View Full Version : Cheap places to get bottles.

12-20-2003, 01:32 PM
Where does everyone get their empty bottles? Do you buy them or save them after you empty wine out of them? Maybe you collect them after parties? I am trying to collect a bunch of cheap bottles for the future.

It will be a long time (weeks and weeks) before I need these so grifting a bottle or two here and there is completely acceptable.

Or should I just save the cash and buy the empty bottles?

12-20-2003, 10:41 PM
I usually do both. I like to save empty bottles becuase its cheap and convienient. i have a deal with all of my friends that if they save empty bottles for me i will trade with them for full ones. If i'm in a pinch and something needs to be bottled i will go out and buy some. most of my batches are bottled sparkling so somtimes i get beer bottles from a local microbrewery that is a few miles from my apartment. the owner is nice enough to sell us brand new bottles wholesale in exchange for some homebrew. buying empty bottles at homebrew shops can be a big rip off so you kind of have to search around.

12-20-2003, 10:57 PM
Well, I know I will have six or seven bottles because my family bought a bunch of sparkling cider (non-alc) for Christmas and New Years. I am going to pinch those and we'll see what else. They come with crown caps. Would you recommend I stick with crown caps since I will probably be bottling some of this batch -- and lots of future batches -- in beer bottles? Or would the cork be worth the extra expense and trouble?

I hope to get 15-20 nice bottles for this batch and put the rest in 12oz bottles.

12-20-2003, 11:21 PM
Find a nice restraunt that is having a newyears eve party, talk nicely to the owner/manager/chef and inquire about getting the empty champagne bottle for your reuse, reduce, recycling effort. You might later give him a bottle or 2 that has been refilled by way of thanks. If he agrees plan to get a rubber/plastic tote (or several) with lid from walmart to hold the bottles, then get them from the restaurant that night or early the next morning. (make this arrangement with the guy so that HE is happy) The trouble starts when you carry an empty tote full of used champagne bottles past your mother. good luck

12-20-2003, 11:29 PM
Annother good source for bottles are wedding receptions, talk to a couple wedding planners, offer to pick up the bottles from the tables at the the end of the reception, This aids the cleanup crew, everyone is happy.

Sometimes you'll get lucky and the reception will have individual splits at each guests seat. IME about 2/3 these get taken home as souvineers and 1/3 get emptied and left behind.

Again Plastic totes from walmart make the carrying out easy.

12-23-2003, 09:32 PM
Since I plan on using beer bottles for most of my needs, I have the best source. My wife works at a beer distributor! :)

I can usually get a case of returnables for about a $1.50.

so,,if you have one nearby,,,stop in and ask them about that. You have to be careful tho...ALWAYS check out the bottles before you buy them. The drivers who pick them up from the various bars and such aren't real careful about handling them, and you have lots of broken and cracked ones in there. But hey, for a $1.50 a case, I'll take the extra couple minutes to check them out and wash them at home. :)

12-24-2003, 12:52 AM
Wow, these are great ideas... now to see how many I can make work for me. I don't know if there is a distributor near here but do you think bars might just sell them to me?

02-15-2004, 03:37 AM
new to this forum but I have found going to thomas register .com a good place to look for wholesale items that Ican use for mead making.
good luck
chris :)

02-15-2004, 04:52 AM
Try the tasting room of a local winery, usually they don't reuse the bottles, I get them for $3 a case (.25 a bottle)

They don't all match, but each winery will only use a couple types of bottles, so over time you can build cases of matching bottles. Much better than the hodge podge you get from family and friends for conformity.