Canned Beers Notch Up First Half Century

IN DECEMBER 1935,  a small Welsh  brewery started to sell  its beer in a new  type of container.  Many  were sceptical  about this new  form  of  packaging, claiming that it was a novelty and would never be an alternative to the bottle.

But this month the British beer can is 50 years old.

The origins of the beer can can be traced back to 1909, when a brewery in the USA approached American Can Co to see if it could supply cans for the packaging of beer. It could not  its attempts to produce a can were unsuccessful.

In 1931, anticipating the end of Prohibition, American Can  again began  to  experiment  with  canned  beer. Most cans at that time only needed to withstand a pressure of 2535 lb per square inch,  but beer needed a container that would withstand in excess of 80 Ib per square inch, otherwise there  would be a major problem with cans bursting along the welded seam.

After  two   years of  research, American Can had overcome  the problems of pressure and had developed a coating for the inside of the can to stop the beer reacting with the tinplate. The company now had to sell the idea to the breweries.

This was not easy, the big breweries did not want to risk their reputations on such a radical innovation.

One of the smaller breweries that American Can approached was the Gottfried Krueger Brewery of Newark, New Jersey.

A test run of 2,000 cans was produced in 1933 and these were sampled by regular Krueger drinkers. The results were positive, 91 per cent of them liked the can. It was not until Jan 24, 1935, that the first beer cans went on sale to the general public when Krueger’s Finest Beer went on sale in Richmond, Virginia.

By the end of 1935, no less than 37 US breweries were producing canned beer.

by Arthur Furrowfield

Posted in 1, Arthurs Potting Shed, Beer, European, The Red Binder, They Said, WTF. Comments Off on Canned Beers Notch Up First Half Century
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