Collectors are a full bottle on beer cans

BENDIGO hits the spot for organisers of a national beer can collectors association.

More than 100 beer can collectors and their families converged on Bendigo’s All Season’s Hotel on the weekend for Canfest - the biggest event on the calendar of National Beer Can Collectors Incorporated.

It was the second time the club has held Canfest in Bendigo – something they rarely do, said self-described “mouthpiece”, Jill Major.

“We came here two years ago (for the Canfest),” she said.

“We went to Tweed Heads last year and came back here to Bendigo.

“We very rarely do that.

“It’s because this is the ideal venue, and it’s a nice friendly sort of place.”

The national association has one member from Bendigo.

But the club is keen to pick up more and they reckon central Victoria has the talent: a big interest in beer, beer cans and congregating for a yarn.

Mateship is a big part of the appeal for Dennis Westhoff, who travelled from Renmark, South Australia to share cans (both full and empty) with friends he’s made in the club.

Mr Westhoff has been to every Canfest since it began at Acacia Ridge in Queensland in 1992.

He has been collecting since 1989 and thinks he has 2,500 cans - well below the membership average of about 4,000 cans. "It’s just catching up with people, year after year,” he said.

“They are a friendly mob and it’s really great to see them." 

Mr Westhoff's interest was sparked by his late father-in-law who collected cans.

He gave Mr Westhoff some spares and he began collecting more.

When his father-in-law passed away, Mr Westhoff inherited his collection.

President Bob Dent caught the bug in the 1982 Commonwealth Games when XXXX issued 13 commemorative cans and Brisbane Bitter issued 12.

“That’s what got me started and I sort of went from there,” he said.

“It’s the colour of it all, they’re all just colourful.”

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