Beer cans of yore

Excavating a beery past, Part III

If you’ve been following along, you’re aware of my long, lost beer can collection. If you’ve just tuned in, you can find the backdrop here.

I’d love to see the Queen drink straight from a can, wouldn’t you?I’ve moved from annoying my mom by decorating my room with beer cans (throughout my high school years) to concerning my wife over the prospect of installing shelves for my beer cans in our bedroom (very much in the present day).

Of course I wouldn’t actually do that, not when I have a bar planned in our living room. They’ll look right snazzy throughout the main living space, where our guests can more easily enjoy them. In the meantime, I’ve agreed to store them a little more out of the way. I admit that there hasn’t been much floor space the last few days.

For the sake of posterity, documentation and letting the reader in on my joy, I’ve decided to post photos before Storage, Round 2 begins. I’ve roughly grouped the cans by brewery, though some of you smartypantses will notice potential mistakes. I know that certain brands changed hands. I know good and well that Colt 45 appears in more than one photo. And one or two photos are simply a grouping of several breweries for which I only had one or two cans.

I’m not curating the flippin’ Smithsonian here. I know you are smart. Just enjoy the photos, and reminisce at your leisure.



From the Miller crew, I’m partial to MBL, my old standby, but I also quite enjoy the Halloween edition of Miller Lite Longnecks, on the bottom left.

Miller and friends

Of the Falstaff‘s, my favorite is the Bi-Centennial can, though I don’t suppose they used two additions of Centennial hops.


Pearl has some cool stuff here: the JR Ewing (middle left), Near Beer (middle middle) and the Generics on the bottom (few things cooler, cheaper and lousier, I’d guess)


From Anheiser-Busch‘s Bud family, I’m partial to the “Budweiser Light,” pictured middle left. You don’t see that every day.

Anheiser-Busch and friends

Rounding out the Anheiser-Busch crew. My favorites here are the two Busch cans in the middle row, 2nd and 3rd from left. I like their old school simplicity.

Anheiser-Busch 2

A bunch from the Schmidt Wildlife collection. It’s worth noting that many of the older cans I have possess rust and crud, but these cans are the only ones where the paint is actively peeling off.

Schmidt Wildlife collection

PBR me, whenever you get around to it. My favorite from this Pabst collection is the Hamm’s Keg Can.

Pabst and friends

Schlitz, ya gotta give ’em credit. I wouldn’t have called my beer that. Of course, my favorite is the Tall Boy in the middle row.


G. Heilman. I once visited this brewery on a family vacation when I was 16. Along with fishing for Northern Pike while sipping Grain Belt and watching the Cubs win at Wrigley Field, laying eyes on the World’s Largest Six Pack was a highlight. (This is the photo that shouldn’t have Colt 45–you come over here and set ’em up again.)

G Heilman and friends

Now we’re getting into the miscellaneous category. I like the Olympia, dead center.


More miscellaneous stuff. It’s worth pointing out that while Dubuque Star was only about $1.99/6-pack, even high schoolers wouldn’t drink it.

misc old beer cans 2

More miscellaneous brews. I like the oil cans.

misc old beer cans 3

A few beers from the Coors family. I’d forgotten about that Winterfest. Seems Coors was making at least a stab at engaging the craft beer audience quite a few years ago. Anybody feel like issuing a little street cred?

Coors and friends

While that Bitburger is not ancient, I don’t know where I got it. Did I drink that, way back then?

misc beer cans 4

These are the truly old ones, made of tin and needing a church key to open.

The oldies

Light years ahead of Heineken, this Hamm’s Keg Can is one of my favorites from the whole lot.

Light years ahead of Heineken–the Hamm’s Keg Can

Evolution of the brews: there’s more than one way to open a can.

Open Sesame



You guessed it: I didn’t get anything productive done this past weekend.




7 Responses to Beer cans of yore

  1. […] this beer slipped my mind. It reappeared in my life last fall when I recovered my old beer can collection and my 17-year-old bottle of Guinness. I can’t believe I didn’t mention it. I know […]

  2. Dj says:

    If you don’t mind: of the Flagstaff beer cans, the very last one on the right on the middle tier; and of the Coors beer cans, again the middle tier, both the second to the left, and the second to the right (on the bottom). I have the one with the single hole opening (someone used a bottle opener on the bottom; so the pull-tab is still intact. Do you by chance know from what year these cans were produced? I found both of them in the attic of the townhouse I currently rent. The owner said the place was built around 1987…

  3. Wilson says:

    Flagstaff? Falstaff, you mean? I’m afraid I’m no help on the years produced on any of them, with the exception of the few I know I drank in, ahem, high school.

  4. steve says:

    I have a 6 pack of unopened jr ewing beer with plastic ring still around it and no dents please tell me what its worth

  5. Willard L. Potter says:

    I have a Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer Original still has the contents. It has a Blue Ribbon Logo on the front and a Schlitz logo on top (mistake) this is a steel can and probably from the 1940’s era.
    I am wondering what the value may be. Thanks for Your time

  6. Wilson says:

    I really don’t know what any of this stuff is worth, but there are breweriana collectors and conventions, etc. that might be able to help you out.

  7. brittany says:

    Have 2 of the same budweiser cans that you have found on the interior of a wall. They are both lagers but cans are different both have to be opened by can opener. Just wondering if they were worth anything.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: