Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Can-do hobby.(Final)

Byline: Story by RICK NATHANSON * Photographs by GREG SORBER * Of the Journal

What's on the outside matters for beer memorabilia collector hobby

Dan Scoglietti loves beer not that he drinks much of the stuff. It's the cans he likes.

Shelves of colorful, empty beer cans line the walls in three rooms of his Northeast Heights home. He also has a trove of beer memorabilia including posters, tavern signs, serving trays and early can openers, or "church keys," as they were called.

Scoglietti, a laser engineer for ITT, is president of the local chapter of the national Beer Can Collectors of America, an organization that represents about one-fifth of the estimated 20,000 beer can collectors in the country. In New Mexico, there are probably fewer than 50 serious collectors, he said.

The 2,000 cans in Scoglietti's collection are worth anywhere from a couple of bucks to a couple of thousand bucks, though most hover in the $25-$50 range. Their monetary value, however, "is not why I collect them," he said.

"I like the label graphics and the history of the different beers, and I like the architecture of the old brewery buildings. ... I guess I just like the nostalgia of it all."

Each of the cans in the collection is accompanied by its own story, and Scoglietti, 41, can recite them from memory: when, how or from whom he got each can, how much he paid or traded for it, and its approximate value.

A sampling of his beer cans includes the 1954 Schlitz can that his father, a carpenter, found behind a wall during a remodel of a cousin's Chicago home in 1976. …

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