Vintage Beer Boxes and Why Recycling Pays

By Special Guest Blogger

January 14th, 2011

Today’s guest blogger is breweriana collector Barry Travis, who runs the web site IBuyOldBeer.com: Preserving the Beers of Yesteryear. You can find him on Show & Tell, too.

Vintage regional beer boxes

Since no one has ever knocked on my door offering me old beer stuff, I make no secret of my collecting passion. As it turns out, having a few breweriana items on display in my office at work paid off—in the form of these six-pack boxes.

Most boxes of this type survived by accident. I have a few that have the words “Xmas ornaments” written on the bottom or top. Clearly, someone’s mother was resourceful in re-using a cardboard box to store non-beer items in over the years. Many times these boxes are well preserved, with only a bit of yellowed tape to remove.

Now, we return to my co-worker: Upon seeing the old cans on my office shelf, he mentioned that his dad had found a stack of unused cardboard in the attic of their garage. Among the items were regional beer cartons, unused and unfolded. I assured him that they’d have a “loving home” in my beer room at my house, and he smiled. The next Monday, he brought them into my office, and I was floored by the condition they were in. He was equally surprised when I peeled off a few twenties AND bought him lunch for his troubles. I told him, “Recycling pays.”

I now display these boxes next to the sort of cans they once held inside. Seeing both in mint condition makes me feel as though I’m in a grocery store in the early 1950s, where a similar display may have been set up. If you ever see the words “CAP SEALED CANS” printed on a carton, you know it held cone-top cans, which were filled and sealed on a bottling line.

Cans are made of sturdy metal and can survive decades on a wall or in a dump. But to find a thin cardboard cases like these, which were usually ripped open and thrown away—that made my day. And my beer-room shelf!

One comment so far

  1. Buzz Cayton Says:

    I need so info on a wooden beer keg I have. It is 16 1/2 ” X 12″ dia. Has Tar pitch on inside. It came from the Cincinnati O. area. Would like to know when they stopped useing them, it was made by T.J. Co., Also when wooden cases was used. Any info would be appreceated. Thanks Buzz


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