Celebrating 82 Years of Beer Cans

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Celebrating 82 Years of Beer Cans

Canned beer is one of those things we all take for granted these days, but it wasn’t always as readily available.

Canned beer officially made its debut on January 24,1935. The first beer to make it into cans was Krueger’s Finest Beer and Krueger’s Cream Ale. Both were canned in partnership with the American Can Company and delivered to drinkers in Richmond, Virginia.

At the time, they weren’t quite sure how people would take to cans, so they only canned 2,000 beers. Turns out, it was a hit. A whopping 91% of the people who got to try that initial run approved of canned beer, encouraging Krueger to continue to give it a try.

To celebrate that first successful beer run, January 24th is National Beer Can Appreciation Day.

Figuring out how to make cans for beer was quite the feat. The American Can Company had given it a try in 1909, but it wasn’t right. In 1933, after the end of prohibition, the company’s research finally produced a can that was capable of holding beer without that beer negatively interacting with the can that was holding it.

After just three months of having canned beer on store shelves, Kruegers was already giving some of the big beer companies like Schmitz, Pabst, and Anheuser-Busch a run for their money, so much so that they started selling canned beer as well. By the end of 1935 it’s estimated that a whopping 200 million cans of beer were produced and sold by breweries.

Today, canned beer is the preferred way for many breweries to package their beer. Cans are easier to cool, stack better in a fridge than bottles, and are easier to take on hikes, to the beach or pool, or to concerts in the park than their heavy glass counterparts.

Check out the gallery above for some interesting beer cans, and interesting locations where canned beer has been enjoyed.