Beer cans are one of the most consistently sought after antique and collectible in the market for breweriana. This may surprise some people, since canning is maligned for being cheaper than bottling and many beer drinkers may think that cans diminish the taste of beer. None of that matters in the world of collecting, though. Cone top cans and flat top cans are particularly sought after as unique pieces from America’s brewing past. There are a broad assortment of highly valued vintage and unique beer cans including flat tops but most esepcially cone tops.
Cone top cans were a popular alternative to the flat top when they were introduced in 1935. This serves as one of the first examples in brewing history of packaging as marketing: they had the subtle appearance of holding more than their flat-top brothers. In addition, they were produced in mass quantity thanks to breakthroughs in automation and the end of Prohibition. Popular distinctions include the J-spout, high profile, low profile and crowntainer. Today, these collectibles routinely sell for several hundred dollars. We offer a broad view of the history of canning and you can also learn about some recent valuations of these cans.
Imported cans from Canada, Europe & elsewhere in the world.
Classic collectible cans from an era long gone. Find many unopened!
Beer can collecting had a great period in the mid 1970s but is coming back much bigger than ever in recent times, as people see the value in cans, especially those that are still full of beer, unopened. Today, canning technology has a wider appreciation that it once had, thanks to a culture that glorifies many things “retro.”
Today, cone top beer cans and vintage beer cans are viewed as hot properties and the Brewery collectibles club of America (Beer Can Collectors of America) possibly focuses on cans as much as any other kind of beer collectible.
Some reasons for beer cans' collectibility
Cans have been remarkably durable as a collector's item for several good reasons beyond the issue of age. They were also the first beer packaging to be branded with an idelible image. Embossing allowed some old beer bottles to stand out but the coloring and styling that you find on beer cans made them unique. In spite of the fact that they have been emptied and they are prone to rust and other corrosion, many beer cans are very highly valued as we have seen often here.
The age of the cans attributes value to them, and regular brands can still fetch over $100 if the can is old enough. Some aspects that improve the valuation of cans are as follows:
- rare brands
- early versions of innovations (such as early ringtops)
- distinct productions
- excellent condition (of course)
Find the most recent listings in antique beer cans:
|Beer classifieds on eBay|
24 Diff 12oz Pull Tab Beer Cans Van Merritt Old Milwaukee Hudepohl Lucky Hampden
$7.00 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1h 2m
Vintage Brewery Fresh Best Beer Chicago Keglined Empty Flat Top Beer Can
Time Remaining: 27d 11h 23m
Buy It Now for only: $22.00
Duff Beer can Germany
$3.25 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1h 37m
We regularly update our look at cans sold here to look at some reasons for the high prices of beer cans. You may even find the exact can you have in your collection. You can also browse our listings to see how others have valued their collectible beer cans. See our look at collectible cans and valuations.
Domestic beer cans you will find in our selection would include many popular domestic beer brands in cans, including Miller, Busch, Budweiser and Coors. Imported beer cans in our collection come from many different imported brands including popular selections like Guinness, Corona, Peroni and others.
Other, rich sources on beer cans' history
You can find a broader look at the beer can's history in our look at vintage beer cans, which also looks at valuation. There are also several books of note on the history of beer cans - most of them published during beer can collecting's heyday. These include:
- Beer Cans Unlimited by Art and Pete Ressell (1976)
- The Beer Can Collector's Bible by Jack Martells (1976, Ballantine Books)
- American Beer Can Encyclopedia by Thomas Toepfer (several editions, 1976-1984)
Also of note is the Boston Beer Can Museum in East Taunton, MA.