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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Beer can and bottle collecting

“My buddy has a whole bunch of different beer bottles and cans. Is there something he can do with them?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff found this to be a timely question when one considers that football season inspires many a tailgating party. The owner of such a collection has several different options.

By doing some research you may find that the containers could be sold. The library has several resources available; Kovels' bottles price list by Ralph & Terry Kovel and other collectible price guides such as Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2009: America's Bestselling and Most Up-To-Date Antiques Annual. According to this newest Kovels’, would you be willing to pay $5000 for a Kool Beer, blue, Grace Bros. Brewing, Santa Rosa, California can or $2640 for a beer bottle from Tiffany and Allen, Washington Market, Paterson, New Jersey? The Official Price Guide to Beer Cans can also be borrowed through interlibrary loan and Ohio Shares MORE. A great deal of historical information can be learned online at Beer Bottle Collectors and Antique Bottles. Antique Bottles and RustyCans have links to collecting groups. There is even a Beer Can Museum located in Massachusetts.

One of our staff members was curious about how these collectible bottles and cans might be displayed. The library has many books with do-it-yourself directions for shelving. Two of the most intriguing were a trapezoidal bookcase in Bookcases by Niall Barrett whose shape is reminiscent of a bottle, and rotating garage shelves in Storage & Shelving Solutions which could be made to look like a giant beer can. Instructions can be found for shelving created with beer bottles and boards at

If, after searching the various sources, you find that your cans do not have much value as collectibles consider recycling them. The Aluminum Association’s website states that can recycle rates are at their highest and it takes 34.17 cans to equal a pound of metal. The amount that is paid by scrap metal businesses changes daily. On September 22, Falls Recycling was paying $.60 per pound of aluminum.

Before the cans or bottles can be recycled, they need to be emptied. Have a tailgating party using The Tailgater's Cookbook by David Joachim and Mario Tailgates NASCAR Style by Mario Batali to create delicious food for the occasion. Homebrew Favorites: a coast-to-coast collection of over 240 beer and ale recipes compiled by Karl F. Lutzen and Mark Stevens and Extreme Brewing: an enthusiast's guide to brewing craft beer at home by Sam Calagione are two of the library’s books which can be used to develop your own special brew.

Remember to practice caution in consuming the contents of those bottles and cans. Controlling Your Drinking: tools to make moderation work for you by William R. Miller and Ricardo F. Muñoz and Ohio Driving Under the Influence Law by Mark P. Painter and Majes M. Lookerone are some of the resources the library has to assist you in making wise choices.

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