There's another tasty titbit on the can question in this month's Brewer and Distiller International:
"The quality-limiting step of the can packaging operation is the seamer, which is still of an insufficiently hygenic design to embrace sterile filling."
Which does lead me to wonder what shelf life they put on non-pasteurised craft cans. If I can ever force myself to fork out for one I must remember to look at the best before date.
The article also had a passage that got me pondering how I'd managed to live through a beer revolution that's affected my own drinking habits without really paying much attention:
"...in the early 1990s the futures of bottled beer was in some doubt, until the sudden advent of alcopops and front-of-shelf premium lagers. Before this watershed the march of can products appeared irresistible."
Now that's not to say that over the years I've taken to drinking alcopops. Or premium lagers for that matter. But premium bottled ales keep my cupboards full. And the garage. And there's a few in the airing cupboard come to think of it. Decent bottled beers are always something I've sought out, but their steady rise hasn't had the sudden impact of the arrival of golden ales, or beers that taste of grapefruit, did. It has appreared more slowly, like the road starting to go gently down hill when cycling it's just got easier to find decent bottled beer. Much like cask beer slowly changed from being something you had to seek out to something you'd be surprised about if it wasn't there.