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Awesome Canned Craft Beer

Courtesy of Sierra Nevada.

Courtesy of Sierra Nevada.

Courtesy of Sierra Nevada

Courtesy of Sierra Nevada

People first got the bright idea of putting beer in cans back in 1933, when the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company teamed up with the American Can Company to produce a test run of 2,000 cans of Krueger’s Special Beer. If you’re wondering how it worked out, consider this: In 1941, people in the U.S. consumed roughly a billion cans of beer.

Despite the success of the beer can, though, in recent years the craft beer industry has been wary of the allure of metal. Until a few years ago, most independent small brewers have been resolutely pro-glass.

That’s changing. Beer geeks are fanatical in their passions, and some will insist that cans are by nature an evil thing to seal a fine beer into. I’m going to stay out of that debate, but I will point out that there are now more than 180 craft breweries putting their brew into cans (out of about 875 total, not counting brewpubs). And that’s a fine thing. I mean, it may be 20 degrees outside, but you’ve still got to drink something at the beach, right?

A few of the better craft beers in cans right now include:

Anderson Valley Brewing Company Boont Amber Ale
From one of Northern California’s earlier craft breweries (founded in 1987), this red-gold ale has a luscious caramel-malt richness to it.

Avery White Rascal
A Belgian white ale from Boulder, Colorado, it has all the classic coriander-orange peel notes of the style, with strong yeasty notes.

Flying Dog Brewery Underdog Atlantic Lager
Crisp and lightly herbal-floral, this is a straightforward lager from Frederick, Maryland, that’s hard to not to like.

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA
Sierra Nevada’s big 7.2 percent alcohol extra IPA is in-your-face hoppy—a blast of citrus and pine—yet somehow perfectly balanced.

Sixpoint Brewery Sweet Action Cream Ale
Hazy-gold and malty, this Brooklyn, New York, craft brewer’s flagship beer has a great bittersweet character with a little hop influence at the end.

Follow writer Ray Isle on Twitter @islewine.

Related: America's Best Beer Gardens
Best Beer Bars in the U.S.
America's Best Cocktail Bars

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