Dear Kid,

Yes you canBeer has been around forever. And by “forever” I mean since about 20 minutes after the proverbial apple.

Beer in cans, however, has only been around since January 24, 1935. This is still a reasonably long time, but in no way qualifies as “forever.”

In 1935, the American Can Company (well-known for giving me a partial scholarship to graduate school) teamed up with the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company and put beer in cans for a test. The test-ees (and by “test-ees” I mean beer drinkers) thought the beer in cans was fine (drinking the beer probably helped) and beer in cans was born.

The American Can Company (motto: Yes, We Can [I just made that up—I’m probably not the first]) was delighted with the decision because they’d spend a great deal of time (and by “time” I mean time and money) developing a can that was pressurized (so as not to explode) and had a special coating (so as to keep the beer from reacting with the tin).

First Beer Can made by American Can CompanyWithin 3 months, Krueger’s (motto: Freddy isn’t related to us) was selling canned beer like crazy and happily taking market share from other brewers (motto: someone get us some cans!).

Turns out there were some real advantages to cans. In those days, bottles required a deposit, but cans did not. Cans were easier to stack, they didn’t break, and they took less time to chill. Cans also guarantee purity and taste by preventing light damage and oxidation which is why many microbrewers (like Madtree) prefer cans.

Cheers to the Cans (did I mention the scholarship help?)

Love, Mom