“Rock, Paper, Scissors” – Glass Bottles Always Win

From David- Founder of Sommbeer:

Glass Bottles Always Win for Long Term Storage

When John Fahrner wrote about Cellar Phobia, he wrote about me (not true).
I buy, hoard and store a great deal of beer.  I made a cellar in my basement with solid walls and a lockable exterior door, just to store my stash.   My wife says I’m preparing for Armageddon in a manner that any good Irishman would do. Not sure about that, but I do call my cellar the “panic room” as it’s my happy place.  I made it to store bottles of beer and wine for long periods of time.  “I don’t always store beers for years but when I do…..I always buy bottles”.


The canning industry has touted the virtues of cans over bottles.  Their efforts ring hollow to me. It’s like those silly cards in your hotel room that tell you your towels and sheets will not be washed altogether too often – because we need to protect the environment.  They left the AC on in the room all day until 9pm when I opened the door, the environment?  Nope, they want to make a buck and there’s nothing wrong with that but we need to be honest.  Canning is good for Alcoa and canners, I would argue it’s also good for the small microbreweries.  Canning offers a low cost / low investment for a small brewer to start distribution and I think that’s great.  It’s just not great for long term storage.

Glass Bottle Advantages

1. Glass is inert
Aluminum is highly corrosive.  So much so that “canners” add a thin plastic lining to separate liquids from aluminum.  Don’t worry about drinking aluminum, worry about whatever is leaching out of that plastic after 5 years of storage.

bottle 1

2. Rigidity
Sounds dirty but let’s face it, nobody really wants to drink from a squishy bottle of anything, although I sometimes pine for my “sippy cup”.

3. Recycling
Home brewers all know that bottles can be recycled over and over again.  At my house we “convert” my beer bottles into bottles of Root Beer for the kids.

Can Advantages – Refuted

1. Cans Block UV
They do, so do brown glass bottles.  Long term storage should be done in a dark room or closet anyway. Next!

2. Cans are 1 complete package, no loose seals or caps
Loose caps on bottles were a concern 50+ years ago before the rubber seals were employed.  A can has multiple potential failure points ie. the top seal and serrated opening. Next!


3. Bottles Break
Don’t drop them. Next!
This one is true.  If you want to drink at the ballpark or in a boat it has to be a can but then we’re not really talking about beer storage here are we?

If I have a $5 of my precious beer and it’s going to be stored for 3-5 years it better be in a bottle but the next time you see me at the beach it will be with my favorite can.


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Founder at Sommbeer
Host of Sommbeer
Faith, Family and Beer always in that order.
"We don't take serious beer too seriously"
"I encourage you to accept my opinions as fact."
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