Lion chief brewer Bill Taylor sees a trend among American craft brewers away from bottles and back to cans. Indeed, SanTan Brewing in Arizona hosted the third AmeriCAN craft beer festival this year, under the slogan, ''In cans we trust''.
Taking up the cause locally, Australian Brewery head brewer Neal Cameron now packages beer in elegant, slimline, 355ml cans for sale in Australia and export to the United States, Japan and, from 2014, India.
Cameron enthuses about the lower cost, lower weight and ease of packaging cans compared with glass. He also claims that quality is better with cans, because they're impervious to light and provide a better barrier against oxygen.
While exposure to light can damage beer, modern packaging technology should ensure little, if any, difference in oxygen levels between canned and bottled beer.
The Australian Brewery Pale Ale,
★★★★, 355ml can 4-pack, $16
Australian Brewery's naturally conditioned cloudy ale comes in a slim can that feels deceptively smaller than 355ml. As you pour, the abundant, dense white head says ''I'm very fresh'', an impression that is confirmed by the fruity, pungent-hops aroma and lively palate, also cut through with passionfruit-like hops flavours.
Monteith's Autumn Amber Ale,
★★★★, 330ml, $2.75
Monteith's offers the warmth and subtle, coffee-like flavours of roast barley malt, with the special fruity lift of ale and attractive hops. Green bullet hops provide the bitterness that offsets the malt sweetness, and Motueka hops, which are added late in the brewing process, give the aromatic lift