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Sweetwater set to debut 420 in cans on Monday

420 & IPA Cans

Not that long ago it seemed like a crazy idea. But aluminum cans have become a ubiquitous craft beer delivery system.

Oskar Blues of Lyons, Col. was the pioneer, first producing its iconic Dale’s Pale Ale on a newly developed Ball small canning system in 2002.

Since then, more and more craft breweries, both big and small, have introduced canned versions of their most popular beers.

In 2012, Marietta’s Red Hare became the first Georgia craft brewery with a canning line and released its Long Day Lager in cans, followed by several more styles.

Now Sweetwater, Georgia’s biggest craft brewery, is set to release its top-selling 420 Extra Pale Ale in cans. Look for 420 in 12-packs of 12-ounce cans in stores on Monday. Later, 420 will be available in 16-ounce tall boys, too, along with 12-ounce and 16-ounce IPA cans.

The appeal of the latest generation of beer cans is obvious. They keep beer fresh by sealing out flavor destroyers like oxygen and light and new can liners prevent beer from coming in contact with aluminum. Plus, cans are easier to chill, carry and recycle and more environmentally friendly to ship and store.

Sweetwater installed a new German-made Krones canning line, which will run with specially designed Ball cans. Even more exciting, the beer will be “can-conditioned” with small doses of priming sugar and live yeast, then warm conditioned for five to seven days before shipping.

The result should be bubbly fresh beer, whether you pour it into a glass or grab a Koozie and glug it straight from the can.

I’m looking forward to trying my first canned Sweetwater 420 next week. And I’m hoping I will find Sweetwater IPA in 16-ounce cans at Turner Field on opening day.

Who knows, maybe Sweetwater in cans will even hitch a ride on a Delta flight sometime soon.

Do you drink canned beer? Are you happy that Sweetwater 420 and IPA will be in cans?

— By Bob Townsend, AJC Food and More blog.

19 comments Add your comment

MB

March 7th, 2014
3:54 pm

Yessssss. Just in time for summer. I almost exclusively drink beer I can get in can form now, so this is exciting. I wish Terrapin would go this route with varieties beyond the RecreationAle.

The Walrus

March 7th, 2014
3:55 pm

420 sucks, but the IPA is very good. Excited about the cans…and the tall boys!

The Walrus

March 7th, 2014
3:56 pm

MB, Terrapin will be expanding their can offerings soon.

Finn McCool

March 7th, 2014
4:04 pm

“The appeal of the latest generation of beer cans is obvious.”

And you can do shooters with a can!

Tom

March 7th, 2014
5:10 pm

I like Bud (regular) and Coors (regular) in cans. Pilsner Urquell in the bottle.

Ned Ludd

March 7th, 2014
6:40 pm

“can-conditioned”–hope it tastes the same as a bottle.
Terrapin also? Great.
Golfers everywhere say “Thank You”

David

March 7th, 2014
10:00 pm

Baltisraul....

March 8th, 2014
10:25 am

Ned…….I am a strict Bud man on or off the golf course. But I always try different beers but always go back to Bud. Boring beer guy! My back up is Sam Adams or Bock beer in the fall.

Jason E

March 8th, 2014
3:01 pm

Old Chub & Back in Black (21st Am) are my can go-tos but i’ll def add SW IPA to the list. I read in a Chatt paper article that Bobby said Red Hare made 1.5m profit last year. I wonder what % of success was due to canning?

B

March 8th, 2014
6:54 pm

Terrapin will be canning all their year-round beers by the end of this year.

Cheez Whiz is cheese peeing?

March 10th, 2014
8:59 am

I don’t understand how so many like 420. I never really cared for it as it was mediocre at best, but the last time I tried some, it was flawed. How are they able to do this? All I can gather is a post college aged pseudo hipster crowd that thinks drinking a local craft beer makes them cool.

There are many many choices that are superior to 420, and in cans. If you really want to be cool, drink what tastes good and not what the other posers are.

Cheers

tsj

March 10th, 2014
9:42 am

Blech, canned beer.

A

March 10th, 2014
2:05 pm

It’s a bit annoying that this blog has John’s name at the top yet most of the posts are not by him. Why not just call it the Food and More blog then?

Circle R

March 10th, 2014
2:50 pm

Will definitely be packing the canned IPA to the pool and the lake soon! Still will be pouring it into a cup, though…just can’t get the same aroma drinking from the can.

Pattty

March 10th, 2014
2:56 pm

Yay! I love the 420!

catdaddy

March 10th, 2014
3:00 pm

Great job, Sweetwater! I love canned beer for its portability. I prefer the SW IPA over 420 too -My favorite canned beers are Ranger and Dale’s.

mark

March 10th, 2014
3:05 pm

i was thinking it may be more awesome if they would put beer into capri sun packs…now that would be nifty

AzCat

March 11th, 2014
7:32 am

Really, CW? You put up a condescending, rude post and then close it with “Cheers”?

Bless your heart.

Tcope

March 11th, 2014
10:00 am

Just picked up a case of Red Hare cans at Costco at Cumberland! Who would believe that would occur.