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Food Republic beer writer Jonathan Katz’s piece on craft beer canning’s rising popularity left us with one important question: why does canned beer stay fresher than bottled?

Several reasons, in fact. Let’s defer to the beer man for this one.

“Canned beer stays fresher for two main reasons: cans hold a much more reliable seal than bottles, and are impenetrable by light,” he says.

“Bottle color ranges from clear (Corona) to green (Heineken) to brown (pretty much any craft beer). Colored glass makes a huge difference because it protects the liquid from the sun, which can lead to skunkiness.” As for beer bottles with no color? “Clear bottles are honestly a marketing trick. There is no benefit to a clear bottle except to say, hey, look at our pee-colored swill.”

There you have it: bottle caps can be jostled around and loosened during transport or sealed too loosely during processing, gradually losing their freshness (and carbonation). Not the case with cans; those things are sealed for life. As for your unfounded complaints of metallic off-tastes, a special water-based coating on the inside of beer cans prevents them from ever coming into contact with aluminum. Now go buy those craft cans he recommended!

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