Beyond the Bubbles: Why Are Beer Cans Aluminum?
If you love beer, then you probably know that a lot has changed over the years. From the ancient Egyptians to modern-day brewers, people have been finding new ways to store and enjoy this beloved alcoholic drink. One of the most modern and popular ways to drink beer is through canned beer. You may have wondered why beer cans are made of aluminum instead of other materials like glass or plastic. This article will take you beyond the bubbles and answer the question: Why are beer cans aluminum?
History of beer cans
Before we delve into why beer cans are made of aluminum, let’s first take a look at the history of beer cans. Canned beer was first introduced in the United States in 1935 by the Krueger Brewing Company of Newark, New Jersey. But the cans that they used were made of steel and had a cone-shaped top. Steel was the popular choice of material for beer cans back then because it was cheap and readily available.
However, there were some problems with steel beer cans. They were heavy, which made shipping and storage difficult, and they were prone to rusting. Plus, the cone-shaped top didn’t let the beer pour smoothly, which caused a lot of spillage.
The rise of aluminum cans
In 1958, the Coors Brewing Company introduced the first aluminum beer can. Aluminum was a revolutionary material for beer cans for several reasons. First, it was lightweight, which made shipping and storage much easier. Second, aluminum was resistant to corrosion, which meant that the beer would stay fresh longer. And finally, aluminum cans had a flat top, which made them much easier to open and drink from.
It didn’t take long for other brewers to switch over to aluminum cans as well. By the 1970s, almost all beer cans were made of aluminum. Today, aluminum is still the most popular material for beer cans, with over 180 billion aluminum cans sold each year.
Benefits of aluminum cans
So why are beer cans aluminum? There are several benefits to using aluminum cans for beer:
- Aluminum is lightweight, which makes it easy to transport and store.
- Aluminum is resistant to corrosion, which keeps the beer fresh.
- Aluminum is infinitely recyclable, which means that it can be recycled over and over again without losing quality.
- Aluminum cans are easy to open and drink from, with a wide top that allows for a smooth pour.
- Aluminum cans are fully sealable, which keeps the beer from getting contaminated by outside air or other substances.
Environmental impact of aluminum cans
One of the biggest benefits of aluminum cans is that they are infinitely recyclable. Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum from raw materials. Plus, recycling aluminum reduces the amount of waste in landfills, which helps to preserve the environment. In fact, aluminum cans are the most valuable material in the recycling bin, with a recycling rate of over 65%.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Are aluminum cans bad for the environment?
A: No, aluminum cans are not bad for the environment. In fact, aluminum cans are one of the most environmentally friendly ways to package and transport beer. They are infinitely recyclable, which means that they can be recycled over and over again without losing quality.
Q: Can you recycle beer cans?
A: Yes, you can recycle beer cans. In fact, aluminum cans are the most valuable material in the recycling bin, with a recycling rate of over 65%. Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum from raw materials.
Q: Is beer better in cans or bottles?
A: It’s a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer beer in bottles because they believe it tastes better, while others prefer beer in cans because it stays fresher for longer and is easier to transport and store.
So why are beer cans aluminum? There are several reasons why aluminum cans are the most popular choice for beer packaging. Aluminum is lightweight, resistant to corrosion, infinitely recyclable, and easy to open and drink from. Plus, recycling aluminum saves energy and reduces waste in landfills, making it one of the most environmentally friendly packaging options available. Next time you crack open a cold one, remember that the aluminum can is not only convenient, but also beneficial for the environment.