Warwick and Gwen Shinner enjoy a cold beer with (centre) Philipp Brull of Austria at the Swamparama in Pimlico.
Warwick and Gwen Shinner enjoy a cold beer with (centre) Philipp Brull of Austria at the Swamparama in Pimlico. Doug Eaton

Beer cans draw a bubbly crowd

VISITORS from as far away as Austria descended on Warwick and Gwenda Shinner’s Pimlico property on the weekend to take part in the annual Swamparama beer can and memorabilia swap-meet.

The event, which is now in its 27th year, attracted about 100 people to the property to swap memorabilia which included beer cans, collectable merchandising and even a Swamparama beer made especially for the event.

“The Swamparama is a gathering of people who collect mainly beer cans from all around the world, but also other cans and anything to do with ‘breweriana’,” Mr Shinner explained.

“It entails anything at all that has anything to do with beer – golf balls with advertising on them, pens and pencils, posters, light-up signs, tap tops with the names of the beers on them, it goes on and on and on.”

Mr Shinner’s own collection of beer cans numbers more than 30,000, but also includes a huge fake cherry blossom tree used in a Japanese beer commercial in 1995, which be bought from the company for $1.

The tree features in the Shinners own on-site private museum, which they call the Museum of Collectables and Technology.

According to Mr Shinner, some of the most prized items over the course of the weekend were beers from different countries.

Beer can history

  • 1933 – prototype cans first appear.
  • 1935 – first ‘flat top’ beer cans marketed.
  • 1954 – first 16oz can of beer marketed.
  • 1958 – first beer in aluminium can marketed.
  • 1962 – first ‘pull-tab’ beer cans produced.
  • The Australian Beer Can Collectors Association Inc was founded in 1979.
  • The association’s Can of the Year was first awarded in 1979.
  • The Boag’s Draught, Melbourne Cup 150th Anniversary edition won can of the year in 2010.


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