02/03/2012 05:24 pm ET | Updated Apr 04, 2012

The Tall Boy Goes Legit: 5 Craft Beers In (Big) Cans

In my early, drunken twenties, not long after I shook my cost-driven affection for forty-ouncers of malt liquor, I fell under the sway of a tall boy. Well, perhaps I should say tall boys, because there's no way I could glug just one 16-ounce can of beer -- and this was way before I had any inclination about the ins and outs of the craft beer industry.

Related: How To Drink Craft Beer Smarter »

Unlike the standard 12-ounce can, the tall boy has serious heft. It feels substantial, an honest pint for an honest price. But as my tastes morphed over the years, from mass-produced watery lagers to bitter IPAs and roasty stouts, I left the tall boy in my rearview mirror. You see, tall boys were the territory of Bud and Coors. Craft beer held no quarter in tall aluminum cylinders.

In recent years though, craft breweries have begun reclaiming the can, which keeps beer fresher by sealing it off from destructive light and oxygen. First came the 12-ounce vessels, which are now populated by Brooklyn Brewery, New Belgium and Oskar Blues, whose hoppy Dale's Pale Ale trail blazed the crush-it-against-your-head category. Now comes the next step in the metal revolution: Craft beer in 16-ounces cans.

Be still my beating heart. This year, 16-ouncers stuffed with sublime craft brews are poised to take the mainstream leap. The next big thing in beer is, well, big beers. Here are five of our favorite tall boys to try. And do you have a favorite? Hit us up on Food Republic or on Twitter: @foodrepublic.

Read more about craft beer from Food Republic:

How To Drink Craft Beer Smarter
5 Southern Beers To Drink Now
The Rye Revolution Hits Craft Beer