The project’s code name — Bunker Hill — hinted at the formidable challenge Boston Beer Co. faced: could the craft brewery that revolutionized American beer put its Sam Adams lager in a can without sacrificing the taste millions of consumers expect with every sip?
For decades, company founder Jim Koch snubbed aluminum containers because of the metallic flavor they impart to liquid. His resolve cost the Boston-based brewer millions of dollars in potential revenue from airlines and sports arenas, a price Koch said he paid to preserve the quality of a brew whose tagline until recently was: “Take pride in your beer.”
Koch refused to budge when manufacturers created a can lining that kept the beverage from touching aluminum, or as other craft brewers, such as Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada, and Fat Tire began embracing the metal containers over the last 10 years. But two springs ago, Koch decided to take another look at the market, and ultimately, create his own can.