This is a subject that is close to my heart, it makes me emotional. In fact after having had a few of these it makes me very emotional.
It is beer! And not just any beer but canned beer.
Having a can of beer is not just having a drink, it is an adventure. You put them in the fridge to get them to the right temperature. You then open the can not knowing in what velocity it will vacate the can. Then the most important thing the pour.
Determine the right angle to approach the glass and the correct speed of pouring the beer to get the correct level of foam to top of the class, It’s not just a drink but a piece of art.
But how did it all start?
Canned beer makes its debut on this day in 1935. In partnership with the American Can Company, the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company delivered 2,000 cans of Krueger’s Finest Beer and Krueger’s Cream Ale to faithful Krueger drinkers in Richmond, Virginia. Ninety-one percent of the drinkers approved of the canned beer, driving Krueger to give the green light to further production.
The American Can Co. began experimenting with canned beer in 1909. But the cans couldn’t withstand the pressure from carbonation – up to 80 pounds per square inch – and exploded. Just before the end of the Prohibition in 1933, the company developed a “keg-lining” technique, coating the inside of the can the same as a keg.
Krueger had been brewing beer since the mid-1800s, but had suffered from the Prohibition and worker strikes. When American Can approached with the idea of canned beer, it was initially unpopular with Krueger execs. But American Can offered to install the equipment for free: If the beer flopped, Krueger wouldn’t have to pay.
So, in 1935 Krueger’s Cream Ale and Krueger’s Finest Beer were the first beers sold to the public in cans. Canned beer was an immediate success. The public loved it, giving it a 91 percent approval rating.
The response was overwhelming. Within three months, over 80 percent of distributors were handling Krueger’s canned beer, and Krueger’s was eating into the market share of the “big three” national brewers–Anheuser-Busch, Pabst and Schlitz. Competitors soon followed suit, and by the end of 1935, over 200 million cans had been produced and sold.
The purchase of cans, unlike bottles, did not require the consumer to pay a deposit. Cans were also easier to stack, more durable and took less time to chill. As a result, their popularity continued to grow throughout the 1930s, and then exploded during World War II, when U.S. brewers shipped millions of cans of beer to soldiers overseas. After the war, national brewing companies began to take advantage of the mass distribution that cans made possible, and were able to consolidate their power over the once-dominant local breweries, which could not control costs and operations as efficiently as their national counterparts.
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