When did beer drinkers fall in love with the can rather than the bottle?
You need to go back 90 years. Up to this point, beer had only been available in barrels or in glass or heavy stoneware bottles. (In fact the history buffs among you, might like to know that bits of stoneware beer bottles still regularly wash up on our local beach here in Portobello, Edinburgh, sometimes with the maker's name or beer name still visible!).
The shift from bottle to can started in the USA, when a Virginia-based brewery became the first to commercially package beer into cans, in the 1930s.
At that time, cans were heavy duty tins, which needed a special triangular, can piercer to open them.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Felinfoel, a small brewery in Wales, led the field in commercial beer canning, thanks in large part to Wales’ 200+ year-long dominance in global, tin-plate production.
We’ve got a new beer coming out this weekend in mini cask and on draught for take-aways from our taproom.
It’s a 5.6% single-hop IPA, a luscious, golden beer with juicy, tropical fruit aromas of pineapple and mango, and pine and citrus flavours, thanks to the Mosaic® hops we’ve used.
We’ve become a bit obsessed with the hops we’re growing in pots outside the office windows, just nicknamed “Spud and Renton” by one of our customers.
But though we’re loving seeing the plants grow – sometimes by as much as three centimetres a day - this variety is not what most people think of as the ‘real’ deal.
Which do you prefer? It’s a bit like asking whether you like salt and sauce on your chips or if you prefer salt and vinegar.
Each has its strong advocates. And there’s plenty of people who are not entirely sure of the difference between cask and keg beer and if one is supposed to be the ‘real thing’ while the other isn’t quite authentic.
Have you been dreaming of a pint of draught beer, fresh from the cask?
Well it might be a very long time before pubs, taprooms and beer gardens open again, but don’t despair!
We recently launched our long-awaited ‘barrels of joy’; dinky 5 litre mini casks (8/9 pints) filled with our award-winning Lawless Village IPA or Session Ale, fresh from the brewhouse here in Abbeyhill, Edinburgh.