Not long after the abolishment of American Prohibition in 1933, the small, almost failing brewer Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company teamed up with the American Can Company in 1934 to produce 2,000 cans of Krueger’s Finest Beer and Krueger’s Cream Ale. Delivering 4 tins of beer to 500 families in the area. It was to be a make or break experiment for the Krueger Brewing Co. Lucky for them, as results came in, 91% of people gave the new way to package beer their honest approval.
With this kind of market feedback green-lighting the way the Krueger Brewing Co. decided to go into production. With a little further refinement to the tinning process to stop beer sticking to the edges and rim of tins or to stop the tins warping under the pressurised contents, the first ever tinned beer went on sale, this day (24th January) in 1935!
The tin of beer had a simple clear design without the fuss and small print crammed onto today’s packaging, Kreuger’s tins displayed just once piece of advice to drinkers, “cool before serving”. The tin itself was crude by today’s standards but was no doubt modern or even futuristic to the people of 1935. There were no ring-pulls in those days, no widgets, no gimmicks, just beer in a tin. To get to the beer inside a drinker would have to pierce a triangular hole with a tin opener, the Kreuger Brewing Company slogan at the time was “Be a man, drink Kreuger’s”.
Tinned beer was first received by some as just a silly fad, despite the stigma surrounding the invention, sales throughout 1935 rocketed up to 550% making it clear to other brewers that packaging beer into tins was a hugely profitable way to deliver their product.
Cash in the attic? Today 24th January 2013, an empty good condition can of original 1935 Krueger’s Finest Beer would fetch you somewhere in the region of £300 at a collectors auction.
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