This Day In History: 01/24/1935 - First Canned Beer on Sale

This Day in History, January 24th. The first canned beer was sold, Winston Churchill died, the Voyager 2 had the closest approach to Uranus and the Department of Homeland Security was created, headed by Tom Ridge in our This Day in History recap.

Construction at the Museum

The Museum is open with pay what you wish admission, Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Uncovering history kicks up some dust! Due to ongoing historic restoration, parts of our lower level and our accessible entrance will be temporarily closed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and encourage you to call (716) 873-9644 ext. 309 or email [email protected] for updates on construction and access.

Later this year, you can look forward to the grand reopening of the Museum’s lower level, restored to the original vision of architect George Cary! Learn more from our press release.

Pan-Am Night Scene Panoramic

In 1901 when the Pan-American Exposition opened, the sheer volume and color of electric lights, designed to be experienced after dark, was a new experience for Americans. This view, looking north from the Triumphal Bridge, includes the Temple of Music, Machinery and Transportation Buildings, Court of Fountains, Electric Tower, Manufactures Building, Liberal Arts and Ethnology Building, and part of the Government Building.

Evelyn Rumsey Cary Suffrage Poster

This poster was a favorite of the women’s suffrage movement. Created by Evelyn Rumsey Cary (1855-1924) of Buffalo, it is an elegant example of Art Nouveau graphic design, depicting a female figure transformed into a fruit tree. The building behind her may be based on the east façade of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

History of Beer

And then. . .
Beer eventually made its way from the Middle East across the Mediterranean to Europe, where it became an integral part of life. This was especially true in Northern Europe where abundant barley crops provided ample raw ingredients for brewers. Beer was valued both for its nutritional value and because it was a safe alternative to drinking water, many sources of which had become contaminated with human waste (Mmmm, thirsty yet?).

It was during the early Middle Ages that what we think of as modern beer was born. Brewers had been using malted barley as the main source of fermentable sugar for hundreds of years, but the use of hops as a bittering and flavoring agent did not become common until around the twelfth century. Before that time, many different herbs and spices were used to balance the sweet malt flavors in beer everything from spruce boughs to dried flowers to bitter roots had found their way into brew kettles. Around 1150, however, German monks began commonly using wild hops in beer and the ingredient quickly caught on. Brewers found that hops added a very pleasing, thirst quenching bitterness and, as an added benefit, the hops acted as a natural preservative extending the life of their beers.

Monks were very much the preeminent brewers of the Middle Ages, with virtually every monastery having a brewery on site. Historians credit monks with many brewing innovations beyond the introduction of hops, including the idea of lagering, or cold storing, beer to improve flavor. Even in modern times the monastic brewing tradition holds, with a number of Belgian monasteries ranking today among the greatest breweries in the world.

Along with Northern European countries like Germany and Belgium, the British Isles too, became a brewing center. Many styles of beer familiar to drinkers today have their roots in Britain pale ales, porters, and stouts have been brewed in England and Ireland for hundreds of years. Beer has been such an integral part of British life that the British army issued daily beer rations to each soldier, and, when the British Empire occupied half of the civilized world, the Royal Navy delivered beer to troops in even the furthest corners of the Empire. In fact, a very popular style of beer today, India Pale Ale, developed out of the need to ship beer from England to far-away outposts of the Empire in places like India and Burma without it going stale or sour. British brewers discovered that a beer with higher alcohol and extra hops-both of which act as natural preservatives—lasted longer and could survive the long journey to the other side of the globe.

Beer arrived in the New World with the first European colonists. According to the journals of the Pilgrims, the reason they landed at Plymouth Rock was that they were out of beer and needed to make more. Indeed, the first permanent structure they built was a brewery. And Americans have been brewing ever since. Both New York and Philadelphia were early brewing centers in America: New York City alone had 42 breweries in 1810.

Almost all early American beers were based on the English-style ales the colonists were familiar with. That began to change, though, in the mid-1800s as wave after wave of new immigrants came from Northern and Central Europe, bringing with them a taste for a new style of beer had taken hold on the Continent: Pilsner-style lagers typical of Germany and the Czech Republic. Very quickly, these pale, hoppy, clean tasting beers replaced the darker, heavier ales that had typified American beer in the previous centuries.

This Day In History: 01/24/1935 - First Canned Beer on Sale - HISTORY

A&W celebrated its 50th Anniversary.

A&W Root Beer became available in bottles and cans.

A&W Root Beer became available in bottles and cans.

Rooty the Great Root Bear™ was born.

The 100th International Restaurant was opened in Thailand.

The 100th International Restaurant was opened in Thailand.

In conjunction with A&W’s 80th Anniversary, the world’s largest Root Beer Float was created. 2,562.5 gallons of Root Beer were used to break the world record.

100% Real Wisconsin White Cheddar Cheese Curds were introduced.

100% Real Wisconsin White Cheddar Cheese Curds were introduced.


A&W was purchased by a group of domestic and international A&W Franchise Partners.

2019 & Beyond – THE FUTURE IS NOW

A&W celebrates its 100th anniversary. There are approximately 1,000 restaurants (& counting) in the U.S. and international markets.

2019 & Beyond – THE FUTURE IS NOW

A&W celebrates its 100th anniversary. There are approximately 1,000 restaurants (& counting) in the U.S. and international markets.

Historical Events in 1970

Event of Interest

Jan 4 AFL Championship, Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland: Kansas City Chiefs beat Oakland Raiders, 17-7 Chiefs defence forces 4 interceptions

    NFL Championship, Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington: Minnesota Vikings beat Cleveland Browns, 27-7 23,000 Belgian mine workers strike KPTS TV channel 8 in Hutchinson-Wichita, KS (PBS) begins broadcasting Soap Opera "All My Children" premieres on ABC Australian boxer Johnny Famechon retains his WBC featherweight title with a 14th-round knockout of Fighting Harada in Tokyo re-match of questionable 15-round decision in 1969 in his first title defence

Woodstock Music and Art Fair

Jan 7 Farmers sue Max Yasgur for $35,000 in damages caused by "Woodstock"

    Constitution of Singapore enacted Preview Center opens at Walt Disney World, Florida - first building to open Super Bowl IV, Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, LA: KC Chiefs beat Minnesota Vikings, 23-7 MVP: Len Dawson, Kansas City, QB Irish republican political party Sinn Féin party splits between those in favor of abstentionism (of not taking any seats won in the parliaments) and those where against Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu flees Biafra into exile, leaving his deputy Philip Effiong to surrender to the Nigerian army, unofficially ending the Nigerian Civil War Riots begin in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast Royal Ulster Constabulary officers patrol the Falls Road area of Belfast for the first time since 1969 Nigerian civil war officially ends after 2 1/2 years of fighting when the Republic of Biafra disbands and joins Nigeria

Event of Interest

Jan 15 Muammar Gaddafi is proclaimed premier of Libya

    Curt Flood files a civil lawsuit challenging baseball's reserve clause [1] NFL realigns into 3 divisions (down from 4) AAU player Steve Myers makes a basketball field goal of 92'3½" from out of bounds, Tacoma-it shouldn't have counted, but was allowed Buckminster Fuller receives the Gold Medal award from the American Institute of Architects 4 months after leading a coup against monarchy, Muammar Gaddafi takes over rule of Libya Inaugural Buffalo Sabres owners Seymour H. Knox III and Northrup Knox hire former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager and head coach Punch Imlach in the same capacities for their new NHL franchise 357 baseball players are available in the free-agent draft 9th AFL All Star Game, Astrodome, Houston: Western Division beats Eastern Division, 26-3 MVP: John Hadl, LA Chargers, QB John M Burgess installed as bishop of Protestant Episcopals (Mass)

Event of Interest

Jan 17 Sporting News names Willie Mays as Player of the Decade for the 1960s

NFL Pro Bowl

Jan 18 20th NFL Pro Bowl, LA Memorial Coliseum: West beats East, 16-13 MVPs: Gale Sayers, Chicago Bears, HB George Andrie, Dallas Cowboys, DE

    Eight Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands say there should be room in the church for both married priests and celibate priests Nixon nominates G Harold Carswell to Supreme Court (fails) UCLA fires Angela Davis for being a communist

NBA All-Star Game

Jan 20 20th NBA All-Star Game, Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pa: East beats West, 142-135 MVP: Willis Reed, NY Knicks, C Tom and Dick Van Arsdale, first brothers to play in same NBA All-Star Game

NHL All-Star Game

Jan 20 23rd NHL All-Star Game, St. Louis Arena: East beats West, 4-1 MVP: Bobby Hull, Chicago, LW

Event of Interest

Jan 25 "M*A*S*H", directed by Robert Altman, starring Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould, is released (Palme d'Or 1970)

    Pendleton, Ford & Cryer's "Last Sweet Days of Isaac," premieres in NYC Australian Open Women's Tennis: Margaret Court beats fellow Australian Kerry Melville Reid 6-1, 6-3 Court retains title for 9th Australian singles crown and 1st leg of her Grand Slam "Bridge over Troubled Water" 5th and final studio album by Simon & Garfunkel is released (Grammy Award Album of the Year, Best Engineered Non-Classical Album 1971) Movie rating system modifies "M" rating to "PG" 1970 NFL Draft: Terry Bradshaw from Louisiana Tech first pick by Pittsburgh Steelers

Australian Men's Tennis Open

Jan 27 Australian Open Men's Tennis: Arthur Ashe beats big serving local Dick Crealy 6-4, 9-7, 6-2

    Lubomír Strougal succeeds Cernik as premier of Czechoslovakia USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR Grateful Dead members busted on LSD charges Former MLB Commissioner Ford Frick as well as ex-players Earle Combs and Jesse Haines are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame Stalled commuter train rammed by express in Argentina, 139 die

Meeting of Interest

Feb 1 Northern Ireland PM Chichester-Clark meets British Home Secretary James Callaghan to discuss the economy of Northern Ireland

NHL Record

Feb 1 Rangers' goalie Terry Sawchuk records his 447th (and final) victory, and 103rd career shutout when New York beats the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-0 both are NHL records at the time

Event of Interest

Feb 2 Pete Maravich becomes 1st to score 3,000 college basketball points

Golden Globes

Feb 2 27th Golden Globes: Anne of the Thousand Days, John Wayne, & Genevieve Bujold

    "Charles Aznavour" opens at Music Box Theater NYC for 23 performances "Gantry" opens at George Abbott Theater NYC for 1 performance US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Film Premier

Feb 4 "Patton" directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring George C. Scott premieres in New York (Academy Awards Best Picture 1971)

    1st Test Cricket ton of Barry Richards, 126, 164 balls, 20 fours 1 six Test Cricket debut of John Traicos, South Africa v Australia, Durban US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site WSCV TV channel 51 in Fort Lauderdale, FL (IND) suspends broadcasting Graeme Pollock completes 274 v Australia at Durban NBA expands to 18 teams with Buffalo, Cleveland, Houston & Portland "Hollywood Palace" last airs on ABC TV "Jingle Jangle" hits #10 on the pop singles chart by Archies LSU's "Pistol" Pete Marovich scores 69 pts in losing cause US female Figure Skating championship won by Janet Lynn

Event of Interest

Feb 11 John Lennon pays £1,344 fines for 96 protesting South African rugby team playing in Scotland

    Anthony Shaffer's "Sleuth" premieres in NYC Man-eating tiger is reported to have killed 48, 80 km from New Delhi NL offices begins move from Cincinnati to San Francisco (completed Feb 23) 16th National Film Awards (India): "Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne" wins the Golden Lotus "Gantry" closes at George Abbott Theater NYC after 1 performance

Event of Interest

Feb 15 Ard Schenk becomes world champion all-round skater

    Dominican DC-9 crashes into sea at Santo Domingo, kills 102 KAMU TV channel 15 in College Station, TX (PBS) begins broadcasting Nationalists disrupt UN session on Congo

Boxing Title Fight

Feb 16 Joe Frazier TKOs Jimmy Ellis in 5 for heavyweight boxing title

    US army officer Jeffrey MacDonald murders his pregnant wife and two small daughters Robert Marasco's "Child's Play" premieres in NYC Chicago 7 defendants found innocent of inciting to riot

Event of Interest

Feb 18 US President Richard Nixon launches the "Nixon doctrine"

Event of Interest

Feb 19 AL Cy Young Award winner Denny McLain suspended for bookmaking

    USSR launches Sputnik 52 & Molniya 1-13 communications satellite Jackson 5 make TV debut on "American Bandstand" Pathet Lao conquers Xieng Khuang & Muong Suy "Charles Aznavour" closes at Music Box Theater NYC after 23 performances 12th Daytona 500: Pete Hamilton wins by just 3 car lengths over David Pearson, after passing him with 9 laps to go Guyana becomes a republic (National Day) Holy Eucharist given by women for 1st time in Roman Catholic service 29 Swiss Army officers die in avalanche (Reckingen, Switzerland) Heintje Simons (14) wins 7 gold records KVDO TV channel 3 in Salem, OR (IND) begins broadcasting "Georgy" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 4 performances Beatles release "Beatles Again" aka "Hey Jude" album NY Times (falsely) reports US army has ended domestic surveillance "Georgy" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 4 performances Bicycles permitted to cross Golden Gate Bridge Caroline Walker runs world female record marathon (3:02:53) KIIN (now KUN) TV channel 12 in Iowa City, IA (PBS) 1st broadcast WUTR TV channel 20 in Utica-Rome, NY (ABC) begins broadcasting

Album Release

    End of US commercial whale hunting Kreisky's social democrats win Austrian parliamentary election Minnesota coach Charlie Burns becomes the final player/coach in NHL history, when he plays in the North Stars' 8-0 win over Toronto Maple Leafs remains in role for final month of the season

Event of Interest

Mar 1 Boston's Bobby Orr becomes the first defenseman in NHL history to score 25 goals in a season during a 3-1 Bruins win over the visiting St. Louis Blues

    White government of Rhodesia declares itself a republic American Airlines' 1st flight of a Boeing 747 Supreme Court ruled draft evaders can not be penalized after 5 years French submarine "Eurydice" explodes off Cape Camarat in the Mediterranean, all 57 crew lost Jacksonville is 1st college basketball team to avg 100+ pts per game NY Rangers set then NHL record of 126 games without being shut-out Edison Theater opens at 240 W 47th St NYC Nuclear non-proliferation treaty goes into effect SDS Weathermen terrorist group bomb 18 West 11th St in NYC Dubnium atoms are first detected conclusively.

Film Release

Mar 5 "Airport" based on the book by Arthur Hailey, directed by George Seaton and starring Burt Lancaster and Dean Martin is released

The first tin cans were so thick they had to be hammered open. As cans became thinner, it became possible to invent dedicated can openers. In 1858, Ezra Warner of Waterbury, Connecticut patented the first can opener. The U.S. military used it during the Civil War. In 1866, J. Osterhoudt patented the tin can with a key opener that you can find on sardine cans.

The inventor of the familiar household can opener was William Lyman, who patented a very easy to use can opener in 1870. The invention included a wheel that rolls and cuts around the rim of a can, a design we are familiar with today. The Star Can Company of San Francisco improved William Lyman's can opener in 1925 by adding a serrated edge to the wheel. An electric version of the same type of can opener was first sold in December of 1931.

History of Beer Cans

The interest in packaging beer in metal cans dates to before Prohibition in America. The 18th Amendment prohibition against the transport and sale of alcoholic beverages became effective on January 16, 1920. Before Prohibition, beer was distributed mostly in bottles, kegs and directly from the tap (either at a local bar or at the brewery itself). At this time, other foods were packaged in metal cans and the American Can Company began looking into the feasibility of canning beer.

Packaging beer in cans presented a number of technical and marketing issues. One engineering challenge was to find affordable materials and methods of producing cans strong enough to withstand the high pressure that occurs during pasteurization. Another issue was the reality and the perception that the metal beer cans would negatively affect the taste of the beer.

Shortly before the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the American Can Co. solved the problem with its "Keglined" cans. These cans were structurally capable of withstanding the high pressure and were internally sealed to prevent the transfer of a metallic taste from the metal can to the beer. These first cans were made of a heavy guage steel and required a church-key opener or other tool to punch a hole in the solid, flat top (hence these cans are referred to as "flat tops.").

The image to the left, taken of a 1935 Waldorf Ale can, provides an example of how American Can Co. and breweries addressed anticipated consumer concerns about the quality of beer in metal containers.

The first brewery to take the chance and package beer in cans was the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Co. of Newark, New Jersey. In November of 1933, Krueger signed an agreement with the American Can Co. to create the first beer cans to go into production. By the end of that November, American had installed a temporary canning line and delivered two thousand cans of Krueger's Special Beer. These Krueger Special Beer cans were filled with 3.2% beer, the highest alcohol content then permitted by law. Beer can history was made. Krueger's Special Beer became THE first beer can ever produced.

The December 28, 1933 issue of Brewer's News featured a photograph of 2 Krueger Special Beer cans. There are, at best, two examples of this can known to exist today. See photo to the right.

When the survey came back, 91% gave Krueger's Special Beer in cans the thumbs up, and 85% said it tasted more like draft beer than did bottled beer. Encouraged, Krueger went full steam ahead with canning beer and never looked back. On January 24, 1935, Krueger's Cream Ale and Krueger's Finest Beer in cans was introduced to the market.

The pair of cans to the left are examples of the first Kreuger Ale & Beer cans widely distributed. Although alcohol containers were required to carry an "Internal Revenue Tax Paid" or like statement from June, 1935 through March, 1950, these "pre-tax" cans were released so early, they did not yet have the statement. This rare and historic set was acquired, along with the rest of the Lilek instructional collection, by in January, 2007.

Krueger enjoyed great success with canned beer and by August, 1935, Krueger was buying 180,000 cans a day from American Can Co. This regional brewery began claiming a percentage of the market dominated by the three large breweries (Anheuser-Bush, Pabst & Schlitz). Pabst had seen enough and introduced its Export Beer in these flat tops cans in July of 1935.

Schlitz also joined the canning craze but introduced its Lager Beer in a beer can that was quite different than Krueger's and Pabst's flat tops. Schlitz Lager was introduced in a flat bottom, inverted rib cone top can made by Continental Can Co. (See photo to the right of the first cone top beer can. This example was from the David and Jane Stark collection, likely the most important beer can collection ever assembled, acquired by in late 2007). The flat bottom, inverted rib cone top is one of several types of cone tops to be produced over the years (see "Types of Beer Cans" for more info).

So, the answer to the common question: "What was the first type of beer can?," is--- the flat top. However, flat tops beat cone tops to the wide distribution market only by a few months. both were in distribution by late 1935.

By the end of 1935, many other breweries were canning beer in American's Keglined cans (Ballantine, Feigenspan, Globe, Gunther, Pittsburgh Brewing, Sheidt and Wehle). American was stretched beyond capacity enabling the National Can Co to supply its "Double-Lined" flat tops to some of the smaller breweries on a much smaller scale. The three canning companies combined sold 160,000,000 beer cans in the first year beer cans hit the market.

An interesting blip on the early beer can scene is the gigantic 1/16th barrel "Can-O-Draft" can made by Heekin. The only brewery known to have distributed beer in this container is Burger Brewing of Cincinnati, Ohio. A couple of these cans have turned up in the past few years but it remains very rare.

Although beer cans took root in 1935 and over a billion cans were sold in 1941 alone, this represented only ten percent of the packaged beer market. It wasn't until nearly 1960 that canned beer sales surpassed bottled beer sales.

From about 1942 through 1947, domestic use of metals was limited pursuant to the War Production Board Order M-81, and beer can production for domestic use came to a halt. Beer cans produced during those years were for shipment to the services oversees and are easily identifialble by their olive drab and black camoflauge colors. The Breidts cone top to right is a rare example of such a can (sold on in 2008).

By the mid-1950s, it became clear that the flat top would beat out the cone top for market dominance. This is largely because fllat tops filled faster (and, therefore, provided for better economies of scale) and stacked easier (which was good for transporting them and good for storing them in stores and in consumer refrigerators).

The Hawaii Brewing Company packaged beer in the first all-aluminum can in 1958. This can was aluminum with a paper label. The example of this can to the left was sold at in 2008.

The flat top beer can underwent some minor changes but basically remained about the same type of can (steel and required a church-key opener to punch a hole in the lid) from its introduction in 1933 until the early 1960s. In late 1959, early 1960s, Ermal Fraze developed an early version of self-opening cans now called a "zip top" (note there were three patents pulled on self-opening cans as early as the 1930s). This type of can has a perforated tab attached to a pull lever. Fraze successfully pitched the concept and negotiated a deal with the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA). In March of 1962, the Pittsburgh Brewing Co. test marketed the first "tap-top" beer can in Virginia. It was a quick hit.

The self-opening can underwent many changes to get from the first finger-cutting zip tops to the modern day sta-tabs. The pull ring followed the zip tab and was an improvement in that it no longer cut fingers. But, both types were revovable tabs that wound up littering beaches, injuring consumers, and harming wildlife. The first Sta-Tab cans with a non-detachable tab were best developed by Reynolds and first introduced to the market by Falls City Brewing in 1975.

The bar code was first introduced on the beer can in 1979.

Probably the last noteworthy development in canned beer is the aluminum bottle (known by collectors as "Cabottles"). Beer was first marketed in these Alcoa made containers by the Pittsburgh Brewing Co. in 2004. They are tall with long necks, are capped like bottles and otherwise resemble bottles but are made of aluminum. reminiscent of the crowntainer.

One can only imagine what form and size containers will take decades from now but one thing is for sure, it would be a tall task for them to match the solidity and appeal of early beer cans.

History of American Beer

San Francisco has 350 bar rooms to serve the hard-drinking population of 36,000.

Henry Saxer starts a brewing business (City Brewery) in Portland, Oregon Territory. This brewery was later owned by Henry Weinhard.

Prohibition comes to Vermont.

Prohibition adopted in Massachusetts (repealed in 1868).

Rhode Island enacts prohibition (repealed in 1863).

Internal Revenue Act taxes beer at the rate of one dollar per barrel to help finance the government during the Civil War.

Another prohibition law enacted in Massachusetts (repealed 1875).

First brewery workers' strike in New York City.

Internal Revenue Department records indicate 2830 ale and lager breweries in operation.

National Union of the Brewers of the United States established.

Master Brewers' Association organized.

Brewery employees strike in New York, Chicago, and Milwaukee.

A British syndicate proposes a plan to merge Schlitz, Pabst, and Blatz in Milwaukee. Schlitz and Pabst decline the offer. Blatz sells part of its business to Milwaukee and Chicago Breweries Ltd.

Crown cap invented by William Painter of Crown Cork and Seal Co. in Baltimore.

Sixteen Baltimore brewers consolidate into the Gottlieb-Bauernschmidt-Straus Brewing Company.

Schlitz introduces cone top can produced by Continental Can Company.

Micro Breweries begin to spread: Riley-Lyon (AR): Boulder (CO) Snake River (ID) Millstream (IA) Columbia River (OR) Kessler (MT) Chesapeake Bay (VA).

Manhatten Brewing Co., in New York City's SOHO section, becomes the first Brew Pub on the east coast.

California begins the year with 84 Micro Breweries or Brewpubs in operation - one more than there were breweries in the nation 10 years earlier.

Attendees at the Woman's Christian Temperance Union convention are admonished to recapture the spirit of Carrie Nation.

History of brewing

Before 6000 bce , beer was made from barley in Sumer and Babylonia. Reliefs on Egyptian tombs dating from 2400 bce show that barley or partly germinated barley was crushed, mixed with water, and dried into cakes. When broken up and mixed with water, the cakes gave an extract that was fermented by microorganisms accumulated on the surfaces of fermenting vessels.

The basic techniques of brewing came to Europe from the Middle East. The Roman historians Pliny (in the 1st century bce ) and Tacitus (in the 1st century ce ) reported that Saxons, Celts, and Nordic and Germanic tribes drank ale. In fact, many of the English terms used in brewing (malt, mash, wort, ale) are Anglo-Saxon in origin. During the Middle Ages the monastic orders preserved brewing as a craft. Hops were in use in Germany in the 11th century, and in the 15th century they were introduced into Britain from Holland. In 1420 beer was made in Germany by a bottom- fermentation process, so called because the yeast tended to sink to the bottom of the brewing vessel before that, the type of yeast used tended to rise to the top of the fermenting product and was allowed to overflow or was manually skimmed. Brewing was a winter occupation, and ice was used to keep beer cool during the summer months. Such beer came to be called lager (from German lagern, “to store”). The term lager is still used to denote beer produced from bottom-fermenting yeast, and the term ale is now used for top-fermented British types of beer.

The Industrial Revolution brought the mechanization of brewing. Better control over the process, with the use of the thermometer and saccharometer, was developed in Britain and transferred to the Continent, where the development of ice-making and refrigeration equipment in the late 19th century enabled lager beers to be brewed in summer. In the 1860s the French chemist Louis Pasteur, through his investigations of fermentation, established many of the microbiological practices still used in brewing. The Danish botanist Emile Hansen devised methods for growing yeasts in cultures free of other yeasts and bacteria. This pure-culture technology was taken up quickly by Continental lager brewers but not until the 20th century by the ale brewers of Britain. Meanwhile, German-style lagers bottom-fermented by pure yeast cultures became dominant in the Americas.

Brewing in the 21st century is a large-scale industry. Modern breweries use stainless-steel equipment and computer-controlled automated operations, and they package beer in metal casks, glass bottles, aluminum cans, and plastic containers. Beers are now exported worldwide and are produced under license in foreign countries.

Watch the video: History of American Beer (December 2021).