Bad beer comes in cans. There's no denying it -- images of sloppy NASCAR fans and drunken frat boys have done much to taint the perception of canned beer, as has the mass-market swill that's often inside.
But in recent years there's been a canning revolution -- a "canversion," if you will -- among craft brewers. From the thickest stout to the bitterest IPA, the range of delicious beers found in cans is growing by the day, making shotgunning and days at the track that much more enjoyable. Here are ten of the best you can buy.
1. Hop Knot
Four Peaks Brewing Co.
The newest comer to the canned crew, Hop Knot uses four different hops added at different times in the brewing process, and they all combine in sweet piney, grassy, harmonious brightness. Owner Jim Scussel once told us this is favorite beer because it's the most balanced Four Peaks produces, and we have to agree. Sweet caramel malts fuse with a powerful hoppiness in perfect congruity.
2. CoCoNut Porter
Maui Brewing Co.
With their main brewery located on the namesake island, Maui Brewing (who will soon begin distributing to Arizona!) made the decision long ago to can every one of its beers. Because the Hawaiian islands host millions of tourists every year, they say, cans help keep beaches free of broken glass, plus they're recyclable, easier to chill and carry, and perfect for the beach. CoCoNut Porter, brewed with six malts and hand-toasted coconut, tastes like an Almond Joy and is the best thing to come out of Hawaii since the hula.
Butternuts Beer & Ale
Say it again: Porkslap. This epically-named brew from New York brings to mind bored farm kids getting into antics at night. "Hey Cletus, want to go cow-tipping?" "Naw, let's go see the pigs. I haven't had me a nice porkslap in a while." Flavored with bright hops and fresh ginger, Porkslap's a 4.3 percent ABV pale ale that's keep you slapping pork all night long.
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10. Buried Hatchet
Southern Star Brewing Co.