#BeerCans @BitesNBuzz #JimmyBuffett #Margaritaville February 21

I started the Coach4aday blog in 2014 and have done daily posts on one topic for each year. In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and in 2017 it was “Colleges and Universities”.

The one consistent piece of feedback I have received with this blog is the 2015 series on “A Friend of a Friend”. Readers and blog followers said please bring it back. The stats also back that up with the number of views each of those posts received.

So in 2018 two things will happen with the Coach4aday blog; One I plan to collaborate with a friend named John Rancke and revisit some of those 2015 “A Friend of a Friend” posts and do some new ones with a slightly different twist. I write the posts on odd numbered days each month and John handles the even numbered days.

In addition John and I will write about things we both are interested which will include basketball, food, people, music, our granddaughters, and great stories.

If you want to follow the blog via email go to the bottom right of the post and click the follow button.

My twitter handle is @coach4aday2 if you want to follow the blog that way.

John’s twitter handle is @JohnRancke if you want to reach out to him.

Evolution of Beer Cans and Margaritaville

As you get older you try to explain to younger people simple changes that have occurred in your life time. I encountered that last week talking about my first taste of beer. To get that taste I opened a can beer that did not have a pop top.

One hot summer day in the mid 1960’s my dad just finished cutting the grass and was sitting on our back porch steps. He asked me to go open a can a beer and bring it to him. I grabbed the avocado green opener and popped open his flat top can of Schaeffer Beer.

The pop top on drink cans did not occur mainstream until the late 1960’s early 1970’s appears to be mind boggling to many of the craft beer millennials I call friends.

I challenge each reader to quickly identify the song below that does reference pop tops just from it’s first three lines:

Nibblin’ on sponge cake
Watchin’ the sun bake
All of those tourists covered with oil

Yes Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett released in July 1977.

Buffett wrote this song in Key West, Florida after he finished a tour with his group, the Coral Reefer Band.

jimmy buffett

They had just toured Texas, and Buffet spent some time drinking Margaritas in a Mexican restaurant with a friend before going back to Key West. When he got there, he sat at the Old Anchor Inn watching gridlock on the roads – and used it as inspiration as he composed the song. The Old Anchor was located on 208 Duval Street. I will be vacationing in Key West in July and I plan to stop by 208 Duval St. with a beverage in hand.

Old Anchor Inn in the 1970’s.

Old Anchor Inn

Part of the lyrics to Margaritaville include a reference to a pop top

I blew out my flip-flop
Stepped on a pop-top
Cut my heel had to cruise on back home
But there’s booze in the blender
And soon it will render
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on


Back to the evolution of beer cans.

Even though canned foods date back to 1813, the first successful attempt to put beer in a can wasn’t accomplished until 1935 and was the offspring of a partnership between the American Can Company and the New Jersey-based Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company. Less than two years before that, the American Can Company managed to overcome two challenges which, until then, had precluded them from canning beer—the company successfully produced cans strong enough to hold the pressurized carbonated beverage and “keglined” the inside of the cans with a special coating that prevented any metallic taste from flavoring the beer.

Krueger’s Finest Beer, Krueger’s Cream Ale and Krueger’s Special Beer (all at 3.2 percent ABV—the highest legal level for beer at the time) became the first beers canned and about 4,000 were imbibed by the lucky few in Richmond, Virginia.


Though today beer cans are made from aluminum, those early cans were constructed out of heavy gauged steel coated with a thin layer of tin to prevent rusting. This tinning of steel cans became so ubiquitous that even today aluminum cans are still sometimes called “tin cans.”

While opening a can of beer these days is as simple as flipping a tab, original flat top beer cans required a device called a “church key” or a can opener in order to access the brew inside. And printed on the can itself were instructions on how to open. Using the church key, an imbiber would puncture a triangular hole at the top of the beer from which he/she would drink, in addition to puncturing a smaller hole on the opposite side to let air into the can and facilitate the free flow of beer.

Not all beers had pop tops in the mid to late 1960’s including the Schaeffer my dad drank.

Below is a chart of beer can evolution

Beer Cans

I would tell you more but

I am on my front porch swing
Smell those shrimp they’re beginnin’ to boil

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