A Toast to the Beer Can

This past weekend, I consumed a truly heroic quantity of pale yellow beer from cans.  I was in Wisconsin’s Great White North, so it seemed right, given the surroundings. So this is the perfect time to note the anniversary of the beer can’s birth. In 1933, The American Can Company produced the world’s first beer can. Progress has continued unabated…

In 1958, Adolph Coors Brewing Company and Hawaii Brewing Company became the first breweries to offer aluminum cans. Lighter and easier to open than older cans, aluminum cans quickly became the beer container of choice. In 1963, the pop-top can was introduced by Schlitz, eliminating the need for a church-key. Soft drink companies, which had begun canning their products in 1938, shortly after beer makers took the plunge, also followed the pop-top trend. By 1968, 80 percent of cans were aluminum pop-tops, and the can had become the most popular form of beverage container.

(Pic: Tanks at the Heileman Brewing Company decorated to look like a six-pack of beer cans, Wisconsin Historical Society image 56388)