Buying old beer cans 



Upcoming SHOws

Breweriana Blowout xviI 2017
Belleville, Illinois

Saturday  21ST November

Swap - o - rama 2018
June 3rd & 4th
Knights OF Columbus Park
Florissant, Mo.

This show is a st. louis classic. This year is the 39TH annual show. Show features two days of trading, auctions, microbrew, live music, pizza night, and Saturday afternoon chicken dinner

for more info / tables

Contact Al Kell 314-921-4349


Cleveland, Ohio

august 23rd - August 26th

Eastside Spectacular
Saturday November 10TH 2018


625 eAST sT. josepsh st.

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Join the National Club
Join the BCCA ( Beer Can Collectors of America )
Being a member of the national club gets you a lot of great info. First, you will receive the full color, bi-monthly Beer Cans and Brewery Collectibles magazine. With tons of great photos, entertaining stories on both new, and old discoveries. Close-ups of individual brewery histories, recent sales pricing, of items sold both privately and at auction. Complete listings with photos of new can releases both here in the US , and abroad. You also get access to the BCCA store, for all sorts of helpful items involving collecting. There is also an up to date listing of shows across the country, as well as a want ad section, and much, more. Finally, once a year a complete roster ( with complete contact info ) of collectors across the world is sent out, so you can find your fellow collectors.

Join a local Chapter
Once you've become a member of the National Club , you will no doubt want to find, and participate in your local chapter. Many good friends will be made, and you'll have the oppurtunity to network with fellow collectors, who will ultimately become assests in furthering your collection. Another great perk is getting to visit other peoples collections. Here in the St. Louis area, our outstanding Chapter is GATEWAY. The Gateway chapter organizes a house tour every spring, that includes visiting 4-5 collections, along with the hospitality of those members.

Where to Find Old Beer Items

    One of the most import things you can do is get the word out. Let everyone know you are a collector. If you work in an office, then having a few cans or other small items around is a must. People will see those items, and you will get questions or reponses regarding them. If you happen to have a buddy that owns any sort of store, approach him about putting up a little advertisement on his window. Retail or service oriented store give you a huge exposure to all types of traffic. Ads like these have yielded exellent results over the years.

Family, and friends. Get the family working for you. If family members can also follow any of the above technics, then your exposure is greatly expanded

    Although finding old beer cans is not an art. There are still some general rules when looking for them, ranging from the more obvious to some more obscure, but obscurity within reason.
Coming across old buildings is one of the more obvious ways to locate any older items. With beer cans , or bottles looking first in the basement, or crawlspace is the first place to check. Don't forget to look up at the top of the basement walls where they meet the wooden floor structure. Crawlspaces just require a flashlight, and maybe a bit of crawling. Then it's off to the attic. You may need to move a bit of insulation around to give a thorough inspection. Those cans, or other items you may find there are much better protected from the elements, so it pays to put in the extra effort.
Of course, we can't overlook the barn, or other out buildings around the property. Yes even that old out house, defunct coal storage bin,and systerns are places that often yield results. Beneath the floorboards, is another possibility. What we really are talking about here are those places anyone may have tried to hide a bottle or can from a disapproving family member, or the more likely reason is that the can has existed there since the days of original construction. Back then, and still today it was , and is, not uncommon for construction workers to end their day with a few cold ones. In fact years ago both the Brick masons and Plumbers had it in their contracts to receive beer on their breaks. So, inside block walls is another likely spot, but much more difficult to detect. These cans are often not found until the actual demolition of the structure. Which reminds us , to stop , and have a look around any old structures that are in this state. Many cans, and some of the best, however are being found inside walls during the process of remodeling kitchens or bathrooms. The old plumbers would have a can or two on their break, and then innocently just set the can down inside the stud walls where they have remained untouched for decades. There are numerous stories of people beginning a remodeling project in this way, and unknowingly finding cans that would pay for the entire remodel! I have even heard stories of people reopening their walls to see if there were any more cans to be had. Sadly, you can also imagine how many are found, and just tossed out with the rest of the demolished materials. 

    Estate sales, Auctions, Flea Markets, and Yard / Garage sales also provide oppurtunities. Try to use the net to track these type of events in your area. Unfortunately print ads in newspapers have become so pricey, people often won't mention beer items , or many other items in their Yard/ Garage sale listings. It doesn't make sense to hit 80 garage sales every weekend. So, if your going, try to choose the large multi family sales, or estate sales. Remember to always ask if there are any beer items, even if I don't see any around. Most people don't think there is any value in them, and they are often overlooked by the sellers. Everyone knows someone who is a " Garage Saler " Motivate them, slip em a 20.00 or something to get their eyes working for you, and always remember to reward them for their help.


Links to other Beer Related Sites
WWW.Downtown Theater

Blue Note Club
The Dance Hall

Beer By The Numbers
(618) 444-4309

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