Beer and beer memorabilia has become quite a hobby for collectors. With some antique beer bottles going up in value much like gold coins, there is no wonder that this has become such a popular type of collectible for hobbyists:
But how do you get started and what should you collect? Here are five steps to help you figure all of that out before you get started.
1. Research Your Subject
WARNING: Researching your subject does not mean getting drunk!
The first move to make before you begin collecting beer bottles or old bottle caps is to research the subject of breweriana. The key is to find out what kinds of collectibles are worth having in your collection.
You don’t have to just collect bottles, either. You could collect bar decor/clocks, beer steins, and glasses, tap knobs, bottle openers, beer trays, drip trays, or any other item that has a beer logo or can be connected in some way with a beer manufacturing company or pub.
This is where you get to be the most creative in deciding what direction to follow with your initial collection.
CHECK OUT: 5 Old Beer Cans Worth $10,000 or more
2. Getting Your Collection Started
Believe it or not, old dumping grounds are always a good place to start. But naturally, all the easy ones to access will be picked over, but you may find a gem or two hidden somewhere.
A safer option would be to seek out flea markets, garage sales, or moving sales. Sometimes someone else just has to get rid of some things taking up space in their lives and you could be the beneficiary of that. Also look for ads in local papers, online, and elsewhere for leads on bars, pubs, taverns, and breweries closing down.
Finally, join collector clubs and subscribe to collector magazines and newsletters to find out about sales and events that attract other breweriana collectors (this way can make prices a little steeper).
3. The Storage of Your Collectibles
This one depends a lot on why you are collecting these items and what items you are collecting specifically. If, for example, you are trying to outfit a “man cave” with a breweriana theme, antique bottles can be stored in display cases all over the room. Tap knobs may be something you’ll want to use as part of your man cave minibar. Electric or neon beer clocks and signs can be hung on walls.
However, if you are collecting these items as an investment, you will want to store them in ways that they will stay in perfect shape and are not handled frequently. Maybe the most valuable items are locked away for safekeeping. Remember, the more you handle something the more chance you have of degrading its value.
CHECK OUT: 5 Essential Man Cave Decor Ideas
4. Understanding Valuations
Some factors come into play when trying to figure out what your breweriana collection is worth. This is something you may want to consider more for insurance purposes than for anything else.
For example, beer bottles are graded on several different things ranging from the type of closure they have, their size, shape, color, and if there are any identifying marks on them. Embossed bottles have different values than those with or without labels. Rare brewers can also impact values.
Knowing what your collection is worth, and what you are looking for, along with its most common valuations will help you never pay over the odds and make smart purchases.
CHECK OUT: The 5 Most Valuable Antique Bottles.
5. Keep Increasing The Size of Your Collection
There is something funny that happens to any collector. Once you have a few items of value, you eventually get the urge to hunt for more stuff. This is a good thing because if you are collecting breweriana, you will quickly discover it is a social activity that is fun and exciting.
Plus the more you hunt for those collectibles you want, the more likely you are to find a very rare item worth adding to your collection.