This feature appears in Complex's August/September 2011 issue.
A few years ago, Colorado's Oskar Blues bucked bottling tends by cladding its well-regarded Dale's Pale Ale in a more hike-friendly (and for coastal folk, beach-friendly) container. Now, almost every craft brewery in the nation is riding the wave. This means more good canned beers and more variety — IPAs, Porters, Wheats, etc. — but, most importantly, a bunch of awesome looking cans to fill your cooler.
The beer can is the perfect conduit for for logos and all-over print. Bomb Lager employed Billy the Artist to introduce his signature "Urban Primative Pop" on its cans. Others, like Brooklyn Brewery, have a more traditional nostalgic vibe — its logo is designed by Milton Glaser, the artist responsible for the iconic "I HEART NY" graphic. Then the folks at 21st Amendment went nuts with themes and full can narratives (and we love almost all of them).
There are also benefits to cans beyond great graphics. Opaque cans limit light intake, which means the beer is protected better and has a longer shelf life than suds packaged in a clear glass bottle.
Check the coolest cans out right now.