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Primo Beer Vintage Cans

We threw a little party for our company’s CEO the other day, when upon a whim through a song, he busted out some super classic vintage PRIMO beer cans for show and tell (not to drink! lol), explaining how our company has (very deep) roots to it in business matters.

Long story short (and still standing), starting in 1966 through 1979, the SCHLITZ brewing facility for PRIMO beer was located in Aiea by Pearlridge where Tony Honda was, which is now Best Buy.  And through that, a little piece of that heritage is preserved through the vintage cans of PRIMO beer he proudly keeps, that are presented to you here today.

This here are both aluminum and steel vintage cans of PRIMO beer that date back to the 1970s through 80s…

Zoom in…

You can most definitely tell the steel can by its crude non-unibody construction, and of course the rust…

The bottom being the most tell-tale of all between the aluminum and steel can…

And the top of the steel can, where you older folks may remember before, the peel-away tab separated from the can, and had to be discarded independently from it…

As compared to the aluminum cans (gold tops), where the drink tab was integrated…

To note, all these cans were unopened (obviously), with vintage PRIMO beer still in them, albeit one of the cans had leaked out. I sure as heck wouldn’t want to taste them though. Yikes!

Also notice the aluminum cans say SCHLITZ Brewing Company, brewed at Los Angeles, while the steel “Hawaiian Beer” can says SCHLITZ Brewing Company, Honolulu, Hawaii, and dated 1976 when it was brewed on Oahu in Aiea…

The CEO proudly holds a can of classic PRIMO Beer… the man!…

In contrast, here’s how the new PRIMO Beer looks in bottle form…

In situ…


K. Azama Fish Wholesale Dry Aku, Taro Brand Poi (HPC) and Primo Beer

Dry Aku and Primo Bee-ya’ fo’ da’ win!

Toodles. ;-)

The Tasty Island related links:
Hana Hou: Primo Beer Returns to the Islands
Rogue Side Street Inn Ale
Dry Aku and Poi
Smoked Tako 4 + 3 Ways
The Tasty Island’s Fish ‘N Chips Project

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14 thoughts on “Primo Beer Vintage Cans

  • December 20, 2014 at 5:16 am
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    If my mother found out I drank beer at age 14 year old she would trash me make me do

    housework and other things too.  It because my dad got some in refigerator.  I did not

    really like it prefer soda and now wines of all kind.  Beer is dark ale.

    Reply
    • December 20, 2014 at 5:30 am
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      Kelike,

      There’s two things I distinctly remember about classic Primo beer “back in the day”:

      First of all, was my parents leaving a case (or two) of Primo “Bee’ya” for da’ opala crew (rubbish men) the next work day after our New Year’s Eve parties. Because we had so much trash, gotta’ kokua!

      Secondly, the Primo Beer Can Crochet Hats and Hand Bags my grandmother and sister used to make from the cut-up cans and yarn. Remember that?! Just like the hat “Mr. Okara” has…

      Reply
  • December 20, 2014 at 9:57 am
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    I remember these hats back in the 70.  Prefer the soda ones for I don’t drink much of

    beers just sodas.  Sure missed the hats wonder if flea market would sell some of it.

    Reply
  • December 20, 2014 at 12:55 pm
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    i have one of those cans as a bank somewhere. I think I have an old stubby around also. I loved the old Primo. A case was $5. My first job was a stock clerk. So I used to have to shelve beer. Primo was $1.25 a carton. Lucky Lager was $1.26.

    And then there was the other Hawaii beer, a Royal. The old joke was ” If you are out of Royal, you are out of beer. Because you wen drink all the other stuff first. “. I was too young to drink Royal, but I thought that was funny. And I still use the line when I can for other products.

    Reply
  • December 21, 2014 at 8:59 am
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    @ Pat – When you say a $1.25 a carton, do you mean a twelve-pack or a six-pack?

    Never heard of Royal Beer until you mentioned it, which of course I Googled to find the brewery was in that interesting red brick building in the Kaka’ako area that still stands today!  I’ll get some cool photos of the building later and share it. “If you are out of Royal, you are out of beer”. I LOVE that saying! Mahalo for sharing that, Pat!

    @ Kassy – My sister recently made one of those beer can hats for me that I have put away in a box. I’ll dig it up and share it later. Could make for a great “old school” Halloween costume. ;-)

    Reply
    • December 21, 2014 at 11:55 am
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      No 12packs in those days. Only cases and open six pack cartons. I think cans only came in closed cardboard cases at our store.

      Reply
  • December 22, 2014 at 3:53 am
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    My dad used to leave out Primo for the garbage men (empties, too, as there used to be a deposit for the bottles).  To this day I remember the jingle in the tv commericial: “Kane and wahine underneath a tree, don’t forget the company (mynah birds), Chase those birds back into the blue, and save the Primo Beer for you!” I also remember Lucky Luck’s radio theme song too… funny how I the mind remembers stuff, eh?

    Reply
  • December 22, 2014 at 5:28 am
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    @ Pat-San – Ah. So $1.25 ÷ 6 = 21¢ per can. As compared to today’s Primo, which goes for $8.99 ÷ 6 = $1.49 per bottle + 6¢ each HI 5 recycle fee. Sounds about right.

    @ Keith-San – Wow! That Primo Beer jingle sounds like a classic! Never heard it before! Thanks for sharing! My mom used to hang out at Lucky Luck’s “Lucky’s Tavern” bar in Hawaii Kai, right around where Koko Marina now is. She used to catch crab right outside Maunalua Bay, and bring it to Lucky’s, and he’d cook it for her and her gang. Those were the days! Interestingly, Lucky (Robert) Luck’s son’s name is Pomaika’i (same as me). :-)

    Reply
    • December 23, 2014 at 5:25 am
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      Yeah, Lucky Luck’s song went: “Lucky, lucky, lucky me, I’m a lucky son-of-a-gun, I work 8 hours, and I sleep 8 hours, and I leave 8 hours for fun!” I think he also had a tv show for a short time, too.  That Primo beer commercial was animated and in B&W (or at least our TV was). And there was the Arakawa’s Dry Goods commercial: “Let’s go out to Arakawa’s, Arakawa’s in Waipahu, for good buys galore: save, save, save; Save at Arakawa’s, Arakawa’s Dry goods Store” (I think the tune used was “Shuffle off to Buffalo”)

      Reply
    • January 8, 2015 at 12:32 pm
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      Just remembered that the Primo Beer jingle was set to the tune of “the Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai”

      Reply
  • December 22, 2014 at 2:30 pm
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    Rest in peace, Rap! You were gone from us too soon. On a happy note, we have all his classic routines live on. “Fing Fong Farty! “, “Russell, you get pen?”, “Bread or Toast?”, “Waste time I came, I thought you was dead!” “Massage your chicken…go massage ’em”. Such clever, gentle, local humor.

    Reply
    • December 23, 2014 at 5:31 am
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      My faves were “Mahalo Airlines”, “Room Service”, “Nay-tan, there’s a cockaroach in my shoe!” and the classic “Go Stay Go”. I remember seeing him with Booga Booga back in the day and I still have my VHS tape of his “Rap’s Hawaii” TV special.

      Reply
  • December 29, 2014 at 3:20 pm
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    I started buying Primo memoribilia when I graduated from college (the start of my collecting phase, which I still haven’t grown out of, 15 years later).  I started with the old bottles from Honolulu Brewing Co, the precursor to Primo Beer, then have added cans, signs, one belt buckle, mugs, etc.  One day I’m going to display them in my home office but for now, most of them are in boxes or in a display case at my parents’ home.

    Reply
  • December 30, 2014 at 9:38 am
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    @ David – Do you have any memorabilia for Royal Beer? As I mentioned to Pat, the red brick building the brewery was located in still stands today in Kakaako. I always wondered what that building was all  about, as it really stands out from the neighboring buildings. Neat!

    @ Keith-San & L – Looking up Rap’s Wiki, he was born in 1950, which would make him 64 today. Gosh, imagine if we didn’t lose him (passed in 1984), how much more great humor he could have made for the people of Hawaii to today. R.I.P. Rap Reiplinger.

     

    Reply

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