I started collecting beer bottles in college while participating in an on-going "Around The World" contest in a local bar. When the bottle collection became overwhelming I soaked off all of the labels and converted my collection to a label/coaster collection - focusing primarily on labels. My collection reached over 7500 unique labels and coasters before other hobbies forced this one to the "back burner".
My wife and I host an annual "Summerfest - Beer Tasting Party" for friends and relatives in Santa Barbara, California. http://www.petenjen.com/summerfest.