There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.

                                                                                –Nelson Mandela

If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.


                Times change, and people change. When I was a kid — which was more years ago than I care to admit — canned beer was a sign that you were having a pretty common good time. Strohs, Carlings Black Label, Falstaff, Hamm’s, and Heileman’s Old Style were pretty common in my house, and nine times out of then they were a canned sixer from Herman’s Liquors on the west side of town. My mother’s beer tastes were considered exotic because she liked Beck’s Dark — which did not come in cans.

                Fast-forward to 2011. There is a canned beer revolution brewing. Craft breweries are realizing there’s a market for good beer in cans; they’re easier to transport, easier to cool, easier to recycle, and easier to ship. Cans are the perfect protection to keep beer from being light-struck and skunky. So it’s time to reconsider your view of canned beer; now you can have fun in the sun (or, if you prefer, on the rapidly shrinking lake) without having to lug those bottles around. Times have changed; here are some ideas to get you started.

                Are you looking for that American standard, the lager? Brooklyn Brewery has their Brooklyn Lager in tallboy 4-packs for your drinking pleasure. It’s just plain old beer — perfectly made, cold, and designed to make you forget it’s a hundred and ten outside. And at $6.89 a four-pack at your local Twin Liquors, it won’t beat up your budget.

                More hops, you say? I have just the thing. Durango, Colorado’s Ska Brewing cans their Modus Hoperandi  IPA. Not for the faint of heart or frightened of big American hops taste, this will keep pale ale fans satisfied on the beach or at the barbecue. Plus, maybe you can figure out what the label means. (If you do, tell me.)

                Finally, in honor of my late mother, I present to you good dark beer — in a can. Conroe’s Southern Star Brewing has their Buried Hatched Imperial Stout available in four-packs. Drink local — and drink a great imperial stout from just down the road a piece.

                Until next month, keep your head up, your lace delicate, your malt toasty, and your hops snappy.

Duke Egbert