99 bottles of beer on the wall...

Monday, February 25, 2008
Breweri-whatia? Find out what it is at the annual Beer Can collectors show.

You've got a cold, frosty brew in your hand, so you pop the top, drink it down and get ready to toss the empty. Hang on there, buddy: You might just have the start of a collection. The annual Beer Can and Breweriana Show, also known in collecting circles as the Vic Olsen Memorial Show, draws collectors of brewery-related memorabilia from around the state and across the region. This year's show will be held 9 a.m.- 3 p.m., Sunday, March 9 at the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center.

  If you can imagine it associated with beer, it will likely be at the show, from barroom staples of clocks, posters and mirrors to branded napkins, matches, and yes, those rare cans and bottles. According to the Brewery Collectibles Club of America, the hobby of Breweriana started out in the late 19th century with the newfangled invention of bottle caps, then surged with Prohibition as alcohol was banned and items became rare. As the industry changed with the decades, an entire new hobby emerged, and today there are even price and reference guides for collectors. Drop by and discover an entire new world of collecting, then when your loved one complains about the empties surrounding the couch, just tell them that you've become a fan of breweriana. For more information call Erin Jones, (479) 426-6644.

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