Winner winner chicken dinner!

Ever feel like a Winner winner chicken dinner? That link takes a while to get there, but it’s worth it. Trust me kids.

So, I get many of my bottles on travel and I tend to get them back in a checked bag. My previous record was 21 bottles when I traveled to the Netherlands. I wasn’t sure I would be able to top that one as I was really close to the weight limit on the bag.

My last work trip took me to Wheeling, WV. The best airport to fly into in order to get to Wheeling happens to be Pittsburgh, PA. So, I had a rare opportunity to get bottles in PA and in WV. I was all atwitter with anticipation. But, I knew I wouldn’t have much time for bottle shopping in Pittsburgh as I was not traveling alone and we were merely driving through on the way to West Virginia.

I got off the plane in Pittsburgh and convinced the person that I was traveling with to seek out Bocktown Beer and Grill for lunch.

Bocktown Beer and Grill

They had interesting and good (the two are not necessarily the same) food, so my fellow traveler did not have to suffer for my quest.

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was a beer cooler full of single bottles. Therefore, the first question I asked was “are these bottles beer store prices or bar prices?”  The answer, for better or worse, was a little of both. If I drank them in the bar, they were full bar prices. If, I took them home unopened (my real objective) I could get them for 25% off the bar price. That’s still pretty expensive. But, I knew I wasn’t going to get a better chance at beer buying in PA. So, I sucked it up and got 18 bottles. I knew I was going to drink some at night during the rest of the trip and I didn’t (to be quite honest) really expect to find that many beers made in West Virginia.

I’ll regale you younglings with the tale of the fantastic brewery I visited in Wheeling in my next post. The important tidbit for this post is that one of the owners there filled me in on the best place in Wheeling to stock up on West Virginia beer.

Kroger grocery store

That’s right kiddos. The Kroger grocery store in the whopping 2 blocks that is downtown Wheeling happened to have a kick ass selection of West Virginia beer.

West Virginia beer display

I was able to find another 12 beers. Go me! But… For those of you that can do math, that’s 30 beers on this trip. I really didn’t want to drink more than 6 while I was on travel. Believe it or not, I love beer but I’m not a lush. Drinking 6 in my hotel room at night after going out to drink in other places for dinner is more than pushing it for a 4 day trip.  So that left 24 beers to try and get home in a checked bag. That’s 3 more than the record that almost topped out the bag weight. Pretty ambitious.

I did have one thing going for me. The beer in The Netherlands was all in bottles and the bottles were all pretty thick glass. Both of those factors add a lot of weight and volume to the equation.  This time I had a goodly amount in super light weight aluminum cans. I was ready to face this challenge! Step 1 was to get all the beer into ziplock bags in case any broke or got pushed out by the high pressure of the air travel combined with a bad cap.

Beer in ziplocks for travel

Step 2 was to wrap them all in clothes and pack them as well as possible.

And, to make a long story short (too late)… not only did I make it home with all the bottles and cans intact, but there was room and weight to spare.

24 beers and room to spare
Way under the 50 lb weight limit

I not only beat the last record. I also demonstrated that I should be able to break it again on the next trip. Welcome home to a full case worth of beer dragged home in a checked bag.

24 record breaking beers checked in a bag

Author: UsedHair

I am a labeorphilist (one who collects beer bottles) looking to discuss the adventures often involved in obtaining the bottles and the challenges that accompany the hobby.

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