When push comes to shove every beer lover has a piece of breweriana lurking in his or her closet. Some pieces are part of a serious collection, evoke fond memories, are desired only for their function, or are freebies casually accumulated. At least that’s what I gathered from the following series of posts about this month’s Session topic.
As I suspected would happen, the merits of collecting these items was also batted around. These two quotes best exemplify the opposing viewpoints.
“The things others reject or throw out there for nerds to pick up or get stuck with. It is all crap.” – Alan McLeod, A Good Beer Blog
“Brewers like to think that the flavor of the beer is the bottom line, but I would argue that one has to consider all aspects of beer enjoyment to have a truly great product that sees longevity. These items remind me that every beer has a story and I like to think about the entire process when I try a new beer or an old favorite.” – Beer PHXation
Of course I lean towards the latter point, but it wasn’t the popular opinion. Most of what was written fell somewhere in-between.
I’m just happy so many people took part and I enjoyed seeing some of the resulting discussion in the comment sections.
Thank you to everyone who participated. The next session will be hosted by John Holl over at the Beer Briefing. His topic will be Beer Redemption.
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- A Beer in Hand: Jay Zeiss decided to focus on breweriana gifts, given and received, rather than his glassware collection. They include a nifty find on Etsy and a functional showpiece that’s “been allowed to keep its place.”
- A Good Beer Blog: Alan McLeod didn’t see anything good about the “flotsam and jetsam” of the beer world. Essentially, it’s all crap, especially a little bottle opener he received back in 2005.
- All Over Beer: As Session host, I felt the need to rationalize my obsession with vintage beer labels from Michigan and San Francisco.
- The Beer Genie was relieved to not be “the only person with this habit” and shared a predilection for bottle tops that trigger fond memories.
- Beer PHXation gravitates “towards brewery items that are functional and still retain sentimental or historical value.” A few objects from the now defunct Rio Salodo Brewing Company are a case in point.
- Beer Search Party collects a fews caps and bottles, but is primarily attached to labels and coasters.
- Beltane Brewing: Even though Alan Atha is not a beer blogger by trade, he wanted to share one collectible that’s been in his pocket since 1972. It’s “simple and elegant.”
- Brookston Beer Bulletin: Jay Brooks has been forever afflicted by the collector bug and tells a tragic story about a treasured collectible.
- Drinking Class: Jim Pavlik is a self described vagabond , which limits his load of personal effects (except books), let alone any breweriana, but he does fess up to owning a few things.
- Ed’s Beer Site: Ed Wray wants to drink to a beer revolution in a glass he’s never actually used.
- Fuggled: Al doesn’t see the attraction to non-functional items and shares his fish out of water moment at a breweriana show. I know how he feels.
- Ghost Drinker use to own an immense bottle collection and shares his father’s love of bar mats and towels.
- It Could Do With A Few More Hops: Bob has always associated breweriana with sad old men or obsessive geeks, but slowly discovered his pile of items was quite large.
- Kaedrin Beer Blog: Mark is intrigued by what appears on bottle corks. It’s quite varied.
- Musing Over A Pint: David confesses to hoarding over 400 empty bottles of beer, mostly due to procrastination and “memories of friends, trips, or other good times.”
- Oh Good Ale: Phil provides a detailed summary, or should I say “a song of which I’m not very… ashamed,” about his collection.
- Rabid About Beer: Glyn Roberts owns a pile of beer related baseball caps. Please send him a few.
- Ramblings of a Beer Runner: Derrick Peterman used this edition of the Session to share his old sweaty running t-shirts. His rationale? They “represent a small running story, often associated with a lot of hard work and effort while a beer trinket represents, well, drinking a beer, which in most cases, doesn’t require much work.” Them are fighting words.
- Pencil and Spoon: Mark Dredge shares a story familiar to many collectors, the battle between love and material desire that often results in a lost collection. He wrote one of my favorite quotes,”Caps became scalps.”
- Reluctant Scooper: Simon Johnson doesn’t have a penchant for collecting, but holds on to a few treasured items that are a “tangible link to the greatest beery day in my life.”
- Stout Fellow!: Richie shared two items, one old and the other new. They both exercise the arm, require accuracy and perfectly accompany a sunny beach.
- The Beer Nut stresses the importance of using the right glass while reviewing two Cantillon selections.
- The Brew Site: Jon Abernathy doesn’t have a collection of beer memorabilia, but does have a few bottles he won’t be savoring anytime soon.
- The Brewstress: Kelsey Williams recalls fond memories of her favorite bar in Chattanooga, TN, with help from her Yazoo Beer t-shirt.
- The Pour Curator: Greg used this edition of the Session to stress the importance of supporting the artists behind many of the beer designs and art we admire. He offers up some very helpful tips in the process.
- What We’re Drinking recalls a brief brush with eBay, fueled by family ties to Olympia Beer.