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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
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    @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
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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.

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    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

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