Boston Beer Co., one of the oldest -- and largest -- craft beer brands in America, announced this week that it would begin canning its signature Samuel Adams Boston Lager. The amber lager will be available in specially designed "Sam Cans" this summer, and the move is a change in direction for the craft giant that declared in 2005's "Craft Beer Bill of Rights" that "Beer shall be offered in bottles, not cans, so that no brew is jeopardized with the taste of metal."
Craft beer in cans is nothing new. Colorado's Oskar Blues Brewery was the first craft brewery to can itsbrews, more than 10 years ago, and the company fought an uphill battle against the idea that only insipid lagers come in cans. Beer drinkers may have been slow to accept quality beer in cans, but today there are dozens of breweries -- including L.A.'s own Golden Road Brewing -- that package their brews in cans.
Even with canned craft beer becoming more commonplace, there are still many myths and misconceptions about the process and purpose of canned beer. Jim Koch's fear of cans imparting a metallic taste to the beer isn't an issue because beverage cans are lined with a plastic epoxy to prevent this. Though, this lining does contain the possibly dangerous chemical BPA, and the Canadian government confirmed that BPA will leech into the beer from this lining (PDF link).