A decade ago, canning craft beer was a rebellious thought, but now even heavy hitters like Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada, Brooklyn Brewing and New Belgium have recognized the benefits. So get a load of the following palatable, portable brews—they’re sure to add quite a kick to your next picnic, patio party or beach bonfire...
Oskar Blues Ten Fidy From the folks that helped start the canned craft beer revolution, it’s the perfect thing to serve the naysayers who whine about not being able to get a decent canned beer. This sucker pours as black as oil. With plenty of roasted notes, hints of chocolate, coffee and oats, this 10.5% imperial stout demands respect.
Big Sky Brewing Co. Moose Drool Big Sky’s flagship beer, this brown ale is like a malt ball in a can. Hints of chocolate and caramel. It’s the taste of Montana, friends. Don’t be chased off by the name.
Avery Brewing Joe's Premium American Pilsner Ah, pilsner—the classic beer style that took over the world and the one most closely associated with beer in a can. Joe’s is a clean, crisp pils made with floral and spicy Noble hops. Like it says on the can, this ain’t your grandpa’s pils.
Uncommon Brewers Baltic Porter A Baltic porter in a can? Uncommon indeed. Some see this style of beer as a bridge between IPAs (hops) and Russian Imperial Stouts (dark). Licorice and espresso are common flavors, and you’ll also find some star anise in this beer. A 7.8% ABV keeps it from being too much of a tippler.
Tallgrass Brewing Company Buffalo Sweat This oatmeal cream stout boasts a sweet, silky mouthfeel, a layered cake-accentuated finish… and quite possibly one of the best beer names out there.
21st Amendment Brewery Marooned on Hog Island This silky smooth stout is made with—wait for it—oyster shells. That’s right, shells. They impart an earthy, briny flavor—you can taste the ocean.
Sunking Brewing Chaka A collaboration brew with Oksar Blues, Chaka has the distinction of being the first craft beer packaged in 16-ounce resealable metal bottle. Billed as a Belgian pale ale, its flavors include banana, clove and dark dried fruits. Walking around with a few will easily out you as a beer geek. But that’s a good thing, right?
Alchemist Heady Topper Waterbury, Vermont brewer John Kimmich once vowed he would never endanger his beer’s quality with bottles or cans. With lots of grapefruit and pine in the nose, this total hop bomb often sits atop best beer lists. And in case you wonder, Kimmich explains his choice to can here.
Cigar City Jai Alai Jai Alai might be a vanishing sport, but you can’t throw a stick without hitting an IPA in today’s craft world. Cigar City’s is rife with orange and pineapple notes (hops all over the place), but gets its high marks for a sweet, malty backbone that provides outstanding balance.
Brewer's Art Ozzy The label alone makes this beer awesome. What’s not to like about a beer called Ozzy adorned with tattooed knuckles and bats? Inside you’ll find a strong ale, with hints of pink bubblegum, orange rind and vanilla. In other words, Ozzy may be tougher on the outside than the inside, but it’s all good.