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Not all great beer has to come in a bottle

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In case you missed it, there's a beer revolution going on. No, I'm not talking about craft and artisan brews, nor home brewing. They say that history repeats itself, and I remember a time when most beer came in cans. Then, beer snobs decided that quality beer should be stored only in bottles. Well, the latest revolution in the craft beer industry is canned beer. Yep, everything old is new again.

There are good reasons to buy beer in cans. Cans are lighter to carry than bottles, so they make for easier transporting for camping, hiking, fishing, tailgating and other outdoor activities. Cans also require less packaging than bottles, and are easy to recycle. Light doesn't penetrate cans like it does bottles, and cans have tighter seals than bottles, thus locking in flavor more efficiently. Cans don't shatter when you drop them on your kitchen tile floor. I am certainly not above drinking beer straight from a can, although most brewers would recommend pouring the beer into glasses, like you would with bottled beer.

A number of Utah brewers now make some of their beers available in cans. I'm pretty sure Bohemian Brewery was the first to do so, with its 1842 Czech Pilsener Lager. You'll find lower-alcohol canned beers in many supermarkets, and the higher-alcohol ones at bars and Utah liquor stores. Most 12-ounce cans run about $1.69-41.89, with larger 16-ounce cans from brewers such as Moab Brewery priced at $2.50. Here are a few good ones to pop open:

The aforementioned Bohemian Brewery 1842 Czech Pilsener Lager is my go-to canned Pils. It's about as close as you'll get to classic Pilsener without going to the Czech Republic, made with Saaz hops and pale Pilsener malts for that signature Czech flavor. It's a beer to have fun in the sun with. At the darker end of the taste spectrum, I also like the 5.3 percent ABV Bohemian Brewery Düsseldorfer Altbier. Its combination of robust caramel malts and up-front hops make for rich, silky sipping.

If you like apples, you'll love Wasatch Brewery's Apple-a-Day Apple Ale. It's a 5-percent ABV canned beer with a thin white head, brimming with apple fragrance and flavor—a crisp, clean-tasting brew that sits somewhere between a beer and a cider. New to Utah stores is 6-percent ABV Wasatch Brewery Ghostrider White IPA, an unfiltered ale made from pale barley and citrusy hops with a bit of coriander brewed in, as well.

I really enjoy the aggressively hopped Uinta Brewing Hop Nosh IPA (7.3-percent ABV). This is a hophead's dream in a can with smooth malts plus hops, hops, and some added hops. I'm also a fan of Uinta's Yard Sale Winter Lager (available December through March). Toasted malts team up with Noble hops to create a lager with hints of caramel and vanilla. Yard Sale is a slam-dunk with moules mariniéres.

Moab Brewery packages its canned beers in 16-ounce cans, and one of my favorites is Moab Brewery Squeaky Bike Nut Brown Ale. This 4-percent ABV beer garnered a silver medal at the 2014 World Beer Cup in the Session Beer category. It's an English-style brown ale with dark-caramel & roasted malts, hopped with English Noble Hops.

At a whopping 9-percent ABV, you'll want to handle Squatters Hop Rising Double IPA with kid gloves. This dry-hopped IPA is among the best canned beers I've tried.

Epic Brewery, too, has gotten into the canned-beer game, and I'm especially fond of Epic Brewing Hop Syndrome Pils Lager. It's one of hoppiest lagers I've tasted, with refreshing crisp fruit notes and a somewhat tart-sweet finish.

Time to pop a can!

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