Aging beer in a can. With more and more breweries turning to canning, having a 10.5% imperial stout in a can isn't looking so weird anymore. It still has it's shock value, and not something to be expected just yet, but Ten Fidy is just that. The benefits of canning can't be overlook. It is a completely sealed container that has no means of letting air in. Oxidizing is just about impossible. The aluminum is completely opaque so you have no light struck damage to worry about. Those two factors alone are very important in how you store your beer for aging. With a can, the only real thing you have to worry about is temperature.

Aging a beer in a can is taking out a lot of the variables that can effect the beer over time. You are then relying only on the beer itself to blend, fall apart, or develop as it can with very little influence from the environment. So how does the beer age? We took a 2 year old can of Ten Fidy for a test drive.

Your nose is greeted with a generous amount of roasted grain. Some black coffee and dark, bitter cocoa are mixed in. Toast and biscuit with a small amount of leather help brand this aroma with a hefty dark beer character. You can almost envision the dust on the grain and a bag full of roasted black malt. The cocoa comes through more and more as it warms up.

The flavor is packed with chocolate and coffee. Follows the nose very closely. Dark caramel comes through a bit as your palate grows accustomed to the loads of chocolate flavor. There is no need to overthink this or reach for underlying flavors. The taste is really simple and broken down into the two halves. The first half is all chocolate, more toward a dark and milk chocolate blend. The second half is all dark roasted coffee.

Extremely full bodied. You could almost cut it with a knife. Ends slightly dry and coarse. Almost as if there is a bit of cocoa powder or dust from coffee grounds suspended in the beer.

Overall, this beer doesn't seem to have changed drastically. All of the initial chocolate and coffee flavors you get when having it fresh are still intact. If anything, the mouthfeel has gotten a bit drier and the immediate flavors have maybe heightened a little after being able to sit around and blend.

I definitely think this calls for a revisit after a couple more years to see just how much things can change within the hermetically sealed package.


Our CELLARED series aims to explore the world of aging beer and sharing the effects of time in the bottle. Bottles have been kept away from light and at temperatures between 44-60 degrees. Individual experiences may vary depending on storage environments.

Posted on October 3, 2014 .