Brewery Collectibles Club of America

 

 
About our
Club & Hobby

This is the place to learn about the brewery collectible hobby, how it started, why we do it and how you can too.
Learn a bit of beer can history while you're at it.

History of our Club

People just love to collect stuff. Any stuff. Never has the adage "one man's trash is another's treasure" rung so true. It's no wonder, then, that beer drinkers have long enjoyed collecting just about everything with a brewery name or brand on it — what we call breweriana today.

While there had always been individual beer can collectors around, contact between them was mostly local and usually coincidental. Then, on October 20, 1969, an article in the St.Louis Globe Democrat featured the beer can collection of one Denver Wright, Jr. He soon heard from several kindred spirits in the St. Louis area, and at a meeting at Wright's house in April 1970, the organization now known as the Brewery Collectibles Club of America was born. Back then though, it was called the Beer Can Collectors of America.

By the end of 1971, the BCCA boasted 304 members, from 17 states and Canada. Overseas members, some from as far away as Australia and New Zealand, have attended every one of its annual CANventions in the last two decades.

Beer can and breweriana collecting grew like wildfire in the 1970s. In 1978, the club's roster numbered nearly 12,000 members, including many grade-schoolers and high-schoolers. For a while, the industry capitalized on the fad by pumping out specially-designed commemorative cans whose only reason for being was that collectors would snap them up. As a result most of these commemorative cans are still incredibly abundant and virtually worthless, most notably the ubiquitous Billy Beer.

Early on, only trading was allowed at BCCA-sanctioned shows. However with the amazing popularity of the hobby, money did find its way into the BCCA and the ban on cash transactions at shows was eventually lifted.

Over the ensuing years, the hobby has matured. Less serious collectors have dropped out, leaving the core membership of the BCCA to be collectors with stronger passion, larger collections and greater interest in the survival and growth of the club. As a result of their stewardship the BCCA remains the premier club in the hobby. And brewery-related items are now taken very seriously as collectibles.

The spectacular growth in the 1990s of microbrewing has helped to foster a renewed interest in breweriana collecting. Micro items are in high demand, and BCCA membership is on the rise. New members are signing up and many collectors who were active in the '70s and '80s are rejoining. The club now boasts more than 4,000 active members from all 50 states and 27 foreign countries.

Today our club publishes a professional, full-color 48-page bimonthly magazine, stages an annual CANvention that attracts an average of 1000 members, is involved in a national brewery museum effort, hosts a comprehensive Web site, and has published the hobby's premier beer can reference guide. We've come a long, long way since 1970!

In all likelihood, there's a BCCA Chapter in your state or local area. The club has well over 100 Chapters, both local and at-large, so no matter what you collect or where you live, you can find and meet collectors who share your collecting passion. If you're into collecting almost anything connected with beer and breweries, you belong in the BCCA. Join on-line now using the membership application in our Membership area.

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Your #1 resource for: The BCCA; Brewery Collectibles Club of America, Information on Beer, Information on beer can collecting, Hundreds of beer can collectors, Thousands of beer cans, Loads of Breweriana Ideas, Shows and so much more, Cans, Purchase cantotes, Join a new Club, What are you Collecting, All Types of Cones, Find a new Hobby, Many enjoy these Hobbies, Thousands of Flats, Many more Tabs, purchase totes; all here at the BCCA.

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