Good Beer Hunting writes on the mobile canning revolution that ushered in the new wave of small breweries canning there releases:
Ever since Oskar Bluesâ€™ 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 â€œcrowlersâ€â€”a technology developed by can manufacturing giant Ball and pioneered by Oskar Blues, who also acts as the machineâ€™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 thatâ€™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 drinkersâ€”especially the early adopters of craftâ€”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 worriedâ€”he admitted in a 2012 interview with CNBC that cans would be perceived as a â€œgimmick.â€ Those fears, with time, were ultimately unfounded.