Beer Can Appreciation Day recognizes the great day in 1935 when beer was first sold in cans.
Credit for the first beverage can goes to the Krueger Brewing Company of Richmond, Virginia. Made of steel and weighing in at almost 4 ounces, these hefty canisters opened with a church key.
The first beer produced in a can goes to Krueger Brewing Company of Richmond, Virgina but it was American Can Company that made canning drinkable beer possible.
Krueger’s took the risk with American Can Company just weeks before the repeal of Prohibition.
Weighing in at 4 ounces, the hefty steel cans opened with a church key. Loyal Krueger’s drinkers favored the can over the bottle 9-1.
* 1935 -Cone-Top – G. Heilemann Brewing Company – La Crosse, WI – Introduces cone-top cans which fit existing bottling lines convenient for small brewers with small budgets.
* 1963 -Pull Tab – Pittsburgh Brewing Company – Revolutionizes the beer can when it introduces Iron City Beer in self-opening cans with pull tabs, also known as pop tops. With their sharp edges, the pull tabs became the feared litter at beaches, parks, backyards and anywhere beverages were consumed.
* 1975 – Stay Tab- Falls City Brewing Company of Louisville, KY introduces the Stay Tab removing the pull tab’s environmental impact.
This day provides people with the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the many different kinds of beer cans. Around the world, collectors seek rare, novel and unique varieties. A collector may have hundreds of beer cans in many different sizes, types and ages.
- The “Church Key” was invented specifically to open “flat-top” style beer cans. Back in the late ’30s when beer cans began to flood the market, few people had a convenient way to open the new cans. D. F. Sampson of the American Can Company invented a solution: a five-inch strip of stamped metal designed to puncture the can on either side. It was dubbed the “church key.” In order to get them into consumer’s hands, one was given away with each case of beer sold. By the mid-1930’s over 30 million had been distributed.
- May 1942-1947: No canning of beer for civilian consumption as steel and tin-plated steel are rationed for the war effort. *35 brewers were chosen to still can beer for the troops during this time period. The cans were olive-drab colored.
- 1958: First aluminum can in US was the 11 ounce Primo Beer from Hawaii. *Crushing a (steel) beer can against your forehead was a hell of a lot tougher before then.
- 1960: Last cone-top cans filled for Rice Lake Brewing Company. *Smaller breweries that were still using this can design were either purchased or forced out of business by the larger national brewers.
- 1969: Canned beer outsells bottled beer for the first time.
- 1970: Beer Can Collectors of America (BCCA) founded in St. Louis.
- At any given time, 0.7% of the world is drunk. So 50 million people are drunk right now.
- Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass.
- Beer was not considered an alcoholic beverage in Russia until 2013.
- At the Wife Carrying World Championships in Finland, first prize is the wife’s weight in beer.
- 162,719 pints of Guinness beer are wasted each year due to mustaches.
- President Jimmy Carter signed a bill that created an exemption from taxation of beer brewed at home for personal or family use, opening the door for today’s craft beer brewers.
- In 1956, the U.S. exploded atomic bombs near a few beers to see if they are safe to drink. They are indeed.
- In France, Germany, Austria, Spain and the Netherlands they serve beer in McDonald’s.
- Beer cans in Japan have braille on them so blind people don’t confuse alcoholic drinks with soft drinks.