I have enjoyed drinking beer out of a vast array of different containers. We're talking about mugs, pint glasses, bottles, red plastic party cups, 40s, tiny little schooners, empty soda cans that had been refilled with beer and a Converse All Star, to name just a few. Today, we're going to focus on the most crushable container of all—the beer can.
Since there is a holiday for everything, Friday, January 24 is National Beer Can Appreciation Day. Honestly, this is the first time I've ever really sat down and considered the beer can. Throughout my beer-drinking life, I've never really put much mind to the vessel from which I was gulping. Now that I'm pondering it, cans are pretty darn cool.
For one thing, they're durable. Have you ever experienced the great pleasure of floating around in a body of water—like a lake, river, stream or, best case, a lazy river—with a six-pack tied to your intertube? The water chills the beer as you relax, then you grab them as needed. It's pretty damn terrific.
When I was a young lad—just barely 21, or perhaps a little younger—almost all of the beer I drank came out of a can. A very specific can. The Old Style Ivy Can.
If you aren't familiar with Old Style, it's a delicious beer that has been a staple in the city of Chicago for decades. Not only are there hundreds of bars throughout the city with the same Old Style sign hanging up out front, but the beer was also the unofficial beer of the Chicago Cubs.
Each summer the Ivy Can would be released with a slightly different design, each of them inspired by the ivy-covered brick walls of Wrigley Field. A sixer of 16 oz. cans usually only ran you about four to five bucks, perfect for a poor punk kid looking to get a little blotto. Oh, Ivy Cans. I should get a tattoo of one of these bad boys. Maybe some day.
As you look through the gallery, you'll see that I'm far from the only person to wax nostalgic about a beer can. Crack open a cold one and enjoy these beer can tattoos.