The 1936 cans from Welsh brewer Felinfoel are believed to be the world’s first beers canned outside of the U.S.
Sam Hellyer, Chiswick Auctions’ head of wine and spirits, told the Drinks Business that the 80-plus-year-old cans hadn’t been cellared, and were in fact intermittently kept on a desk. “It’s testament to the durability of the cans that they have survived and are in such good condition,” Hellyer said.
The brewer reportedly supplied the U.K. Ministry of Defense with beer during WWII, and these historic cans had been in the same family for generations.
Felinfoel managing director Philip Lewis purchased the cans, which had been listed at auction for £1,000 to £1,600 (approximately $1,240 to $1,980).
“The cans had attracted early bids, but once Philip got involved it drove the price up and up,” Hellyer added. “We’re now trying to establish if these are the most expensive beers ever sold.”
It’s possible. In 2017, Food and Wine named Storm Brewing’s $1,000 Glacial Mammoth Extinction “the world’s most expensive beer.” Either way, the Felinfoel sale certainly puts that $70 bundle of barrel-aged stouts you’ve been eyeing into perspective.