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Hum, interesting question. As with many re-examined aspects of the beer culture, the bottles or cans question itself is evolving. So, is this an issue of personal preference, an industry decision based on best business practices, public demand, scientific evidence — portions of all of the above, or perhaps none of the above.
Personally, I prefer drinking my beer from a bottle. I think of it as a more romantic version of the stuff. Now watching my father's beer drinking habits of the 60s and 70s, his preference was Pabst in cans. Why, I don't know. We never discussed it and he never verbalized his preference, but that was always what it was.
So, why my preference for bottles? It probably goes back to some old classic movie scenes where the alpha-male walks into the bar and asks for a beer — he always got it in a bottle. Or one of my favorites, The Shawshank Redemption. This was the scene where they were tarring the roof and Andy (Tim Robbins) works a deal with one of the guards to help him with his taxes in exchange for three beers apiece for his co-workers (aka prison buddies). The prize was "drinking icey cold Bohemia-style beer" — in bottles of course.
Here is the YouTube link, its worth the time.
Now I know the more contempory case for cans, the light issue spoiling beer. Some others many include convenience of packaging or cost. Living on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, the boating crowd prefers cans to bottles since you don't want to take glass onto a boat. And of course there are many great beers available only in cans, at least thats the way we get our Oscar Blues Dales Pale Ale. I'm seeing more beers available both in bottles and in cans. This way everyone can get their way.
But if I have a choice, I'll take the romantic option — mine in a bottle, please!