Canned beer made its debut January 24, 1935. Fairport’s former American Can Company is part of beer can history. American Can made the first beer can for Krueger Brewing in Newark, N.J.
There are new businesses inside the old American Can factory on Parce Avenue in Fairport, including Iron Smoke Whiskey and Triphammer Bierwerks. Triphammer's owner, Scott Denhart, says he can always spot a customer who worked at the factory.
“Over the years, people talk to me and tell me what they did here. American Can closed in the early '90s, but we still get customers who walk in and I see them walking around, and I say ‘you used to work here, right?’ and they are like 'yeah, we had machines here and over there and glue here for the labels, and you put a brewery in,' ” said Denhart.
Fairport Mayor Julie Domaratz grew up on East Street in the village.
"I grew up in this neighborhood and it was not unusual to see men walking home from work at 5 o'clock from the American Can factory. So many people in this neighborhood worked there,” said Domaratz.
Fairport is encouraging folks to tour the village and stop into more than a dozen businesses for specials and tastings Friday and Saturday to celebrate Fairport's role in National Beer Can Appreciation Day.
"We are super excited to have this happening again here in the village of Fairport, and with the merchants being involved we want people to be active and to be outside," said Doug Sharp of the Fairport Perinton Merchants Association. "There will be (Crush Beer and Wine Tour) shuttle buses running all weekend, which is great. You can grab a beer, and if you don't want to walk around, hey, stop by the bike shop, stop by the ReMax, Skip's, Red Bird, and many of the other businesses in the village."
There are still plenty of people around, even in Fairport, who do not know American Can's history in helping to create the first can for beer.
"I didn't know that the first beer can came from here until a few years ago, and I think it is the hometown pride of American Can and knowing that it came from here in little old Fairport," Domaratz said. "Just driving around the village, there is this iconic tower, a smokestack that you can see from the American Can building, that really represents what we remember about the north side of the village of Fairport."