I have been considering buying a hip flask for some time now. I have been holding off from getting the cheap varieties because I hear they impart a metallic taste to the alcohol. If I had my druthers, I would get a pewter flask, but I can't justify the cost.

A couple of weeks ago I happened upon a brass flask. The cost is between the cheaper ones and a pewter flask. From this price point, I would assume the quality to be somewhere between the two. I have not been able to find any literature about brass flasks.

Does anyone have some information on them?

  • um ... pewter contains lead. I would think that'd be the last thing you'd want to be putting consumables in. – Joe Sep 29 '15 at 16:04
  • 1
    @Joe - Pewter should contain nearly zero lead these days, but I certainly agree caution is warranted, especially with antique models. There are some differences in opinion about the health/safety remaining metals (e.g., tin) -- more at this related Beer.SE question. – hoc_age Sep 29 '15 at 16:06
  • Brass also often contains lead. Modern pewter mostly does not, old pewter may well.... – Ecnerwal Sep 30 '15 at 2:21

I think a lot depends on your use of the flask, but there are some considerations.

Aesthetics: Brass is likely to corrode and/or get a nice patina, so that could be a nice effect. You're not going to get the same effect from a chrome-plated or stainless flask.

Health: Copper, a major compoenent of brass, can be toxic in quantity -- especially with acid contact. You certainly don't want to put anything acidic in the thing -- certainly keep your margaritas and daiquiris away from it! In any case, I wouldn't store beverages of any kind in brass for an extended period due to oxidation or other corrosion. Copper [lined] stills are still common, so it's unlikely that alcohol itself is particularly bad for copper. Further, nothing besides booze is meant for the inside of a flask anyway. :)

Maintenance: Brass will corrode and you'll need to keep it more well-maintained (specifically on the inside) than other materials.

Durability: In my opinion and experience, I have seen cheaper (e.g., chrome-plated) flasks corrode at joints/seams and get at least unsightly and perhaps unhealthy. Brass should be more durable than that, especially if properly joined/brazed.

For my money, I personally like high-quality formed stainless steel... though there are certainly pro/con tradeoffs for stainless also.

  • 1
    Stainless is the best bet if going there. Checking which local laws you may be violating and not going there may be a better option - it's patently illegal to have a flask of alcohol in a vehicle (or the passenger compartment thereof) in many jurisdictions. It's not uncommonly a violation to have one on a public street, sidewalk, park etc. The usual terminology is "other than the manufacturer's original unopened container" – Ecnerwal Sep 30 '15 at 2:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.