It’s National Beer Can Day! What’s that, you ask? On January 24, 1935, beer was first sold in cans. The Gottfreid Krueger Brewing Company of Newark, NJ, partnered with the American Can Co. to try its innovative new cans. The hefty steel cans were pressurized, treated with a coating so the beer did not react with the tin and opened with a church key. Their timing was perfect — just a few weeks before Prohibition was lifted. Customers loved the convenience of beer in cans, which had the added benefit of not requiring a deposit or bottle return. They were also easy to stack and store, and a survey conducted at the time reported that 85% of Kruger beer drinkers claimed it tasted more like draft beer than that in a bottle.
As the first brewery to offer beer in cans, the small regional brewery gained considerable market shared, even carving into sales of the market dominated by the big three (Anheuser-Bush, Pabst and Schlitz). Pabst took a cue and introduced its Export Beer in these flat tops cans in July of the same year.
Despite the fact that switching to cans required modifying existing bottling facilities, it looked like canned beer was poised to take over bottles as usage increased across the industry. That is until WWII limited the domestic use of metal, bringing beer can production to a screeching halt. The only beer canned during the war years was designated for shipping to service members overseas.
With the post-war boom of the 1950s, canning innovation improved with the use of different designs and materials. From the razor sharp “easy opening” pull tab design of the 1960s-70s to the modern day stay-tabs we see today, the industry continues to innovate to meet consumer preferences. Today’s lightweight, easy-open cans are a far cry from their historic counterparts, so let’s raise a can to innovation and the ability to enjoy fresh craft beer at home, at the beach, at backyard barbecues or wherever you want!
Rochester Brewing and Roasting sells its craft beer by the can or in build-your-own four packs to go. If you find one you love in the tap room, remember to check the to-go fridge and grab some to enjoy at home!
Rochester Brewing and Roasting is Kansas City’s first craft beer and coffee roastery under one roof. We’ve created welcoming spaces to gather for the best of both worlds – a Kansas City craft brewery and Kansas City coffee shop – all in one place. Stop by our spacious Crossroads location or check out our charming Parkville shop, located inside two vintage train cars. We’re open day and night, so come early for the coffee, stay late for the beer!