Collectible US Beer Cans

Collectible U.S. Beer Cans

The first beer cans were made in America after Prohibition, but in time, the practice spread to the rest of the world. These cans were made by the American Can Company, who had to give away the machinery to make the can before anyone would consider that beer did not have to be bottled. If you are interested in collecting vintage beer cans as a hobby, then you probably have many questions.

What are World War II drab beer cans?

The United States government forced beer producers to make special cans during World War II. These cans were made in an olive drab colour so that they would not reflect light on the battlefield. The government ordered breweries to produce part of their sales volume in military beer with these cans having the words, Withdrawn Free of Internal Revenue Tax for Exportation" printed on them. The only ale available to servicemen was Red Cap Ale, and collectors often seek out these cans.

What are the types of vintage beer cans?

There were several types of beer cans made before 1960, with each brewery deciding when they wanted to start producing a different type of can. Ones you can add to your collection include

  • Instructional flat tops: These cans stood about 5 inches tall and 2 ? inches in diameter and contained pictorial instructions on how to open them with a church key. While most had steel tops, a few had aluminum tops.
  • Non-instructional flat tops: These cans were about the same size as an instructional flat top, but they did not include opening instructions. The lack of instructions provided designers with more room to create artistic cans.
  • High-profile cone top: Most of these cans contained 12 ounces of beer, and they measured about 5.6 inches tall and about 2.6 inches in diameter. These cans had a tall spout in the middle without any ribs, and they sealed with a screw-on cap.
  • Low-profile cone top: These 12-ounce cans have a shorter-ribbed spout, and most had an inverted bottom. Most measure about 5.5 inches tall and are about 2.6 inches in diameter.
  • J-sprout cone tops: The sprout on these 12-ounce cans gets wider about halfway down. These cans are slightly taller than other cone tops, but they still have the same diameter.
  • Crowntainers- These containers have a steel interior wrapped in aluminum. Unlike other core tops, they have no rim, but taper to the pouring spout. Most stand about 5 inches tall and are about 2.9 inches in diameter.