Posted by Enrique Navarro on

The American Can Company is responsible for having invented the can as a container for beer. Back in 1909 they began their attempts to find the perfect formula to store canned beer, but it was not until 1935 that canned beer was actually commercialized.

The reason behind this invention was to solve a logistical problem. Before cans were ever used as a container for beer, breweries could not sell their product more than 30 miles away, since glass bottles had a very high production cost and therefore needed to be recovered for reuse. That being the case, it was necessary to find a low-cost disposable container that would solve this problem.

Gottfried Krueger, a German immigrant who ran his own brewery, had the idea of canning beer and began testing. A short time later, in 1909, the American Can Company began to conduct its own experiments but encountered two major problems: on one hand, the gas pressure, and on the other hand, the chemical reactions that occurred when the liquid came into contact with the metal. In those days beer was not filtered, so sometimes it continued to carbonate inside the can until it eventually exploded.

When the Nationwide Prohibition went into effect in the United States the investigation was postponed, and it resumed in 1933. It was then that the American Can Company managed to manufacture a pressurized can with a special coating that prevented the beer from reacting with the tin in the can.

Two years later, in 1935, Gottfried Krueger's company became the first brewery to commercialize its canned product. The chosen beer was Finest Beer and it was undoubtedly a great success. In that year alone, 200 million units were sold and the invention was quickly patented in Europe.

Cans back then had nothing to do with the ones today. They were made of tin and weighed almost 100 grams; about four times more than they currently weigh. The packaging was lighter than glass, easy to transport and resistant to shocks and falls, but the top was flat and had to be opened with a can opener. In 1958 they started using aluminum, and the top ring appeared in 1960. Nowadays, cans are actually the most recommended format for the more hoppy beers because they conserve beer and preserve aromas better.

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