Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Beer

I love a good beer.  Back when I was a landlubber, I even brewed my own beer, a hobby that clashes with living on a boat about as much as anything I can think of (not only does brewing beer require a lot of space, but it needs stable temperatures and no movement--none of those things are found on a boat).  I have no problem with buying my own beer, of course, but store-bought beer brings its own problems.

Most quality beer unfortunately comes in glass bottles, which are less than ideal for boats.  Glass bottles take up a considerable amount of space, they tip over easily, and they break.  All major inconveniences when living (and drinking beer) on a boat.

It is easy to conclude that bottles preserve beer better than cans, but in fact, the opposite is true.  Glass bottles may be cheaper to produce and package than aluminum cans (especially for small breweries), but they do a worse job at keeping beer fresh.  Glass bottles let in light, an enemy of freshness, and are more likely than cans to let in air, an even greater enemy of freshness.  Glass is also heavier and bulkier, making glass-packaged beer more expensive to ship.  So, not only are bottles worse than cans on boats, but they are worse than cans in general.

Fortunately, many qualities breweries are starting to sell beer in cans.  Some of the breweries whose canned beers are now in our fridge include Ska, Butternuts, Avery, and Anderson Valley:

Sea Gem's Current Selection
Some breweries, such as Guinness, have been selling beer in cans for awhile, but the diversity in quality, canned beer is growing rapidly.  That is good for beer drinkers everywhere, whether on land or at sea.

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