Beer Can Appreciation Day
Beer Can Appreciation Day is observed next on Wednesday, January 24th, 2024 (230 days from today).
The truth that everyone has to admit is that we are all familiar with beer. There are commercials for it on TV, it's a sign of back-gate gatherings and what is quintessentially for relaxing after work. With its ancient heritage and pedigree, beer has been produced, sold and bottled by cultures all over the world since it came to mind. During that time, different bottling methods were discovered, and it was paramount to make each vintage stand out from the rest. Beer Cans Appreciation Day takes place on 24 January every year to remind you of the artistry and talent that goes into these simple aluminum cans that contain life's precious elixir.
History of Beer Can Appreciation Day
Where does your favorite beer come from? Do you prefer bottles or cans? On January 24, 1935, the first recorded beer sold by the can was Krueger's Finest Beer and Krueger's Cream Ale, and it is on this anniversary that we celebrate Canned Beer Appreciation Day.
The American Can Company started producing canned beer in 1909, but they were not successful at the time. They found that the amount of carbonation was too much for canned goods, resulting in them sometimes exploding. They finally found a remedy: coat the inside of the can the way they did the barrel.
On April 7, 1933, a light beer, with an alcohol content of no more than 3.2%, began to be sold. The Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company made a canning agreement with the American Can Company in November 1933, shortly before Prohibition was lifted. The canning company installed free canning equipment and 2,000 cans of beer were canned and available in Richmond, Virginia. A poll was conducted and the results said that 91% of people like canned beer. Because of the positive feedback, Gottfried Krueger decided they would continue drinking canned beer.
On January 24, 1935, Krueger's Ale and Krueger's Beer began to be sold in cans. (Many sources contradict each other here. Some sources state January 1935 as the date when 2,000 cans were sold, leading to a 91% preference rating. Other sources say this happened in 1933 and January 1935 led to a broader sale of canned beer). In the summer of 1935, Pabst began canning their Export Beer in cans, being the first major brewer to do so. As of the end of the year, more than 200 million cans of beer have been sold by thirty-seven breweries.
Some of the attractions of cans compared to bottles are that they are easier to stack and do not require a deposit. Cans also hold beer better than bottles, as they protect the beer from sunlight that can damage the beer. Aluminum cans were introduced in 1958, cheaper and lighter than steel cans. However, with the many benefits of cans, it was not until 1969 that they sold many bottles.
For many years, there have been four main type of cans. Krueger's and other early cans were flat-top cans. They weigh nearly 4 ounces, have a flat top, and they must be opened with a church key. They were made until about 1970.
Another style of cans is the conical top. Featuring a funnel-shaped top with a bottle-like cap, the conical top was first used in September 1935, by G. Heileman Brewing Company of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Soon, they began to be used nationally by Schlitz. There are four variations of the cone top: low, high, J, and pyramidal. The cone is popular with small brewers because they can use the bottles they already have for canning beer. Eventually, the large brewers phased out the smaller brewers and the cone top ceased to be used.
The tab pull-box style, also known as tab top or pop top, was introduced in March 1963 by Pittsburgh Brewing Company, for their Iron City Beer. This was the first self-opening can — a ring had to be pulled out of the lid. Pull tab cans were introduced to nationwide use after Schlitz began using them, and by the mid-1960s, 75% of the cans were pull cans. But drag tabs often become garbage and harmful to the environment. Wild animals ate them and people cut themselves on them while walking on the beach.
Pull tab cans dominated for about a decade, but were superseded after the stay tab style was introduced in 1975. First used by Falls City Brewing Company of Louisville, Kentucky, the tabs from these self-opening cans remained on them after they were opened, and the litter tab issue was resolved. Nowadays, almost all cans of beverages are this type of can.
Besides drinking them all, some people also appreciate the beer cans by collecting them. Although not as popular as it was in the late 1970s, some people are still involved in the hobby. American canned beer collectors founded in St. Louis in 1970. It is now known as the Brewery Collectors Club of America and is the largest of the beer collection clubs.
How to celebrate Beer Can Appreciation Day
Your appreciation can begin simply by visiting the local grocery store. Beers of all kinds can be found on every store shelf, and a close look will tell you that labeling is serious business. Beer cans come in all shapes and sizes as you can imagine, including band cans. An iconic special beer label is for the Iron Maiden beer, which contains the band's iconic mascot, Evil Eddie! For some real varieties, you can go to a collector’s conference or even just go to a proper liquor dealer to really get the spread. After you've finished admiring the can, open it up and enjoy the bubbly beer inside!
ObservedBeer Can Appreciation Day has been observed annually on January 24th.
Monday, January 24th, 2022
Tuesday, January 24th, 2023
Wednesday, January 24th, 2024
Friday, January 24th, 2025
Saturday, January 24th, 2026