Lightning strikes twice: Not only the birthplace of American Presidents, the Old Dominion State holds the honor of being at the birth of the two biggest developments in the canning of modern brewing.
1. First the can itself - Kruger Brewing successfully test marked its Beer and Ale "Cans" in Richmond on January 24, 1935. By 1959, cans surpassed bottles in sales.
2. Second the "self-opening can" was test marked this time by Iron City Brewing, but once again in Virginia. Flats and Conetops soon followed the buggy whip into history.
It is interesting to note that with the immense popularity of the Krueger's Cans sold in Richmond, it took until 1952 for the Home Brewing Company of Richmond to "Can" their Richbrau Beer. You would think their response would have been much quicker. They never sold their products outside their "Home State" of Virginia and that might be reflected in their name. Their reaction to the "Self Opening" can was rather fast as their Beer and Bock debuted in silver cans in 1963. They switched to white cans in 1965 and introduced Pub Malt Lager (Malt Liquor could not be sold in Virginia) in 1966. They closed in 1969 with Queen City Brewing of Cumberland, Maryland picking up their labels.
In 1942 the Jacob Ruppert Brewing Company of New York City bought out the Sourthern Brewing Company in Norfolk and took over the operations of this facility.
In 1948 the Largay Brewing Company in Connecticut closed and Ruppert bought their recipes, labels, and equipment (much of which they relocated to Norfolk). Although Ruppert never produced the Largay products in NYC, they did produce Red Fox in Norfolk. Ruppert ran the Norfolk plant until 1953 when Centruy Brewing (an independent concern) took the operation over. Red Fox was produced until 1964. The remainder of their labels (Grenay, Monticello, Regent, Spearman, Tuxedo 51) were inexpensive store brands. In 1967 there was a name change to Champale Products. The Grand Union was labeled from each, while the Old Dutch and Champale cans were from Champale Products. The brewery closed in 1980..
The Red Fox on the left has a dog bone lid with a “Virginia” tax stamp
on the bottom. It is an upgrade to the USBC can. The Red Fox on the
right is from a six pack find from 2009. It has a juice top with a
“North Carolina” tax stamp on the bottom
Red Fox "Just what you're been hunting for!"
The Tuxedo 51 is the USBC book can. In 2013, another on-grade example surfaced when a long time collector parted out his collection. The can is known off-grade, but to my knowledge, only two on-grade examples exist.
The Regent Ale shown came from the same collection as the previously mentioned Tuxedo 51 and is in better condition than the USBC can. The silver Richbrau Bock is another USBC book