Inspired by a recent post over at Facebook group Sydney Beer Club
more recently and a few others I’ve seen kicking around I thought I’d give the old Can vs Bottle side by side a crack.
My choice of beer was fairly easy to get hold of as it’s a largely distributed beer by one of the smaller craft breweries owned by a mass producer (in this case SAB Miller otherwise referred to as CUB here in Aus) Matilda Bay based out of Port Melbourne.
The reason I chose this beer other than it’s ease to get and is packaged in both Can & Bottle is that I used to drink a fair whack of it a few years back, so I’m extremely familiar with the taste, it’s a common entry beer for people stretching outside the mainstream and it’s a beer most people (well, down here) would be familiar with.
I will warn you, if you have a weak stomach you may wish to turn away now… what you read may be disturbing to weak stomached viewers. We’re going to do this battle int two rounds:
Round 1 – Direct from the packaging. Why? You may ask… well because that’s what people do. Not me, perhaps not you, but people. Some places don’t let you bring glass so you’re forced to drink from the can. Some parties you go to people hand you a bottle and don’t even own a glass you can borrow (which is why I always bring my own).
Round 2 – From the glasses best suited to a pale ale with a hop forward flavour the Spiegelau IPA glass otherwise known as The Olfactory Cannon.
Well, that’s the formalities out of the way, enter the two combatants…
Round 1 – From the Packaging
Can: Looking down through the mouth of the can I can’t see anything other than the top of the white head, this dissipates pretty quickly though. Liquid underneath looks clear.
Bottle: Clear, Translucent Brown… could just be the colour of the bottle though. No Head whatsoever.
Can: smells beery, like the morning after when you’re collecting the empties your mates decided would be a good idea to tuck down the back of the lounge half full instead of throwing or taking with them. slight nasty hop aroma there, can’t really detect what, could be the aluminium.
Bottle: aroma non-existent no matter how hard i try… there’s just nothing
Can: Sharp, bitter, a little metallic. a little bit of hop flavour on the back end amongst the bitterness. Not overly pleasant, more like a more bitter version of a macro like VB or XXXX than the beer I’m used to.
Bottle: a little more rounded, not a sharp bitter flavour like the can. More flavour from the hops poking through a bit more on the back end of the palate to.
The Bottle & Can tie on the visual, pretty much a no-brainer on that – you can’t see the beer in the can, but at least there’s head, the bottle you can’t really tell what the beer looks like, could be urine for all you know. The Can wins the aroma, it’s not necessarily great, but at least there’s something there… the Bottle brought nothing to the arena. The Bottle definitely wins the flavour, the can imparted it’s own flavour and I may as well have been hanging out in the park sucking down Tooheys Gold for all it mattered.
By my count with weightings of 30pts applied to Visual, 30pts applied to Aroma and 40pts applied to Taste I give this victory to Bottle 55 vs Can 45
Round 2 – From the Glasses
Both pour identically, big white head, hold for a fair amount of time, nice lacing on the glass as it reduces. Deep golden colour, great carbonation from the cannons.
Can: Nicely light floral aroma, sweet malt backbone. not a hop forward beer, but this isn’t meant to be. it’s not the Alpha Pale Ale. Quite pleasant.
Bottle: a little skunk on the nose, this overrides any of the floral aromas I may have picked up on with the can version. The malt is not able to be detected beyond it
Can: medium bitterness right up front followed by an nice subtle rounded hop flavour and that malt backbone finishing up relatively sweet and lingering.
Bottle: slightly sharper bitterness, not too high though – quite enjoyable with a more bitey hop flavour followed by a slightly watery malt finish.
It’s a Tie on the visual again, but this time we can actually see the beers are identical. The can picks it up on aroma and i’ll also give it to the can on the Taste too. the more rounded hop flavour and the mouthfeel winning me over every time with this style of beer.
On that basis Can wins this round with the final tally at 15pts for visual, 30 for the aroma and 25 for the taste – 70 points. a clear victory for the Can!
Note. Best before dates on these items were well into the future and are listed below, beers were purchased refrigerated from the same store and were kept refrigerated up until 30 minutes before the battle began.
Best Before Dates:
Can – 13Feb15
Bottle – 06May15
Anyways, on that note – I’m outta here – cheers to beers!
ok one more pic