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Our History

Original BCCA logo

It started with some old beer cans!

The Schell's Border Batch was born in the heyday of the beer can collecting craze. Beer Can collecting officially started as an organized hobby in 1970 with the formation of the Beer Can Collectors of America (BCCA) club. In 1979 a group of collectors from southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa formed the Schell's Border Batch.

How it all began

Schell's Border Batch members present Can of the Year award to Warren Marti, President Schell's Brewery 1980

A bunch of beer can lovers!

Back Row: Bob Vierkant, Nona Vierkant, Butz Palmer, Ed Sheeran, Margie Smith

Front Row: Kevin Savick, Stevan Miner, Susan Miner, Jay Smith,

In front of the table, Warren Marti - President Schell's Brewery

The Schell's Border Batch is Chapter #83 of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America, formerly known as the Beer Can Collectors of America, and still referred to as the BCCA.  The Schell's Border Batch was formed in 1979 by a group of Beer Can Collectors from Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa, thus the name Border Batch.  Like many chapters, the Border Batch chose a namesake brewery from the area, the August Schell Brewing Company of New Ulm, Minnesota.  So, the Schell's Border Batch was born.

In the early days the membership was strong as it was during the peak years of the beer can collecting craze.  Old timers tell of the great trade shows and wild parties the chapter used to sponsor. 

 

As the can collecting craze began to wear off and people who were less than serious about the hobby began to get out of the chapters.  The BCCA and the Border Batch's numbers began to decline.  By the early 90's most of the members were older and more involved with the larger neighboring North Star Chapter based in the Twin Cities area.  In the spring of 1991 Jay Smith the President of the Schell's Border Batch announced that if no one came forward to take his place as President, the chapter would cease to exist.  At that point Tom Terwilliger stepped forward and volunteered to take over as Chapter President.  He joined the BCCA and took office as President in September of 1991.

 

The Border Batch then relocated its headquarters to Iowa from Minnesota.  Al Peterson became the new Vice President, Mike Beisch took over as Treasurer and Dale Heiderschiedt as Secretary.  By 1995 Dale Heiderschiedt became Vice President and Judy Rich became Secretary/Treasurer.  The chapter has always had a show at the Schell's Brewery in New Ulm, MN and this show had become the only remaining show the chapter was hosting.  The new officers of the chapter decided to have a fall show in Iowa to encourage Iowans to get involved.  This fall show was first held in 1994 at Clear Lake, Iowa.  The following year an auction was added to the show.  In 1996 the show was moved to Algona, Iowa.  By 1998 the most of the new officers had quit collecting and lost interest.  The Iowa show was abandoned.  In 1999 Jay Martin #16605 became the Vice President of the chapter and began making contributions to the newsletter.  Having someone else in the chapter that was interested in doing shows led to the revival of Beer, Brats & BS (Bull Shit) a show the Border Batch used to host in the 80's.  This became the fall show for the chapter (now called Stubiefest).

 

Today the Schell's Border Batch is alive and well!  Our membership hovers around 70 members.  However we are fast becoming known as a chapter that has a hell of a lot of fun.  Our shows don't put up huge attendance numbers, but we do have a lot of fun.  A small group of us have been dubbed the "Schell's Outlaws" by some in the hobby as we are always seen at shows and beer events having a great time.  Our mantra is "having good times with good friends" most of us are not in the hobby to profit from trade shows (yes we still buy-sell and trade), but our main goal is to socialize and enjoy good beer in the company of good friends while sharing our thoughts on beer, breweriana and anything to do with beer or breweries.  So if you want to have fun with people like yourself who love this hobby, you'll want to join the Schell's Border Batch Chapter #83 of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America.

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