There is the great debate in beer storage methods; whether or not to use glass or aluminum. Both have their advantages, but no one generally advocates in favor of plastic. The soft drink and water industries, despite a cult following of Mexican cokes, seem to almost entirely favor plastic bottles, so why not your beer?
There are several reasons, most having to do with the precious taste of beer be it mass produced or not. Many of them are nicely detailed on this post from todayIfoundout.com. It seems that one may think it strictly environmental reasons that beer producers eschew plastic, but Heineken argued the opposite when it released its flagship in PET bottles for the 2012 London Olympics. I can’t really believe that glass or especially aluminum, already very recyclable, would be dropped in favor of landfill hogging plastic. The website seems to believe that it was really more of a safety concern, as smashing a plastic bottle over someones head does not produce nearly the same effect as a glass one would. This goes hand in hand with domestic sporting events, one of the few places where you can find beer sold in plastic bottles. The players appreciate the lack of dangerous flying projectiles.
So why else go glass and aluminum? Permeability for starters. Glass is extremely nonporous, allowing no oxygen to enter to foul the beer and no carbon dioxide to escape to rob it of tongue tingling bubbles. Aluminum similarly so. Glass wins in the inert category, contributing no off flavors to the final product. Aluminum from cans could leech into the beverage, causing all sorts of potential side effects, but science has provided barrier solutions to solve that issue. The debate over whether or not the plastic in bottles will either kill you slowly or simply wreak havoc on your hormones is still out, but the date isn’t nearly as reassuring as using good old glass.
So next time you buy a case of beer and think, “damn this is heavy”, just try to remember that even Budweiser still sticks to the glass or can, and for you that is a very good thing.