The Brewery That May Have Invented The Six-Pack Of Beer

Have you ever wondered why you can buy beer in packs of six? While life may be full of numerical mysteries that will never be solved, this is one question that can be answered.

If you visit any purveyor of alcoholic beverages, you will see both canned and bottled beer varieties offered in a six-pack. Conduit Street says that six was chosen because four cans weren't enough, and eight cans were too much. There must be a more quantifiable reason for choosing the number six. According to VinePair, six bottles or cans were preferable as they could be easily lugged home by a typical housewife, and they fit perfectly into an ordinary paper bag. Clearly, carrying six bottles is preferable to a case of 24.

So who does the average housewife have to thank for this back-saving innovation? Unfortunately, the origins of the six-pack are about as clear as mud. 

Pabst and Ballantine may have created the six-pack

So which brand invented the six-pack? There are a few contenders, but an irrefutable answer to this question is up for debate.

According to The Florida Times-Union, Pabst Brewing Company is credited with creating the six-pack. But Conduit Street says that Baltimore's National Bohemian brewery began hocking their beer in half-dozens in the 1940s. Pabst later acquired National Bohemian through a series of buyouts and mergers, per Conduit Street. The American Beer Museum supports this claim, saying that Pabst was the first brewer to utilize six-packs. But before you award Pabst any blue ribbons, you'll want to check out a couple of other claimants first.

According to The Flordia Times-Union, Ballantine claims to have invented the six-pack in 1938, but Florida's own Jax Brewing Co. came up with the idea of selling multiple beers in burlap sacks before plastic rings were invented. But there's another non-alcoholic beverage company that also claims to be the originator.

Coca-Cola claims to be the inventor of the six-pack

While they may not deal in beer, Coca-Cola claims to be the originator of the beloved six-pack. According to Coca-Cola, the beverage giant developed the "six-pack carrier" in 1923 in order to make it easier for shoppers to take home packages of Coke and drink it more often with the expansion of home refrigeration. Perhaps, this is what planted the seed in the minds of future beer manufacturers.

So which brewer introduced the six-pack first? Both Pabst's six-packs and Jax's burlap sacks evolved during the 1940s, according to The Florida Times-Union. But if the Ballantine claim is correct, they were the earliest brewer to adopt the six-pack with their claim boasting a date of 1938. There may be no clear winner, but the sole fact remains: the six-pack of brewskies is a fabulous invention, no matter who came up with it.