Cone top beer cans are a classic collectable in breweriana. Not only are they an important part of brewing history, cone top beer cans are also fun and interesting as conversation pieces. These are highly collectible and many people are fortunate to find these in attics or basements, because the right brand and condition can net you several hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Krueger’s Finest Beer was the first cannery in the US and their mass produced cone top beer was produced by the American Can Company beginning in the mid-1930’s. Prohibition ended in 1933 and mass production of beer (in these cone tops) hit its stride in 1935. In 1942, production was nearly halted due to restriction on metals due to the war. They were mass produced into the 1950’s when sleeker flat tops came into vogue. However, there were still a few companies who produced these, presumably for the novelty of it, until as late as 1999.
Cone tops are interesting because in effect they look an awful lot like beer bottles, especially the stubby beer bottle.
Cone top beer cans' four styles
Broadly speaking, there were four styles of cone top can in wide distribution over the years: the J-Spout, the Low Profile, High Profile and the Crowntainer.
The J-spout (right) featured a top that when viewed straight-on does appear similar to a J. The J-Spout was phased out by the end of 1942 and it remains one of the most sought after of all cone tops but by and large, actual valuation of any single cone top can is based on many factors.
The crowntainer is similar to the high profile in its broad shape but smoothly slopes from the can to the container top and is a favorite of many collectors. This was originally brought to market in 1937 and was produced as a quart can. The design has occasionally been brought back by other industries, for example in 2008 by Caribou Coffee.
If you want to learn more, Gary Gauger’s crowntainer central provides an impressive amount of information about crowntainers.
Conetop cans: another look at the value of collectibles
Cone top beer cans are among the most prized and valued collectibles in all of beer antiques. Many of these pass through our collections here and these honestly seem to go up in price all the time. We have reviewed real market valuations elsewhere in the past and another look shows that conetop beer cans are an excellent collectible.
This conetop Grain Belt beer can was opened but with the cap still included and the can in basically undamaged condition. You can find other Grain Belt conetop cans on sites like eBay but they are often in much worse condition than this beautifully preserved classic from beer history. This premium collectible conetop beer can sold for $660 USD in early 2012. That’s a nice bonus for the seller and a real nice addition to the collection of the buyer.
Check out our up-to-date- listings for conetop beer cans.
Here’s another conetop in excellent condition, justifying the high price paid for it. This Beverwyck Low Profile Cone Top was up for auction in early 2012 and received a lot of action before being sold for $614 USD, here. Here, again, the condition of the can and the fact that it even had an intact cap included made it much more valuable than a poor condition conetop can (that might have been identical in every other respect) which sold for about 1/100th of the price.
The Beverwyck company, dating back to 1878 prooduced both ale and beer in conetops. This particular example is one of the best condition cans still around. It just goes to show that you always need to keep on the lookout. You never know when something really special is going to come up in the world of beer collectibles.