Michigan's Toughest Tabs : Part II
by Chris Taylor (July, 1997)

     Mention to someone at a trade show that you have some rare Goebel tab tops in your tote you'll probably get a strange look. The several tabs Detroit produced look very similar, but rarity sets a select few apart from the standard fare. In the early 1960's, Goebel Brewing Co. began adding the first Zip Tops to their cans.

     The first can began as a flat top (BCU 73-18, note that the can in the BCU is actually a tab top). This Goebel label is tough to acquire in either flat or tab, or in any condition for that matter. Looking closely at the bottom part of the blue shield, you'll notice "PRIVATE STOCK 22" in thin gold letters, while along the top rim, "Right from the CYPRESS TASKS of GOEBEL" is printed in white. This bid at recapturing Goebel's heyday of the 30's through the 50's seems in vain as is attested to by the few examples of these cans found today. The zip top design of this can is first generation, with no pressure beads nor opening instructions inset. I've only found one poor example of this can, buried in wet mud of a hillside dump, way back in 1978! I've seen only 2 more at trade shows in the time since.

BCU 73-18 BCU 73-24

     The next can is yet another Goebel zip top. (BCU 73-24) was Goebel's next effort at regaining sales. The chicken finally lost its head to the ages, never to return to the label of Detroit's famous brand. The white passage near the top rim was removed, giving the can a more crisp and less cluttered appearance. This is seemingly an interim can; almost a prototype for the subsequent designs (BCU 73-25), (BCU 73-26), and (BCU 73-27). I dare say I have never found one of these cans! The zip top on this version is more refined to include pressure beads, opening instructions as well as a recessed semi-circle allowing the user to gain better access to the tab with the fingernail. I imagine this variation was short lived as well.

     To the Michigan collector or to a collector who just likes interesting zip tops, these two common brand labels remain tough to come by. I hope someone out these has a few they'd like to get rid of. I'll take all you've got!. Until next time, take care.

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