10 November 2009

And Now For An Extreme Completely Different...........

BBC Story here:


A blackened bottle of beer found in the wreck of the Hindenburg zeppelin is expected to fetch thousands of pounds at auction.  The bottle was found by a fire-fighter cleaning up the American airfield where the German airship exploded in 1937.  The bottle will be the most expensive ever bought if it meets its estimated price of £5,000 ($8,337) on Saturday.
The airship was engulfed by flames as it landed in New Jersey, killing 38 people and injuring 60.  New Jersey firefighter Leroy Smith found six bottles of Lowenbrau beer and a pitcher intact on the scene of the crash.
He buried his secret find so he could collect them later, as the area had been sealed off by the authorities.
Mr Smith gave the other five bottles to his colleagues.  Most of the others are now lost, although one was given to the Lowenbrau company after the death of Mr Smith's friend.
The bottle and jug were passed on by Mr Smith to his niece in 1966 and are now to be put on sale by auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son.
The beer would have gone off within a year of being bottled.  "You wouldn't want to drink it - it is probably quite putrid to taste," auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said.  Some of the liquid has evaporated from the bottle and the label is burned, but the logo is still visible.
The previous record price for a bottle of beer was a limited edition sale of a Carlsberg lager which cost £240 ($400).

 I'm skeptical.  Are there no other cases instances of beer bottles, full or empty, selling for more?  I'm sure that alleged bottle-price record may well have been broken by someone on an expense account buying a Sam Adams Utopias at a bar.  On the other hand, having recently read The Billionaire's Vinegar about the apparent fraud committed to fabricate bottles of wine allegedly from Thomas Jefferson's estate, I'd probably never trust a piece of breweriana unless it was from someone still alive to answer the provenance.

4 comments:

Brad - BeerInBaltimore.com said...

Very interesting.

In Aug '07, a full bottle of Allsopp’s Arctic Ale, brewed and bottled in 1852, sold on eBay for a record $503,300.

The eBay listing with detail of historical information about the Arctic expedition, as well as the bottle itself can be found here:

http://brookstonbeerbulletin.com/hindenbeer-to-be-auctioned/

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

Nope. The "buyer" admitted it was a "joke" bid, and the record for that beer now still officially stands at $304, for the original purchase of the bottle by the eBay seller:

http://www.antiqueweek.com/ArchiveArticle.asp?newsid=550

http://www.newlifeauctions.com/allsopp.html

Brad - BeerInBaltimore.com said...

Oh wow. That still sounds way low, doesn't it?!

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

Are YOU offering the owner $1,000 or whatever? >:-)