October 01, 2011

Beer Collectibles

By Don
STATE COLLEGE, PA – Ever wonder what those old beer cans in the attic or that beer sign in your garage are worth?  Well, beer can collectors had the chance to find out if they were sitting on a gold mine when The Eastern Coast Breweriana Association held their Fall Fest in State College, PA this year. 
On Saturday, October 1st, Otto’s Pub & Brewery in State College was filled with beer collectibles from past and present.  According to their website, the ECBA is a group of individuals dedicated to the preservation of the history of the American Brewing Industry through Breweriana Collectibles.  For a small donation, attendees were able to tour the tables of beer collectibles from collectors from several states.
            Otto’s co-owner Roger Garthwaite hopes that State College will become an annual stop for the ECBA.  “This is a better, central location for this club,” said Garthwaite. “I hope we can do more in the future.”
            Some of the vendors provided some of the memorabilia that is on display inside Otto’s.  Garthwaite feels that this event was a good opportunity to celebrate this type of memorabilia adding, “There aren’t many places that display breweriana like we do.”
Jim Dickel (r) of Mt. Savage, MD
talks to an attendee about
his items.
            Vendor Jim Dickel from Mt. Savage, MD says that when it comes to beer collectibles, the condition isn’t as important as it is with other collectibles like baseball cards.  Dickel explains, “If a collector doesn’t have something in their collection, the condition of the item doesn’t matter.”  He says that prices of beer related items have escalated.  Even small items that used to go for $1 are going for $5 or more now.  Dickel also adds that beer collectibles can be very regional.  Often, people have an allegiance to a brewery because of where they are from or because a relative once worked for the brewery.  Because of that, items can bring more money based on where they are being sold.
            The local representative of the ECBA is Sam Komlenic of State College.  Komlenic has been collecting breweriana for almost 39 years.  “I started collecting at 16 and I can still remember the first place where I bought something.”
            Items ranged from bottle openers with beer logos engraved in the handle going for $1 up to a Duquense Brewing lighted clock with a $3,500 asking price.
            Attendees also had the option to bring their personal items to have them appraised.  It was like the “Antiques Roadshow” of beer collectibles!
Many lighted beer signs were on display including the
Duquesne lighted clock with an asking price of $3,500.

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