Anti-Hero canned beer from Revolution Brewery
Make some room, old man cans: Revolution Brewery in Logan Square will start selling canned beer in stores in July.

Holidays wipe out your bank account? Tired of dropping $20 (not including tax and tip) for only two drinks? Option one: Cut your losses and move to a dry county. Option two: cheap beer, or “old man cans,” as some bars like to call them.

If you’re in starving artist mode for 2012, here are seven wallet-friendly spots for aluminum-packaged brewskies:

Michael Diversey’s Tavern in Lincoln Park offers seven classic cans (Colt 45, Hamm’s, Little Kings, Schlitz, PBR, Busch Light, and Old Milwaukee) every Thursday for $2.50 or $3 a pop.

At Roots Handmade Pizza in Ukrainian Village, old man cans are the Monday night special, with five 12 oz. beers for $2 and four tallboys (16 oz.) for $3.

Timothy O’Toole’s in Streeterville and Gurnee will celebrate Beer Can Appreciation Day (yes, it’s a real thing) later this month with $2 cans all day on January 24.

Willing to spend just a few more bucks for taste? Move over, old man cans. “A can doesn’t mean it’s low-quality beer,” says Michelle Foik, COO of Logan Square’s Revolution Brewery, which has plans to can nearly all of its beers for distribution. (Expect six-packs to hit shelves in July.) “The main reason we like cans is the recycling aspect. Beyond that, cans are lighter, easier to carry, and offer more options for enjoying your beer in public. You can’t take a bottle to the swimming pool.” (If only the weather would cooperate a bit more. Winter heat wave?) In the meantime, the brewpub offers other craft can options such as Wild Onion Hopslayer ($6) and Avery Joe’s Pilsner ($6).

At Cans in Bucktown—where aluminum has reigned for a decade—canned microbrews are always $4.50 on Wednesday nights. “There's definitely been an explosion in craft cans,” says Cans owner Bryan Burrow. “We currently offer more than 40; three years ago, we were only offering two.” A number of local canned beers are included in the Wednesday special, including Wild Onion Brewery’s Jack Stout & Hop Slayer, Golden Wing Blonde Ale and Cutthroat Pale Ale from Finch’s Brewery, and Half Acre’s Daisy Cutter Pale Ale, Gossamer Golden Ale, and Over Ale.

Jason Baldacci, the beer buyer at Bluebird in Bucktown, suggests Anderson Valley’s Winter Solstice ($6) for some canned refreshment. “It's a really delicious amber ale that's incredibly smooth—a great winter warmer,” he says.

And finally, on January 30, Tokio Pub in Schaumburg will host its first beer dinner of the year, a tribute to local brews in cans (think fresh salad paired with Half Acre’s Daisy Cutter and fish and chips paired with Finch’s Golden Wing Blonde Ale). The dinner is just $45 per person for four courses.


Photograph: Revolution Beer LLC