The more bottles and cans I add, the harder it is to hit numbers that allow for a better description (such as 1000 bottles or 500 breweries). In my latest cataloging session I hit two of these within a few beers!
The collection has grown to staggering proportions. I have gone far past filling the shelves in my office to a point where I literally sit surrounded by cases of empty bottles and cans. I’m either going to have to suck it up and pay for off site storage somewhere, or find a brewery somewhere that needs a display idea (and a ton of room).
Here is where the collection stats stand at the moment.
Sometimes it’s a challenge to remember that I started this blog to talk about the bottle and can collection. Every time I travel, I try to hit up new breweries. But, I also try to bring back as many bottles and cans as I can in the process. Another challenge I tend to face is the cost of specialty beer. I often want that really interesting bomber or the specially packaged version of whatever, and just can’t justify paying tons of money for it when I could easily add 6, 12, or even 24 other beers (depending on the price of the cool thing) for the same price.
I was visiting friends in Maryland on my last trip and they were nice enough to go out of their way to take me to a cool bottle shop called State Line Liquors on the border of Maryland and Delaware.
I really, really hesitantly looked at the price on the tin, expecting a big disappointment. Turns out the whole kit was 20 bucks. For what I was included and how well it will look on my shelves, I simply wasn’t able to pass it up. Score another one for the bottle and can collection! Sometimes you just get lucky.
OK. So, I know I geek out every time I hit another number mark in my collection. But, this time is extra special. I hit the 2,000 bottles and cans benchmark. For the first time, I can legitimately say I have “thousands of bottles and cans”. This is a huge step up from saying “more than…” or “nearly…”. “Thousands” just seems to roll off the tongue so much easier. And, I’m hoping, is more impressive.
So, what tipped my over the 2,000 mark? It was Mastiff Oatmeal Stout from Railhouse Brewery in North Carolina. I’m on vacation with my extended family in Emerald Isle, North Carolina and (of course) had to stock up on North Carolina beers. I wish there was more of a story to tell here, but that’s about it. Here is where the current numbers stand for the whole collection:
Repeats (e.g., Orange Blossom Pilsner in a bottle and in a can)
Size Difference (e.g., Heineken in a 22 oz bottle and in a 12 oz bottle)
Still to drink (I purchased the beer, but have not yet consumed it)
Unique Beers (Not a repeat or a size difference)
Classic Cans (cans from a 1970’s collection that once belonged to my brother)
I have a very special container review today. This can of Pompous Ass English Ale from Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto marks 600 different breweries in my collection! Personally, I think that’s more impressive and telling than that there are over 1700 bottles and cans. So, without further ado…
Name: Love it! Humorous, descriptive, unique. A+
Art work: The art work definitely matched the name. I think the color scheme was even chosen well for what they were going for. Again, well done.
Beer description: Quite the detailed description. Lacks a little of the humor that got started with the title.
Just the facts: ABV, serving temperature, where to find them on social media, and even a name “Fuggled Doublebottom” for the Pompous Ass himself. Not too shabby
Pop top: Nothing going on here. Standard.
Label quality: All is well. No dents, dings, or creases.
That’s it! Every shelf in the office is full! From here I can either fill in the window with shelving (not sure how smart it is to put a bunch of glass bottles in a window when you live in a place that’s prone to tropical storms and/or hurricanes) or start putting shelving on the ceiling. I really want to go towards the ceiling. But see this post to get an idea of the challenges I face on that front.
Gather ’round chitlins. It’s time for an ancient history lesson. One year, for reasons that I am still not able to fathom, I decided to see what kind of awesome deals I could find if I dragged my ass out of bed in the wee hours of the morning and fought the crowds on… duh, duh, duh… Black Friday.
The one really fantastic deal I got that day was an entire set of luggage for $20. Even back in those days, that was quite the bargain.
I remain proud of that purchase (as evidenced by the fact that I’m still telling tales about in true grandfather fashion). But, I travel a lot. Seriously, a lot. moving back to the current time period, the checked bag from that set is starting to deteriorate. I dealt with the little things, like the broken zipper for a few years.
And minor things like holes on the inside material were tolerable for quite a while.
But, I had to draw the line when the corners started pulling apart.
This corner is worse even than it looks in the picture. It’s about to start leaking things out of the bag. That would put the beer at risk. And I can’t have that.
This may come as a shock to some. But, I’m a bit of a hoarder. Not that anyone can tell from the 1,600 plus bottles and cans lying around. Or, the beer caps, or the beer coasters, or the stickers, or even the Star Wars collection. However, there comes a time that even someone like me has to break down and replace something. It was time for a new bag.
I have a lot of people recommending to me that I get a hard case to better protect the beer. It’s not like I’ve lost many across the years that I’ve been collecting. Only one so far if anyone wants to keep track. But, well, mission accomplished. I caved in and got a hard case bag.
However, I have to stress an argument that I’ve maintained for quite some time. What most people think of as a hard case is not like the luggage you used to see in the gorilla commercials. They have a very thin shell that bends at the slightest touch.
I’m not sure how well this bag will protect my beer in the long run. But I’ve made my choice, and I’m going to stick with it. The bag has already proven itself worthy in a trip to San Diego where I managed to weasel my way into getting 2 checked bags. The next step is to see how many beer stickers I can get to adhere to the thing.
All of the ridges in the hard case aren’t helping anything. But, I’ll keep adding to it as I go. And, of course, I’ll let you all know how it holds up on my future travels.