Hoppy Happiness – Canned Beers

by Jenny Benzie, Advanced Sommelier + Certified Wine Educator, Proprietress of Épernay Wine & Spirits

Life is full of choices these days, including the selection of exciting, tasty canned beers currently available on the market. With the rise of numerous micro-brews across the United States in every region, along with consumers’ demands to make these new beverage offerings fun, whimsical, and more accessible, it is easier than ever to find your own hoppy happiness in a vast variety of styles and sizes in a beach friendly version. What this means for you is that your beach cooler won’t be as heavy as it was when filled with glass bottles, your beer will chill much faster coming from a can, and several of these beer offerings are now available in a more convenient 4-pack (versus a serious commitment of six) when trying out something new.

Not sure where to get started on this new beer adventure? Here is a quick list of small-town brew heros worthy of your attention.

Wormtown “Be Hoppy”… This brewery all began at an ice cream shop. Ben Roesch wanted to create a brewery in his hometown of Worcester, MA. Meanwhile, Tom Oliveri was trying to figure what exactly to do with the new addition to his restaurant that was an ice cream factory. The two joined forces in the beer world and took it one step further by being committed to remaining local and working with locally sourced ingredients. Why the name Wormtown? Because the owners thought it was way cooler than calling the brewery Worcester Brewing Company.

Be Hoppy is a year-round offering that is a take on a Left Coast India Pale Ale, also known as a variation of an American-style IPA. That means it has huge aromatics with a high concentration on citrus aromas and flavors. Tons of hops are used in the double dry hop and hop back process in order to achieve such concentration. Super hoppy and slightly bitter to say the least. Two Roads “Zero to Sixty” … Two Roads is a concept developed by four beer industry veterans who saw an opportunity not only to successfully enter the craft beer market, but also to rehab a building in an area that needed a little local love. This brewery is located in Stratford, CT, just off of Interstate- 95, in an old manufacturing building. It’s providing jobs in the area and an emerging community space for the region. The brewery concept is based on a “road less traveled” philosophy in the beers they produce and how they make them.

Zero to Sixty is an original tart India Pale Ale with big flavor that takes off the second it hits your mouth, yet is easy-drinking and well-balanced on the finish. This is referred to as “tart” because it has the clean, puckering tartness of a sour beer that is then nicely balanced by a using combination of specialized hops during brewing. Kettle souring is a technique used by brewers to add more acidity to beer and allows them to manage just how tart the beer gets without overstepping the line. With the use of certain strains of hops in the brewing process, the final product will result in the addition of a fruit component to the beer without actually adding any fruit to the beer itself. This seasonal offering from Two Roads is coming in hot and only available for a limited time this summer!

Glutenberg IPA … This new-on-the-scene brewery came about when two friends had the idea to brew gluten-free beer. When one of them was diagnosed with celiac disease many years prior, the two buddies were appalled by what the market had to offer in regards to gluten-free beer. They saw an opportunity to solve this problem by creating a beer that not only they could drink, but wanted to drink. Along the way to pursuing their ambition to brew the best gluten free beers, they feel that they have also created some of the world’s best tasting beers after their beers collected all three medals of the Gluten-Free Beer category at the most prestigious brewing intercontinental competition, the World Beer Cup

Brasseurs Sans Gluten (aka Glutenberg Brewery) is located across the border in Montreal, Canada. They brew exclusively from 100% gluten-free products. Their list of ingredients for this American style IPA includes: water, millet, buckwheat, corn, black rice, corn maltodextrin, hops and yeast. They feel this gluten-free offering is much better in taste quality than a lot of traditional American IPA’s that are not gluten free with the perfect balance of light citrus, fresh hops and a touch of bitterness.

Cisco Brewers Beach Box …. How many times have you seen something come to market and think to yourself “Now, why didn’t I think of that?” or “How come no one thought of this sooner?”

Cisco Brewery | Nantucket, MAThis is exactly the response to the new Cisco Brewers Beach Box variety pack. Our highlighted list of craft canned beer would not be complete without including our very own backyard brewery here on-island. Nantucket’s own micro-brewery has hit a homerun with the inception of this package, not just in the contents of the box, but also with the most apropos artwork of the package itself. When you have a group of friends or family gathering for a day at Cisco Beach, now you can please the palates of everyone with this sampler of four year-round favorites offered by Cisco Brewers. This party pack contains three cans each of the following: Sankaty Light Lager, Grey Lady Ale, Whale’s Tale Pale Ale, and Indie Pale Ale. A perfect gift to take home for yourself to reminisce about your time on island based on the brewery’s slogan of “Nice Beer, If You Can Get It.”

As you make your way to your beach destination of choice on Nantucket, please remember to drink responsibly, help keep the beach clean and enjoyable for all by throwing away your trash or recyclables in the proper receptacles and don’t forget your Koozie! #craftcans