In 2002, Oskar Blues Brewery did the unthinkable—they put their craft ales and lagers in cans. Back then, cans were the provenance of only cheap and novelty beers. Today, it’s a different story. Many craft brewers have started canning because when they’re sealed properly, cans deter two culprits of skunking—light and oxygen—better than bottles, and that means fresher-tasting beer. They’re also easier to recycle and transport. On the lighter side, there’s Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils, a refreshing Czech-style lager with big fizz and hints of lemon and honey. For the hopheads, Lexington’s West Sixth Brewing Company makes an IPA that slaps the tongue with woodsy pine and tropical fruit flavors. And not to be outdone, MadTree Brewing Company in Columbia Township is the first modern Ohio craft brewery to deal only in cans and kegs. The Gnarly Brown is part toasty brown ale, part creamy porter, and all in the can.
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