Beer bottle collection: full or empty?

Discussion in 'Breweriana' started by mynystry, Aug 24, 2012.


If you have a beer bottle collection, how are the beers you keep?

  1. Full

  2. Empty

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  1. mynystry

    mynystry Initiate (0) Sep 27, 2011 Mexico

    Hello beer lovers and collectors, I have been building since some years ago a collection of beer bottles, focusing on mexican craft beer. Until now each time I try a new beer I always buy at least 2 bottles (one for tasting and one for keeping), so most of the beers in my collection are full.

    I got the idea (I don't remember where from) that for a serious collection it is better to keep the bottles full... on the other hand it really aches to see some great beer going spoiled and I've got serious temptation to open some of those carefully, drink the liquid, fill them with water and close them up...

    What do you think about it?

    Thanks and cheers from Mexico!
  2. SpeedwayJim

    SpeedwayJim Poo-Bah (2,258) Jun 19, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    A wise man once told me that beer is for drinking, not collecting. I do keep super rare empties though.
  3. cmannes

    cmannes Disciple (378) Mar 15, 2009 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Why are you collecting them? If it's truly a personal connection, you should do what you want.
  4. jivex5k

    jivex5k Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Florida

    I collect full bottles and then turn them into empty bottles.
    Then I collect those empty bottles and turn them into full bottles.
    Ah, the circle of beer.
  5. infi

    infi Devotee (446) Apr 4, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Full bottles taste better, whereas empty bottles look better. Drink 'em and then put them up.
    Mothergoose03 likes this.
  6. mynystry

    mynystry Initiate (0) Sep 27, 2011 Mexico

    Well, About 15 years ago I began collecting beer bottles from other countries as souvenir, I liked the design of some bottles very much and I used them as decoration. Then I began collecting mexican old and rare bottles for the same reason. By that time it began the so-called "micro-brewery revolution" in my country and I started collecting craft beer bottles right from the beginning (many of those first micros were short-lived)... Later I became a craft beer retailer and I got easier access to limited or rare bottles, so the collection is getting quiet impressive... I fear that if I open the beers now and drink them the collection will lose value as some people has already ask me about buying some of my bottles...

    On the other hand sometimes I look at some of those beers and I remember how good they tasted and feel like openning them, drink the elixir and just keep the empty bottle... it's getting hard to control the beast! haha!

  7. fickenmeimirish

    fickenmeimirish Initiate (177) Feb 18, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    The collection is soley for me so the value means nothing. I keep one bottle of everything I get so I can just see what ive had, interesting to look back at bottles I was stoked to have a few years ago, compared to what I have now.
  8. WassailWilly

    WassailWilly Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2007 New York

    Have a ton of empties... Trying to complete the Anchor OSA yearly collection.
    Mainly all Winters and Christmas bottles
  9. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    I used to collect bottles to keep track of what I've had, but it just got out of hand. Now I only keep bottles if it is from a brewery I cannot get locally.

    As far as full or empty....I couldn't bring myself to waste the beer like that.
    joaopmgoncalves likes this.
  10. tflorentino17

    tflorentino17 Initiate (0) Apr 26, 2013 Massachusetts

    I started to do the same thing. I keep empties as a token of a new beer I enjoyed or tried. Any one have some ideas on casing or shelves? or some type of display for the bottles.
  11. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (1,808) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Supporter Subscriber

    I lined my basement walls with 4' sections of 1x4 boards (they're inexpensive) attached to vertical boards of the same 1x4s. I designed the various shelf heights to be an eighth of an inch shorter than the bottles that I was going to put on those shelves, then I bored holes a quarter inch deep and spaced these holes the diameter of a bottle apart plus an eight of an inch (a half diameter at each end of the shelf, plus the eighth) which locks the bottles onto the shelf that they can't be knocked off. The designed shelf height differs for stubies, long necks and bombers, so it takes some planning for the spacing and matching it to your bottle collection. I left one shelf extra tall for the various taller-sized bottles (750 ml, or others) that I didn't have many in each size, so that shelf has a variety of bottle heights.
  12. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (1,808) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Supporter Subscriber

    If it wasn't obvious about where I bored the holes, they are on the underside of the shelf above. So the spacing between these holes has to be for the dimension of the type of bottle that is planned for the shelf below the bored holes.
  13. itsthemoose

    itsthemoose Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2009 New York

    I've been collecting American craft beer bottles for roughly 6 years or so. I drink them, and then catalogue and keep the empties. I can't consider a beer part of my collection unless I tried them and keep the empty as a memento. In the end it's you collection. Do with it whatever you feel like.
  14. Stugotzo

    Stugotzo Initiate (0) Jun 13, 2012 Florida

    The problem with "collectors" and "collecting" of any type, is that most collectors think their collection is worth more than it truly is. Then, they never end up selling them, they collect dust, and after we're dead and gone, nobody will want them anyway.

    My advice: Do what you want with them... you'll likely never sell them anyway. :wink:
    Cfeezy likes this.
  15. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I'm not in college so I don't keep empty bottles or bottle caps. I do have a couple 3L sour empties I am going to build something with but other than that, no. Kudos to your wife for letting you collect empties...
  16. JrGtr

    JrGtr Disciple (396) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    My collection is mostly full - it doubles as my cellar, and will get consumed eventually.
    I do keep special bottles, either rare ones, first batch type stuff (has to say batch 1) or otherwise memorable ones.
    I do plan to display them at some point when I have a place to do so.
    Most of the non- special ones end up as my homebrew bottles.
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