The True Story Behind The Brewing Company That Brought Canned Beer To The World

RealClear Contributor


The first top on the first canned beer was popped on January 24, 1935 -- and you can thank Gottfried Krueger Brewing for making it happen. This is their story.

Beer in a Can?

Truth be told, the American Can Company had already attempted to put beer in a can back in 1909. It didn't work, and Prohibition shut down the beer idea machine for several years before they managed to come up with a usable product in 1933. The cans were specially coated and pressurized, which kept the beer from having a bad reaction with the tin.

Risk Takers

And then the big problem: brewers didn't want it. They bottled their beers, and had little interest in using cans for their brew instead. Gottfried Krueger Brewing, founded in 1858, decided to take a chance on the new idea.

The brewery put their Krueger's Finest Beer and Krueger's Cream Ale in 2,000 cans and delivered them to customers in Richmond, Virginia.


The response was immediate and overwhelming: over 90 percent of people who received the cans loved the beer. Within three months, more than 80 percent of the beer distributors in America were selling canned Krueger beer. By the end of the year 1935, more than 200 million cans had been sold. A new option in beer was born...and it was incredibly popular.

Pop a Top

As for Krueger, the brewery and brand were sold shortly after celebrating 100 years in the industry. Today, Krueger isn't always remembered along with their contemporary brewers -- big names like Anheuser Busch, for example -- but the brewery's legacy lives on every time you crack open another can of beer. 

Do you prefer beer in a can or in a bottle, and will you change your mind after reading this story? Share your answer on Facebook, and see what your friends say!



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