AB vs. A1
Arizona Brewing Company in Phoenix was doing well when AB (Anheuser Busch) opened a new plant in Los Angeles in 1954.
AB was looking to expand its market in the southwestern US and decided to push into the state of Arizona. Within three years, AB threatened A1 with a lawsuit because A1's Eagle (used since 1942) was too similar to AB's Eagle. Avoiding a costly court battle, A1 switched its symbol to a knight on horseback and Lancers Beer (named after A1 brewery executive and major shareholder Joseph F. Lanser) was born. A1 Brewing changed their Lancer can's appearance as shown above. AB spoiling for a showdown came out with the six test cans on the right. The Lancers cans were made under Arizona Brewing; the A1 Carling in the blue can was made when Arizona Brewing sold out to Carling Brewing in 1964. In 1966 Carling Brewing sold to National Brewing of Baltimore and the Carling name in the blue was removed.These cans are scarce as National Brewing began production of 007 and changed this label to the last design they made.
The Beer War was on
If you can believe the dates found in the Beer Can Bible:
The twelve ounce cans on the left above:
Lancers (upper left) 1963 Arizona Brewing
JF Lansers (lower left) 1965 Arizona Brewing
A1 (bottom right) 1967 Carling Brewing
A1 (upper right) not listed but guess is 1968 Carling/National
We all know how this beer war ended but my question is: Does anyone think those triangle shapes on the Busch test cans of 1964 from AB look similar to the Lancers 1963 cans?