Canfest: The top 20 beers to try this year
The international canned beer festival known as Canfest will run from 6 to 10 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. The mission of the event is to give canned beer the spotlight it deserves.
The event features up to 120 beers poured exclusively from cans, a “silent disco” and performances by Steel Breeze and DJ Montague. Proceeds support the Reno Bike Project, a nonprofit community bike shop committed to improving access to cycling for all and creating a more cycling-friendly community.
And to make sure we all get home safe, the event is offering $5 off an Uber ride to or from the Grand Sierra Resort. Use promo code GSRVIP2017.
Where to start? We’ve compiled a list of the top 20 beers not to miss.
- Founded in 2000 in San Francisco’s historic South Park neighborhood, 21st Amendment Brewery serves up several year-round selections including a Mexican-style lager, several IPAs including a Brittish “black IPA” as well as seasonal surprises like the tasty Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer.
- Anchor Brewing Company, a San Francisco icon, is typically know for its bottled brews, but also offers a Meyer Lemon Lager (OMG), a Mango Wheat ale and a Blood Orange Blondie crafted with tart and juicy blood oranges.
- We might not be able to see Alaskan Brewing Co. from our house, but a few years ago the brewery began selling canned versions of its beers to the lower 48. Check out the Alaskan Amber and Freeride IPA.
- For a change of pace, Atlas Cider Co. of Bend, Oregon, features ciders fermented from 100 percent fresh pressed fruit from Oregon and Washington that are back sweetened with zero sugar.
- And take note: You don’t have to speak “Boontling,” the unofficial local language of Boonville, California, to enjoy suds from the Anderson Valley Brewing Company. Try the Boont Amber Ale and the Summer Solstice Ale.
- Ballast Point has a pretty wide variety of ales and IPAs, including its Mango Even Keel and its Even Keel IPA.
- Big Sky Brewing Company in beautiful Missoula, Montana, offers a variety of canned beer with pretty fun names. Check out Powder Hound Winter Ale, Big Sky IPA and Moose Drool Brown Ale.
- Closer to home, Battle Born Beer is brewed and canned by the Lake Tahoe Brewing Co. in Carson City and billed as an “easy-drinking lager.” Also close to home, Sparks’ own Great Basin Brewing Co. offers its highly popular Itchyosaur “Icky” IPA in cans lined with plastic so beer never touches the aluminum.
- Known for their pack-a-punch IPAs, the folks at Lagunitas Brewing Company are killing it with their hoppy and citrusy 12th of Never Ale.
- A subsidiary of MillerCools, Leinenkugel’s (named for its founder, Jacob Leinenkugel) offers its super tasty and refreshing Summer Shandy in cans as well as its berry, honey wheat and sunset weiss beers, a light and bubbly beer from malted wheat.
- Pine Street Brewing Company, founded in San Francisco in 2010, is proud of its Atom Splitter Ale, and for good reason. The citrus-forward and hoppy pale ale offers some light, easy drinking.
- Founded in 1987 in the basement of the Rogue Public House in Ashland, Oregon, Rogue Ales now offers cans of its American Amber Ale, Hot Tub Scholarship Lager and its Pendleton Pale Ale, among others.
- Santa Fe Brewing Company has a pretty impressive selection of flavorful canned beer that rotates through the seasons along with some year-round staples. Try their mouth-watering and full-bodied Imperial Java Stout, made with coffee beans, or their simple and delicious Happy Camper IPA.
- All-around beer Samuel Adams offers its “Beers of Fall” series, including fan favorite OctoberFest, a Bohemian Pilsner and its new Dunkelweizen, a sweet and spicy dark wheat ale. And of course there’s always their traditional Boston Lager, Rebel IPA and super-refreshing Summer Ale.
- Chico, California’s Sierra Nevada Brewing Company hasn’t always offered its uber-loved classic pale ale in the can. Now the NorCal favorite is beach and campground friendly, along with it’s killer Torpedo IPA (drinker beware).
- And for a most delicious change of pace from hops, check out Francis Ford Coppola’s love letter to his daughter, Sofia: bright and bubbly Blanc de Blancs Mini and Brut Rose Mini, both originally offered in beautiful and simple bottles.
- Escondido, California's Stone Brewery started out with its Stone Pale Ale and is now best known for its Arrogant Bastard Ale. In cans, this reliable and fun brand offers its Go to IPA, Stone Ripper and Ghost Hammer IPA — which was just released in June.
- A great performer at the 2016 California State Fair, the Common Cider Company is crafting cider with some pretty cool ingredients — think hibiscus, blood orange tangerine, lemon and blackberries.
- But if beer’s not your thing and you're more of the cocktail-hour type, you’ll enjoy raising your can for a number of Monaco Cocktail’s specialty canned cocktails with mixes like mango peach, cranberry vodka and a cooling tequila cocktail.