First Canned Beer Sold in the U.S. in 1935

Krueger Beer


The first canned beer went on sale in Richmond, VA in January 1935. The Gottfried Krueger Brewery led the pack, having invented a keg-lining technique that coated the inside of the can the same as you would a keg. By the end of that year, 37 breweries produced canned beer.

More from on the Krueger Brewery’s first batch of canned beer:

Canned beer was an immediate success. The public loved it, giving it a 91 percent approval rating. Compared to glass, the cans were lightweight, cheap, and easy to stack and ship. Unlike bottles, you didn’t have to pay a deposit and then return the cans for a refund. By summer Krueger was buying 180,000 cans a day from American Can, and other breweries decided to follow.

The first cans were flat-topped and made of heavy-gauge steel. To open, a hole had to be punched in the top with the sharp end of a church-key style opener.

Some breweries tried out cans with conical rather than flat tops, but they didn’t stack and ship as easily. Cone tops were sealed with a crown cap just like the cap of a glass beer bottle.

Canning was interrupted between 1942 and 1947 to devote resources to World War II. Aluminum cans, cheaper and lighter still, were introduced in 1958.