Aluminum Bottles and Cans for Craft Beers

It seems more and more craft beer brewers are switching from glass to aluminum cans and increasingly, aluminum bottles.

A recent article in the St Petersburg Times noted the trend towards aluminum cans, which have been associated with cheaper, mass market brews.

Personally, I think the better way for craft brewers to distinguish themselves from cheap, everyday brews is to use well-designed aluminum bottles and not cans.  Do a search on ‘best beers of the world’ and the vast majority of them are in glass bottles, such as the New Glarus Two Women lager in the picture, which was judged best pale lager in the world by RateBeer Best.

The Glarus lager is packaged in a dark amber bottle, to shield it from sunlight.  It has the nice neck that most people associate top European brews with.

As some innovative brewers have shown, this look can be duplicated using aluminum bottles.  The light-shielding properties of aluminum are clearly superior to glass.  And certainly, the look of amber bottles such as the New Glarus bottle can be easily copied using aluminum bottles because of their superior decorating capabilities.

I need not mention the fact that aluminum bottles are more environmentally friendly from a total life cycle perspective.

As more brewers, and other beverage producers start adopting aluminum bottles, I expect more of the craft brewers to go the same way.

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Aluminum Bottle for Hard Cider

Aluminum Bottle - Hard Cider

Aluminum Bottle - Hard Cider

The Oliver Winery in Indiana has come up with a suite of hard ciders bottled in aluminum bottles.

What is hard cider anyway? It’s actually a fermented beverage made from apple juice.  In the USA, the term cider applies to fresh-pressed juices.  It’s called a hard cider if it is fermented.

Oliver Winery’s hard ciders are made from Midwestern USA apples.  Interestingly, they come in various non-apple flavors including raspberry, peach and strawberry.

The Oliver hard cider aluminum bottles have wonderful, playful designs.

They’re definitely great to bring in a cooler on a hot summer’s day.

 

Reusing Aluminum Bottles

Reused Aluminum Bottles

Reused Aluminum Bottles

It appears that some beer homebrewers like to re-use the aluminum bottles of their large commercial beer competitors.

Some folks from the Homebrewchatter.com, a forum dedicated to homebrewers, recently discussed the use of used commercial aluminum beer bottles to fill with their own home brewed beers!

Personally I think it’s a great idea. I know other people have made fuel tanks and even stoves out of used aluminum bottles. It just demonstrates the durability of these bottles and their “green” advantages.

I’d be extra careful about labeling the re-used aluminum bottles though. You could end up taking a swig of gasoline rather than than beer 🙂

Aluminum Bottles at Burger King

This is another clear sign of the growing acceptance of aluminum bottles by the American consumer.

Aluminum Beer Bottle

Aluminum Beer Bottle

You can now order a beer in an aluminum bottle in some Burger Kings.

Burger King is planning to sell beers at selected locations called Whopper Bars. The first locations will be in South Beach, Miami and may branch out to New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Another large fast food chain, Sonic, is planning a similar launch of aluminum beer bottles in their franchise.

You can order a Whopper/Beer combo meal for $7.99.

It’s relatively exciting news here, but if you think about it, the Europeans have been serving beer and wine in many of their fast food joints for many years. It’s about time the USA caught up.