May 2nd, 2005

Yeah I'm bad

A word on prejudice!

Tonight, I'd like to say a word on prejudice.

Of course, since this is me, the prejudice relates to booze. Specifically, booze packaging!

Tonight, on the way home from a long day at work, I hit the local liquor store. Despite the ruralness of where me and enveri live, the local liquor store is very well stocked. A selection of wines, beers, and spirits from around the world to rival the most urban specialty shop! This, of course, makes us happy.

Anyways, after perusing the local selection for a bit...I decided on the two hallmarks of Cheap Booze. I got some Wine in a Box, and some Beer in a Can. How gauche!

But when you come to think about it, for these types of alcohol, these represent the current apex of modern technology. The wine in a box is a perfect way to serve wine. The sealed spigot prevents cork taint, and leakage. The collabsible bag inside means that as the wine level decreases, no harmful oxygen rushes in to destroy your remaining vintage. And despite what may have been the case in the past, some fairly respectable grapes now make it into box wine (yes, it's no $50/bottle wine, but some types are pretty comparable to the $10-$15/bottle level many of my friends and I stick with). The particular purchase today was the Black Box Wines cabernet.

As for the beer, I know that the prevailing wisdom is that 'bottles = better'. And often, that is true; but it doesn't mean that bottling itself is superior to cans. Bottling is cheaper and easier than canning...That's why most of your small breweries use it. Bottles are cheap, and sealing is just a matter of crimping a cap on the top.

However, the two main enemies of packaged beer are oxygen, and UV light. The oxygen oxidizes the beer, ruining the taste. And for anyone that's ever had a skunky beer? That's light interacting with the hop compounds in the beer. A decent brown bottle can get rid of most of the harmful light, and a good factory seal can cut out most of the oxygen, but taking a realistic look; do you buy preserved goods at the grocery store in bottles, or in cans? Cans aren't inherently worse than bottles, they're just harder for a small brewery to afford! Heck, I can already bottle my own beer, but canning is way out of my reach.

I bought two types of canned beer tonight; both fine, respected English ales. I'm drinking one right now, and it tastes every bit as good as the overseas makers intended it to. No harm at all from the long voyage.

So to conclude; just because a certain packaging type has a reputation for housing bad goods, doesn't make it the fault of the packaging! Take a second look, you may find something even better tucked in that 'unclassy' wrapper ;)
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