Canned craft beer, pioneered by Oskar Blues in the early 2000s, has been one of the biggest packaging innovations for the growing craft brewing industry. Ever since they told Dale Katechis you can’t put craft beer in a can, Oskar Blues and craft brewers across the country have been canning their coveted ales and lagers.
Albeit the can is still mainly absent from the largest U.S. craft brewers, Samuel Adams and Deschutes Brewery are set to change that with the recent announcement that each plans to can their flagship beers. Boston Beer has spent a million dollars and two years designing a new wide mouth can opening for optimal hop aroma. Furthermore, in the spirit of craft beer collaborations, the Boston Beer’s patent-pending can will be available for purchase by other craft brewers—free of licensing or royalties.
It has taken a few years for all the skiers, hikers and bikers to convince the crowd that the can is a great package for craft beer; and now across the U.S., 266 small and independent American craft brewers are canning nearly 900 brands of beer, according to CraftCans.com, the authority on craft beer in cans.
Sly Fox Brewing Company, in Pennsylvania, has announced a new innovation in craft cans with the industry’s first fully removable lid. The “360 lid” will be featured on the Pikeland Pils and Helles Golden Lager cans. The Pikeland Pils will only be available at Citzen’s Bank Park, home of the Phillies, and the Helles Golden Lager is available now at the brewery and will be available across the Sly Fox distribution network at the beginning of April.
From flat top cans to mobile canning lines, innovation in beer’s storied little aluminum package has come a long way. The new Sly Fox “360 lid” is sure to be a trend setter.
Andrew Kaczmarek, is the current Craft Beer Program Intern, hop farmer, beer writer for the CU Independent, homebrewer and student at the University of Colorado in his final semester. When not pursuing hoppiness, as a Colorado native, he spends his free time skiing, camping or biking in the Rocky Mountains.