As canned beer turns 84, remember how Oskar Blues made history, too
Today, canned beer is plentiful, but it wasn’t until 1935 — on this day — that beer was successfully added to metal cans. And where, on a scorching afternoon in Texas, where would we be without an easily recyclable canned brew to keep us cool? On a mild day like this one, cans also can’t be beat.
Cans had been a popular way to distribute food by the late 19th century, according to history.com, but they needed some retooling to incorporate beer. The American Can Company “developed a can that was pressurized and had a special coating to prevent the fizzy beer from chemically reacting with the tin.” Cans made Budweiser, Miller and Coors brews mainstream — but it wasn’t until the turn of the new millennium that they would catch on with craft brewers.
In fact, Oskar Blues, a Colorado brewery that opened an Austin outpost in the fall of 2016, is credited with being the first to put craft beer exclusively in a can. In November 2002, Dale’s Pale Ale rolled out entirely in aluminum, and craft beer hasn’t looked back since then. Though glass bottles are still common, beers from IPAs to tripels are now being put into the metal vessels because they’re easier on the environment, easier to cart around and also easier to protect beer from air, giving the precious liquid within an airtight seal.
Celebrate the advent of the canned beer today, designated as Canned Beer Appreciation Day, with your favorite canned brew — whether it’s an Oskar Blues ale or not. (It’s worth noting this weekend that the always inventive brewery is releasing something new: the Can-o-Beer Tropical IPA. You’ll feel transported to the tropics because of the hops, according to Oskar Blues.)