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Cheers to 50 Years of Aluminum Beer Cans

by David Lauterbach
2009 January 24
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January can be a pretty slow drinking month as New Year’s resolutions kick in and we wait for the Super Bowl.  So it’s nice to find something we can raise our glass to… or rather, our can.

MillerCoors is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the recyclable aluminum can. After many prototypes and several years in development, the first aluminum cans rolled off the line at the Coors Golden brewery on Jan. 22, 1959.

In 1957, William K. Coors, the president of Adolph Coors Company, began researching the feasibility of a recyclable aluminum container for beer. At the time, beer was packaged in tin containers that not only gave beer an aftertaste, but also resulted in an environmental issue due to waste. Aluminum allowed the company to deliver fresher tasting beer to consumers without needing pasteurization and was 100 percent recyclable.

Prior to the aluminum can’s debut, steel flat-tops were how Americans bought their beverages. In 1962 the rivet and pull-tab version (also known as rimple or ring pull) was introduced and eliminated the need for a church-key opener. This was followed by years of swallowing the sharp-edged tab as litter-conscious consumers would drop the tab in their beverage. Stay tabs (also called colon tabs) were introduced in 1975 partly to prevent the injuries caused by removable tabs.

Cans that were welded at the seam gave way to the seamless, extruded (and later, drawn and ironed) cans that we have today.   And aluminum can chills faster and stays colder than any other beverage container… even if we do prefer drinking from bottles.

So raise your cans to 50 years of cold beers.

This article was culled from a sloppy, lengthy press release and information from Wikipedia.

Pardon us while we pay for beer...

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