Which tastes better- beer in a can or bottle?

June 01, 2023 | Food Testing Lab

Answers with regards to the age-old debate of whether beer tastes better in a can or bottle have been inconclusive. Food scientists from ACS Food Science & Technology tried to address this dilemma by stating that it depends on the type of beer. For instance, amber ale stays fresher in bottles while container choice makes little difference in India Pale Ale’s (IPA) stability.

Odoo image and text block

Aside from water and ethanol, beer contains thousands of flavor compounds and metabolites that undergo chemical reactions when stored. This results in the breaking down and forming of components, contributing to the aging or staling of beer.

To prolong shelf life, the researchers examined beer aging by focusing on light lagers and limited groups of chemicals, extending the work done on amber ale and IPA and other additional compounds. They also conducted the first stability comparison of beer stored in glass bottles versus aluminum cans.

 For a month, canned and bottled amber ale and IPA were chilled. For another five months, the beers were then kept at a room temperature mimicking the typical storage conditions. The team analyzes the metabolites of newly opened containers every two weeks. They observed that the concentration of some metabolites, such as amino acids and esters, in amber ale significantly differed depending on its packaging type.

On the other hand, IPA was much less sensitive to the packaging due to its higher concentration and presence of polyphenols from hops. These compounds prevent oxidation and bind to amino acids, retaining them in the beer rather than getting stuck to the inside of a container.

Moreover, the metabolic profiles of both beers changed over time regardless of whether they are packaged in a can or bottle. The difference - amber ales showed greater variation during aging.

Odoo text and image block

Understanding how these changes affect flavor helps brewers in making well-informed decisions about the packing type best suited for a particular type of beer.

Back To Top
We are fully compliant with the GDPR laws. We promise to safeguard your data and protect your privacy rights.