We might be a little biased, but we consider aluminum cans to be a superior choice for breweries and beverage manufacturers. While there are many factors involved in selecting a container for your product, cans have several advantages compared to glass.
Light is one of the biggest enemies of product stability, and aluminum cans block 100% of visible and UV light. While it’s true that amber coloured glass bottles also block most UV light, they do still allow some visible light to pass through. Clear bottles offer very little protection against any light and necessitate storage in low light conditions for optimal shelf life, while cans can be stored in a well-lit location (with appropriate temperature controls, of course).
Another factor with a massive impact on your product’s quality & stability is oxygen. Oxidation can cause undesirable changes in aroma, taste, colour, and even affect its nutritional value, particularly when your product contains natural ingredients like fruit pulp and juice. Glass bottles allow oxygen to enter at the junction of the cap and bottle (or by diffusion through the cork in case of natural cork seals), and PET bottles allow oxygen through the bottle material itself. When properly seamed, cans protect your beverage from oxygen, keeping the product as close to its packaging day condition as possible.
Recyclability is increasingly important to end consumers, and while both glass and aluminum are technically infinitely recyclable, in practice aluminum is much easier to manage in normal recycling operations. Glass must be sorted by colour during processing to produce high-quality end products, while aluminum products may be intermixed. Broken glass is difficult (or impossible) to sort, which can make it cost prohibitive for recyclers to process and so may be discarded into a landfill despite the consumer’s intention.
This leads us to our next point: aluminum cans are more damage-resistant than glass bottles. A dropped empty can may not even pick up a dent, while a dropped empty bottle could mean glass shards all over your production facility (or your customer’s kitchen). A dropped full can might fizz up and leak, but a dropped full bottle is a tragedy of wasted beer. Even when damaged beyond usability, an aluminum can is generally much less hazardous than glass as it does not shatter into sharp pieces.
With gas prices on the rise, the cost of transportation may have a big impact on your bottom line if you’re packaging in bottles. A standard 355 mL long neck glass bottle weighs around 193 grams, meaning that approximately 35% of the total weight of the filled bottle is glass! In comparison, a 355 mL can & lid only weighs about 13.5 grams, representing about 4% of the total weight of the filled can. Cans are also able to be packed more tightly than bottles, further increasing the efficiency of transport. Beyond the simple dollars and cents calculations, using fewer resources is a more responsible choice even if cost is not your main driving factor.
Finally, the thin walls and conductivity of an aluminum can mean it can chill faster, so your customers can enjoy their beverage sooner! From shelf to fridge, you can expect a can to reach drinking temperature (~6 degrees C) approximately 6 times faster than a glass bottle.
It’s our business to support beverage producers of all sizes in choosing the best options for their packaging, and we believe that cans offer a host of benefits that tip the scales in their favour. BevCanDirect supplies cans in the most popular North American sizes, with a range of lids, carriers, and other accessories to make packaging easy, reliable, and scalable. Cans made simple!