The 11 Best Canned Beers in the Country

Categories: Top Lists

Zach Fowle
The first beer can -- a heavy-gauge steel number that had to be stabbed open with a sharp piece of metal -- first hit the market almost 80 years ago. I envy the beer bloggers of those days. With just two beers available (Krueger's Cream Ale and Krueger's Finest Beer), ranking the best canned beers in the country would've been pretty easy. How far we've come:, an online database of canned craft beer, has catalogued nearly 1,500 brews packaged in aluminum. Choosing the best among them is no longer such a simple task.

Not that we'll stop trying. Some of the best canned beers in the country were announced as winners in the AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival's medal competition Saturday (you can view a video of the medal ceremony here, if you're so inclined). But many more fantastic aluminum-housed ales and lagers weren't even sent to be judged. Here, we rank 11 beers you won't find at this Saturday's festival -- the best canned beers in the U.S.

See also: Here Are the Winners of the AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival -- and Details About the Event This Saturday

Brewery Vivant - Tart Side of the Moon
Belgian Strong Ale
9.8 percent ABV
Available in: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Fermented with a blend of two Belgian yeast strains, and aged three months, Tart Side of the Moon blends funky tartness with darker flavors of chocolate, black cherries and coffee beans. Plus if you drink it while watching The Wizard of Oz, the flavors totally match up, man.

Cigar City Brewing - Tocobaga
Red Ale
7.2 percent ABV
Available in: Tampa, Florida

The Tocobaga were Florida natives who lived in Tampa Bay hundreds of years before the Spanish arrived in the 1500's. They live on in this incredible red that balances piney hops and woody notes with a punch of caramel and toasted bread rolls.

DC Brau Brewing Co. - On the Wings of Armageddon
Imperial IPA
9.2 percent ABV
Available in: Washington, D.C.

First brewed to commemorate/drink away the horrors of the Mayan apocalypse that was supposed to happen in 2012, On the Wings of Armageddon gets it intense hop character from Falconer's Flight, a blend of some of the Northwest's most popular hop varieties. The result is a tongue-bruiser with notes of juicy grapefruit, papaya a fresh-cut grass.

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sneadh topcommenter

For those with a can fetish?   Otherwise,  let's hear about "best beer".


MN resident here.  Never seen a one of these in the store but for the local one.  And Coffee Bender is indeed one of my favorites.  Get up on a Sunday morning to a mug of coffee on the way to tailgate a Vikings game, and crack one or two of these as a transition to other more beer-y beerswhen you get there.  Nothing better to drink at 8AM.

However, Surly's best is Wet, a wet hopped that is, of course, only available right after the hops harvest.  If you like a resinous IPA, get some of it this fall!

Other MN honorable mentions, both from Indeed Brewing: Midnight Ryder, and Day Tripper.


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Paul Falsone
Paul Falsone

No Oskar Blues (craft beer in cans O.G.'s), no list

Ry Gavin
Ry Gavin

An interesting list for travelers and beer traders, I suppose. Kinda of surprised Lumberyard's GABF Gold medal Knotty Pine didn't make the list.

Chris Nostrand
Chris Nostrand

I've had two. Hop Drop & roll and Headdy Topper.

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