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Once the domain of dull domestic lager, aluminum cans have become U.S. craft brewing’s coolest package, with flavor-charged beer inside and gallery-worthy designs on the label. Seek out these eight avant-garde brews on your next trip.

The beer can might be the best drinking vessel for travel. More portable than a bottle (and perfect for easy picnic-basket packing), now they offer much more than the watery mass-market lagers of yore. Breweries and cideries have started treating cans like handheld billboards, tasking often local artists, designers, and illustrators to devise eye-catching designs that capture where the beer was brewed. The best of breed marry vibrant visuals to flavors that transport drinkers to places like San Francisco and Virginia Beach. Here are eight brews worth checking out on your next cross-country adventure. 

 

 

Great Raft Brewing Reasonably Corrupt
Shreveport, LA
Louisiana’s infamous law-shirking politicians inspired a German-style black lager that, despite its dark tint, remains a nimble sip. 

Kings County Brewers Collective Dangerous Precedent
Brooklyn, NY
KCBC marries bold yet balanced flavors to Earl Holloway’s comic book–inspired can illustrations. The IPA’s intense aroma evokes tropical fruit.
Shacksbury Deer Snacks
Vergennes, VT
The brewery forages for the wild apples used in a dry cider that, like many of Shacksbury’s fermentations, is as elegant as fine wine. 

Commonwealth Brewing Company Big Papi
Virginia Beach, VA
This brewery is one of the East Coast’s best producers of barely bitter double IPAs. The can’s juicy colors evoke the contents’ aroma and flavor. 

Wild Heaven Beer Emergency Drinking Beer
Avondale Estates, GA
These Georgian brewers buck convention by mashing together a snappy pilsner and a salty-sour German gose laced with lemongrass and citrus zest, creating a singular refresher well suited for both day and night drinking. 

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Fair State Brewing Cooperative Clarity of Purpose
Minneapolis, MN
Excelling at fruited sours and unfiltered pilsners alike, Fair State has partnered with Surly Brewing Company to create a hugely fragrant, double dry-hopped IPA that’s as clear as the Caribbean. 

Fort Point Beer Company Westfalia
San Francisco, CA
The sibling-run brewery spins sublime modern takes on traditional styles, such as German rotbier. This caramel-rich red ale is cashmere smooth.  

Bale Breaker Brewing Company Leota Mae IPA
Yakima, WA
Set on a family-run hop farm founded in 1932, Bale Breaker embraces the local bounty of the Pacific Northwest to make expressive pale ales and IPAs, such as this pungent sipper named after the farmstead’s matriarch. 

>>Next: America’s Best Drinking City Isn’t Where You Think It Is