Drinking beer from a can has stereotypically been viewed as a means to a buzz and not so much a means to enjoying the taste. Organizers for Canfest, a festival dedicated to craft canned beer, are trying to change that.
The fourth annual festival will be held Saturday at the Reno Ballroom. Admission is $25 in advance, $35 at the door, and more than 70 different canned beers from 25 regional breweries can be sampled from 6-ounce glasses.
“The biggest thing for us is highlighting good craft beer in a can,” said organizer Constance Aguilar, who has helped put the event together the last three years.
Aguilar’s employer, the Abbi Agency, took over Canfest after its previous organizer, Buckbean Brewery, closed in February. The Abbi Agency has added some flash to the event so it’s about more than just drinking beer.
Aguilar said a band would return, but one that won’t play so loudly that people couldn’t chat. Other activities include mini-bicyle races (Reno Bike Project is the nonprofit beneficiary), expanded food concessions and beer pong.
Aguilar said 2,000 people attended Canfest last year, and organizers are hoping for 3,500 this year.
Among the breweries scheduled to pour are Mammoth Brewing Company of Mammoth Lakes, Calif; Fort George Brewery of Astoria, Ore.; Golden Road Brewing of Los Angeles; and Oskar Blues Brewery and Ska Brewing Company, both from Colorado. Beer geeks, Aguilar said, constantly suggest breweries organizers should contact to attend the event.
Mammoth owner Sean Turner said more craft breweries are recognizing the positive effects of aluminum.
“The cost of canning, with low air levels and good quality packaging, is now within reach of small breweries,” he said. “We as micros first could only do kegs, then 22-ounce bottles only, then six packs, then 12-pack bottles, and now cans. Its a natural evolution for the craft beers.”
Airtight cans protect beer from light and oxygen, they chill more quickly than bottles and aren’t as easily broken, and cans take less energy and space to ship and store.
Aguilar added that Canfest gives locals access to beers they don’t drink every day.
“About 90 percent of the beers (at Canfest) you can’t buy in Reno,” she said. “This is the only night you can drink this beer.”