What To Do When You Have Too Many Empties

Beer Store

Just the other day I happened to walk past the local Beer Store delivery truck and noticed their new logo, “We were green before green was cool”. I bet the hipsters just loved that one.

I know I’ve been ‘recycling’ my beer bottles, well ever since my very first beer – everyone always remembers their first. In fact, back in my first year of college, my roommate and I saved up all of our empties and cashed them in to fund a year-end kegger, but not before we first built a throne out of them. Oh college.


So I wondered, what do others do when they have too many empties? Here are just a few examples that I found:

#1 – Beer Bottle Temple

If you have ever enjoyed a Trappist beer, then you know how much monks love their suds. Some even go so far as to say that they invented beer, but we know today that beer has a much older history than when Benedictine monks began brewing it in the 6th century. Whatever the case, this group of Buddhist monks in Khun Han, Thailand found a very creative way to use up their unwanted empties – they had over one million of them – and built the Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew, also known simply as the Million Beer Bottle Temple. Kinda’ puts my throne to shame.



#2 – Beer Bottle Chandelier

Beer Bottle Chandelier

This beer bottle chandelier is a unique piece of beer bottle art that most likely graces that finest beer bottle mansions in the land. Well actually it can be found at ‘On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina’ in Los Angeles, California, but we do have a beer bottle house coming up next.

#3 – Beer Bottle House

Calico Glass House

Located in the former mining town of Calico, California, this now historical landmark ghost town is the home of the Calico Glass Bottle House. Although it was not an original structure of the mining town, it was built to show that miners typically used what they had handy to build homes in the desert. And after a hard day of mining silver, there’s nothing like knocking back a few hundred bottles of beer.

Another great find is Grandma Prisbrey’s bottle village in Simi Valley, California.
In the website it’s written “Bottle Village is a one-third acre site covered with an assemblage of shrines, wishing wells, mosaic walks, structures and follies constructed primarily from discarded glass bottles.”.
They have great photo galleries of the place, here’s a picture (click on it to see one of the photo galleries):

Beer Bottle Village

#4 – Beer Bottle Sculpture

TsingTao beer bottle statue

Located on the famous Beer Street in Qingdao, China, is a sculpture made entirely from Tsingtao beer bottles. The sculpture actually forms the character 九 that has the same pronunciation as part of the characters that make up the word beer.

#5 – Beer Bottle Lamp

The finished lamp

For those of us without the architecture background that it would take to create a beer bottle building there is always the option of making a lamp. However, it does only take one bottle, so I’m not quite sure what you’ll do with the other 23 of them… ah yes, bring them back for a refund and turn them in for more beer.

Casas de Botellas

It is not beer, but if you’ve read so far and still interested in the bottle house trend,
know that in South America there are several countries with bottle house building projects.
Check out Casas de Botellas, a project dedicated to helping the poor have a place to live by building houses made of bottles, along with other materials often referred to as garbage.



Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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