Vintage Hamm’s stash found hidden in library—and Hamm’s wants to find its rightful owner

Left: Hamm’s seeks the person responsible for the hidden beer. Right: Library shelves behind which untold treasures might be lurking.
Left: Hamm’s seeks the person responsible for the hidden beer. Right: Library shelves behind which untold treasures might be lurking.
Image: Hamm’s (Getty Images), Photo: luoman (Getty Images)

As a Midwestern publication, we’re unapologetically nostalgic about Hamm’s beer, a St. Paul staple since 1865. It goes down easy and it’ll never hurt your wallet, plus its pun potential is limitless. So we were naturally pretty charmed by the story of a stash of Hamm’s recently found hiding behind the shelves of the Walla Walla Public Library in Washington State during some scheduled renovations. Even better, the beer cans date back to the 1980s.

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According to CNN, some July demolition within the library branch revealed “five full cans of Hamm’s beer and an opened pack of Godzilla Heads gum... in a disintegrated paper bag” hidden behind a corner shelving panel. The City of Walla Walla Government Facebook page had some fun informing the public about the find:

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Godzilla Heads gum (whose existence I’m delighted to learn about from this news story) dates to the late 1980s, so officials estimate these treasures were hidden in the walls for about 30 years. (You gotta love the fact that the design of the Hamm’s can has changed so little over the decades that its vintage look did not date the found beer to any particular era—only the lack of a modern-day warning label did.) CNN notes that the Library Director considered this discovery “a bit of levity during a difficult time.” Hear, hear!

Clearly, Hamm’s feels the same way, because it has announced on its Instagram page that it wishes to reward the original beer stasher with a special prize. If you can prove the hidden Walla Walla beer was yours, you stand to win a gift card good for 30 cases of Hamm’s—one for each year you and your library stash were apart.

In an email to The Takeout, a representative for Hamm’s clarified that this “proof” might come in many forms: “We’re simply asking people to prove it (however they see fit) and DM us on @hammsthebeer Instagram with their evidence.” The race to provide evidence in this cold case could be its own investigative podcast or Netflix original series, and I can’t wait to see if it’s a case that Hamm’s and its customers can actually crack.

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

turnonthefun
TurnOnTheFun

Now I’m curious. Is 30 year old Hamm’s worth drinking?

And while I’m at it, is present day Hamm’s worth drinking?

I am no beer snob. I will admit I will drink just about any cold beer that is offered to me. Yet in all my years, I’ve never once seen Hamm’s in the refrigerator or cooler of a friend or family member.

Who is the target audience for Hamm’s?