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COM: October 2009

Halloween Cans

This month I'm featuring some 1970s cans with a theme, Halloween!

Anoka 1978. Anoka 1979. Anoka 1980. Anoka 1981.

 

This is a four can set issued by August Schell Brewing in New Ulm, Minnesota between 1978 and 1981.  They were sold as part of a promotion for Anoka Minnesota's Halloween celebration.  Anoka calls itself the "Halloween Capital of the World."  I'm not sure Salem, Massachusetts would agree, they seem to get into it too, but lately Salem has been downplaying the whole "witch" thing, so let's stick with Anoka.  Their Halloween festival started in 1920 as a way to keep kids out of trouble from pulling pranks on Halloween night.  Celebrations included a parade and a party with candy and popcorn for the kids.     

August Schell Brewing

August Schell Brewing (Founded 1860) issued dozens of commemorative cans in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  Issuing special cans was a popular way for small breweries to stay in business and Schell dove into it headfirst.  I went through the BCCA's American Beer Cans: 1975-1988 and counted more than 120 different cans from Schell and I'm sure I must have missed a few.  That may not make them the most prolific producer of these cans, but they were among the leaders, along with Pittsburgh Brewing and Walters in Wisconsin.  This month's cans, BTW, are worth about 50 cents to a dollar each.  There is a crimped steel version of the 1981 can that is much harder to find, but the four pictured here are pretty common. 

And so long as we're on Halloween cans, here are two others.

Witchs Brew.
Bilow Dracula Can.

Witch's Brew
Royal Brewing
New Orleans (1983)

Bilow Garden State
Walter Brewing
Eau Claire, Wisconsin (1979)

Also check my October 2013 COM, Pumpkin Beer cans, with a long discussion about the history and symbolism of the Jack O' Lantern.

Sources Used

Anoka Halloween Festival Site (opens new window)

August Schell Brewing Company (opens new window)

BCCA American Beer Cans: 1975-1988

 

     

 

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