Green Beacon jumps on the can-wagon | The Gourmand & Gourmet

Green Beacon jumps on the can-wagon

There’s a bit of a commotion making it’s way through the beer world at the moment, all centred around the humble tinnie. Craft beer brewers the world over are switching from bottles to cans, despite the bad rep that the cans hold. Turns out, cans don’t make beer taste bad, bad beer makes beer taste bad. Added to that, cans are more environmentally friendly, easier and cheaper for everyone and everything involved and they look better to boot. What’s not to like? Green Beacon at Tenerriffe is one Brisbane brewery that’s jumped aboard the can-wagon, with a new canning line producing four of their top notch brews. Andrew Sydes, general manager at the brewery and proud holder of a job even better than ours (beer! all of the time!), took a few moments out of his busy day brewing, pouring and drinking beer to chat us about why beer in cans is better. Describe what it is you do so well in a sentence, you’re allowed to be modest. We’re all about crafting beers of quality and character for the sake of flavour and enjoyment, beers so good they make you proud they are made in your hometown. So craft beer in cans. What’s the story behind that? (Think of us as craft beer newbs.) Simply put, unless you can come to the brewery and drink the beer straight from our bright tanks, we need another way to get the beer to your mouth. Kegs are great but heavy and require lots of equipment to pour. Cans and bottles are far more portable and practical, and easy to open; you just need a fridge, a glass and a face. We firmly believe cans are a better vessel in which to transport our beautiful beers to your beautiful mouth. They protect and preserve the flavour of the beer better than bottles, they are safer than glass, lighter to transport and easy to recycle, you can take them camping, to festivals, in and around the pool and make wizard sticks. Does it change the taste of our beloved Green Beacon brews?  The short answer is no. The insides of the cans are coated in a food safe, water based lacquer that prevents any contact between the product and the aluminium. The long answer is that’s a far more complex question than most people realise. Beer made brewed for the sake of flavour and enjoyment should be poured into a glass to best enjoy it, so that takes away whether or not you prefer the tactile sensation or indeed the aesthetic of drinking from cans or bottles. Cans have garnered a pretty sketchy reputation for housing bad beer in the past, but it doesn’t help matters that most of the beers that have been put into cans in Australia were bad to start with. This bias means a lot of people will believe the beer tastes worse, when in actual fact in blind tasting canned beer tends to fair as well if not better than bottled beer. What does change the taste of fresh beer is an interaction between oxygen, temperature, various microbes, sunlight and time. Cans are the best defence against these spoilage factors. You’re setting the trend here in Brissie, think any other brewers around town will follow suit? Hopefully at some point. We’re relatively unique in that we are fortunate enough to have our own brewery where we brew and package all of our beer in Teneriffe, Brisbane on purpose built equipment. As Brisbane’s thirst grows and people start yearning for more quality, locally produced product I have no doubt there will be more along to help to meet the demands of the people. The more quality breweries that pop up around town the better, as it helps to introduce more and more people to the joys of good beer. Are all of your beers going to be available in cans? For now we’re starting with four, Cross Knot Kolsch, Wayfarer USA, 3 Bolt Pale and Windjammer IPA. We will bring out more of our range in future, but don’t hold your breath, it’s a very expensive process! Any new brews coming up we should know about? We are brewing Uppercut round 3 soon (approx 8.5% ABV Imperial IPA) and March will see the return of our Autumn seasonal, Red’s Dead, a West Coast Red ale. Tell us who, of all the amazing products Green Beacon has to offer, is your favourite child? I have a soft spot for our Barbary Coast American Brown, but right now I can’t keep away from 3 Bolt Pale.  Where is the best craft brew (besides Green Beacon) you’ve ever had? That’s tough, but I’m going to say Stone Brewing’s Oak Aged Arrogant Bastard Ale. Don’t bother trying to find it unless you’re in the US, and preferably on the West Coast or better yet, at the brewery. FRESH IS BEST! If you want to get your hands on a tinnie to try the canned brews for yourself, head to Green Beacon’s website and keep an eye out in good local, independent bottle shops and bars. Words by Ranyhyn Akui