Better the crown cap or the cork stopper? Advantages and disadvantages for the beer world
The crown cap revolution started in the late 1800s, thanks to the inventor of this innovative stopper, William Painter, who managed to change the beverage industry forever.
Before the crown cap boom, cork stoppers had (almost) a monopoly on the world of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, which were kept in glass bottles. Considered at that time as a very versatile material, cork was used to make any type of stopper: even in the world of beer. In fact, until the innovative introduction of the crown cap, i beer caps were still made from cork.
Beer caps: corks or crown caps
Cork is a completely natural material, made from the bark of cork oak. It is precisely for this reason that it seems to be particularly prone to possible infections caused by a fungus, Armillaria mellea, generally responsible for what is commonly called the corked wine taste.
In addition, as a porous material, cork can cause micro-oxygenation of the product stored inside the bottle. In reality, this characteristic is highly sought after for certain complex products benefiting from ageing, which is why the cork stopper becomes almost an obligation for this type of product.
However, micro-oxygenation can damage other types of products, deteriorating them more or less quickly depending on their characteristics, so we tend to avoid cork stoppers for beers.
For these two main reasons, to cap the beer, it is better to use the crown caps, which are more suitable for preserving the product, since they are made from aluminum and synthetic material.
The crown cap in the world of beer: a brief historical overview
As said in the first paragraph, the inventor of the crown cap is William Painter, a mechanical engineer who has long wondered about the best way to seal glass bottles. After patenting his invention, he founded the Crown Cork and Seal Company in Baltimore, which, after only 40 years of operation, counted multiple sites around the world. This invention was an important success which really marked a revolution in the world of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
Around the mid-1960s, the screw cap (which made it possible to close unfinished bottles) was invented and put on the market and, at the same time, the disk made of cork that was contained in the crown cap was replaced by a synthetic one: increasing even more the performance of this cult stopper.