“BE(TT)ER HOMES & GARDENS"
For years Periodical publications such as “House
Beautiful” and “Better Homes & Gardens” have provided
a venue from which owners of “the American dream” can
get ideas and inspiration to improve and decorate their
domiciles. But these types of magazines always focus
on the extremely upscale sort of home ownership.
When leafing through the pages (usually in a dentist’s
waiting room) one gets the idea that the articles therein
are definitely aimed at a more affluent set. The
beautifully landscaped patios and gardens seem to cry
out for a couple of stemmed glasses of a delicate white
wine or even a tumbler of $200/bottle single malt scotch
sitting on the table top of a $10,000 patio set next to
the $6000 state of the art natural gas grill and stainless
steel outdoor kitchen. That’s fine for the country club
crowd, but what about the average “Joe Sixpack”, who,
by reason of available funding, must do his own back
breaking landscaping, home remodeling and furnishing?
Other than “how to…” books, there is little to inspire the
beer set, so Beer My Way now proudly takes this
opportunity to showcase a variety of ways by which one’
s estate can be improved by BEER!
Furnishing the interior of the beer drinker’s palace is
easy. Thanks to the ways beer has been packaged over
the years, it’s a simple matter to construct attractive
coffee tables, end tables, chairs and even couches out
of old wooden beer cases, lending an antique flavor to
Several internet sites display such furniture also made
out of beer cans and bottles, ingeniously fused
together. A queen sized bed fashioned entirely of tall
neck bottles can be seen as well. In Germany, well
known for its beer culture, a small bed and breakfast
offers cozy sleeping arrangements for couples who find
it exciting to bed down in huge, ancient wooden beer
barrels. Standard (non beer case) tables topped with
carefully pried off beer bottle caps and covered with
several layers of liquid plastic make for a nice addition to
a beer man’s interior decorating. Beer kegs with wooden
seats or padded cushions affixed to the top are perfect
for hoisting a few steins while seated at your beer cap
table or coaster covered bar.
To maintain any wooden parts of your beer furniture,
stale beer makes a wonderful and inexpensive furniture
polish. Many a brew has been accidentally knocked over
on my oak tables and I can vouch that last night’s
leftover IPA works just as well as Wilbert’s Lemon Oil at
a fraction of the cost.
If the beer furnisher doesn’t want to sit in the dark
while enjoying his nightly pints, some sort of illumination
is necessary. Bare light bulbs being rather stark, and
ordinary lighting fixtures offering nothing intrinsic for
the beer lover, Beer My Way offers a solution.
Suspended beer bottles or bottles turned upside down
over small electric light bulbs make an excellent
chandelier for lighting a beer table and keg stool set.
Table top lamps made from growlers with a beer cap
shade look nice on the beer man’s end tables and
thousands of brewery advertising light fixtures can offer
illumination for breweriana collectors who’d rather
spend their spare time drinking beer rather than making
stuff out of its packaging.
Not to be forgotten in outfitting the beer home is
plumbing. Urinals and basins fashioned from cut down
old beer kegs are not only cheaper than buying
expensive toilets and vanities, but also make cleaning
and sanitizing much easier for those whose aim is not
what it used to be. The Hanging Bat pub in Edinburgh
has an entire men’s room plumbed like this, as noted
from a hands-on experience by Gaslight chef, Tony
Other household items that can be made from beer
packing are shelving, made either from empty wooden
cases or stacked cans and bottles as supports for the
planking which makes the shelves. Two nicely restored
Ballantine wooden cases make for nostalgic and practical
magazine racks in my living room.
The household cat is also the beneficiary of recycled
beer packaging. Tape together and stack a dozen or
more empty beer cartons with various holes cut in the
sides, bottoms and tops. Tabby can then prowl, climb
and crawl through the beer carton cat maze to his heart’
s content. Some catnip placed in one of the cartons
makes for interesting viewing. (Of course the cat
furniture can be made out of ANY type of carton, but
this is an article about BEER, thank you)
Seasonal interior decorating can also be accomplished
with the imaginative use of beer stuff. Small “nip” cans
make nice ornaments for a beer geek’s Christmas tree,
especially when complemented by strands of garland
made from pop tops. At the Steigel brewery in
Salzburg, Austria is an eighteen foot tall Christmas tree
made entirely of Steigel bottles. With the hundreds of
Christmas, “holiday” and winter brews available in the
US it would be a simple matter to erect a Yule tree
comprised of nothing but beer bottles with that type of
label, adding a beery festive air to Christmas celebrating.
Exterior beer decorating can be done in much the same
ways as in the home, with the addition of beer garden
walls, made from cementing together thousands of
All this beer decorating requires a home to decorate,
therefore what better way than to build one’s house out
of beer. The earliest known example is miner and saloon
owner Tom Kelley’s one room house in Rhyolite,
Nevada, built in 1907 out of 50,000 empty beer bottles.
And more recently John Milkovich and his wife Mary, of
Houston have a multi-room home, complete with
landscaping, constructed of bottles and cans emptied by
them and their friends.
But America cannot lay claim to first prize in the beer
home construction contest. In Buenos Aires, Tito
Ingenieri took nineteen years to erect his casa made out
of an astounding six million, that’s 6,000,000 empty
cerveza bottles. There’s no mention if, similar to John
and Mary, Tito and his amigos emptied the building
materials prior to groundbreaking.
That’s all for now. It’s time to go re-roof my wood pile
with flattened Yuengling cans.
has to say
and it could
Click on pictures to enlarge
Beer My Way.........
Beernexus.com proudly presents....DAN HODGE, beer reviewer, historian and raconteur
anything and everything about beer
by Dan Hodge