Canned Beer

An innovation in product packaging — and a staple of TV advertising — is having its 83rd anniversary tomorrow: Beer Can Appreciation Day. The first canned beer went on sale on January 24, 1935, as a marketing test in Richmond, Virginia, by the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company of Newark, New Jersey.

Experiments with putting beer in cans had taken place as early as 1909 but the technology of the time couldn’t stop the beer from interacting negatively with the metal of the can. Prohibition delayed further development.

By the late 1960s, canned beer sales exceeded that for bottled beer. Nationally, there are some 2,300 breweries, employing about 45,000 people in a $30.5 billion per year craft.

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