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Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Globe and Mail - Inside Look at a Toronto Breweriana Collector

Today's edition of The Globe and Mail featured a story titled "Through a glass, smartly: Beer today, but not gone tomorrow" that tells the story of Toronto's Larry Sherk, one of Canada's largest collectors of breweriana.

I've known Sherk for a couple of years now, meeting at various events throughout the year, and he has been a great resource for me as I started building my own personal collection of various beer items (Canadian growlers, bottle openers, glassware, ashtrays and trays). I have seen bits and pieces his collection over the years and I can tell you it's impressive.

The story focused on the amount of Canadian beer labels that Sherk has accumulated over his 40 years of collecting and how he just recently donated them to the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library at the University of Toronto. He has labels from breweries you've probably never ever heard of - labels like Cincinnati Cream Heavy Munchener Beer from the British American Brewing Co. in Windsor, ON.

I ran into Sherk last week at a local event and he told me about the donation, something he's done previously with other items from his collection, and he stated the value was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Well, the paper quotes the library's assessors as saying that Sherk's 3000 labels are worth $125,000 dollars and climbing. That's a nice tax rebate!

Not to give away the whole article, but Sherk's collection doesn't end with beer labels. He collects beer cans (4000), vintage beer trays (some were on display at the Black Creek Pioneer Village brewery centre), coasters, calendars, and a very vast collection of business cards from people in the brewing industry.

Grab the paper version of the Globe to see a couple of the labels. And, 600 or so of the labels can be viewed by going to the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library Flickr account.

1 comment:

Robert Campbell said...

I know some top notch brewerania collectors too. I wrote about one on Dumpdiggers blog that has a lovely collection of serving trays for sale - Pete is an antiques dealer in Kitchener Waterloo I believe.

You can see 'Sweet Pete' Bectel and his gf here in this picture taken at the 2010 Toronto Bottle Show,

click link to see pic:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2774/4541848916_f5c2b52f9e.jpg

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