Monday, March 18, 2013

Oshkosh's Most Valuable Cans

The Rare White Chief
The Silver Chief

In February, the New York Times ran a feature asking what New York City beer can would be considered the most valuable. The highest priced can cited was a 1950, flat-top can for Pilser's Bock Beer, listed at $12,000.  If you’re not a collector of breweriana, that amount may stun you. Hold on, it gets better.

After seeing the Times article I started wondering what Oshkosh beer can would be considered the most valuable. Turns out New York City has nothing on us when it comes to pricey metal. The most valuable Oshkosh can is a white crowntainer from 1949 for Chief Oshkosh Beer. The highest documented selling price for this can is $27,500. It’s purported that there are only three of these cans in existence. These were prototype cans. In 1949, the company had decided to begin canning its beer. The white crowntainer was one of its options, but the can was never used in production.
The 1950s Chief

The can they did use, a silver crowntainer, fetches a pretty hefty price, too. The website puts the value of this one at $2,800. In 1951, the Oshkosh Brewing Company ditched its crowntainers and began using cone tops. These cans were used until 1958. One of these, in nice condition, will typically sell for about $700. At the moment, there’s a beat up can of this breed being offered on Ebay for $275. Still too rich for me. This is all nice looking stuff, but I think I’m going to stick with what’s inside the cans.

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