Craft Beer Science: Canned Beer & BPA, Should You Be Worried?

image of Toxic Barrel courtesy of Brew Day Gone Bad's blog

A few years ago, a little known word creeped into the consciousness of water bottle drinkers everywhere, BPA. Bisphenol A, as it is known in the science community is an industrial chemical that coated the interiors of some our favorite reusable containers, such as water bottles, baby bottles, tumblers, and yes even cans. What many people didn’t realize is that this chemical has been present since the 1960’s and until a few years ago, the general community didn’t care or didn’t know.

However, it wasn't until a revelation regarding the leeching of this chemical in small amounts and consumed by children, that people started becoming "experts" and gravitating away from BPA lined containers and even avoiding plastic in lieu of Aluminum.

For the craft beer drinker, we really have to think about BPA in our beer, or do we? The fact is, if you are a consumer of such popular canned craft beers such as Oskar Blues, New Belgium (Fat Tire Amber or Ranger IPA), or any other canned craft beer, you have a beer with a plastic liner. The purpose for us beer drinkers is to act as a barrier between the beer and the metal, removing that impression metal tasting beer.

If you are still reading this then chances are the other question still has not been answered, is BPA in beer cans bad for us?

To answer this question or at least shed light on the topic further, I have enlisted an article from Patrick Orr a columnist with the Idaho Statesmen and fellow craft beer enthusiast. We have included a large portion of the article starting from the top to get you started, please read the full article after the jump.

"Somewhat lost in the American craft beer industry’s embrace of aluminum cans as a vessel to carry precious artisan hop juice to the masses is the baby elephant in the room — the presence of controversial Bisphenol A (BPA) in the liners of the cans.

Any foodstuff (beer, soup, vegetables, pop, gravy, etc ...) that comes in a can these days has an epoxy liner which contains the controversial BPA — a chemical linked by some studies to cancer, infertility and obesity — which leeches into liquids in incredibly tiny amounts.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has acknowledged there are questions about the impact BPA exposure could have on the human body but has not come to any firm conclusions on what amount of BPA is acceptable before it becomes a health risk.

Most previous studies have determined the amount of BPA assimilated into the human body is so minute that it doesn’t really rate as a health risk for adults — but who knows what will surface as more research is done?

Many scientists do seem to agree that BPA exposure may not be so good for infants and young children, which, of course, doesn’t factor into the beer can argument... -read more of this article on the Idaho Statesman's website

What are your thoughts on the topic of BPA versus your canned beer? It’s worth mentioning that this author is not advocating  you reach into your fridge and start dumping your beer, no should you avoid canned beer altogether, we are simply letting you know that for all the hype, there is still not thumbs up or thumbs down regarding BPA lined products. So for now head to the fridge or grocery store and have yourself a nice refreshing, recyclable can of craft beer.

Related Materials
FDA’s guidelines regarding BPA
October 2008 Article from SELF magazine discussing BPA and Cans


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