This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the beer can. The Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company signed an agreement with the American Can Company in November 1933 and just over a year later the cans were on sale. On January 24, 1935, Krueger's Cream Ale and Krueger's Beer was presented to the folks of Richmond, VA in aluminum cans. The cans were “Vinylite” plastic-lined, flat-top cans and were so successful that by March of 1935 Krueger sales were up 550 percent. By August of that same year the company was buying 180,000 cans daily.
By the end of 1935, three can companies (American, Continental Can Company, and National Can Company) sold 160,000,000 beer cans to many large and regional breweries across the country. Anheuser-Busch and Pabst were the first major brewers to offer beer in cans.
Aside: Dan Morean's Breweriana.com has much more on the history of the beer can. Packaging Digest also offers an ode to the beer can.