There is a prevailing myth that aluminum cans always hold a lesser beer. For a while, many craft beer fans have shunned cans of beer, saying they change the taste of the product.
There is a current trend towards cans in the craft beer community, though. Many brewing companies are working canning in to their production lines, and for good reason. Cans keep out the main enemy of beer — light. Regardless of the color of a bottle, there will always be some light making its way in, which can skunk the beer. Cans are greener — they use less energy to produce and transport, and are more often recycled than glass. Cans weigh less than glass, and canned beer chills faster than bottled beer for when you’re in a pinch. You can take cans many places bottles are not allowed, or are just particularly ineffective to have.
While a number of craft breweries such as Surly and Pennsylvania’s own Sly Fox have been dependent on canned distribution for their beers for quite a long time, the root of craft-beer-in-a-can is found coming from Oskar Blues brewing, and their Dale’s Pale Ale. Dale’s can be seen as either a big-flavor pale ale or a malty British IPA, depending on how picky you are about styles. It has a better balance than many IPAs, with a much more solid malt flavor up front, but also has more of a hops bite to it than your average pale ale. The taste is accompanied by a rather refreshing aroma of citrus and pine from the hops. It’s a very smooth, mellow drinker, medium bodied but won’t weigh you down.
Many breweries are starting to jump on the can bandwagon, including Lancaster’s own Lancaster Brewing Company, which is starting to distribute their Kolsch in a can. But if you want the granddaddy of the canned beers, and a pale ale long recognized as not just the best canned pale ale, but one of the best overall craft pale ales in the country, you should come down and pick up some Dale’s Pale Ale.