Ohio Does its Part to Fuel the Canned Beer Comeback

By: Tom Yeakel | Beer & Wine Department Consultant
On: May 15, 2015

What a great time to be a beer lover! With a seemingly endless flow of new beers coming to Ohio, it seems as though a lot of them are in cans and not bottles. Why is this? Well, let’s start with a brief history of canned beer.

The official birthday of the beer can was January 24, 1935. That’s the day Krueger’s beer and ale went on sale in Richmond, Virginia. While the concept of canned beer proved to be a hard sell, Krueger persisted, making them the first brewers to sell cans of beer in the U.S. The popularity of cans continued to grow throughout the thirties and then exploded during World War II when millions of cans were shipped to our soldiers overseas.

Fast-forward to 1962 when Pittsburgh’s Iron City became the first brewery to use pull tab technology invented by Dayton’s very own Ermal Fraze. Before that development, you had to use a church key to open a can. Legend has it, Fraze found himself at a picnic with beer and no church key. The rest is history.

Today, cans account for nearly half of the U.S. beer industry sales and most new craft brewers are choosing to use cans instead of bottles. There are a number of reasons for this switch. The biggest misconception about canned beer is that the aluminum imparts a metallic taste. Today’s craft beer cans have a special coating therefore there is no contact between the beer and the can itself. Plus, they store better because there is no light penetration and light of any sort is beer’s enemy. Cans chill quicker than bottles, and don’t break as easily. They also are cheaper to produce and are much better for the environment (aluminum recycles easier and is much, much lighter than glass bottles). Cans seem to be the wave of the future for beer. But like corks in wine bottles, beer in bottles will always be around. So cheers to the can. Pop a top and enjoy some of our local favorites today!

Warped Wing Brewing Company—Dayton

We love this local brewery and the ties with the owners that DLM enjoys. The core beers—all canned—are the 10 Ton Oatmeal Stout, Flyin’ Rye IPA, and Ermal’s Belgian Style Cream Ale (named for Ermal Fraze). The newest canned beer available is the Self Starter Session IPA, a great summer ale named for the electric starting device for automobiles, which was founded here in Dayton.

MadTree Brewing Company—Cincinnati

Founded by a trio of friends, this brewery is putting outstanding canned beer in the market. From the PsycHOPathy IPA, Happy Amber, Gnarly Brown, or any of the limited seasonal beers, you will not be disappointed.


“Rhinegeist” translates to “Ghost of the Rhine,” nodding to this Cincy-based brewery’s location in the historic Over-the-Rhine Brewery District, where it occupies the former Moerlein bottling plant. Two years ago this June, Rhinegeist brewed its first batch of beer when five passionate minds came together. They believe in the power of beer to bring people together, foment fantastic ideas, and build a community that values craft beer.