For years nobody who fancied themselves as a serious beer drinker would ever dream of drinking beer from a can, associating them with tinny, pissy lagers. If beer was being consumed outside of the pub, it was in a bottle – this is what I believed during the first 15 years of enjoying beer. In 2018, the tides have turned and the can reigns supreme in the beer world.
With the information in front of you, there’s no doubting the benefits of canned beer. Most importantly, they are better than bottles when it comes to blocking out beers biggest enemies, light and oxygen. Cans are lighter and better for transport and storage, they’re completely recyclable and since the aluminium is lined with aqueous polymer lining, there’s no metallic taste transferred to the beer. On top of all the practical benefits of canning beer, they can look pretty funky on bottle shop shelves. It makes a lot of sense that so many British breweries have invested stacks of money into canning lines.
When I was last in my local beer shop, Simply Local, shop owner Viks mentioned that it’s getting harder to sell bottles, as customers always seem to be drawn to the latest can deliveries from hyped breweries from around the world. He pointed to a bottle in the fridge to the left of the till.
“I’m taking this one home with me to try. We had them in a couple of weeks ago and we’ve not sold many”.
At a closer look, I realised it was a bottle of Falcone DIPA, a collaboration between Track and Deya, both really popular breweries in their own right. You’d certainly expect it to fly off the shelves, especially when there was only a limited supply, but according to Viks, it was overshadowed by can releases that came in the same delivery. Usually anything by Deya (whose beers are canned) sells out right away round here. Although they don’t have too far to travel from Cheltenham, Deya is like gold dust in the Midlands.
After a moment’s thought, I decided I’d treat myself to a bottle.
“Have this one bro, I’ll grab another one for me.”
Poured into my trusty To Øl glass, Falcone has a light golden colour, with a small white head that dissipates fairly quickly. There’s a light haze, but certainly nowhere near the opaqueness of a lot of the New England inspired IPAs and DIPAs that are so popular at the moment.
Buying so many cans has left my bottle opener pretty redundant over the last year or so, so it was satisfying to pop the cap and see the ‘smoke’ dance out of the bottle, bringing with it plenty of citrus aroma. In the glass, this DIPA is a joy for the nostrils, with aromas of orange, mango and passionfruit, combined with some subtle resinous pine notes.
Taking a big gulp, I immediately tasted fresh, tangy tangerine, mango, passionfruit and a little sweet malt. Along with the fruit and sweetness, Falcone is backed up by earthy pine and a pithy, zingy grapefruit edge to satisfy my cravings for bitterness, if only on a subtle level. The body is light to medium and carbonation is soft, making for a really drinkable beer, considering its 8.5% ABV. A grape-like dryness to the finish makes it an all the more refreshing ale.
All in all, the beer didn’t stay in my glass for long at all as it was calling out for hearty gulps rather sips. Since I was only having the one, I was happy to oblige.
VERDICT: Bottles are still cool when they are filled with awesomeness.