Last weekend I decided to perform a little science experiment in my apartment. After sitting through countless commercials for “wide-mouths,” “vortexes,” and their like during two days of nonstop football watching, I bought as many different beer can and bottle variations that I could find and evaluated their design. After a long day of drinking and research, I found that most of the modern innovations in beer can technology are legitimate and improve, to varying degrees, the drinking pleasures of putting back a cold one. Check out my findings after the jump.
1. The Guinness CO2 Ball
In 1991, Guinness was awarded the Queen’s Award for Technology for the nitrogen ball that the famous Dublin brewery puts in its beer cans so that home drinkers and pubs without a tap can replicate “the perfect pour” while serving Guinness out of a can. What took second place at the Queen’s Award that
year? The Internet (fact). Guinness’s extraordinary innovation, called the “widget,” releases a small amount of pressurized beer when the can is open through a tiny hole in the ball, which agitates the beer just enough to release the right amount of CO2 to form that frothy head we all enjoy.
2. The Coors Light Blue Mountains
When your beer is as cold as the Rockies, the mountains on the label turn blue. What a great idea. It works, too. Coors uses a reversible temperature-sensitive ink to produce a finished ink that changes color.
3. The Aluminum Bottle
Basically a bottle and can hybrid. The aluminum bottle is eco-friendly and blocks light from getting to the beer, which keeps the beer colder for longer.
4. Beer Bottle Shades
There are four common shades you find on beer bottles: clear, brown, green, and yellow. There is a reason behind each one. As Sam Adams founder Jim Koch will remind you, the brown bottles protect the beer from the sun’s UV rays, which allows the beer to stay colder and fresher. The green and yellow bottles do the same thing, just not as well as the brown ones. Clear bottles are used when the company wants you to see the beer in the bottle, so it’s more or less a marketing tool — think Corona. Unfortunately, the clear bottles expose the most light to the beer, which could make the beer warm and damper your day-chay drinking experience.
5. The Coors Vented Wide-Mouth Can
Our friends from Colorado also give us the wide-mouth, “vented” can. It makes the beer a little easier to drink and is prime for chugging. It’s certainly more effective than Miller’s vortex bottle.