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COM: May 2003

This is my first "Can of the Month" page, where I will show off a can from my collection that is a favorite along with a little information about the can.  It will not always be a rare can.  This month's can, for example, is not rare, but it's long been a favorite of mine.

Drewry's Horoscope: circa 1956

Drewrys-side 1. Drewrys-front. Drewrys side 3.

During the 1950s most of the small breweries that had opened when prohibition ended had gone out of business and most of the remaining ones were struggling.  Even some medium-sized regional breweries were struggling.  To boost business, a number of the remaining breweries tried a different marketing strategy; sets with cans in different colors and designs.  This made the cans seem more "fun" and party-like and the brewers hoped people would buy extra for parties in addition to everyday home consumption.  The designs would also increase the can's "eye-appeal" and make the brand stand out from the rest on the store shelves.

One of the most prolific breweries to follow this strategy was Drewry's Brewing of South Bend , Indiana which was in business from 1936-1966 when it became part of Associated Brewing.  In 1951, Drewry's bought Chicago's Schoenhofen-Edelweiss and Atlas Brewing and used their plant at 18th Street and Damen Avenue.  Drewry's produced several multi-colored series, two with silhouettes of sports figures on them, one that told you how to tell your character by the shape of your nose, chin, face, etc. (Of course, all of the character traits were positive!)   My favorite, however is the Horoscope series which had cans each with two different star signs on them, plus a description of the traits associated with that astrological sign.

This can has Pisces and Aries.  The "S" under the ram means that this can came from the South Bend plant.

Sources Used:
La Susa, Richard J. "Phantom Breweries of Chicago"  Beer Cans and Brewery Collectibles. Beer Can Collectors of America, 33:2 April/May 2003. p. 5.

Pospychala, Phil  and Joe McFarland. The Great Chicago Beer Cans (Libertyville, Il., Silver Fox Productions, 1979) 13, 32-33, 67.

Van Wieren, Dale P. American Breweries II (West Point, PA., East Coast Breweriana Association, 1995)  73, 101.

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