Anything Beer - Breweriana!
Breweriana simply put, refers to all items that have anything to do with beer. In fact breweriana consists of not just popular items such as collectible beer cans, collectible bottle caps, collectible coasters, or even collectible shot glasses, but also of items such as self-opening trays, advertising giveaway collectibles, barware collectibles and collectible beer glasses. Even beer can pop tops are collectibles to some hobbyists. But today's breweriana is not limited to these categories with other forms of collectibles including, the classics, such as collectible bottle openers, to bar towels and serving trays, to even more obscure collections, such as beer bags.
The hobby of collecting varieties of breweriana has such an enthusiastic and dedicated following that several outstanding clubs have been formed across the world, such as the American Breweriana Association (ABA); Eastern Coast Breweriana Association (ECBA); National Association of Breweriana Advertising (NABA); and Brewery Collectibles Club of America.
To begin collecting breweriana, start on a small scale. Keep your eyes open for "anything related to beer," and since there are no hard and fast rules to limit a breweriana collection, you can collect an eclectic mix of beer related items, but truly fascinating collections are often based around a central theme, such as only collectible beer bottles, or collectible coasters, or even collectible beer glasses. It usually takes several years to amass a breweriana collection, and you can start by going to flea markets and breweriana shows or by purchasing collectibles through eBay. While purchasing items online you will need to ensure that you are dealing with a trustworthy dealer, so do all the required checks before you buy anything.
Another great way to increase your breweriana collection is to make friends with your local barman. Not only can he save up collectible bottle caps, or collectible beer bottles for you, s/he can also get you some rare and interesting pieces for a great price. Apart from this, Breweriana.com is another great site, which is the only reference site for comprehensively researching, actual retail beer can and breweriana values. Also there are several breweriana clubs available for those who are interested, and these will provide you with a great place to network and make contacts.
Apart from the actual collection, another important aspect of a breweriana collection is its storage. Whatever items are collected in breweriana, they should be stored in specially designed cases that can be wall-mounted or stacked, and that help protect your breweriana collection from dust and damage. Be sure to do enough research to be able to provide proper maintenance and care to your breweriana collection.