The Abita Brewing Co., New Orleans, announced its plans to offer three of its flagship beer varieties in cans by early 2012. The brewery plans to release Amber, Purple Haze and Jockamo I.PA. beers in cans that will be coated with a special water-based lining to protect and preserve the freshness of the beer, the company says.

“We feel confident that today’s cans are a quality solution that will preserve and protect the flavor of Abita,” said David Blossman, president of Abita Brewing Co., in a statement. “For many years, people associated craft beer with glass bottles, but the perception and the technology of the aluminum beverage can has changed.”

The company also highlighted the packaging’s ability to limit exposure to UV light and oxygen, which can damage the taste of the beer, it says.

In addition, Blossman noted the portability of cans to allow consumption of Abita where glass might not be convenient or allowed.

Abita’s new beer can is made of 40 percent recycled aluminum, is easy to recycle and weighs less to ship, the company said.

“Abita is committed to a greener environment,” Blossman said. “We conserve energy and water, create our own bio-gas and drive greener vehicles. We use recycled content in our bottles and packaging. Aluminum cans are one more way Abita is working to keep our part of the world green and clean.”

Abita will add canned production in six- and 12-packs that are expected to reach store shelves in early 2012.