6,000 Cans of Beer on the Wall

Nation’s largest displayed beer can collection unveiled in Livermore

It’s a collection thirty-six years in the making — David Goett recently debuted his 6,000-can beer can collection to the public. Goett has dusted off his cans to display them as a permanent exhibition, filling the walls of two rooms at the First Street Alehouse in Livermore, Calif.

A natural collector, Goett began accumulating baseball cards as a kid, but his passion for beer cans began in 1976 when he was a junior at the University of Connecticut. Over the years, both his travels and trades with fellow beer enthusiasts have attributed to a collection with cans from 96 different countries. "It is a unique collection," said Goett to the Sacramento Bee. "I wanted to find a venue to show them and for everyone to appreciate them."

Goett is one of 3,500 members of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America, which gathers for an annual “can”-vention to celebrate all things beer-related, cans in particular. Some members own vintage cans valued at tens of thousands of dollars, but Goett estimates his most valuable can to be worth only a couple hundred of dollars.

With a diverse collection of steel and aluminum cans, cone tops and flat tops, pull tabs, it’s hard to choose the most unique can from the bunch. One notable can is a rare Duquesne Brewing Co. cone-top, olive drab, camouflage can from World War II.

To amass a collection so large, one would have to drink one beer every day for sixteen and a half years. While Goett himself didn’t drink the contents of all his 6,000 cans, he claims to have consumed quite a bit of it himself. "Drinking the beer is part of the fun in collecting the cans," Goett said.

While his collection is the largest North American collection on display, Philadelphia beer can aficionado Jeff Lebo currently holds the record for the largest beer collection in the country with over 80,000 cans.