When the Memphis Grizzlies and Coors Light teamed up in February to release a 24-oz. special edition Memphis Grizzlies Coors Light beer can, it became an instant collectible. I got an e-mail from Stuart Gellis, of New Rochelle, New York, who has a collection of some 6,000 beer cans displayed at his house and wanted to add the Grizzlies commemorative can to his lot. I sent two cans to him in return for the guest post below. Thanks for sharing your story, Stuart! -Mike
Thirty years ago, I discovered “Sports Beer Can” collecting as a substitute for baseball cards and memorabilia, which became too expensive for my wallet. Sports, beer and collecting were my passions, and this was an inexpensive way to satisfy my cravings.
The vibrant colors and artwork were spectacular. My travels for work allowed me to visit beer outlets throughout the U.S., and I think I have been to every bar and store in every state, or so it seems. The search was exhilarating, and the cans were plentiful.
I set up my own rules to determine what constituted a “Sports Can.” Each can must show or mention something related to a competitive sport, a specific team, an individual, an event, a schedule or a venue. Cans featuring cartoons, silhouettes, etc., of competitive sports figures in uniform may also qualify. Cans that show outdoors activities such as skiing, sailing, fishing or hunting don’t qualify unless there is reference to a competitive event. (These are my rules, but your rules might be different.)
Using these criteria, I have been able to accumulate over 6,000 cans through buying, selling, trading and attending “breweriana” shows sponsored by the Brewery Collectibles Club of America (BCCA). Trading these cans with fellow collectors in all the states has been challenging but most enjoyable. I have met some of the nicest people you can imagine. All my cans are displayed in my basement mancave on shelves that I made of 2 1/2″ aluminum “L” strips screwed into the wall. There is no criteria as to how you might display your cans, as long as you enjoy yourself and have a beer on me. Cheers.