I blog primarily over at "geosciblog" (http://geosciblog.blogspot.com), I am doing this one for fun. It is inspired by 30+ years of beer can collecting and having tried more than 3,000 different American beers during that time. “. . . And beer was drunk with reverence, as it ought to be.” — G. K. Chesterton

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Few of Our Favorite Things and Activities

While finishing up our local beer can collectors club newsletter, I ran across this photo from our regional show in Asheville, NC last November and it presents a good cross-section of the stuff that we collect. This show was set up inside of an "atrium motel" on the west side of Asheville. On the foreground of the table are items of "breweriana", i.e., advertising pieces with beer logos.

While beer cans are included in a broad sense, usually the term breweriana is refers to other items, e.g., signs, coasters, labels, crowns, glassware, and dozens of other places where beer logos have been found. To the upper left of the Ballantine Ale sign, you can see two quart cone top cans, the Dawson's can on the left is from New Bedford, MA, while the Cooper's Old Bohemian is from Philadelphia. These cans are probably late-1940s vintage. To the right you see some aluminum bottles.

In the background are some 12 oz. cans in cardboard "can totes", designed to hold two cases of 12 oz. cans, with dividers to prevent the cans from rubbing on one another. The cans range in age from the late-1930s to the 1970s.

But aside from buying, selling, and trading our "toys", it is about maintaining friendships that some of us have had for 10, 15, or 20 years. And though it is not required, a few of us will enjoy an adult beverage while taking in the sights at a show.

And for the November 2007 Asheville show, we were "blessed" with "royalty", as the BCCA (Brewery Collectibles Club of America) President, Joe Germino, chose to make the trip from New Jersey to Asheville.

After our Auburn, AL show last year, a few of us engaged in some "dumping", digging for old cans in an old bar dump that was destined to be covered over during the planned construction of a storage area (second photo). The gentleman in the foreground is now in El Paso, TX at Fort Bliss as part of his training as an Army medic. He may be assigned to duty in Iraq in April.

We visited another nearby bar dump this January after the Auburn show and found a few displayable 1950s cans, one example of which are these two Burger Ale cans from Cincinnati. Neither of which are exceedingly rare cans, but the can on the left is the best Burger Ale (condition-wise) that I have ever had on my shelves. The Burger Ale cans are usually less common and more expensive than the companion Burger Beer cans and the variety on the left is the scarcer of the two

The first time I visited the Hudepohl Brewery in Cincinnati, in 1981, an "old-timer" - who used to work for Burger Brewing Co. - complained that they sent all of the Burger Ale down to Georgia and Alabama and didn't sell it in the Cincinnati area.

Hopefully we can get back to this dump before snake and wasp season resumes, though we did uncover a large corn snake in the dump shown above. Through careful handling with a hoe handle, we managed to persuade it (without hurting it) to move elsewhere.

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Where can I find Can Tote, it is a cardbaord to put all beer cans in for storage and travel
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