Good Beer Hunting writes on the mobile canning revolution that ushered in the new wave of small breweries canning there releases:
Ever since Oskar Blues’ Dale Katechis dropped his eponymous Pale Ale into aluminum back in 2002, the packaging format has slowly crept into territory owned by bottled 12-oz. six packs and 22-oz. bombers. Even the ubiquitous growler is making way for metal. The development of compact sealers introduced the market to “crowlers”—a technology developed by can manufacturing giant Ball and pioneered by Oskar Blues, who also acts as the machine’s distributor. Just like with regular-sized cans, the lightweight and recyclable nature of these 32-oz. containers is pushing the popularity of traditional glass flagons to the side.
But something that’s changed dramatically over the past decade or so is the consumer perception surrounding the quality of canned products. Even in the early 21st century, many beer drinkers—especially the early adopters of craft—considered cans to be inferior to bottles. These containers were the hallmark of mass-produced light Lagers, after all. (As it turns out, many craft diehards are coming around to that style as well.) Even folks like Katechis were worried—he admitted in a 2012 interview with CNBC that cans would be perceived as a “gimmick.” Those fears, with time, were ultimately unfounded.