Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Jim Koch of Sam Adams scores points with the Curmudgeon by "insisting glass is best."

Thanks to loyal reader Dave for this self-explanatory link:

Head-to-head war: bottles vs. cans -- founder of Sam Adams sparks industry brouhaha by insisting glass is best.

I've had my differences with Jim Koch, but will go with him on this one. Here's the crucial excerpt:

Koch, considered a microbrewing industry pioneer, maintains that canned beer runs the risk of imparting a metallic taste. Although plastic protects the inside of the can, Koch says the tab and lip of the aluminum can -- where people sip their beer -- is exposed.

The undiagnosed problem is that people DRINK BEER FROM CANS. Insofar as the nation's mass-market swillmeisters condone such behavior, it hardly matters given the lack of flavor inherent in their products, but for a craft beer brewer to do so?

Hate to say it, but Koch's right.


Matthew D Dunn said...

I hate to say it, but I think the curmudgeon is wrong.

Clearly the benefits of canning beer outweigh the one POTENTIAL drawback: that when you drink it from the can it may impart a metallic taste. What about the cost? The protection from light? The 'unbreakableness'? THe 'lightweightness'?

I have no problem pouring my beer into a glass from a can and I'm sure you don't either. Have you ever had Dale's Pale Ale from Oskar Blues in Colorado? Really good canned beer AND in a blind tasting of American Pale Ales in the NY Times it was the highest rated brew.

Also, I think that Koch may have ulterior motives for making this statement that are related to his business concerns.

Sorry, this is my little pet peeve these days, anti can beer. Love the blog.

The New Albanian said...

Matt, there's no doubt that Koch has an agenda, and I won't dispute the blind taste test results, but my pet peeve is drinking beer from cans in the first place.

Then again, the merits of canning that you aptly describe mean little to me, as I try to place myself where it isn't necessary to do so.

You don't often find the Curmudgeon backpacking in the wilderness, unless the little park across the street from t'Brugs Beertje in Brugge counts 'cuz there's a tree or two there.

Thanks for reading. Anyone coming down for the hop fest in October?

Matthew D Dunn said...

I see where you're coming from, and in general, I think bottles are better if only because they are so much more aesthetically pleasing.

I will certainly be down to frolic in Lupulin Land.

Any sneak previews? Last year was great.

The New Albanian said...

Well, apart from one potentially big surprise and a half-dozen or so beer s different from last year, it'll be similar -- maybe with some t-shirts this year. I remain hesitant to try and build the hops fest into something like Gravity Head, both because the range of choices are fewer, and I'm too lazy to do that much work twice a year. Also, there are other fun things to be doing during autumn, perhaps more so than in spring -- Oktoberfest beers, pumpkin beers, cider tastings.

I'll be working on choices and posting lists as the days go by.

A final note: It is quite likely that Gravity Head will be moved forward into late February next year owing to scheduling conflicts during the usual beginning-of-March time. I'll let everyone know when it's a sure thing.