Beer is very delicate and is extremely vulnerable to damage from bacteria, oxygen and sunlight. Glass bottles, plastic bottles and aluminum cans each have benefits and drawbacks:

CANS

Aluminum cans are the best option for making sure your beer is safe from bacterial contamination and sunlight:
They’re single-use, so each time you fill a can, it’s brand-new.

Convenient: There are no empty bottles to wash, and your empties can go in your regular recycling. No deposit is paid on our cans, so there’s no need to take empties to the recycling depot for a refund.

Portable: Cans are a great option for times when you want to bring your beer with you, and don’t want to worry about broken glass or heavy and bulky empties. They also stack in a refrigerator more easily than bottles.

CAUTION: Canning beer improperly can lead to taste problems and/or flat beer. Proper canning requires a little bit of skill and attention to detail, but is also a lot of fun!

BOTTLES

The biggest advantage of glass or plastic bottles is that, unlike cans, they are re-useable, so you don’t have to buy new ones with each batch of beer.

CAUTION: However, you MUST keep your bottles scrupulously clean! That means rinsing empties right away and cleaning them carefully with soap and hot water. Any residue whatsoever-even a microscopic amount can infect the next beer you pour into that bottle, and ruin its taste. The West Coast Brew Shop provides machines to rinse your CLEAN bottles with sanitizer just before filling, but the sanitizer does NOT clean dirty bottles! If you doubt your housekeeping abilities, choose cans instead!

PLASTIC BOTTLES VS. GLASS BOTTLES

Plastic bottles should be replaced more frequently than glass bottles, as the plastic breaks down over time and develops microscopic scratches on its surface, where bacteria will grow. We recommend replacing plastic bottles at least once a year. Plastic bottles won’t break, of course, so they’re a good option if you need your beer to be portable.

CAUTION: Our green plastic bottles don’t block UV light, which causes changes in the beer’s aroma, so you must keep your brew in a dark place at all times.

Glass bottles are the brewing industry standard, and for good reason: Properly cleaned, brown glass bottles protect beer from UV light, oxygen and bacterial contamination very effectively, and can be cleaned and re-used repeatedly.

We can provide you with brand-new 500ml plastic bottles, 1L plastic bottles or 341ml brown glass bottles, and their caps. Or, bring in your own CLEAN bottles.