Earliest Date known of when a beer was first canned

Patent Information, Canning Codes etc.....

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Re: Date Breweries Signed with Can Companies (1935)

#1

Post by renokenn » Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:30 pm

Signing with a can company was one thing, actually canning was another. I don't think Coors started canning until 1938 or thereabouts so Shiltz could have been the 1st. I'm not old enough to remember...

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Re: Date Breweries Signed with Can Companies

#2

Post by PinBeer » Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:15 am

OK, as Leon noted, a version of that list was in the 50th Anniversary issue from the BCCA (by the way, did he send you the pic on the back of that page too? You'd love it!).

But I also found my handwritten note of flat tops canned from 1935-1939, which I believe I copied from an older BCCA magazine, so I know it exists (and goes beyond just 1935). The 1935 portion matches the list above (for flats). The Feb. 1981 issue of BCM also has an article by Michael Garrard about the early conetops, and lists months and year for 1935-1936, then year only for 1937-1939, similar to the list above. But he references a similar article he did for flat tops in a 1978 issue of BCM, which I unfortunately don't have. But I still think there's another article that shows breweries and canning for 1935-1939. I just ran out of time to search further tonight.
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Re: Date Breweries Signed with Can Companies

#3

Post by mtracy64 » Sun Feb 22, 2009 2:34 am

The list appears a couple of other places as well - the Official Beer Can Price Guide by Bill Mugrage and wherever it is that I saw it first; I didn't have Bill's book or the 50th Anniversary BCCA mag at the time. I thought it was cool enough information that I put it into a spreadsheet and took a bunch of copies to Blue/Grey that year (1998?) for people to take (along with copies of my wantlist). Shortly thereafter, people were sending photos of unpictured cans and other cool information to Danny so he could post them all in one spot for us, so I sent the list. I don't know when the list was put on the new home page (I NEVER go there, I just go straight to the forum), but at some point somebody put a link to it in a post I read. I noticed then that Genesee had been dropped, so I checked to see if this list came from that list or from an earlier version.

I'm surprised that I didn't notice that Aztec was missing as well (haven't thought much about this for a long time, I guess). Aztec is a major problem with this list. Either there's a yet-to-be-discovered flattop by Aztec out there somewhere or the can company should be Continental rather than American. But all of the other cones on the list are FBIR. Does this imply a FBIR ABC cone? Or, were there several months of lag time between the signing date and the actual production of cans?

As was noted above, this list doesn't help us much as far as determining initial production and/or sale dates. It's been publicized that American Can was inundated with requests after Krueger's test marketing was so wildly successful and that they chose to make smaller breweries wait in order to meet the demand of their larger accounts (i.e., Pabst). This probably explains why the Jan. 1936 Fortune article 'Beer Into Cans' doesn't show cans from several of the breweries listed as signing with American but does show cans from even the latest signees with the other can companies.

At least one 1936 advertisement for Coors in cans exists. As luck would have it, the ad shows an unknown version of the can which has the U-Permit number on the face. The ad is either shown in 'The Beer Can', or the Cone Top Collector's Bible.

I've believed for many years now that Heileman's was marketed in cans ahead of Schlitz. The argument in support of this claim is simple, IF you're willing to dismiss the notion that the IRTP requirement began in mid-1935. I began to suspect that notion was BS for various reasons, but after chatting with Bob Kay via his label website, I was convinced. I believe that the IRTP requirement began the day Prohibition ended and that any can or bottle of the era which lacks it is a case of non-conformance. The only evidence to support this is circumstantial but very strong: The label collectors know of less than a dozen 1930's labels that lack IRTP. If IRTP was not required from 1933 to mid-1935, there should be hundreds of non-IRTP labels. As for how this relates to cans, we know of three cases (four cans) of non-IRTP cans from 1935. If you'll accept that Heileman's pre-dates Schlitz, we're able to look at these cases and say that each can company made the same mistake on their first can.

I haven't looked at Michael Garard's articles in Beer Cans Monthly for a long time, but I do recall that there a number of errors in his information.

Marc
Last edited by mtracy64 on Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Date Breweries Signed with Can Companies

#4

Post by PinBeer » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:33 am

Of course the other challenge with some of these lists is that they don't cite their source. Where'd the info come from for the 1935 list? In some cases the articles provide the original magazine date and name (usually one of the brewing trade magazines) or reproduce the article directly. Those are great. (I especially like the original article about Krueger's Special from July 1934). I even did it to myself, as I didn't note on my handwritten copy of 1935-1939 cans where I got it. Doh!

The old articles in BCM (and elsewhere) have to be considered more critically when relying on them, since new/more accurate info has surfaced in the last 25 years. But they are a fun time capsule. The short follow-on to BCM was Brewery Collectibles, and it is fun to read Dave Stark's old articles. Lots of discovery back then.

Whatever happened to Jeff Cameron anyway?

I'll try and find the 1935-1939 list.
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Re: Date Breweries Signed with Can Companies

#5

Post by Rockbob » Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:50 pm

mtracy64 wrote: At least one 1936 advertisement for Coors in cans exists. As luck would have it, the ad shows an unknown version of the can which has the U-Permit number on the face. The ad is either shown in 'The Beer Can', or the Cone Top Collector's Bible. Marc
I found this in "The Beer Can".
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Re: Date Breweries Signed with Can Companies

#6

Post by Monkeysqueak » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:28 am

Ballantine signed on July '35 but the earliest cans I've ever seen from them are Oct. '35. Menke may know of any earlier....
-Dan

Still looking for Pabst Lilek #638, Bally O/I #'s 63 & 67......

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Re: Date Breweries Signed with Can Companies

#7

Post by mtracy64 » Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:29 pm

Rod - Wasn't the Krueger's Special article from 1933? I thought that was the case anyhow. And, yes many of the old articles written by collectors do need to be scrutinized due to new information. Dave Stark wrote some really outstanding articles and he did his research, so it's safe to accept just about anything he wrote short of known numbers of cans as that may have changed over time in some cases. I've been told that Jeff Cameron left the hobby and absconded with some unknown amount of money guys had sent in to renew their memberships.

Bob - Thanks, that is the 1936 Coors ad I referred to.

Dan - I wouldn't be too surprised if there was several months of lag time between signing and production for any of the breweries using American Can Co. cans which are listed after Pabst. The cans don't even seem to have been issued in the order of the signings. Of the breweries listed as signing with American Can Co. from October to December, the only breweries we've seen Patent Pending cans from are Manhattan and Hamm's. And none of the cans from breweries signing with American Can Co. during those three months appear in the 'Beer Into Cans' article.

Marc

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Re: Date Breweries Signed with Can Companies

#8

Post by menke » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:59 pm

Yeah, the earliest date I've spotted on a Ballantine is on the earliest beer OI. I keep meaning to run a club-wide project to collect more of these dates...maybe after I get this airbrush story in the hopper.

Anyway, the date code on the bottom lid translates to Oct 30, 1935. It would be a canning date, not a brew date or date of can manufacture. There is no one brew date for a canner of that size, every day of packaging would include blends of several different days of production so no single date. Quality control would dictate the packing date, if there were a problem with that day's canning, that date alone would tell the brewer and salesman which batches were involved, a bad batch of cans, distress of any kind in transit or at retail, and so on.

I would think that signing date is the date on a contract for supplying cans. You'd likely add time for design artwork, engraving, and production lag times before product made it out the door. Those brewers wouldn't sign one day, and install canning equipment and get up to full speed that very day. I'm thinking you're looking at a 1-2 month lag time at bare minimum.
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Re: Date Breweries Signed with Can Companies

#9

Post by mtracy64 » Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:45 am

The Ballantine's are one of very few examples of dated cans for which I'd agree that the date is a canning date. A number of other cans which bear dates specifically say "Brewed by date on bottom (or top) of can", which I suppose is a way of getting around the fact that a "Brewed on" date may be difficult or impossible to identify exactly.

As for lag time, Beverwyck is last on the list of signing dates (12-18-35) and their can appeares in the Jan. 1936 Fortune magazine article. Given that cones could be filled on modified bottling lines and that flats required totally new equipment, it stands to reason that there could be much less lag time to get cones to market.

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Re: Date Breweries Signed with Can Companies

#10

Post by Monkeysqueak » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:13 pm

Hey Matt,
Since that time we went over dates, I've added one that's a little earlier then the beer. I've got the first ale with Oct. 24, 1935 (I know, big whoop, 6 days BUT it is earlier). :smt023
-Dan

Still looking for Pabst Lilek #638, Bally O/I #'s 63 & 67......

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Re: Date Breweries Signed with Can Companies

#11

Post by PinBeer » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:11 am

mtracy64 wrote:Rod - Wasn't the Krueger's Special article from 1933? I thought that was the case anyhow.
That would have been my recollection as well, but the article itself was reprinted from a July 1934 issue. I'll have to dig it back out to scan and post, as it's possibly a worthwhile reference item to include here anyway (given that it represents the main missing can in the hobby). But I couldn't argue with the date printed on the article. Might need to reconcile that with other info regarding the Special, as I recall a 1933 date too.

I still need to dig back through my library and find where I got my 1935-1939 canning co. sign-on list. I could just list my handwritten copy, but I don't remember where I got the info (yet), and it bugs me.
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Re: Date Breweries Signed with Can Companies

#12

Post by mtracy64 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:25 am

The November 1933 date rings a bell. I was unemployed for a while about a dozen years ago, and one of the first things I did was sit down with all of my newsletters and draw up an index of the interesting articles and photos in them. Unfortunately, my collection of newsletters was not yet complete and I didn't update the index as I acquired the missing newsletters. I can't find anything for the November date, but the BCCA newsletter from May 1976 reprints an article on the Krueger's Special which appeared in the December 28, 1933 Brewer's News. And the July 1934 article mentioned above was reprinted in Beer Cans Monthly from May 1979 and again in the February 1984 issue of the follow-on publication. I don't show a listing for Michael Garard's articles on dates, but I'm sure they appeared in Beer Cans Monthly and it's almost certain that his articles would have appeared ahead of the auction results from the sales of his cans, which are in the June 1980 issue. My newsletters are buried right now, but this info should narrow it down pretty good if anybody wants to look for the articles.

Marc

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Re: Earliest Date known of when a beer was first canned

#13

Post by renokenn » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:58 pm

Royal Beer - Reno Brewing Company

This ad is from the Reno Evening Gazette July 30, 1936 along with a Continental Can Co. ad. An ad in the REG on August 20, 1936 formally introduces the can. Contract date is of course somewhat before 7/30/36.

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Re: Date Breweries Signed with Can Companies

#14

Post by Leon » Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:38 am

Leon wrote:The Krueger specials were being made & Advertised in November of 1933 but I have info that say's the test run was in the summer of 1934. LEON.

Krueger went Public with there big plans to start brewing beer in cans on SEPTEMBER 14th, 1933. That Date should go down in history. LEON. :roll:
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Re: Date Breweries Signed with Can Companies

#15

Post by Leon » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:04 am

nc sodapopkid wrote:
Leon wrote:
Leon wrote:The Krueger specials were being made & Advertised in November of 1933 but I have info that say's the test run was in the summer of 1934. LEON.

Krueger went Public with there big plans to start brewing beer in cans on SEPTEMBER 14th, 1933. That Date should go down in history. LEON. :roll:
i heard the kreuger special can really dosent exist !! i know im opening a really big can of worms here!!! out of 2000 there should be 2-3 cans out there and not just the article written years ago.also wasnt the american can co test can really the first filled can??

In my opinion I don't think the American test can we are familar with was the first filled can or even first test can. LEON.
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Re: Earliest Date known of when a beer was first canned

#16

Post by Leon » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:09 am

I have a Friend that has that can nice indoor & Full. He was told it was full of Piels beer? Or something like that. There was a rusty dumper found before in pit of other rusty flats. LEON.
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Re: Earliest Date known of when a beer was first canned

#17

Post by Leon » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:13 am

This can I think predates the Amercan test can & is full, Full of Berghoff beer I'm told. LEON.
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Re: Date Breweries Signed with Can Companies

#18

Post by mtracy64 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:30 pm

Monkeysqueak wrote:Hey Matt,
Since that time we went over dates, I've added one that's a little earlier then the beer. I've got the first ale with Oct. 24, 1935 (I know, big whoop, 6 days BUT it is earlier). :smt023
I acquired a Beer today that is dated October 23, 1935.

Marc
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Re: Earliest Date known of when a beer was first canned

#19

Post by foreigncanman » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:55 pm

date codes and dates on cans can be misleading I saw a white Rainier cone with jan 15 35 on the bottom which predates the known first production cone. Tom

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Re: Earliest Date known of when a beer was first canned

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Post by mtracy64 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:56 pm

foreigncanman wrote:date codes and dates on cans can be misleading I saw a white Rainier cone with jan 15 35 on the bottom which predates the known first production cone. Tom
Well, this is a 1935 Patent Pending Ballantine's and the date is very much in line with those noted by two brand specialists previously. I'm sure mistakes were made in some cases, though.

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Re: Earliest Date known of when a beer was first canned

#21

Post by Monster » Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:24 pm

Just send all your earliest examples to me and I'll dedicate myself to the study. Also, I'll have top men working on it. TOP. MEN.

The cans will be returned at some future date, eventually-possibly-maybe to be designated later.

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Re: Earliest Date known of when a beer was first canned

#22

Post by mtracy64 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:44 pm

Any Waldorf specialists out there? Or Ohio?

The blob after the "5" on the Ale adds some uncertainty, but the temptation is to date these to the 299th and 341st day of 1935. Both are Patent Pending with the 1935 "X" Canco year code.

An Ohio specialist might know when, or how long, this tax stamp was used. I haven't seen it on any other can.
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