Nothing says “Labor Day” like a Bud can boldly emblazoned with the American flag, but here at First We Feast, our obsession with breweriana doesn’t end with patriotic 30-packs. If there’s one thing that Big Beer gets right pretty consistently, it’s releasing some really cool limited-edition bottles and cans. (Note: Just so we’re clear, we’re not making any claims about the quality of what’s inside.)
Money really does make a difference. Craft beers may get a lot of kudos for taste, as well as some undeniably cool label art, but physically altering basic bottles is damn expensive. It’s no wonder that the craft scene doesn’t feature heavily in this aspect of the marketing game.
For a look at how beer can become memorabilia, check out our list of the best limited-edition beer bottles and cans below.
Corona Golden Boy Boxers Series
Commemorating: This is the second year that Corona has done a Golden Boy Boxers limited-edition bottle set, but that doesn’t make it any less cool.
These bottles came out on August 15th and will be available through October, so you can get your hands on them right now. If that’s not awesome enough, you can enter to win a VIP trip to the Mayweather vs. Maidana fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas at CoronaExtraUSA.com. Hurry up if you want this trip, though—they’re only accepting entries through September 2nd. (Photo: Corona Extra)
Narragansett 1975 Jaws Can Reissue
One of the keys to getting the retro thing right is waiting long enough for people to actually miss you. It also doesn’t hurt if your product shows up in a film that people are still talking about nearly four decades later. (Photo: Supercompressor)
Warsteiner Oddfuture Collab
Commemorating: A Colette-hosted Odd Future pop-up store in Paris that ran from August 20-25th, 2012.
Have there been other times you’ve seen OFWGKTA album art on beer bottles? We’re going to guess no. (Photo: High Snobiety)
Pilsner Urquell has been around since 1842 (in other words, 171 years of beer). That puts the brewery in a pretty unique position, since its artwork has changed so much over time. This definitely makes us think that someone really needs to do an art history-style coffee table book for beer. (Photo: Oh Beautiful Beer)
Carlsberg collaborated with design firm JDOUK to create this stunning example of industrial perfection. The beer bottle even came in a special box, which we think may have been slight overkill because it was huge—but we wonder how many (if any) of these bottles actually still exist. (Photo: Lovely Package)
Warsteiner Art Collection
The 2013 Art Collection from Warsteiner saw seriously cool aluminum bottle designs dreamed up by six internationally-renowned street artists: Stefan Strumbel, 123Klan, INSA, Aaron de la Cruz, Nychos, and Brooke Reidt. Considering that Warsteiner’s Art Collection started off back in the day with an Andy Warhol collab, it’s clear the brand has had the art vibe before it went mainstream. (Photo: That Food Cray)
Coors Baseball Bats
Beer and baseball might even go together better than PB&J. Frankly, we’re surprised someone didn’t come up with this idea sooner—but we’re glad it exists. A super-limited Limited Edition series in 1997 featured the signatures of Willie Mays, Reggie Jackson, and Ernie Banks. We like that this brings the Heinie Groh bottle bat full circle. (Photo: Etsy)
Miller High Life Harley Davidson
Commemorating: Eleven years of collaboration between Miller and Harley-Davidson—companies that are right across the street from each other in Milwaukee.
MillerCoors and Harley-Davidson tapped five different artists to create designs for this series of limited-edition cans: Roland Sands, Jon Contino, Derrick Strawcastle, Brandon Rike, and Hydro74. We like the idea of accessible art.
Pabst Commemorative U.S. Army WWII Chinese Cans
Commemorating: WWII (apparently, “Yes We Can!” was more than just an Obama campaign slogan)
PBR is apparently Serious Beer in China, not ironic hipster beer like it is here (well, anywhere outside Milwaukee). Maybe this is an extremely late thank-you? (Photo: BrandChannel)
Mets Budweiser at Shea Stadium
We like the relative simplicity of the design, and we’re pretty sure at least some fans who got their hands on a bottle must feel the same way. Again, baseball and beer just makes sense. (Photo: 213 Miles from Shea)
Budweiser Winnipeg Jets Fan Brew
Commemorating: The resiliency of Winnipeg and Winnipeg Jets fans
Okay, so Bud isn’t a Canadian beer. Nevertheless, the company even went so far as to brew this beer with water from Winnipeg. If we were massive Jets fans, we’d have been all over this.
Heineken Ed Banger Collab
Commemorating: Heineken’s 140th anniversary and French electro label Ed Banger’s 10th anniversary