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Nathan.therrien

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My cost for bottles rose from $12/cs to $22/cs this year. I recently found out Rolling Rock cost 2/3 the price, filled! It would be cheaper for me to buy full beer bottles than empties..

Does anyone have a good source for bottles that don't break the bank? I would be fine with half-pallet bulk..

TIA
 

rhys333

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Please move if wrong section.

My cost for bottles rose from $12/cs to $22/cs this year. I recently found out Rolling Rock cost 2/3 the price, filled! It would be cheaper for me to buy full beer bottles than empties..

Does anyone have a good source for bottles that don't break the bank? I would be fine with half-pallet bulk..

TIA

I used to get my swing tops at the bottle recycling depot. I just paid them the 25 cents per bottle deposit, and I had around 150 total. A thorough clean and they were as good as new. When I switched to kegging, I sold them all to another homebrewer at $1.35 per bottle.
 

NTBeer

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All of my bottles came filled. Been a long time since I had a Rolling Rock - aren't they twist offs?
 

jrgtr42

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I always saved bottles from commercial beers. I probably have a dozen cases of emptys, along with a few filled. I've gotten away from bottling though, and moved towards kegging. I still bottle a few beers - a sour I make every couple years, a big imperial stout, one or two others.
I make sure they're rinsed well when empty, I don't bother removing labels, and I have culled through those with gunk in the bottom from less-than adequate cleaning. I reuse them dozens of times in some cases, and I've never had an issue with breakage from pressure.
 

Reneauj62

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Its not the cost of the bottles so much... It is the cost of the shipping. I can get a case from Morebeer for $14 and then $14 for shipping.. At that point it is almost the same as buying cheap disposable beer and keeping the bottles. I am not normally a Northern Brewer fan, but if you need 4 cases of bottles try Northern Brewer since they are $17 a case but free shipping over $59.
 

bracconiere

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It's against my religion to buy empty bottles, whatever religion that may be.

for the same price as full ones! ;) once i saw some guy with a bunch of corona bottles they were disgusting, but i cut the handle off a bottle brush and stuck it in my drill to scrub them clean. worked good.
 

marc1

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Its not the cost of the bottles so much... It is the cost of the shipping. I can get a case from Morebeer for $14 and then $14 for shipping.. At that point it is almost the same as buying cheap disposable beer and keeping the bottles. I am not normally a Northern Brewer fan, but if you need 4 cases of bottles try Northern Brewer since they are $17 a case but free shipping over $59.
Morebeer is also free shipping over $59.
 

bracconiere

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Reneauj62

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Morebeer is also free shipping over $59.
That is incorrect... Bottles are among MANY exclusions to their Free Shipping. In fact, to reach $59 for normal free shipping you would have to buy 5 cases for a total of $69.95. Then you would have to add on an additional $40.70 (total of $110.65) for shipping to my location and that is the cheapest option and I live fairly close by.
 

porterguy

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Have you looked elsewhere on the forums for free bottles? (easier when you live in a larger metro area with more fellow homebrewers...or a heavy-drinking non-metro area I guess). I've also asked at local bars and found one (which I frequented) and the owner was happy to oblige. I just had to ask him when, and he'd say what day he usually had a lot. I had to sort out a few screw tops, etc. Got a LOT of my 22 oz. bombers that way.
 

GrowleyMonster

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My cost for bottles rose from $12/cs to $22/cs this year. I recently found out Rolling Rock cost 2/3 the price, filled! It would be cheaper for me to buy full beer bottles than empties..

Does anyone have a good source for bottles that don't break the bank? I would be fine with half-pallet bulk..

TIA
Well, one source that only costs 2/3 as much would be to buy full bottles of Rolling Rock. Drink the beer, or hire someone to drink it for you. Maybe you can even find someone who will drink it for free, as a favor to you. I do prefer brown bottles, though.

But a used corny keg would cost about what you are paying for three cases of bottles. Just sayin. Of course you need a CO2 tank, reg, gauges, hose, and faucet, and a fridge to set it up in or to turn into a kegerator, but it doesn't take very long to save not just money, but time and hassle, kegging instead of bottling. I never bottle unless I accidentally make more than what fits in a keg. Even then, I usually rack it into a pressurized growler or two. I use growlers for portable beer and corny kegs for home consumption and I will never go back to messy, labor intensive bottling.
 

VikeMan

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Well, one source that only costs 2/3 as much would be to buy full bottles of Rolling Rock. Drink the beer, or hire someone to drink it for you. Maybe you can even find someone who will drink it for free, as a favor to you. I do prefer brown bottles, though.
Rolling Rock bottles have twist-off caps.
 

Immocles

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I bought the first 2 cases of empty bottles when I started brewing mostly because I *needed* 48 bottles, like now. After that initial 48, I started paying more attention to what I would buy at the liquor store. A few six and twelve packs build up the inventory in a hurry. I'd rather pay 17 bucks for 12 craft beers with pop tops than the same price for 24 empties. I'm lucky that the local brewery here uses only pop tops and they're super popular among friends and family.
 

IslandLizard

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Sources: Recycle centers, bars, recycle bin diving, ask people you know to save their bottles. Maybe ask a local brewery that bottles?

You could bottle in plastic soda and thick PET water bottles (e.g., Aquafina), say up to a liter/32oz. Since they're clear, just keep them in dark storage.

I've bottled in saved 1.75l plastic liquor bottles ("handles"). Even forced/burst carbonated in them with CO2.

Although perhaps not as much during COVID time now, there are always bottles being offered on CraigsList and such. Curbside pickup, or a small price. Any homebrew clubs around? Many brewers switch to kegging after a while and offer their bottles, often for free.

If you were closer I'd have a few cases for you.
 

bwible

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All of my bottles came filled. Been a long time since I had a Rolling Rock - aren't they twist offs?
Not only are they twist offs, Rolling Rock is made in St. Louis, MO now - not Latrobe, PA anymore. They are also green. You really want brown bottles.

I made this mistake a couple times, too. Bought a case for the beer but also intending to re-use the bottles, only to find they were twist off’s.

My outright favorites are Fuller’s bottles when I can find any. Just beautiful bottles. I reserve those for barleywine. I also really like Sam Adams bottles. I have several cases of those. And the beer is great. You’re not supposed to use either of those if you enter any competitions though. Nothing identifiable.

I also used to have cases of Grolsh bottles but got rid of those when I moved. If you find a bar where they sell it and talk to the bartenders they will probably save them for you - with the boxes. It’s just trash to them. Offer $5 a case and you’re still better off. I need to go do this with the one bar I know that sells Fuller’s around here.
 
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Nathan.therrien

Nathan.therrien

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I appreciate all the responses, I think the recycling center might be the best bet, we have a bunch around here! The only reason I don't do kegging is because I give 90% of my beer away.. it's not cheap of course but this is my only hobby and it's my favorite thing to do.. Everyone appreciates free beer..
I get to improve the lives of others while doing what I love.

Cheers,

Nate
 

IslandLizard

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[...] The only reason I don't do kegging is because I give 90% of my beer away.. it's not cheap of course but this is my only hobby and it's my favorite thing to do.. Everyone appreciates free beer..
I get to improve the lives of others while doing what I love.
You could ask them to save the bottles* so they can get more free beer. That's showing appreciation!

* Ask them to just rinse them out after pouring and let air dry.
If they buy craft beer, ask them to save those bottles too.
 
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Nathan.therrien

Nathan.therrien

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You could ask them to save the bottles* so they can get more free beer. That's showing appreciation!

* Ask them to just rinse them out after pouring and let air dry.
If they buy craft beer, ask them to save those bottles too.
I feel like a moron for not even thinking about it🙄 Maybe you'll get some of my free beer some day..
 

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