January 27, 2013 by Woodystock
While I was bartending, I drank beer. While I was in college i drank cheap beer. While I was in highschool, i drank the cheapest rot gut hootch that we could find. And among the lovely half-memories I still retain from those days was the distinct taste of industrial chemicals.
Beer from a bottle tasted cleaner, but cans came wiht more beer and could be crushed and thrown out the windows of cars (not that I ever that). I had always assumed it was something to do with the can itself and not the beer but I never really cared to venture further.
It turns out that the nototrious “Can taste” was actually formaldehyde. During the production of the cans, formaldehyde was used to counter the effects of bacteria against the lubricant of the can. The cans were rinsed before being filled, but there was always a little bit that remained.
Manufacturers are still using chemicals to protect against bacteria, but no longer formaldehyde. Although, some Asian beers still use formaldehyde.