Tavern Trove is dedicated to preserving the memory and history of America’s Brewing forefathers.
Who We Are
Founded in October of 1996 in Boulder, Colorado by Erik Amundson, our site has from that day been the largest website solely devoted to the breweriana hobby. At first the site was called "Columbine Collectables", named for the Colorado state flower. It debuted with 577 beer cans and dozens of pieces of breweriana. One early goal was to have more beer-related listings than eBay, and soon (for a short time at least) we did.
When the site was relaunched in 2003 as Tavern Trove, we boasted 3600 items from around the world. Today, July 4th, 2020, Tavern Trove has nearly 40,000 live items for sale, nearly all of them pre-1970, and a database of more than 90,000 items.
You will also notice that Tavern Trove has expanded its brewery section. We have taken the standard reference; American Breweries II by Dale P. Van Wieren, and updated it with new found information, photographs, logos, newspaper clippings, brewer biographies, and famous dates in history, in an ever-growing and fully searchable database. As of today we have 26,718 breweries listed.
7-year-old Erik Amundson learned about the beer can collecting hobby that was becoming the obsession of schoolboys of Bloomington, Minnesota. Within the week he found his father drinking Huber Bock on the patio and Erik asked if he could open the next can from the bottom with a can opener. He rinsed the empty can out and took it to his room. Thus Erik’s collecting bug was born. Soon, Erik was diving in dumpsters in the park across the street and wandering the local swamps and trash piles all in search of any can he did not have.
The can collecting fad was all but over and the collection was boxed up and put into Erik’s parent’s garage rafters.
Erik’s college roommate Ron Albert brings home an antique bicycle from the local thrift shop. This inspires Erik to collect antique bicycles. He went out to the same shop a few days later and found another vintage bike. He began running newspaper ads for bicycles in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Soon Erik had filled a rented garage with dozens of balloon-tire bicycles, and was selling them to hipster students from area colleges.
Upon graduation Erik brought his bicycle collection back to his parent’s house in Burnsville, Minnesota and hung them from dozens of hooks in the rafters of their two-car garage. He continued to run ads for bicycles around Minnesota and Western Wisconsin, and would sell bikes and parts at swap meets in Iowa (where he became an acquaintance of Mike Wolf of The American Pickers).
Erik’s father asked what he was going to do with the beer can collection taking up space in the rafters. Erik pulled them down, reminisced about the hobby and sorted them into keepers and tossers. The keepers went on a basement wall stacked in a pyramid. The tossers went back into the box.
The next day an old timer in Plymouth, Minnesota called from a bicycle ad. Upon arriving at his house Erik found the bicycles underwhelming, but the man had a half-dozen sheds on the property, so Erik started asking him if he had any other collectibles; toys, tools... When he mentioned "old beer cans" the man’s eyes lit up, and he disappeared into one of the sheds. He came out with a TV box that made the unmistakable deep clank of 50s cans. In minutes Erik had the box in his car. On his way home he remembered that a person was advertising in the Thrifty Nickel for beer cans and he bought a copy and called the ad. It was Eric Lindstrom,who today is the owner of the Discovered Relics website. They traded cans that day.
Erik began running newspaper ads seeking old beer cans. His interest in antique bicycles wanes. He sold the majority of his bicycle inventory.
Erik attends the 1995 BCCA Canvention. This show was a huge success and is considered to mark the rebirth of the beer can collecting hobby.
Erik Moved to Colorado. During a blizzard in October of that year he purchased basic website-making software (HotDog) and created the first TavernTrove website.
Erik re-introduces the business as Tavern Trove with a professionally-made website and an extensive brewery database. The focus of the website is shifted from cans to breweriana.
The Tavern Trove website was shut down as the database had become vulnerable to attack. A new website, which had been in development for about 2 years, was fast-tracked for completion.
July 7th, the new Tavern Trove with expanded brewery history debuted in a 'soft open'.