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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hey Kevin: "Are aluminum cans bad for beer?"

Welcome back to Hey Kevin, our new "advice" and "information" column. Let's get right to this week's question.

John, drinking tea, wishes
it was this canned IPA instead
Hey Kevin, 

I work in a popular bar with a better-than-average selection of craft beer. With only so much space available for kegs, we keep a pretty extensive array of bottled—and, increasingly—canned beer on the menu. Herein lies the problem. Despite what the literature says, a good many of our customers, even the regulars, believe that aluminum cans have a negative impact on the beer inside. How do we convince them the opposite is true?

Rory in Chicago

Hey Rory,

No matter how positive the literature on canned beer—and it is positive—individuals not ready for aluminum will remain wary of it (for advice on combating their suspicion, see below). This through no fault of their own, but thanks in large part to the deeply persuasive propaganda machine set in motion by the Great Lakes Association of Sand Supporters, otherwise known as GLASS.

GLASS is a highly secretive (fictitious?) organization with a singular goal in mind: to see that all beverages are one day delivered in and consumed from containers made of glass. We should note that GLASS is not gunning only for aluminum beer cans, but for boxed wine, cardboard milk cartoons, even Capri Sun pouches. Furthermore, their disdain arises not for any financial reason—ironically, GLASS has no stock in the glass industry—but stems rather from an abiding love for glass blowing, the process (some say art) by which molten sand is turned, as if by magic, into an empty vessel.

Google as you might, you'll find nary a sentence on the internet that refers either to GLASS or their dubious campaign to discredit the aluminum can—such is their ability to cloak themselves in darkness and mystery. How do I know all this? As much as it pains me to say, I used to consult for GLASS, working on their most nefarious anti-juicebox material. And though that chapter in my professional life shames me to no end, I see now that I can redeem myself by offering you, Rory, an easy solution to your problem: hugs.

Yes, hugs. Give one away with each canned beer you sell and see how quickly perceptions change. Truth be known, the most effective way to combat the false mythology surrounding aluminum cans is to displace it with positive associations, and what's more positive than a hug? Of course GLASS knows this and counts on the fact that individuals, particularly strangers, especially men, are not likely to embrace in crowded barrooms. That may well be. What GLASS forgets is that one other thing works as well if not better than hugs. Puppies.

Yes, puppies. Give one away with each canned beer you sell and see how quickly perceptions change. Failing that, just put the canned beer on special once or twice a week. People will eventually come around.

Hope this helps.


PS. I don’t want to alarm you, Rory, but there is an even more sinister and secretive group lurking out there, the World Organization for Oak Development (WOOD). It’s their goal to see that all beverages, even milk and cough syrup, are one day shipped in small wooden barrels. Though GLASS is scary, it’s WOOD that keeps me up at night.

The views expressed here are (a) satirical, and (b) Kevin's own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Buzz staff or its parent company, Siciliano's Market. Have a question in need of answering? Submit it to

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