Welcome to globalbeercans.com, a website dedicated to collecting vintage beer cans from around the globe!

An early cone top can from The Felinfoel Brewery Co in Wales, commemorating the 1937 coronation of King George VI.

Two beautiful 10oz flat tops, from The Hull Brewery Co 

 

Two examples from various sets issued by Tennent’s of Scotland.

 

An oversized beer mat from 1964, advertising a 7 pint can from Peter Walkers.

 

Long Life Beer was promoted as “the only beer brewed specially for the can.”

 

Evolution of the Allsopp’s Lager label in the 1960s, showing 3 brewery name changes that occurred during a period of heavy consolidation in the brewing industry.

 

The history of canned beer in Britain began in March 1936, when The Felinfoel Brewery Co   became the first brewer outside of the United States to produce beer in cans.  The cans were supplied by The Metal Box Company and, like all beer cans produced in Britain prior to WW2, were cone top cans. By the time war interrupted canned beer production, approximately 23 British breweries had sold their product in the cone top can.

Following the war, flat top cans made their debut in 1948.  The flat top quickly replaced the cone top, since it had the decisive advantage of being easy to stack, making it cheaper to transport and more convenient for retailers to display and store.

All of the earliest British beer cans were either 10oz or 12oz in size.  However, in 1955, J. & R. Tennent began producing beer in 16oz cans which today has become the most popular size in Britain.

The seven pint “party can” was introduced in 1960 by Ansells Brewery, followed soon after by the four pint can.

The aluminum pull top can was finally introduced in Britain in 1967, five years after its introduction in the US. Within 3 years, all cans were using the convenient pull top, thus marking the end of the “vintage can” era in Britain. 

In all, over 75 different British brewers had produced cone top or flat top cans.  However, this represents only a tiny fraction of the breweries in existence during Britain’s vintage can era (1936 to the late 1960s).  Perhaps this explains, at least in part, why beer can collecting has never become popular in Britain – a potential collector would not necessarily find his favorite local pub brands in a take-home can.

Below is a list of all British breweries known to me that produced a cone top or flat top can.  Collecting a representative can from each of these breweries is quite a challenge!

ENGLAND

Allied Breweries 

Ansells Brewery 

Arthur Guinness, Son & Co (Park Royal) 

Barclay, Perkins & Co 

Bass Charrington 

Bass, Mitchells & Butlers 

Bass, Ratcliff & Gretton 

Bristol Brewery Georges & Co 

C. G. Hibbert & Co

C. Machen & Hudson

Carter, Milner & Bird 

Charrington & Co 

Charrington United 

Courage 

Courage & Barclay 

Courage, Barclay & Simonds 

E. Lacon & Co 

Fremlins 

Fuller, Smith & Turner 

Graham’s Lager 

H. & G. Simonds 

Hall & Woodhouse 

Higson’s Brewery 

Hope & Anchor Breweries 

The Hull Brewery Co 

Ind Coope 

Ind Coope & Allsopp 

John Groves & Sons 

Kenward & Court 

Mackeson & Co 

Mann, Crossman & Paulin 

Mitchells & Butlers 

Morgan's Brewery Co 

Northampton Brewery Co 

Phipps Northampton Brewery Co 

Red Tower Lager Brewery 

Samuel Smith Old Brewery 

Skol Lager 

South London Brewery 

Southside Brewery Co 

Tetley Walker 

Thos. W. Farrimond

Threlfall Chesters 

Tollemache & Co 

Truman 

Truman, Hanbury Buxton & Co 

Trunch Brewery 

Watney, Combe, Reid & Co 

Watney Mann 

Whitbread & Co 

Worthington & Co 

 

ISLE OF MAN

Castletown Brewery 

 

SCOTLAND

Blair & Co 

Drybrough & Co 

George Younger & Son 

J. & R. Tennent 

James Aitken & Co 

John Jeffrey & Co 

Maclachlans 

Robert Younger 

Scottish Brewers 

Steel, Coulson & Co 

Tennent Caledonian Breweries 

Thomas & James Bernard 

Thomas Usher & Son 

United Caledonian Breweries 

Wm McEwan & Co 

William Murray & Co 

William Younger & Co 

 

WALES

The Felinfoel Brewery Co 

Lassell & Sharman 

W. B. Mew, Langton & Co 

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