You think beer labels are cool? Try the caps. Artists have less than a square inch to make an impression on that crown. Sure, you could go with a blank cap, or the brewery logo, but where’s the fun in that? For decades, breweries and soda companies have been using that tiny real estate at the top of their drink to make a statement. Lauren Walles (not her real name), is an avid bottle cap collector with more than 1,000 crowns in her collection.
“I love the individuality of bottle caps, and how they can convey so much in such a small space,” Walles says. “It’s fun to see how companies choose to express themselves graphically there. And It’s also interesting to see how same brand evolves over the years—Coca Cola, Budweiser, and Miller have changed their caps numerous times, and I like to find their vintage crowns and see how they’re different from today’s caps.”
Walles says there’s a robust community of crown collectors, and even an annual convention in Pennsylvania.
“Everyone has their own thing. Some people just collect soda crowns, some just beer, some only want microbrews, and some only collect animals on bottle caps. Again, because there is so much variety, it’s really easy to find a sub-category and really go all in with it. Personally, I don’t have a specific category that I collect. For me it is more about the design and history than anything.”
Check out the gallery of some of Walles’ favorite crowns and follower her on twitter.