bay's Brewery Guide

Battle of the Brews: Can vs. Bottle

You may have noticed the vast majority of breweries in our area have recently released new canning lines.

Some beer drinkers feel very strongly about bottle vs. can. Some don’t care either way, while others prefer drinking from a glass. No matter what people think, craft breweries around the country are transitioning to canning over bottling. Let’s break it down.


Facebook fan Brian K. prefers cans because “they keep the beer fresher than bottles. Rusty bottle caps, oxidation, broken glass are just a few off the top of my head why I prefer cans over a bottle.”

“Bottles have a lot more appeal, but cans are better for the beer, can travel to more places (beaches, pools) and even take up less space,” says Brewery Bay developer Chris.

Cans don’t shatter, they never require an opener, they weigh less, they fit better in a cooler and have less impact on the environment.

What about that metallic taste? Some notice a difference while others don’t. In a recent experiment conducted by craft beer drinker Jeff Wharton, researchers didn’t detect any metallic taste in canned beers.

Cans are completely airtight and keep out all light, so the beer never gets tainted. Brewery Bay fan Liz C. also says “there is something about the click and fizz of a can that makes me look forward to it more.”


Those who prefer bottled beer say while bottles may initially take longer to cool down than cans, they stay cold much longer once taken out of the fridge or cooler.

Bottled beer lovers don’t drink canned beer because the aluminum imparts a metallic taste. However, beer manufacturers have been lining their aluminum cans with a thin plastic since 1935 to prevent that, so metallic taste should not be an issue — unless you’re licking the can.

When it comes to the environment, there’s greater indecision — those who prefer bottled say aluminum expends too much energy to produce. Bottled beers are often viewed as classic, higher-quality purchases than canned beer.

It’s all about the beer.

No matter your preference, it’s all about the beer. Althought canned beer is on the rise, bottled beer isn’t going anywhere either.  Some say if you prefer one over the other, it’s because you’re drinking out of it. Which is wrong (for most beers). Pour that beer into a (proper) glass!

Next time you stop by the grocery store, try one of these new canning lines from one of your favorite local breweries — or pour it into a glass.

After completing their expansion, Barley Mow recently purchased a cask semi-automatic canning system that will have them releasing 200-300 cases a month into the Tampa Bay and surrounding markets.

They will release their Americana Golden Ale and famed Quackalope American IPA in their new canning line. They’re also panning to on can a few seasonal and limited releases throughout the year. Look for these new cans at your local package and retail outlets throughout the Tampa Bay area.

Darwin announced earlier this summer they will begin selling cans of Pirata Pilsner and Circa 1926 Tangerine Wheat blends.

Motorworks, Tampa Bay Brewing, 3 Daughters and Big Storm have also adopted the trend.