22/10/2018 Latest News
On October 3 Peter Francis in Carmarthen sold three Felinfoel Brewery beer cans for £1300 (including 24% buyer’s premium). The buyer was the current owner of the Felinfoel Brewery - a three generation family firm.
Felinfoel Brewery in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire produced the first craft ale in a can. Having been producing beer in cans since 1935 makes the Welsh brewery the oldest canners of craft beer in the world.
The three cans: two in a red, black and silver livery with a dragon logo and another for a pale ale with a yellow ground. The latter, in much better condition, included a brief inscription the reverse titled Beer AT Its Best From A Can. Describing the vertues of the new product – lighter to carry, unbreakable, no returns – it also claimed that “Canned beer is better because the goodness is sealed in and the flavour reserved.”
In the long history of beer, the can is a relative newcomer. The first canned beer came with the end of Prohibition in the US – the shiny new light-weight packaging used by Krueger's in Richmond, Virgina to market a pasteurised beverage from January 1935.
British ales were more problematic. Reacting with tin in a cold climate, the result was a metallic taste and it was not until the Felinfoel Brewery in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire came up with the idea of coating the inside of the cans with an inert wax that the taste challenge was met.
With conical necks and pull-off caps, the first European half-pint beer cans from the 1930s bear little resemblance to the modern equivalent that would not appear until the 1960s. And, as shown by a sale held by Peter Francis in Carmarthen they are valuable collectors’ items.
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