Filling technology and the production of beer has changed over the years. As part of an evolution, history has seen small breweries become large commercial enterprises, and then noted once more the rise of craft breweries. A similar change has begun to take place in the ideas of packaging. While commercial breweries have embraced cans, craft brewers have eschewed them. Typical beer filling equipment in a small craft brewery tends to focus on bottles. A beer can filler has been, at best, an anomaly in the industry.
The Reputation of the Humble Beer Can
This is not the fault of the humble beer can. It is, as your parents would say about your choice of friends, an opinion based on the crowd it is hanging around with. This is a case of guilt through association. The commercialization of beer production on a grand scale has left a bitter taste in the mouth of beer aficionados. They look at it and shun almost anything associated with it. While large breweries still do produce beer in bottles, a major packaging device is the can.
Three other reasons continue to factor into this abhorrence of cans as the tool of mass-produced beer:
1. Cost – for both setting up and operating a canning line
2. Perception –that canned beer tastes inferior to bottled beer
3. Association – Craft beer only comes in bottle
While the financial reasons are slowly dissipating as a beer can filler and associated equipment is becoming more affordable to craft breweries, the second belief is not letting go as easily.
Change Is In the Wind or at least the Can
This has begun to change. Small craft breweries in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States, are beginning to see the advantages to their brew and breweries of producing it in cans. Smaller scale canning technology is reducing the financial burden of setting up and using canning lines. Cans are, as has been proven:
* Easier to handle than bottles
* Do not break as easy as bottles
* Less expensive to ship than bottles
* An excellent opponent against one of beer’s greatest enemies – ultraviolet light
* Has an excellent shelf life
There are those who also argue the lack of taste or the proliferation of bad tasting canned beer is the fault of the beer not the container.
Beer Can Filler
Technology is a wonderful thing in many ways. In the beer industry, it continues to help beery producers of all size prepare and produce affordable beer. The quality of the brew relies, not so much on whether the machinery is a beer can filler or a beer bottle filling system but on the brew itself. So-called small scale or micro canning is here and presents an economically sound possibility for craft breweries – if they can persuade their customers their brew tastes as good in cans as it does in bottles.
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