Today in History: Canned Beer on the Market
Perhaps frat brothers, high school delinquents and arm-chair referees should take a moment of silence today — and wrestle free a tall one from its plastic ring and raise it to the sky. After all, while everyone can love a keg, a glass bottle, or even what’s on tap — there is nothing quite like a cold, canned beer.
On January 24th, 1935, the first canned beer was made available for market-wide sale in Richmond, Virginia. The Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company provided 2,000 cans of Krueger’s Finest Beer and Krueger’s Cream Ale, its starting samples, to drinkers in Richmond that day; and with an overwhelming approval rate, the company pushed forward into more mass-market production of this canned deliciousness. Earlier attempts to can beer had started back even in 1909, but had ultimately derailed, from providing an unpopular product to restrictions put in place during the Prohibition Era; but once the American Can Company devised a way to pressurize the contents and maintain carbonation, the process for properly canning beer was well under way.
The introduction of canned beer onto the market sky-rocketed Kreuger Brewing Company’s success, and pitted them against the formerly powerful national brewers of Anheuser-Busch, Pabst and Schlitz. The success of canned beer was threefold; they were cheaper than those with a bottle deposit, they cooled more quickly and were compact enough to be stored in shops at a higher volume, their flat top making them perfect for stacking. This immense success would carry on to today’s market, where canned beer comprises nearly half of the United States beer industry.
To learn more about the history of canned beer, consider visiting History.com or exploring more about the Krueger Brewing Company. Or simply crack open a cold one, and cheers to this important anniversary!