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Old 07-16-2012, 01:51 PM   #1
knightnorth
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Default Finding bottles

I'm coming to my wits end here. My LHBS doesn't sell beer bottle and to buy them online would cost too much just to ship. So I went around to 5 bars and collected their bottles through the weekend. Like 90% were twist caps (damn Bud Lite). So I got 12 good bottles from that method and recycled the rest. I thought since Delaware stopped the buying bottle program I could get some from locals. I posted on craig's list but the best offers I found there were for $20/case. I'm almost that desperate. I've written to the local micros in my area; Dogfish Head Brewery, 16 Mile Brewery, and Evolution Brewing Company hoping one of them gives me a reply back with a good offer. I've been drinking my liver full of beer trying to collect bottles but I'm quickly getting fat and tired of that process. My first 2 batches I filled into easy to get twist cap bottles and some self cappers I bought for $1/bottle. I'm trying to get out of the twist caps and get a good stock of pop caps. Any suggestion I'm missing here? I'd like to get a good pipeline going and not having to pop green beer just to get my bottles back.


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Old 07-16-2012, 02:06 PM   #2
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You've done all the right stuff. Only other suggestion would be to have your friends collect for you...("If you bring me empties, I'll refill them for you")

Aside from that, it just takes some time. Before you know it, you'll have more bottles than you know what to do with.


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Old 07-16-2012, 02:17 PM   #3
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I had a similar issue, but went about it similar to your approach - I "forced" myself to drink just one or two each day (oh darn). I also went to a cookout or three with friends and made the offer that I'd bring all the beer as long as they give me all the bottles. Only a month or so later I had enough bottles for 3 batches...
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:29 PM   #4
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Where are you knightnorth?

I went dumpster diving a bit, got about two cases over a month our so, along with a bunch of Belgian bottles.

Try asking local beer distributors, sometimes they get bottle returns and will sell them for the refund price or can post a flyer along their customers to keep you in mind.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:45 PM   #5
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The solution that got me the most bottles was asking friends and family. Guys on my softball team bring me empty cases from time to time and I bring a growler or some bottles to games. Just ask them to rinse them out after they use them...I got some moldy bottles from one guy.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:48 PM   #6
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LSD (Lower Slower Delaware). I just Googled for a local distributer and it looks like there is one down the road in Milford. I just fired off an email to them and I'll give them a call when I get off of work. The most frustrating thing is when you tell all your friends you need bottles and you tell them the specific kind you need and the next time they pop by you have cases of Yuengling and Bud twist cap bottles to get rid of. Hey, I get it you can get a case of Yuenling for $15 and I like it too but green twist caps I have and Yuengling has to be the worst glued lables to get off next to Sam Adams. Dogfish lables fall right off with no problem. Just going too fast for my preparation but the beer won't be hurt by sitting in the buckets for a couple extra days.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:54 PM   #7
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If you really need to, you can get some cheapo store-brand soda (< $1 for 2L bottles) and put some in there. Not fancy, but they work just fine.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:10 PM   #8
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I know this is a little old, but wanted to share my new grab. I was in the same situation, not enough bottles. I posted on Craigslist and kept bumping my listing up every couple of days. Had a couple of bites but all ended up being twist off. Took almost a month but finally got somebody who had an old box of Bud returnables in the original heavy box. He wanted $5, which I was happy to pay. When I picked them up he asked if I needed more bottles and I said sure. He said most of the beer he drinks is in pry off tops and that he would start saving them for me and I could have those for free. Once I get more of a supply I will start bringing him home brew to sample in exchange for bottes. Works for me.

I guess my point is to keep the lines out because you never know when you will get something.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:19 AM   #9
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restaurants will probably yield better results than a bar. They tend to sell more of the finer brews that are pry-off. I suggest you belly up, order a beer, and request of the bartender to salvage such bottles. I was a bartender for years, and getting 12 in a night of pry-offs was a good take for the day. I would say average would be 5. If you can find a beer bar that has numerous finer bottles you may get better results.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:46 AM   #10
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do you ever come to DC? i have at least 60 bottles to give away, likely more, half of them bombers (22 oz).


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