I get a lot of my bottles and cans on the road. Be it in McAllen, TX; San Diego, CA; Wheeling, WV; Johnson City, NY; or even down the street at a local brewery… I often have to get a full or empty bottle home in a way that’s significantly different than putting a grocery bag in the trunk and driving it home. Sometimes you have to go that extra mile to keep your beer bottle. So, I figured that today I would share some of my techniques so you can all laugh at me and tell me how I could do it better.
Step 1: know if you can take the beer.
This is less of an issue than it once was. In my earlier years of collecting, I would get strange looks from friends and coworkers as I would slyly put an empty bottle by my feet on the floor or tucked into a booth corner. This is because I had previously made the mistake of asking if I can take the bottle with me and been told that they legally have to say no. But, if I had simply walked out with the bottle they wouldn’t have noticed or cared. I have lost bottles to this, but not in a long time. Most places now will ask if I want a bag to carry the bottles in, or even offer to rinse them out. Speaking of which…
Step 2: clean your bottle/can.
If you know the place you are at is good about you leaving with the bottle or can, I recommend rinsing it out. Unfortunately this can lead to a wet vessel that can still slime up the rest of your stuff (your backpack, shopping bag, car, etc.). It’s particularly difficult to get all the water out of cans. The problem can be pretty well addressed by rolling up some bathroom paper towels and sticking them inside. It takes some care to get the paper towels back out again, but it’s worth the effort.
Step 3: put them somewhere smart.
I’m very cautious and responsible about drinking and driving. But, even as a passenger in someone else’s car, putting an empty bottle in someone’s cup holder can cause the wrong impression if one gets pulled over. There are also open bottle laws that vary from state to state. Again, what I’m doing doesn’t break those laws (they pertain to bottles that are being consumed in public) but best not to create any situations that could be misinterpreted. The problem here is that bottles or cans in the trunk of a car tend to roll around and/or get broken/crushed by other things in the trunk. I’m fortunate enough that most of the cars I’ve been in for those situations have a sunken wheel well to hold a spare tire. These things are great for holding bottles/cans without allowing them too much movement.
That covers most of the problems not already covered by my tips on flying with bottles and cans.
Do you have any traveling tips to share? Any questions that I should try to cover? Let me know. Chances are, I’ve dealt with it at some point along the way.