National Beer Can Day

A group of friends enjoying a picnic, sitting on a colorful blanket with beer cans scattered around, surrounded by greenery..
National beer can day illustration

Happy National Beer Can Day! Prepare to crack open a cold one and celebrate this innovative and convenient way to enjoy your favorite brews. On this special day, we delve into the fascinating history of the beer can and its impact on the world of beverages. So grab your favorite six-pack and let's dive in!

When is Beer Can Day?

It's national beer can day on the 25th January.

The Birth of the Beer Can

Imagine a time when beer was primarily served in bottles or on tap. It took someone with a stroke of genius to come up with the idea of putting beer in a can. In 1935, the American Can Company and the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company joined forces to create history. Together, they introduced the world's first-ever beer can to the thirsty masses.

At first, people were skeptical. They wondered if the beer inside the can would retain its taste and quality. The brewers had to make sure that the cans were airtight and sealed properly to preserve the deliciousness that we all know and love. Thankfully, after some trial and error, they found the perfect formula.

The Popularity Explosion

Once the beer can hit the market, it quickly gained popularity. People loved the convenience of being able to enjoy their favorite brews without having to worry about glass bottles breaking or kegs running dry. The can provided a portable and lightweight alternative that revolutionized the way we drink beer.

Over the years, breweries started using colorful designs and catchy slogans on their cans to attract consumers. Beer can collectors even emerged, making it a hobby to seek out rare and unique cans from different eras. Each can tells a story and represents a piece of history in the world of brewing.

A Toast to Innovation

Today, beer cans come in all shapes and sizes. From tall boys to sleek and slim cans, there's a perfect vessel for every beer enthusiast. Some breweries have even gone as far as experimenting with different materials, such as aluminum and alloy, to enhance the drinking experience. The beer can continues to evolve, and who knows what exciting developments await us in the future?

History behind the term 'Beer Can'


First Can Refrigerator

In 1935, the first successful beer can refrigerator was introduced by Krueger Brewing Company in Newark, New Jersey. The refrigerator was designed specifically to accommodate a new type of beer container: the beer can. This innovation allowed the public to store and chill their beer at home for the first time, creating convenience and changing the way beer was consumed.


The Beer Can Inception

In 1933, the first beer cans made their appearance on the scene. The American Can Company and Kreuger Brewing Company teamed up to produce the world's first beer can, also known as the 'Krueger Cream Ale can'. These early prototypes were made of steel and required a special opener called a church key to pierce holes for drinking. Despite the initial success, canned beer was not widely accepted in the market, mainly due to the association of cans with low-quality goods.


Prototype Beer Can

In the same year, the American Can Company produced the first prototype beer can. This early beer can was made of flat-topped steel and had a cone-shaped top with a cork lining. The design was intended to mimic the look and feel of a traditional beer bottle, but with the added benefits of being lightweight, sturdy, and easily stackable.


The Advent of the Flat Top Can

In 1935, the flat top beer can was introduced, marking a significant step forward in the evolution of beer packaging. The flat top can had a cone-shaped cap that required a bottle opener. This design became popular as it mirrored the look and feel of traditional beer bottles, providing a familiar experience for beer drinkers. However, the introduction of this design faced resistance from breweries that were reluctant to invest in canning infrastructure.


First Commercial Beer Can

In 1936, the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company became the first brewery to commercially package beer in cans. They partnered with the American Can Company to distribute their Krueger's Finest Beer in the new beer can format. This marked the beginning of a major shift in the beer industry towards canned beer, as other breweries soon followed suit.


Tab-Top Cans Revolutionize Beer Consumption

In 1958, the convenience of opening canned beverages took a leap forward with the introduction of tab-top cans. This design innovation by Ermal Fraze of the Dayton Reliable Tool Company eliminated the need for a separate opener. The tab was integrated into the can itself, allowing consumers to easily pull the tab back and access their favorite brew. The user-friendly nature of tab-tops greatly contributed to the wider adoption of canned beer and the decline of the flat top can.


The Birth of the Stay-On Tab

In 1975, the stay-on tab was introduced by Falls City Brewing Company. This new tab design, created by Daniel F. Cudzik, featured a small lever that helped keep the tab attached to the can after opening. Prior to the stay-on tab, discarded pull-tabs often ended up as litter. The stay-on tab helped alleviate this issue and became the industry standard for beverage cans, including beer cans. It also provided a safer option by preventing accidental ingestion of loose tabs.


Cone-Top Beer Cans

In 1937, the American Can Company introduced a new type of beer can known as the cone-top can. This can design featured a cone-shaped top, similar to the earlier prototype, but with a more secure and easily removable lid. Cone-top cans were popular because they could be filled relatively quickly on existing bottling lines, allowing breweries to transition to canning without major equipment upgrades.


Pull-Tab Beer Cans

In 1959, the first pull-tab beer can was introduced by the Pittsburgh Brewing Company. This innovative design featured a ring on the top of the can that could be pulled to create a convenient opening. Pull-tab beer cans quickly gained popularity due to their easy-to-use nature, eliminating the need for a separate opener and making them more suitable for outdoor events and picnics.


The Aluminum Can Revolution

In 1993, aluminum cans became the predominant material for beer cans. Aluminum cans had numerous advantages over steel cans, including being lighter in weight, quicker to chill, and more resistant to corrosion. The transition to aluminum was driven by improved manufacturing technologies and the growing environmental awareness regarding recycling. Today, the majority of beer cans are made from aluminum, known for its recyclability and ability to preserve the quality and taste of the brew.

Did you know?

Did you know that the pull-tab beer can was first introduced in 1962? It revolutionized the beer industry by providing a more convenient way to open the can. No more searching for a bottle opener or risking injury with a sharp edge. Cheers to progress!


fun history beverages

First identified

24th January 2017

Most mentioned on

25th January 2018

Total mentions


Other days

beer can

Beer Can Day


Maritime Day


Memorial Day

video game

Video Game Day


Liberation Day

teacher appreciation

Teacher Appreciation Day


Vodka Day

former prisoner of war recognition

Former Prisoner Of War Recognition Day


Flag Day


Convention Day