Nowadays it is impossible to surprise anyone with canned beer. At the same time, it seems to many that they began to produce it in our country only after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Canned beer in large volumes was not really produced in the Soviet era, although the first experiment took place back in the seventies of the last century.
The first beer production standards in the USSR were adopted at the end of the twenties, when the NEP began to be phased out, and the OST 61-27 standard was introduced for the production of a foamy drink. According to these standards, beer was to be produced in three varieties: "Svetloe No. 1", "Svetloe No. 2" and "Dark". The most popular beer in the USSR was Zhigulevskoe, which was brewed at dozens of enterprises in the country.
At the same time, draft beer was in much greater demand than bottled beer. The explanation was simple: the price of bottled beer also included the cost of the container, which made it almost twice as expensive. However, empty bottles could be returned or exchanged for the same beer. But, not everyone wanted to waste time.
In the late sixties, the chairman of the USSR Sports Committee, Sergei Pavlovich Pavlov, proposed an idea: to apply to host the Summer Olympic Games in Moscow. In 1974, at a regular session of the International Olympic Committee, this right was granted to the capital of the USSR, the 1980 Olympics was planned in Moscow, and the Soviet Union actively took up preparations for this grandiose sports festival.
In addition to the construction of new sports arenas, the country's leadership has taken on filling store shelves with new types of goods. In particular, it was decided to launch the production of canned beer, unseen before in the USSR. In 1975, for these purposes, a line for bottling canned beer was purchased in Germany. The purchase cost a decent amount, but, as it turned out later, the problems were just beginning.
When the equipment arrived in the Soviet Union, it turned out that the production of metal cans was not established in the country, in which, in fact, it was required to pour beer. After lengthy discussions, it was decided to purchase containers in Japan from the Asahi company, and this required new expenses. But then a new problem arose - Japanese packaging and German equipment were incompatible.
I had to look for tin of my own production, as well as look for varnish for the interior coating. The beer production line was installed at the Ostankino Fruit Water Plant, but beer was not produced there, therefore, it had to be imported from the Badayevsky Brewery. They even made a special "brewer" for transportation. True, the taste of beer changed during transportation, and not for the better.
But, this did not matter any more, the main thing was to fulfill the order of the government and put canned beer of domestic production on the store shelves in time. It was called "The Golden Ring". During the Olympics, it could be bought in many stores in Moscow. It was not very popular, the cost of a container was much higher than the beer itself. A jar with a capacity of 0.35 liters was sold for 60 kopecks, which was not at all cheap for that time.
The packaging turned out to be unsuitable for long-term storage of beer, therefore, it acquired an unpleasant taste and quickly turned sour. It attracted buyers only with its unusual packaging or the opportunity to preserve a memorable souvenir about the Olympics held in Moscow. Among collectors of beer paraphernalia, such jars are in demand even forty years later.
On August 3, 1980, the closing ceremony of the XXII Summer Olympic Games was held at the V.I.Lenin Central Stadium.
Together with the Olympics, canned beer produced in the Soviet Union has become a thing of the past. The million dollar line was dismantled and transported from Ostankino to the Moskvoretsky brewery. But there, the production of Soviet canned beer was not established at that time. The imported curiosity could not stand the competition with the usual draft imported curiosity. There were rumors that many of the participants in this "beer adventure" were reprimanded by the party line.
Meanwhile, canned beer has a fairly long history; it first appeared on sale on January 24, 1935 in the United States. In the first year alone, about 200 million cans were sold. At that time, they were made of thick sheet metal, the weight of one container alone reached 100 g. Over time, steel was replaced by aluminum, due to which the weight of the can decreased several times.
Over time, beer cans became not only containers for beer and other drinks, but also a collectible. Moreover, the cost of rare copies can reach thousands of dollars apiece. By the way, it is the small volume of production of canned beer "Golden Ring" that has become the reason that these same cans are the dream of many collectors-birofiles.