When canned beer debuted in 1935, it was a feat years in the making. By then, many foods and drinks had already been sold and bought in aluminum cans, but packaging beer using such new technology was a matter of trial and error. Nevertheless, beer in a can was a hit with customers, offering convenience, a lower price point and the same taste customers loved. Very quickly, mass production of beer in cans became the norm, especially during and after the second World War.
Over time, however, competing companies made the case that bottled beer tasted better. Consequently, consumers complained about a perceived metallic taste in canned beers, and the popularity of such dwindled, save for cheaper options, which created an association between low quality beer and the can.
Today, craft breweries have led a resurgence of the can packaging option. The reasons for such are part nostalgia and a bit of hipster-like rebellion. Also, cans are slightly more eco-friendly, which is a good selling point for the craft beer audience that consists mostly of millennials. Hence, canned beer accounts for about half of total revenue from the U.S. beer industry as of 2015.
Keeping with this trend, canned wine began to show in stores as well. Oregon-based Union Wine, which produces a low-cost, award-winning wine by the name of Underwood, is just one of the companies which offer wine in a can version. Underwood, along with a few others, received positive reviews from food and wine blog, First We Feast, for those interested in trying something new.
Yet if canned wine is a bit awkward, imagine cocktails in can. Actually, you don’t have to imagine, because it exists and you can try one for yourself. Ballast Point, which produces beer and spirits, offers at least four pre-made cocktails in 12oz cans on its website. The options include popular drinks such as Bloody Mary and Gin & Tonic, both of which have received Spirits International Prestige (SIP) awards for 2016–Silver and Gold, respectively.
Industry experts predict that this market will continue to expand and start a new trend among liquor companies, if successful. Only time will tell whether or not consumers will accept this new style of drink in the same way they’ve embraced beverages like Bud Light’s Lime-A-Rita (which is actually flavored beer marketed as a mixed drink) and others like it; canned cocktails seem like a natural progression. Would you try one or do you think that’s going too far?