Home > Off the Beaten Beer Path > Nostalgia for Sale – Bottled or Canned?

Nostalgia for Sale – Bottled or Canned?

Beer is such a huge part of our American culture.  Why else were we sad to see Budweiser sold off to the Belgians?  Sure, it wasn’t a great economic indicator, but there was also a sense of betrayal that such a strong American icon would willingly sell themselves to foreign hands.  Face it, you may not like their beer, but Budweiser has been and continues to be part of our American upbringing.  In fact, nostalgia is part of their power, having appeared in virtually every American living room on every American television during every American sporting event.  Not to mention, it’s still served up at virtually every American restaurant or bar.

I started thinking about this when we attended a beer collectibles show last weekend.  Every old beer and brewery you can imagine was represented in the form of unopened cans, bottle tops, bottle openers, neon signs, coasters, posters, trays…you name it.  Looking at some of the old brands, I was instantly transported back to a person, place or time.  Schlitz was my Dad’s beer; my husband’s grandmother always had a can of Red, White and Blue in hand; and my Texas uncles were never without their Lone Star.  Beer had loyalty. People drank what they knew, and mostly what was local  – Iron City from Pittsburgh, National Bohemian from Baltimore.  I suppose they were the original craft beers.  Not a lot of variety, but each had their loyal patrons.

Of course glances through the old beer glasses, bar trays, posters and signs triggered detailed memories of objects we grew up with from our parents’ and grandparents’ basements.  I know I’ll be digging behind my parents’ bar the next time I’m at their house.  Obviously we can’t keep everything, but it is fun to visit yesteryear from time to time and be reminded of how things used to be, especially when compared to how things are today.  Is it better or worse?  Just different I think – less loyalty, more variety.  Of course, I can’t help wondering how much our coaster collection will be worth in 25 or 30 years.  Hmmm…

Cheers beers!

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