In Praise of …

…The Beer Crate!

Germans are said to be pragmatic people. Moreover, many of the things the Germans build or have built tend to be reliable. Otherwise the success of German car manufacturing would not be explicable. Besides making good and solid cars, German are said to know a thing about making good beer. That indeed is a stereotype I can fully support, though of late I have to admit that the French know the tools of the trade, too. A Pelforth is as wonderful a brew as is a St. Omer.

It is however, one thing that the French have not come up with, nor the British: the beer crate. Especially, the crate made from plastic. Now in times of lowering our carbon foot print, a plastic beer crate might not be considered the greatest of ideas. But indeed it is one of the most pragmatic inventions ever. A lot of this has to do with increasing sales and the need to have better transportation facilities. A wooden crate was more likely to break and damage the bottles. From around 1950 plastic crates are the norm when transporting beer. But the fun does not end there!

Imagine a barbecue in your local park and you want to have a few isotonic drinks alongside your burger or steak. What better idea than to bring a crate of beer! There are 20 bottles to a crate, enough to see you through the evening. Once you’re finished, you get all the bottles back into the crate and return it to the point of sale the following day where you either get a refund for the full crate or get a new one. This helps minimizing the amount of rubbish in the park for which the green keepers will be thankful. The sight of dustbins spilling over on park alleys is not a pleasant one.

Another point needs to be told in praise of the beer crate. While it may be a bit difficult to carry one crate alone, this automatically invites one helping hand from a mate. Two carrying a crate with one hand each, leaving the other to have a bottle from the very crate they are carrying! That way the weight of the crate is reduced by at least one kilo.

At your barbecue the crate is the most comfortable seat ever imaginable as becomes clear in this image.

Moreover, a beer crate can serve as a shelter and as a table:

A beer crate can be so much more than just a means to carry 20 bottles of beer safely from one place to another. It is a seat is a table is a shelter is anything. It may not be the most environmentally friendly product but it is nonetheless unbelievably pragmatic.

all credit for the images: a_kep via flickr under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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