August 31, 2010
I distinctly remember an event that transpired about two and a half years ago. I was sitting at Flying Saucer in downtown Fort Worth, Texas. A few minutes later two guys walked in and sat down next to me. When one of them saw Dale's Pale Ale on the beer list, he became unbelievably excited.. He launched into this big thing about how it's the most amazing beer ever, how this is the first time he'd found it in Texas, and generally kept hyping it to the sky. When the bartender brought it out, I looked at it and blurted out: How could this possibly be the best thing ever? Look at it... it's in a can!
Of course, my reaction was based on a fallacious belief. It could be argued that (at least up until that point) all good craft beers came in glass; Dale's Pale Ale came in can; therefore Dale's Pale Ale couldn't be a good craft beer. But the premise is all messed up. Just because all good craft beers happened to be bottled in glass didn't mean that they couldn't be canned.
In fact, if it's true that cans actually allow for higher quality of beer (and I find some of Johnson points pretty compelling) then stigma seems to be the only thing standing in the way of a structural shift in the industry.