100 bottles of beer on the wall…

Have you ever had a collection of something that grew too large for its own good?  I have, and here’s the story about it…

beer bottles

Some might call it hoarding, but I like to think of it as collecting.  As a single guy living at home with my parents, I realized pretty early on in my drinking career that I had an innate obsession with beer bottles.  I’m not quite sure if it was the labels, the different bottle shapes and colors, or just the vast array of names that accompanied the beers, but I became a collector pretty much from day 1.  And believe it or not, I can remember day 1…

First BottleIt was a Michelob bottle, and it was the first full beer I think I ever consumed.  Nothing special, just the old brownish glass that had a pinched lower half and a top that gradually got smaller.  It was followed by a Coors Light bottle (believe me, I still shudder about it to this day).  The collection literally began in a drawer of my desk in my bedroom, and when that couldn’t hold it any more, I started lining them around the perimeter of the wall along the floor.  My parents tolerated my newfound love of trash that was now serving as a frame to the Dennis Rodman-plastered walls, and when the whole perimeter of the room was covered, row 2 began.  When I got married and moved out, one would think that would have been the perfect time to do away it once and for all, but you see, by now it become an obsession.  Little did I know how far the obsession would take me…

Fast forward 10 years or so, and the collection had reached what was going to be its peak–somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 bottles, all different from one another, were now gracing the bar and built-in shelves of our first home, but they were in the basement and so were out of the way for the most part.  However, when it came time to move into our new house, boxing up that massive collection was proving to be quite a chore.  Why did I go through the agony of packing them up and not just dump them now when I had the chance, knowing that this couldn’t go on forever?  I’m not quite sure, but I think the fact that had it had consumed the better part of 15 years of my life made it seem easier to pack up than purge.

A large storage barn at our new house became the new home for the bottle collection, but they never saw the light of day again.  There was no real good place to display so many bottles, and so I felt like common sense was finally going to prevail and the collection was going to be eliminated once and for all.  However, at the encouragement of my wife in the 11th hour of a post on Craigslist to not get rid of them all, I decided to keep enough of them to grace the top of the kitchen cabinets in our new home. (Coincidentally, the guy who took away the other 500 was the father of a student I had that year in school…talk about awkward!)

Kitchen Pic

Just over 100 bottles are now a permanent fixture in our kitchen, and it’s a collection that gets rotated as I try new beers and trade them out with older ones, just to keep it interesting.  3 Floyd’s beers own the most real estate, and the rest are the other favorites among the countless new beers I try each year.  But no matter how old I get, or how many times I replace the old with the new, there’s one bottle that will always remain in its place.  The Michelob bottle that started it all will forever hold its position, serving as a reminder of just how long and how large my love for all things beer is…

the Hopostles

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