The Real Reason Canned Beer Tastes Better Than Bottled

If you've ever reached for an old bottle of beer and felt completely dissatisfied after the first gulp, there's a reason why that happened. Fresh, crisp beer stays that way only when a couple of threats are eliminated through proper packaging. Whether you prefer IPAs, sours, pilsners, lagers, or any other style of beer, chances are, it's better coming from a can.

In addition to offering better tasting beer, cans win out over bottles in a couple of other ways, too. According to Thrillist, canned beer weighs less, is more portable, and is better for the environment. They estimate the canned beer weighs approximately two-and-a-half pounds less than bottled beer, and the cans are less fragile than bottles that can shatter if dropped. Their environmental impact is less than bottles, too. Thanks to the smaller, lighter cans cases weigh less and therefore cut down on fuel during the shipping process — and more can be shipped at once thanks to the smaller size of cans. If you're still not sold, Thrillist also points out that 70 percent of cans are recycled.

Canned beer offers better protection from light than bottled beer

The taste of beer is primarily affected by one thing: exposure to light. While amber bottles are pretty efficient at filtering out most UV light, aluminum cans do not let any light through at all. Blue, green, and clear glass are less effective at blocking harmful rays, so overall it's better to go with cans to eliminate all possibility of damage from oxidization and what can be described as a "skunky" taste.

There's a common idea that tends to float among beer drinkers that metal may affect the taste of the beer inside the can. This, however, is not true. Aluminum does not change the taste at all. Some tend to think that beer tastes metallic, but that's not because of the can. Aluminum cans are actually lined with a coating that protects the liquid from taking on anything from the can itself, and any off taste is likely due to bad brewing practices. 

So, if you or your friends tend to claim that bottle beer wins out in a taste-test, it might be time to reexamine.