NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Don't buy your beer cans this summer based by the size of their mouths, the cold-activated decals on their labels or the hole in their tops that lets you chug like it's pledge week.Buy them because there's fresh, untainted, enjoyable beer inside.
Perhaps the best example of what canned beer has come to in the past couple of years is an aluminum-encased serving of hoppy, high-octane India Pale Ale. Folks accustomed to mild, easy drinking cans of light lager should approach 16-ounce tallboys of Torpedo with caution. They're as bitter and citrusy as a mouthful of fresh hops, while the 7.2% alcohol content is nearly double what you might find in that red, white and blue can in your neighbor's cooler. Alchemist Heady Topper
Once you've enjoyed a can of Torpedo, you've primed the palate for something with significantly more kick. Though it calls Waterbury, Vt., home, Alchemist has no problem producing a 16-ounce can of West Coast Style 8% ABV double IPA. Just how bitter is this beer? Beer bitterness is measured in International Bitterness Units that usually top out at 100. Alchemist claims 120 IBUs for Heady Topper. Good luck unpuckering. Big Sky Brewing Company Moose Drool
As great as a citrusy IPA can be on a warm summer's day, a mild brown ale can be just as inviting. Moose Drool out of Missoula, Mont., has a little more kick than a light lager at 5.2% ABV, but is so malty, caramel flavored and lightly carbonated that having more than one isn't out of the question. Considering this is one of the best brown ales made in the U.S. and cans of brown ale are still fairly scarce, it's worth considering if you come across it in your area.