So, in 1935 Krueger’s Cream Ale and Krueger’s Finest Beer were the first beers sold to the public in cans. 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.