7 Reasons Why Beer Tastes Better in a Bottle
If you’re a beer lover, you probably have a preferred way of enjoying it: draft, can, or bottle. Beer on draft and in can have their advantages, but ultimately, beer tastes better when it’s from an ice cold, freshly opened bottle.
Beer tastes better in a bottle because the bottle keeps the beer cold and there’s no metallic taste from an aluminum can. Additionally, bottles are more aesthetically pleasing and traditional, which enhances the overall drinking experience.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why bottles are the best vessel for your brew than the alternatives.
1. Bottles Keep the Beer Cold for Longer
Everyone knows beer tastes its best when it’s ice cold. After all, the phrase is “cracking a cold one with the boys,” not “cracking a lukewarm one with the boys.”
The temperature of your beer greatly influences your enjoyment of it as well as the overall flavor. Cold taste buds work less efficiently than warm ones, so the colder a drink is, the less likely you are to pick up on some not-so-tasty subtle flavors in the beer.
While it may seem like a bad thing to not be able to taste every flavor in a beer, in most cases, it is preferred, especially if you’re cracking open cheaper beer where you’re less focused on flavor and more on the drinking experience.
Almost all beers taste better when they’re ice cold, but especially light beers, such as Miller Lite, Bud Light, and Coors Light. For more information on light beer, you can read my article: What is Lite Beer?
Furthermore, colder temperatures expand the lifespan of carbonation. If your beer stays cold, it will also stay bubbly, which enhances the taste.
Therefore, one of the biggest advantages of bottles as a vessel for beer is that the glass of the bottle keeps the beer colder for longer.
Aluminum warms quicker when it is hand-held than glass does, which means that the beer inside will warm faster, negatively impacting the taste. This is especially true in warm environments.
Therefore, if you’re drinking beers on a hot day, you’re far more likely to enjoy the experience if you drink from a glass bottle than if you drink from an aluminum can.
The heat from your hand can still transfer to a glass bottle, though. It just takes longer for heat to transfer through glass than it does through aluminum. If you’d like to keep your beer cold for even longer, I recommend getting some beer bottle koozies or sleeves.
These FRRIOTN Neoprene Beer Bottle Holders are practical and useful tools for enjoying your bottled beer. I like how soft these sleeves are to the touch and the material effectively absorbs condensation.
Alternatively, you could invest in a bottle cooler for beer, such as this UNIQ Stainless Beer Bottle Holder. This bottle acts as an insulated bottle cooler, and it is extremely effective thanks to its double wall vacuum insulation. It is also made of high-quality stainless steel.
2. There’s No Metallic Scent Interfering With the Taste
One of the biggest complaints people have about drinking beer from a can is that the beer tastes metallic. Beer has many complex flavors, but metal should not be one of them.
For more information about the many different tastes of beer, you can read my article: What Does Beer Taste Like?
It’s a common myth that metal from aluminum cans can seep into the beer inside, causing the beer to taste metallic. Beer cans are lined with a polymer coating on the inside, which means that the liquid never actually comes into contact with any metal.
However, your sense of smell largely influences your experience of taste. In fact, as much as 80% of your experience of taste can be determined by your sense of smell.
Therefore, if you are getting a metallic taste in your mouth as you drink beer from a can, it’s probably because you have a good sense of smell and you can’t get past the smell of the aluminum.
You can fix this problem by pouring the beer into a glass, but you may not always have glasses available or want to carry them around. Therefore, it is best to simply start out with glass in the first place: a bottle.
Glass bottles do not have as strong a smell as a metal can (unless they’ve been stored improperly), so you don’t have to worry about the smell interfering with your enjoyment of the taste. You also won’t have to worry about pouring your beer into another container to enjoy it.
3. Dark Bottles and Tight Caps Keep Out Air and Light
If a bottled beer is stored properly away from sunlight and the cap was manufactured and applied correctly, it is quite effective in keeping out excess air and light, especially if a dark brown bottle is used.
If air and light are kept away from the beer, it won’t become “skunked” or oxidize too quickly. Skunked beer has an unpleasant odor (hence the name) because of chemical changes brought on by sunlight.
For more information about how beer can go bad, you can read my article on how long beer actually lasts.
You probably don’t like the taste of stale or skunky beer, and you’re not alone. According to research published in the Journal of the Institute of Brewing, drinkers prefer fresh beer over lightstruck beer no matter the brand.
In general, bottled beer does a sufficient job of preventing too much sunlight or air from reaching the beer, which prevents skunking and makes for a great-tasting brew.
4. Dirty Tap Lines Aren’t Interfering With the Taste
There are a lot of great things to be said about beer on draft, as it is often the freshest way to enjoy a beer (although not always) and there’s something special about going to your favorite bar and seeing what’s on tap.
For more information on draft beer, check out my video on the topic on YouTube:
However, draft beer isn’t without its concerns. One major issue is that draft beer lines are prone to mold and other bacteria that influence the taste of the beer. Even the best-brewed beer won’t taste good coming out of a dirty tap line.
If you order a beer on tap and it tastes sour, that’s a pretty clear indication that something is interfering with the taste, most likely something from the tap line.
Unless, of course, you’ve ordered a sour beer. In this case, a sour taste is welcomed. For more about sour beers, you can check out my article on the topic: What is a Sour Beer?
Beer lines should be cleaned at least once a week, but there’s no guarantee that the bar staff or the distributor at the bar you attend is doing so. If you order a bottle instead, you won’t have to worry about the possibility of bacteria from the beer line sneaking its way into your glass.
Another problem with draft beer is that it needs to be poured by a well-trained hand. Have you ever gone to a bar, ordered a beer on draft, and then gotten a glass half-full of foam?
If you order a bottle, you won’t have to worry about a bad pour! Additionally, as long as the bottle is kept at the right temperature, there won’t be a problem with excess foam.
5. You Don’t Have To Worry About BPA
Aluminum beer cans are usually lined with polymeric coatings to prevent the beer from touching the metal. However, these coatings are major sources of exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is a chemical that is used to make resins and plastics.
BPA can migrate in small amounts into your canned beer and have harmful effects on your health. It’s a synthetic chemical known to interfere with your testosterone and thyroid hormones.
Overconsumption of BPA can lead to the following problems:
- Breast cancer
- Liver damage
- Reproductive problems
- Reduced sperm count
- Prostate inflammation
- Thyroid cysts
- Pituitary gland cysts
Most canned drinks, even those that say “BPA-Free” on the can, contain small traces of BPA. Of all canned beverages, beer has the highest concentration of BPA in the can lining.
BPA is generally tasteless and odorless, so it won’t actually interfere with the taste of the beer. However, there’s something to be said about the piece of mind that comes with drinking from a bottle without having to worry about health issues.
While it might seem like nothing more than a minor inconvenience, taste can be cerebral as much as physical. Similar to how your mother’s home cooking tastes better than almost anything else, what is going on in your mind can be a powerful component of taste.
For this reason, if you brew your own beer, I highly recommend bottling your homebrew. I recommend the Otis Classic Swing Top Glass Bottles from Amazon. I like these bottles as they are BPA-free, durable, and dishwasher-safe.
To make your homebrew even more unique, you can get custom labels created with your name, the name of your beer, where it was made, the ingredients, and anything else you’d like and place them on the bottle. This way, everyone knows who to thank for the delicious beer!
For more of my bottle recommendations, you can read my complete buying guide for homebrewing bottles.
Some home brewing kits come with bottles in addition to the other equipment you’ll need to start making your own brew. If you’re interested in purchasing a home brewing kit, I have some recommendations on the best kits for beginners.
6. Bottles Are More Aesthetically Pleasing
Drinking a beer is about more than just taste; it’s about the experience, and part of that experience is aesthetics. Bottles are better-looking than cans, as cans are cheaper and have a reputation of being less refined.
Furthermore, glass bottles can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, whereas cans only have a few standard sizes.
If you want to give the appearance of class and elegance while you’re drinking your beer, bottles are the way to go. If you feel good about the look of your beer, you’re more likely to feel good about the taste, too.
7. Bottles Are More Traditional
Selling beer in cans is a relatively new phenomenon, whereas glass bottles have been used for many years, as far back as the 16th century. Beer bottles are so significant that they are seen nowadays as historical artifacts and collectibles.
One of the best parts of drinking beer, aside from its taste, is that you’re participating in a tradition that goes back hundreds of years. If the beer is in a bottle, you’re more likely to feel that significance than if you’re drinking from a can.
Commercial bottling of beer began in the 17th century. Glass was the preferred method of holding beer because it kept the beer fresh for longer, especially if you use dark brown glass. When dark brown bottles became unavailable during World War II, manufacturers switched to green.
After the discovery of fermentation and the development of the railroad system in the United States, bottled beer became an important product and companies stamped their name on their bottles with the hope of getting them back. These bottles traveled far and wide.
Nowadays, beer bottle collectors can enjoy finding all sorts of different bottles, including short porter and stout bottles, tall bottles from the 1870s, and embossed ale bottles.
The historical and traditional significance of drinking beer from a bottle may not directly influence how a beer tastes, but it can make the overall experience more enjoyable for the drinker.
Finally, there’s just something about cheering with your friends and hearing that satisfying clink of glass on glass, instead of a disappointing thud of aluminum cans and hearing the hiss of a bottle being opened. Bottled beer not only tastes better, it is a better overall experience.