Friday, November 05, 2010

Craft Beer in Cans

Last Friday kicked off the first weekend in our new house, so I thought I'd pick up a few beers on my way home from work. Using the extremely useful web site that is The Beer Mapping Project, I scouted out a couple locations that are on my walk home from the train. There were two, as depicted on the map below:

Wollaston Wine and Spirits is actually along my walking route, while the curiously spelled Wolliston Supreme Liquors is actually about 1/10 of a mile out of my way. But, it didn't take long to realize that the latter has better selection, so that's where I ended up.

Since it's still a 15-minute walk home from there, I had my sights set on some good craft beer in cans, which, of course, would feel much lighter in my backpack. I already have a couple favorites that are sold in cans, but I ended up opting for something new to me. My selection was Snapperhead IPA, brewed by Garrattsville, New York's Butternuts Beer and Ale.

I'd only just recently heard of this brewery, and I didn't realize until now that they're another brewery in Otsego County, an area that is fast becoming an upstate New York haven for craft beer. Located only half an hour from Cooperstown, Butternuts will be an easy side trip on my next journey to the "birthplace of baseball."

Snapperhead IPA is curiously described on its can as "all malt," which initially seems to be an odd characteristic for the style. But, then again, what exactly do they mean by "all malt"? My assumption is this implies there is no use of other fermentable adjuncts, such as sugar, and that it has nothing to do with the beer's hops/malt balance. In fact, while this one is not as overwhelmingly hoppy as some IPAs, there is no doubt of their presence.

I've read some pretty lukewarm, and even some bad, reviews of this beer elsewhere online, but I don't agree with them. To me, it's a fairly well-balanced high octane IPA. It's definitely a little higher on the malt side of the equation than most brews of the style, but it has a nice hoppy finish. I'm not raving about it, but I'm looking forward to drinking the four remaining beers from the six-pack I purchased last week.

Tonight, I picked up a six-pack of one of the more established and well-known canned craft beers. But, I'll write about that one later.

Instead, I'll explain my new quest. For the remainder of this fall and through the winter season, I plan to seek out as many canned craft beers as I can, with the goal of finding and identifying the best of the lot. So, come next March or so, be on the lookout for the post that will summarize my findings.


  1. Congrats on your new home!

    I've always enjoyed Brookyn Lager in a can, served at NY stadiums. Beats a Bud Lite in plastic bottle.

    Been meaning to tell you, Chuck. Had a big bottle of Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary the other day. It's a perfect 10 for me. I can't think of another beer that I felt was a flawless as this one.

  2. Thanks Joey...for the congrats and the beer tips, of course.

    Aren't there like four different versions of Sierra's 30th? Which one did you have? Where did you get it?