At first glance, it seems retro: high-end local craft beers packaged in cans. But to Travis Guterson of Gig Harbor's 7 Seas Brewing, canning beer is a natural.
For one thing, cans offer extra protection against beer-skunking ultraviolet light. For another, cans are easier on the environment.
“It’s much cheaper to turn recycled aluminum into cans than it is to turn recycled glass into bottles,” says Guterson, a Bainbridge Island native. “We are a distinctly Northwest brewery that uses malts and hops from Washington and Oregon. We thought that the cans were inherently cool and a good representation of our style.” Two of 7 Seas' beers are available in cans: Ballz Deep Double IPA and British Pale Ale.
Canning isn’t without challenges, admits Guterson. “You have to overcome a lot of logistics." Still, canning appears to be catching on.
Seattle’s Two Beers Brewing offers three brews in cans, and Big E Ales and Fremont Ales have plans to begin canning soon.
Still, Guterson says, canning still gets a bad rap, thanks to the common belief that cans impart a metal flavor. Guterson says it doesn't. "We want everyone to know that you can get the same quality, shelf life and taste from a can that you can from a bottle."