5 historical things about canned beer you didn’t know

Canned craft beer is awesome. Portable. Delicious. Easy to store. Delicious. Recyclable. Delicious. And did I mention delicious? It’s that time of the week again where we take a look at five things for everyone’s favorite way to enjoy craft beer anywhere, at anytime.

#1 First canned beer experiments: 1909

The American Can Co. began experimenting with canned beer in 1909 after a brewer in Montana approached them about putting beer in a can. Despite these experiments by the American Can Co., it was deemed unfeasible because of how the beer reacted with the can & the cans were not sturdy enough to withstand pressure from the beer pasteurisation process. Prohibition put an end to this beer delivery form, & was picked up in 1928 by Anheuser-Busch, Schlitz,  & Pabst.


#2 The first canned beer sold: 1935

On January 24th in 1935, the first canned beer in the United States went on sale in Richmond, Virginia. The cans were flat top beer cans that needed to be opened with a church key that punched two holes in the top of the can. By the end of the year, 37 breweries follow the lead of the Newark based Gottfried Krueger Brewery. Krueger began their experimentation two years earlier with a 3.2% ‘light beer’ as prohibition ended. That same year, UK brewers Felinfoel & Tennents released beers in cone-top cans.


#3 The first tabbed beer cans arrive: 1962

It took a full forty years for ring-tops that we’re all familiar with to appear. The first evolution from flat top beer cans was first released by Pittsburgh Brewery, Iron City as a pull-tab but was perfected three years later by Daniel F. Cudzik for Reynolds Metals Co. It took another decade before the modern ring pull we now to appear on cans.


#4 The first canned ‘craft beer’: 1991

Many people think that Oskar Blues had the first canned craft beer. Not so.  The first craft beer was a red lager called ‘Chief Oshkosh Red Lager’, whichwas from the Mid-Coast Brewing Co, but was brewed at Stevens Point Brewery. Oskar Blues canned beers didn’t appear until 2002.


#5 The first canned ‘Irish Craft Beer’: 2015

Waterford’s Metalman Brewing was the first Irish craft brewery to put its beer into cans. Their first canned release was their popular ‘Pale Ale’ in January of 2015. They were also the first microbrewery in Ireland to have their own canning line installed in 2014.

Bird’s eye view of the Metalman team & their canning line




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