Cracking open a can of Four Corners Brewing Co.'s beloved Local Buzz honey golden ale or El Chingón IPA is not like drinking other canned beers. The Dallas brewery became famous for its so-called 360 End lids, which open like a pop-top on an aluminum soup can and turn the vessel into a makeshift cup.
When they debuted in 2014, we coyly called them topless cans, because words are fun. But beer drinkers be warned: The fun ends next year.
Starting in 2020, Four Corners Brewing Co. will no longer employ the 360 End lid, confirms co-founder George Esquivel.
The decision didn't come by choice, he notes. Manufacturer Crown Holdings is discontinuing the model due to "limited success in the promotion of this product and the local litter laws in parts of the United States and Canada have greatly limited our ability to distribute it in North America," according to an email sent to clients and obtained by GuideLive.
"It leaves a 360-degree hole in our heart to see them go," Esquivel says.
Crown Holdings debuted the 360 End lid in 2010 during the FIFA World Cup Tournament in South Africa. The lid was lauded for transforming a can into legit cup-like vessel that allowed drinkers to take in the appearance and aroma of their beer. It was also, no doubt, an exceptional conversation piece.
Four Corners was one of the first breweries in the country to adopt the 360 End lid, enticed by a simple reason: "They're just badass," says Esquivel. "The 360's crack vs. hiss ... they have a very unique and exciting sound."
Several other breweries, including Urban Chestnut Brewing in St. Louis and Sly Fox Brewing Co. in Pottstown, Pa., also use it. Crown Holdings will cease producing them around mid-2019, according to the company's email. Esquivel plans to stockpile enough to keep the signature cans intact through the end of the year, and is planning a goodbye party to celebrate the end of an era.
Until then, collectors might want to stockpile some cans of their own.