Three Extreme Buildings Made From Recycled Beer Empties
In this age of green-everything, it’s nice to see that historically some people have been practicing extreme recycling for years. We’re all for taking care of the environment, but where do we draw the line between simple good policy and batshit insanity? These three buildings not only found that line but blew completely past it without looking back.
- The Texas Beer Can House
While many of us will simply toss our empties into the back of any available pickup truck, some people have compulsions that drive them to acts of insane awesomeness. Like John Milkovisch of Houston, Texas.
In 1968, this retired railroad worker was sitting around his home in Houston thinking, “What exactly am I going to do with all these damn beer cans?”. The solution? Well, cover every possible surface in his home with them of course. It's hobo-chic, if you will.
Setting to work, John began decorating the patio with suds containers. Eventually, he began covering the actual house because, insanity has no limitations. Drinking over a six pack a day for 18 goddamn years, John completed his crazy quest to have Pabst Blue Ribbon siding that any proud trailer park inhabitant would kill for.
Along with the siding, John linked together the pull tabs into curtains. Remember, there is absolutely no limits on how much crazy one person can have.
Eventually, John died in 1988 and his wife Mary allowed visitors to come by until her own death in 2002. Then the Orange Show Foundation (read: dirty artist hippies) bought the house, dumped $125,000 into restoring it and re-opened it to the world.
- A Century Old Bottle and Mortar House
Travel a little further west and you'll reach an old ghost town called Rhyolite, Nevada. In 1906 a saloon owner named Tom Kelly built a house out of beer bottles. Well mostly beer, some were whiskey bottles and medicine bottles. We're kind of disappointed his name was Tom Kelly. Seriously, an old west saloon owner without a quirky name? Eustace Hoochenheimer? Or hell, even just Joe. Set 'em up Joe! Perhaps a Thaddius McTippemback would have been preferable?
Well, that's exactly what Tom did. With a shortage of lumber but an abundance of liquor, he took to gathering empty bottles and gluing them together. With 6 months of hard work, and nearly 50,000 bottles, he completed his new home. Did we mention he was 76 years old at the time? Well, we should have because he was 76 freaking years old at the time he built this in Nevada. In our thirties we don't even have the stamina to finish a 250 piece jigsaw puzzle.
This is a great example of using what you have to make what you need. We're sure that Rhyolite's other residents were just thankful he wasn't the town mortician.
- Buddhist Beer Bottle Temple
In 2009, a group of hard partying Buddhist Monks from Thailand took a look around at all their party detrius and decided, “Well shit, let's build us a temple bros!” And that's exactly what they did.
They started with their own decades old stash of empties that they had been collecting since 1984 and when those ran out, they began encouraging local authorities to send them more and more bottles. We imagine they didn't have the cash on hand to simply purchase a six-pack a day like old John Milkovisch, so they turned to donations. Thank god they didn't have piles of used condoms from the local Thai Bar Girls. Or Bar Boys, we've been burned one too many times to take it for granted at this point.
It's reported that they've used nearly 1.5 million bottles in constructing this temple of brew. They even used beer caps to create a mosaic of Buddha. Buddha looks like he could drain a quarter keg all on his own to begin with. What better way to memorialize your deities than with beer trash? We'll be working on our Thunderbird screw-top Nativity Scene soon.