12 July 2011

Taste the Difference in Cans v Bottles?

What is it? I am in Canada and I am drinking beer from a bottle! Back in the UK I leave that to the young ones generally speaking. I drink draught pints when in the UK and I mean the 568ml UK pints not the 473ml American pint.

Anyway, I go to my local beer vendor here in Canada (For the UK readers, stores like Safeway, Asda aren't allowed to sell alcohol, although there is talk of that changing) to get my beer. I have the choice of the same product for example Labatt's either in cans or bottles. I have mostly been buying cans, but yesterday I decided to go for the bottles, why? Well because I wanted to know if there was something I was missing out on. First and formost I must point out that I am missing out on 14ml if I drink from a bottle. Secondly, I have to use a secondary implement to open the bottle usually in the form of a bottle opener, although I have seen variants on this. Thirdly, the bottles don't fit into my fridge as well as cans! So I guess the important thing here is how does it taste? Some people swear that the drink tastes better in a bottle, I am unconvinced. I believe there is a common myth at play that has been driven by the media for years. Look at his image and ask yourself which one tastes better?

Probably most people will lean towards the glass bottle, this is where I believe the myth originated! It is engrained in our culture, based in our social upbringing and empowered by media. Simple fact is that the product is exactly the same no matter what package it comes in. I would probably have difficulty accepting this opinion however I had a realization here in Canada with the innocent product milk.

When I was young back in the UK we used to get milk delivered in glass bottles, in school at break time we used to get a little drink of milk usually in glass bottles. As I got older the local delivery milkman basically disappeared as they were in direct competition with superstores selling milk in larger quantities and larger plastic bottles. I was convinced that the milk didn't taste the same and when I would see milk in a small local shop somewhere that had milk in a glass bottle I would buy it and drink it thinking it tasted better than what was being sold in the supermarket.

However, here in Canada I go to the store and buy milk in large six pint plastic bottles, and you know what? It tastes great, it tastes like what I remember milk to taste like in the UK in the glass bottles. Which suggests to me something changed in the manufacturing process back in the UK. So it wasn't the container that changed the taste of the milk it was something that changed in the bulk manufacture of the milk in the UK.

On a side note to this can v bottle blog, some people may suggest an environmental opinion as to why people should use cans or bottles. I have looked into this and this argument is dependant on a number of variables such as recycling options in your area, transportation of raw materials and transportation of the product itself.

If anyone has any comments on this subject then please leave a comment as I would like to hear other peoples opinions.

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