Beer can sells for $36,000 at Pa. auction

These three beer cans collectiively fetched more than $93,000 at a Lancaster County auction held Sept. 21 and 22, 2012.
These three beer cans collectiively fetched more than $93,000 at a Lancaster County auction held Sept. 21 and 22, 2012.
Posted: September 26, 2012

Who knew beer cans could be worth more than their weight in gold?

Obviously, collectors of beer cans do, because they bid more than $10,000 for each of 10 cans at a weekend auction in Denver, Pa., between Reading and Lancaster.

And in some cases they bid a lot more.

A "Gibbons Bock LP Cone Top" - billed as the "holy grail of Bock cans," complete with metal cap - fetched the top amount, $36,000.

A pound of gold costs less - about $28,000.

Some cars, weighing a ton or more, are cheaper than that empty can.

Five hundred rare beer cans went on the block Friday and Saturday as part of Morphy Auctions' sale of more than 4,000 beer-related items collected over more than 40 years by Chicago businessman Adolf Grenke.

Collectors came from all over the country, and the total haul from 1,800 lots was $1.25 million.

Four hundred beer taps, brewery-related ad signs and art, and all sorts of smaller stuff, such as promotional buttons, were included.

After the Gibbons can, the priciest artifact was a two-foot-high porcelain sign for the Iriquois Brewery of Buffalo, N.Y.

Next came a few more beer cans. Fetching $28,800 each were the "Apache Export Beer LP Cone Top" and the "National Bohemian Bock LP Cone Top," followed by a "Meister Brau Olive Drab Flat Top" Can" for $21,600.

Both cone top and flat top beer cans were introduced in 1935, but production of the conetops ended in 1960, according to ebeercans.com.

Among other types of items, bringing the most bucks were a tray with an Indian ($10,800), a calendar with an Indian ($5,700), a tap knob with an Indian ($1,440), and promotional button for "Chevalier Beer" with a uniformed Frenchman on a horse ($2,040).

A couple of lithographs with goats also topped 20 grand.

To see the auction results, go to http://bit.ly/Rf12Eb.


Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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