The Sam Can

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Taunton beer can museum curator linked to new Sam Adams design

TAUNTON —

Kevin Logan doesn’t claim Jim Koch owes him any royalties for the design of what will be Koch’s first-ever Samuel Adams beer can.

But the East Taunton resident said the founder and brewer of Boston Beer Company and its Samuel Adams brand might consider one small token of appreciation.

“I would hope they’d at least give me the first run of cans off the production line,” Logan said.

Less than a week ago, Koch issued a press statement that for the first time in his company’s history Samuel Adams Boston Lager will be available in cans. The “Sam Can” will be in stores by next summer, he said.

In late 2010, Logan said, three representatives from international design firm IDEO visited his East Taunton Beer Can Museum with its 5,000-plus cans, many of which represent long-ago defunct brands.

“They spent about an hour and took about a dozen or so photos,” he said.

Logan said the two young women and one man told him they were not at liberty to reveal the name of their client. But he says he deduced fairly quickly that they were on a fact-finding mission for Koch.

“When they saw (Sam Adams) beer-related collectibles,” including a pub towel and bottle caps, “their eyes lit up,” Logan said.

“I figured it out in about five minutes, but I left it at that.”

A call seeking comment from Koch’s Boston Beer Company, as to whether any of Logan’s cans might have influenced or inspired a final can design, was not returned.

But the 48-year-old Logan speculates that some 1930s-era cans, with their “strange shapes” and embossed lettering, might have made a lasting impression.

Koch’s press release states the company’s can is “ergonomic” with a flared lip and wide top that enhances the drinking experience.

The release also notes the company invested $1 million in “special equipment … research and testing.”

“It was a two-year project,” said Logan, who works as a business analyst for a book production company.

He said he enjoyed the visit from the IDEO employees, so much so that he let them borrow some of his personal beer reference books, which he said they returned via FedEx.

“They were very thorough and polite,” he said.

Logan, who has a website called beercanmuseum.org, said he tries to avoid spending too much on rare additions.

“I tend to trade, and I take donations from people who want to get rid of their cans,” he said.
“I have two kids in college, so I try not to spend a lot,” he added.

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