Beer in America

Origin of the 6-pack

Six packs of beerThe modern-day “six pack of beer” was created after the repeal of prohibition when beer sales shifted from consumption establishments (breweries) to retail outlets (grocers).

In the late 1940s/early 1950s is when to-go packaging emerged. Less than 7% of the breweries that existed around 1949 offered take-home or carry-home as it was called then. Beer was primarily distributed in cases of 6 or 12 in wood crates up until this time.

Pabst Brewing is largely credited as the first brewer to package beer in six packs. Supposedly, the magic number 6 was a result of studies conducted to determine the ideal weight for the average housewife to carry home from the store. However, it has also been said that beer was first sold in packs of 6 because of size, not weight. A six pack of beer was the perfect size to fit in a standard paper grocery bag.

Whatever the original justification for selling beer in packs of 6, the phenomenon really took off in the mid-1950s and continues today.


3 thoughts on “Origin of the 6-pack

  1. Pingback: 10 Things You Should Know About Pabst Blue Ribbon | Working Rich Class

  2. Pingback: 10 Things You Should Know About Pabst Blue Ribbon – Lord of Water

  3. Art Hicks

    The first “six pack” was sold from National Bohemian Beer, Baltimore, Md. It is commonly known as “Natty Boh” and is still extremely popular in Baltimore, but it is now made by Pabst.

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