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Saturday, January 24th 2015
Cheers to 80 Years of Canned Beers
It was 80 years ago today that the first cans of Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company beer went on sale in Richmond, Virginia. On that day beer drinkers got to experience opening and enjoying a can of beer for the first time and the response was almost immediately, and overwhelmingly positive. Within a year brewers from across the country would begin packaging their beer in cans and the landscape of packaged beer would be forever changed. Below is a timeline that shows notable events over the past 8 decades of canner beer.
CRAFT BEER CAN HISTORY
In 2002, a little known brewpub in Lyons, Colorado began hand-canning an assertively hoppy pale ale in a barn adjacent to where it was brewed. This innocent move by Oskar Blues, recounted time and time again, ushered in a new era for craft beer and the beginning of a new found respect for the beer can.
In the decade that followed more and more American craft brewers would look at canning as a viable option. Minimum orders and different labeling options would make canning more appealing, as would the introduction of a variety of smaller, more affordable canning lines. In 2012, the first mobile canning operations sprang up in California and Colorado. Today, they are found in almost every metropolitan area of the country helping breweries of every shape and size to get their beers in cans. There are now over 475 American craft brewers canning over 1,800 different beers. Almost 100 different styles of beer have been put in cans of a growing variety of shapes and sizes.
Just a few weeks ago, a small brewery in Lewisburg, West Virginia made history by becoming the first brewery in the state to can their beer in over 40 years. West Virginia was also the last state in the country to have a craft brewery that canned their beer. It can now be said that there is at least one craft brewery in every US state plus Washington, DC that cans their beer (click on the map below to see which breweries are canning in each state).
The future of cans is bright. Consumers are increasingly more accepting of cans and their many benefits and more and more brewers are choosing cans. Can designs are becoming works of art akin to the liquid inside them and can collecting is even experiencing a renaissance. Perhaps the novelty of cans is wearing off, but the quality and diversity of beer that is filling today's cans will continue to be celebrated for years to come. Open a can and celebrate with us!
Posted by Russ
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