Vintage beer cans FAQ
What are my beer cans worth?
The value of a vintage beer cans can run the spectrum of virtually nothing to upwards of $10,000. The three factors that impact a cans worth are: rarity, desirability and quality. Any can missing one or two of these factors will suffer in value. All three factors need to be exceptional in order to reach a value of thousands of dollars.
The best way to find out what your vintage beer cans are worth is by contacting Larwood Limited.
Is Larwood Limited interested in any old beer can?
Unfortunately, No. As a general rule, any cone top or flat top in excellent condition may be of interest to Larwood Limited. Tab tops, on the other hand, are more questionable. There are several varieties of tab tops that due to their desirability are valuable. Those include James Bond's 007, Playmate and Soul. Others, due to a lack of rarity are not of interest. Those include Billy Beer, JR Beer and MASH Beer.
What are cone tops?
A cone top, as the name suggests, is a can with a cone or funnel shaped top with a cap like a bottle. Cone top vintage beer cans were originally designed to be filled in bottling lines. This was to assist breweries in minimizing the start-up costs from switching from bottles to cans.
What are crowntainers?
Crowntainers are a special type of cone top. This can's name is derived from the company that made them, Crown Cork and Seal. It is unique in that it has a two piece body: a bottom and a seamless body. Crowntainers, as a class, are less colorful than their cone top counterparts and predominantly silver.
What are flat tops?
Although all beer cans made today have flat tops, a flat top is a specific type of can to a beer can collector. A flat top is a can that does not have a pull tab and must be opened with an opener, also known as a "church key."
What are opening instructions?
Although it seems odd to us today, the earliest beer cans had instructions on the side to explain how to open them. Beer can collectors use these instructions to assist in judging vintage beer cans. In general, the larger the instruction panel, the older the can. Also known as OI.
What is IRTP?
IRTP stands for "Internal Revenue Tax Paid." This is a very important dating key for a beer can collector. The federal government required that this verbiage appear on vintage beer cans between June, 1935 and March, 1950.