Just to review, it seems completely reasonable to me that more good beer should come in cans. The myth of canned beer tasting bad has been widely debunked. Modern cans use a liner that keeps the aluminum and the beer separate. In fact, cans completely protect beer from light, the most significant cause of beer degradation in shipping and shelving.
As I noted in my earlier post, cans are convenient. They're less prone to breakage when dropped or jostled around. They are light and compact. You can take canned beer places you would never take bottles. They are also easier to display on store shelves because they can be easily stacked.
Beyond convenience, cans offer are environmental benefits. Aluminum is the most recycled form of packaging worldwide. About 44 percent of an average aluminum can comes from recycled material. Obviously, cans are lighter and less costly to ship. Less energy is used in the aluminum can loop than with glass.
Given the various positive factors, I keep wondering why canned beer seems to cost more than bottles. I consistently see six-packs of cans priced between $9 and $12. Nearby, six-packs of similar bottled beer are selling for $8 to $10. What's up with that?
I've asked around. Nobody has a reasonable answer.
Does canned craft beer cost more because it's relatively new and the start-up costs are high? Well, this movement has been underway for several years. There's mobile canning out there now, so investment in an expensive canning line shouldn't be an issue. If it was an issue for places that jumped in early on, you'd think the start-up costs would be paid down by now.
Does it cost more because it's a novelty that can be priced higher with no effect on sales? If that's that case, craft beer in a can may stay a novelty. The current pricing structure offers little incentive to consumers who are open to switching to cans.
What about buying discounts? Are higher prices the result of retailers buying less craft beer in a can? It's easy understand why retailers might be reluctant to move away from bottles. Beer consumers have been conditioned to believe any beer in a bottle is better than the same thing in a can.
My thoughts? Even though canned craft beer makes good sense to me, the only solid selling point it has at the moment is convenience. For the movement to really take off, prices of cans will need to align fairly closely with prices on bottled beer.
Comments and explanations welcome.