I have a collection of beer bottles which is made up of the less familiar beer labels, such as Hellbender Beer, as well as hundred year old bottles from Busch Brewery. The bottles, whether for their unique glass or colorful labels, make wonderful collecting items. I will post some more in depth articles on beer bottles later. For now I’m posting this. -Otto
by Liz Jackel
June 19, 2014
Some people collect stamps. Some collect coins. Others compile stacks of comic books, shelves of figurines, boxes of baseball cards, or lists of phone numbers. I collect beer. When the zombie apocalypse comes, I may not have a cache of food or weapons, but I will be well stocked with beer. I expect to be quite popular.
It was this hobby/obsession for collecting/hoarding beer that sent me driving all over greater Wichita in recent weeks in search of Boulevard Brewing Company's Love Child #4. This special release just hit the market and the few stores that received cases have limited people to a few bottles per purchase. Its limited availability is what fueled my gas-guzzling collecting crusade; and, though I am fairly environmentally friendly in most pursuits, the fact that Love Child is a barrel-aged wild ale, and I am wild about all beers pucker-inducing, compelled me to drive to the farthest reaches of the city in search of more.
How many bottles of a single (high-priced) beer could one person need? That is difficult to quantify. You need one to drink now, one to drink soon and, in this case, one to drink in a vertical tasting with each subsequent Love Child release forever and ever and ever … assuming that is how long Boulevard brews it. Though beers are released ready-to-drink, part of the excitement in collecting is tasting how beers change (for better and worse) throughout the years and how they compare with different vintages. The promise of these distant beer tastings impelled me from store to store, picking up my allotment or adding my name to waiting lists.
Such expeditions are common — unlike the rare beers being sought. It seems as though every week there is something new and exciting to be hunted and gathered. Lest you think that I, as a beer collector, am a rarity, I am not. There are many of us out there buying and hoarding and trading and, on occasion, drinking these hard-to-come-by beers. Spending the better part of a day trekking around town is the least of what I and other hardcore collectors will do to get their hands on the rarest of beers.
Traveling great distances to stand in long lines is par for the course. However, increasingly, there are ways to avoid this (though I am always up for a beer-cation). Beer trading websites and apps like The Beer Exchange and beer trading groups on social media outlets such as Facebook, Reddit and Google+ make acquiring beers from the other side of the country or the world a bit easier. Most operate on system where users trade equal dollar amounts worth of beer. Such trading is pretty straightforward, though there are considerations with the actual shipping of beer. Many shipping companies, like UPS and FedEx, have rules regarding the shipping of alcohol by individuals. Typically, these rules are simply ignored. Such rule-breaking is still less illicit than a technique employed by one extreme beer collector who, according to reports, hired prostitutes via Craigslist to stand in line for him at a beer release. Adding a bit of legend to your acquisitions could increase their "value," if not call into question your sanity.
For the rest click here.
Pix from brooklandbridge.com.