Much of craft brew’s modern evolution has been built on shifting perceptions about beer itself. One of the more entrenched ideas was that canned beer was exclusively domain of fizzy yellow disappointment. Even as that outlook shifted, the craft-brew community was slow to adopt it, partly due to the logistical and financial aspects of moving to that packaging format. Canning requires entirely new filling equipment, dedicated runs of packaging rather than the brew-agnostic bottles and many other complications. Still, even faced with all those hurdles, more are taking the plunge.
Most recently, Modern Times has launched canned versions of four of their beers, now appearing around the county in a four-pack format. This is right on the heels of Mission Brewing announcing its 32-ounce “Cannon” format at the Great American Beer Fest, which is likewise appearing in bottle shops and big-box retailers. The 32-ounce format struck me as a bit unwieldy since I’m not accustomed to reaching for beers the size of my forearms most days, but I generally have a hard time saying no to Mission's Conquistador XPA (or Modern Times’ Black House coffee stout, for that matter).
Whether or not you favor the packaging, it’s worth appreciating as yet another signpost that craft brew is still moving onward and upward.