As early as circa 10,000 B.C. early man was packaging beer in jugs for later consumption. Archeologists know this because of jugs that have been found and carbon-dated. As man refined his beer drinking he began looking the jugs and refined how they were shaped. The Egyptians used jugs with lids and even stored beer in the tombs of Royalty for the departed to drink in the after-life. Early Germanics used hollowed-out animal horns and animal skins. Later elaborate beer steins emerged in Bavaria. Covered wooden buckets came into use and later, metal buckets with lids.
In England around the late 16th century, the first beer bottles were used. But, these bottles were hand blown and therefore dangerous because they were prone to explode. In 1615, Gervaise Markham wrote that when bottling ale “you should put it into round bottles with narrow mouths, and then, stopping them close with corks, set them in a cold cellar up to the waist in sand, and be sure that the corks be fast tied with strong pack thread, for fear of rising out and taking vent, which is the utter spoil of the ale.” But, commercial bottling did not occur until the second half of the 17th century.
In 1935, the first canned beer became available to the public from the Gottfried Krueger Brewery of Newark, New Jersey. The practice caught on and soon there were more than 37 breweries canning their beer. Technology advanced and in the early 1960’s the aluminum pull-tap can debuted. Drinking beer from a can had previously involved either a screwed on cap or a sealed can that had to be opened with a can opener.
Modern beers are packaged in a variety of containers. Among these containers are aluminum cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles, aluminum bottles, glass growlers, and flexible plastic pouches. Yes, you read that correctly, a Sarasota, FL company has invented and is producing flexible plastic pouches with screw caps on them. The pouches take up less space than cans or bottles and are easily filled with a special needle-like filler. They also provide a much more hygienic beer experience since there is practically no chance anyone will touch your beer before you unscrew the lid and squeeze it out.
In the future who knows how we will get our brew, but for now it seems that there is no shortage of ways to drink, sip, or squeeze a beer down your gullet.