Happy birthday to the beer can!

by Beer

January 24th, 1935, the first beer in the can was sold in Richmond, Virginia. The first beer can was manufactured by the American Can Company for the brewer Krueger. The American Can company actually had to convince Krueger to try the cans by offering the caning equipment for free. If it didn’t work out, it was the American Can Company who’d have to pay. The cans were a huge success, and by the end of the year many breweries were selling their beer in a can.

Cans had been around long before, as far back as 1909, but it wasn’t until 1935 the can could withstand the pressures from carbonation. These first cans were more like canned soup which had to be opened with a can opener.

Avery beer cans

Recently premium beer breweries like Avery started selling their beers in a can

Somehow canned beer later became associated with cheap beer. This might be because eventually most macro brewery beers were sold in a can. Ironically cans are much better for beer, especially with microbrewery beers which use real hops instead of hop extract. Hop extract is usually light stable, but beer made with real hops can become “lightstruck” making the beer taste and smell skunky. Cans protect the beer from light, but still brewers were reluctant to use anything other than glass because of the can’s bad image. It wouldn’t be until very recently microbreweries like Oskar Blues changed the can image and used cans to sell premium beer.

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DJ Spiess

DJ Spiess

Beer buddy

I live in Denver, Colorado. This blog is everything about beer, wine, cider, mead and other spirits.
I am a avid homebrewer and winemaker. I’ve been making my own beer and wine for many years. I started making beer when I was in college (mostly because the drinking age in the United States is 21). My first few beers were horrible. The beers are much better now, and I often supply my neighborhood with free beer! It is a great hobby!