We at Aleheads have talked often about the “canning” revolution currently taking place in the craft beer world. In 2002, Oskar Blues became the first craft brewer to begin canning their products, and since then, the floodgates have opened. There are a variety of crucial advantages to canning beer (better light protection, less breakage, cheaper to produce, easier to stack, easier to recycle, etc.) so as the stigma of cans as a vessel solely used for cheap, tasteless, watery suds has been obliterated, the humble can has become ubiquitous in high-end package stores across the country. While the glass bottle isn’t going anywhere, cans are clearly no longer a novelty.

No one knows this better than our friends over at CraftCans.com. Russ and Kelly’s site has become the go-to source of information about canned craft beers for beer lovers everywhere. And unlike Aleheads, a site which prides itself on a lack of accurate, useful, reliable information, CraftCans.com actually has a functional, easily searchable, and comprehensive database of every canned craft beer in the US. Simply put, if you like reading about big beer in little metal cylinders, Russ and Kelly are your guys.

Russ has graciously agreed to put together a guest post for Aleheads about some of the best canned beer on the market today. He and Kelly think that if they can get one of these brews in your hands, you just might change your tune about how good canned craft beer can be. Enough Barley blather…let’s let the man speak for himself…


Now that at least 100 craft breweries are canning their beers I think it’s safe to say that this whole canned thing is not a fad and it is in fact here to stay. Sorry to all you glass purists, you may have to get used to this and perhaps even embrace it. So, if you happen to be someone, or know someone, who’s somehow managed to stay true to a gut feeling that cans are reserved only for yellow, tasteless lagers and meant to be drunk only after puncturing the can with a car key (perhaps due to the ridiculous notion that the beer tastes “metallic”) here are some canned beers that will hopefully make you, or them, a believer. Cheers!

1. WET (Surly Brewing Company) – the first fresh hopped IPA to grace the inside of a can. Surly brewed this beer with over a ton (literally) of freshly picked Oregon hops. Its 90 IBUs are a testament to all those beautiful green cones that were sacrificed to make this 7.5% hop lovers dream. If you’re a hophead this is a beer you need to try. Oh yeah, cans also preserve the freshness of both the aroma and flavor of hops so that’s a pretty nice bonus when it comes to brews like this.



2. CoCoNut Porter (Maui Brewing Company) – who knew that toasted coconut would go so well in a porter? The milky, sweet coconut flavors work perfectly with the dark, rich, malty and roasty flavors of this porter. One sip of this and I think you’ll agree that it’s a match made in beer heaven. Maui is slowly expanding their distribution so keep an eye out for this one as well as  Big Swell IPA and Mana Wheat (brewed with pineapple juice).



3. Ten FIDY (Oskar Blues Brewery) – from the brewery that started it all comes this 10.5% behemoth of  a Russian Imperial Stout. Let’s face it folks, it takes some serious cojones to put a beer of this strength and magnitude in a 12 oz. can. This pitch black, boozy, viscous brew goes down so smooth its scary how fast you’ll reach for that second can. Pour this into a snifter and sip away.



4. 668 Neighbor of the Beast (New England Brewing Company) – from a kick-ass little canning brewery in Connecticut, that also brews a beer called Gandhi-Bot Double IPA, comes this 9% Belgian-style Pale Ale. This is spicy with a familiar Belgian yeastiness along with hints of vanilla and citrus.  You think cans are only for bland, boring beers? 668 is anything but boring. This golden elixir has more Belgian “style” than a Chouffe eating Frits!



5. Wee Mac Scottish-Style Ale (Sun King Brewing Company) – maybe you aren’t crazy about hops and you love a nice malty brew or maybe you just love all beers equally. This one should please your palate regardless of where you stand. Sun King’s third canned brew has enough caramel, toffee, pressed apple cider and malty goodness to make any Scotsman blush. After you’re done tossing your caber be sure to toss back a couple of these 16 oz. beauties.




  1. Me sampling 1 out of 5 on this list is unacceptable. Somebody mail me that Surly WET hopbomb that looks like an energy drink, ASAP.

  2. One of the coolest things about the cans are all of the artistic options available. Beers like that “668 Neighbor of the Beast” really take advantage of this aspect to do something you would never be able to do with smaller bottle labels.

  3. I’m a big fan of that Maui CoCoNut Porter (thanks Barley for the intro), as well as, of course, the Oskar Blues lineup in general. But how dare Surly use Oregon hops and yet not distribute to me!

    Caldera Brewing in southern Oregon is doing some good stuff in cans too. The better to go rafting with, my dear!

  4. Hi to all the Aleheads nationwide. Thanks for letting me be a guest post-er on your awesome site. I’ve really enjoyed your podcasts and your posts. I definitely concur about Avery’s IPA in cans being awesome, artwork on cans being superior to artwork on bottles when done well and Caldera being a great little canning brewery. I definitely am a big an of canned craft beers but an even bigger fan of craft beer in general. Cheers!

  5. I have four cans of Big Swell IPA left in the fridge….of course, I am in Kauai. It’s pretty good. It’s not terribly complex, but then it spends 90% of can-space explaining why cans don’t suck. No mention of what amazing Hawaiian hops it makes use of. I haven’t found the coconut porter yet, but I’m looking.

  6. I will be tasting many cans when my assistant returns from purchasing of the ducati toilets seat covers. In comment of art on cans I think all look like energy drinks and forthere I will be avoiding them. I am reminding that in middle of night when I have being done with vodka and pickles, I do not want to accidentally open can of Sunkist and expect Oskar. It would sours my morning.

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