(Chico, CA) – Cicerone Certification Program™ founder, Ray Daniels, sparked some debate on Twitter over the past 24 hours when he shared comments regarding cans from Boston Beer Chairman, Jim Koch. A few tweets:
BeerPulse pinged Sierra Nevada Brewing Product Development Manager, Bill Manley, to get his take on it all. Coincidentally,
Daniels actually certified Manley as a Cicerone™ Manley passed Daniels’ Certified Beer Server exam (and awaits results of the Cicerone exam) so one would think Manley speaks from a position of credibility when it comes to beer flavor and science…
Says Manley, “I respectfully disagree with the notion that there is a flavor difference between our bottles and cans. We’ve done extensive (exhaustive?) sensory and analytical analysis that suggests otherwise. In hundreds of double-blind trials we’ve found no statistical or analytical difference in flavors. There is literally no difference between the beer in the can and the beer in the bottle. Occasionally they come from the same bright beer tank.”
Sierra Nevada puts live yeast into its Pale Ale cans so that it will ‘condition’ after packaging, much like it does with bottles. Torpedo, meanwhile, is not can-conditioned though it is tank-conditioned just like the bottled version.
Manley continues, “The plastic argument also doesn’t hold much water with our lab analysis. The plastic lining in cans can scalp flavor but crown liners can scalp as much, or more, than can liners. The plastic under a crown is more dense than can-liners and can have a far more detrimental effect on flavor, specifically hop flavor. Our research shows little-to-slight deviation in longevity and hop aroma trials over extended aging. In fact, it gives a slight edge to cans at 120 days.”
On a related note, sales for cans have been solid thus far, though, due to capacity constraints, the company has no plans to can additional brands through 2013.
“The latest numbers (through mid-June) show that we’ve sold about 240,000 case equivalents of cans so far this year. Overall, we are up significantly year-to-date with both Pale Ale and Torpedo. Most of that growth is coming from packaged beer rather than draught.”
Alright, readers. Where do you stand on this issue?