MRandall25 wrote:Oskar Blues seems to be the only non-pisswater beer company to only do cans. Don't think I've ever seen a bottle of any of their different brews.
Several micros have started doing cans, and I think the trend will continue. Over the last couple years the number has really gone up.
Cans are lighter, cheaper, more durable, and offer beer more protection from light. IIRC, according to an article I read a few years ago in All About Beer Magazine, there were two barriers to canning for microbrewers. First, the canning equipment is more expensive than bottling equipment, so the initial investment is higher. Second, and perhaps the largest barrier, was that the companies that made cans were all used to dealing with big companies like Coke and the like and required absolutely enormous purchases of empty cans. Unlike beer bottles where you just paste a label on, empty cans have to be printed by the manufacturer, and they wanted huge orders before they would print anything. For example, I forget which brewery it was (it might have been Oskar Blues), but the story related how the brewmaster approached a can company and asked them if they could sell him, say, 5,000 printed cans so that he could can a run of beer. The company said their minimum purchase was something like 500,000 empty cans and told him to buzz off. I think we can all assume from the rise of canned craft beer that at least some can manufacturers are now willing to work with smaller order sizes.