By Andrew Starke
Victoria Bitter has today (July 6) launched a new heritage branded VB can, the first of several innovations and limited edition packaging it plans to release to the market this year.
This roll-out features the original artwork which adorned the first ever VB can sold back in 1958.
While cynics may point to the launch as proof that Fosters and its CUB brewing arm are pining for the 1950s and 1960s given the present state of the beer market, there is no denying that 1958 was a significant year for beer in Australia.
In that year VB became the first Australian beer to be sold in a can as both the iconic brand and Foster’s lager experimented with the new format.
Originally launched as a 13 1/3 fluid ounce steel container, the first VB cans lacked the ring-pull of the modern aluminium can, instead requiring drinkers to punch a hole in the top using a ‘church key’ device.
But the brewer did identify that the new packaging could chill beer faster than glass and the ‘tinnie’ was on its way to icon status.
“Ever since 1894 we’ve been searching for and introducing new and innovative ways to make sure that the VB you’re drinking is as cold as possible,” said Craig MacLean, senior brand manager for VB.
”The introduction of the can in 1958 was a huge step forward for beer in Australia, something we are celebrating with this limited edition release.”
The 1958 design, which will be available throughout Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania from early July, is the first in a series of ‘best cold beer’ promotions VB will deliver in the coming 12 months.
“As we head towards summer you’ll see a lot more from VB,” said MacLean.
While the Heritage Cans may look a little different, the beer inside the can remains the same.
The limited edition 1958 heritage series cans will be available from today and the campaign supported by print, radio and in-store advertising.