I love beer in cans. Compared to bottles, it tastes fresher, chills more quickly, is lighter in weight, is more easily recyclable and makes a much better choice for on the river or in a backpack. Frost is on the car windows as I write, so unless you are very intrepid (read insane) or own a dry suit, that river thing is a little premature. The three newest entries on the canned beer scene in Boise all hail from California.
21st Amendment Brew Free! Or Die IPA
This beer has a slightly hazy, golden pour with a thick cream-colored froth that collapses quickly but leaves a lovely lacing. Resiny hops dominate the nose along with touches of tropical fruit. The hop profile in the mouth is a little lighter than you might expect, but there's just enough of the bitter to let you know it's an IPA. A fruit-filled mid-palate with creamy malt balances things, making for a very pleasant quaff.
Anderson Valley Hop Ottin' IPA
This beer is bright amber in the glass with a three-finger head that has admirable persistence. The aromas are fresh and hoppy and colored by herb, tea and a hint of spearmint. The flavors are a nice mix of toffee-laced malt and subtle cherry, playing against a pine-hued hop bitterness. There's just a hint of sweetness on the otherwise crisp finish.
Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale
A huge, soft tan head tops this dark amber brew, clinging to the glass as it slowly collapses. There's a nice tinge of earth and green tea on the nose with a muffin-like malt presence. Biscuit, nutmeg, light hops, citrus and smooth, toasted malt play out on the palate. This one is tasty but on the dry side for an amber, which, for me, is a plus.