The Beer Can Celebrates 80 Years

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Jan 23, 2015.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,499) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society Trader

    WASHINGTON, DC – Today, as America celebrates the 80th anniversary of enjoying beer in a can – one of the country’s greatest advances, the Beer Institute, the trade association representing America’s brewers, beer importers and suppliers, and the Can Manufacturers Institute, the national trade association of the metal can manufacturing industry, celebrate with them. The first beer can was sold in Richmond, Virginia, on January 24, 1935.

    “America’s preference for beer is a major advantage for American workers and the U.S. economy,” said Jim McGreevy, Beer Institute President and CEO. “Each job in a brewery creates another 45 jobs in other industries, like can manufacturing. This long supply chain is important to communities across the country. Beer cans are a major part of the package mix of beer offered to consumers today.”

    “This anniversary showcases the longevity and strength that the aluminum can brings to the beer industry by providing an excellent drinking experience for the consumer,” said CMI President Robert Budway. “The enduring characteristics of the beer can protects the product’s flavor and makes it portable, shatterproof, and, it is even infinitely recyclable.”

    While cans had been in use since the early 19th century to store and preserve food, the invention of the beer can revolutionized the beer industry. Canned beer made it possible to transport more beer at a single time and to distribute beer further away from a brewery. Today, cans account for 54 percent of beer packaging.

    According to an economic study jointly commissioned by the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association in 2012, U.S. brewers and beer importers are the foundation for an industry that directly and indirectly employs more than 2 million Americans. Beer also contributed $246.6 billion to America’s economy and generated $49 billion in local, state and federal taxes.

    Companies in the United States that manufacture cans employ more than 20,000. The entire can industry, which includes food and beverage, generates more than $16 billion in revenue and $2.7 billion in taxes, which accounts for as much as $36.31 billion in total economic activity through the United States.

    The Beer Institute is the national trade association for the American brewing industry, representing both large and small brewers, as well as importers and industry suppliers. First founded in 1863 as the U.S. Brewers Association, the Beer Institute is committed today to the development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility: Connect with us @BeerInstitute and on Facebook.

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  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,120) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

  3. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,281) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Wrong can @JackHorzempa :wink: the K-Man wouldn't get his bellboy cap until a little later. On those first cans he looked like this:
    ...and what good is a can of Krueger Cream Ale without one of those early, large (only one hole necessary) "Quick and Easy" openers?
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  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,120) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

  5. Keene

    Keene Initiate (0) Sep 11, 2009 Washington

  6. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,281) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    From the above:

    Yeah, (and at the risk of repeating myself from an earlier post :astonished:) those drinkers were right in that "belief" (was it really only a "belief" that light couldn't penetrate metal cans?) but those first beer cans weren't aluminum, they were tinned steel. Aluminum beer cans wouldn't hit for another 25 years.
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  7. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,861) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    For sure. Question. The last of the the steel' can beers I HAVE HAD were from Australia...KB Lager, Toohey's Lager, Resch's Pilsner. Do you know which brewery/country was the last to use steel cans? Assuming no one uses them anymore?
  8. Foyle

    Foyle Meyvn (1,045) Sep 29, 2007 North Carolina

    As both a beer and history geek I love stories like this. Thanks to the OP and the others who posted articles about this anniversary! I will probably while away an hour now reading stories about beer cans.

    hooray for the original 'mini-keg'

  9. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,281) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    No, not really. I don't follow modern beer can history chronology but I'm sure there's a website for it :wink:

    Well, there was an attempt at a revival a few years ago...(I read they had quality problems initially).
  10. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Poo-Bah (1,850) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

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  11. woodychandler

    woodychandler Poo-Bah (12,056) Apr 9, 2004 Pennsylvania
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    I have seen it, but just now. I spent yesterday both drinking CANned beers and buying some in furtherance of The CANQuest (TM)! Who would have ever imagined that a perceived slight on LNBA would lead to my association with fermented malt beverages in extruded aluminum cylinders?!? Not me, but I am proud to tout CANned beers and I invite others to begin a CANQuest (TM) of their own!
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  12. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Initiate (0) Jul 4, 2008 Ohio

    Grabbed this for the old coffee table, great flip book of cans from days gone by...not much text but great visual flipper for the guests when having a share night.
  13. marquis

    marquis Champion (803) Nov 20, 2005 England

    I understand that it was the French who first sold beer in cans.I'll try to look up the source.
    All very puzzling as the Felinfoel Brewery in Wales was canning beer in 1931.
  14. Monkeyknife

    Monkeyknife Poo-Bah (3,246) Jan 8, 2007 Missouri
    Society Trader


    I've had a love of beer cans for most of my life. Here is my trusted "Bible" from the 1970's.
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