Hughesville, MD – Have you ever seen a Christmas tree standing over 14 feet high made of beer bottles? Moosehead Beer drinker Keith Wood of Hughesville has constructed a holiday tribute to his favorite Canadian brewery and the Oland family. The Moosehead Christmas Tree is made of approximately 1,000 bottles held together by rubber bands and a wire frame.
Wood has been drinking Moosehead since the late 1980’s, he said. “It has always been my beer of choice.” Wood is not only a beer drinker, he is also a private brewer who drinks a lot of beer throughout the year. Bottles were piling up before going into recycling.
“The idea for the bottle tree originally came from my wife Connie,” Wood told TheBayNet.com. His wife was browsing Pinterest and saw a smaller version of the tree. He said that he agreed, this would be a way to put them to better use.
“She came up with the idea early in the year, and originally the tree was going to be decoration for our camping property in Virginia,” Wood said. However, with the help of some friends, the bottles kept piling up throughout the year and a much larger version than what was anticipated emerged.
This 3-D tribute to Moosehead breweries and the Oland family was primarily constructed by the Woods, with some help from family and friends along the way to install the bottles. “Most importantly, I had plenty of help drinking beer with family and friends,” Wood said.
Wood is a self-employed real estate investor who had never attempted a project of this magnitude before. “It was challenging and at several points, I almost gave up. As I was collecting the bottles throughout the year I made the mistake of not cleaning them thoroughly, and when it came time to prepare them for the bottle tree they were difficult to clean,” he said.
This is truly a piece of artwork that took a total of 40 hours to build the tree and star, plus an additional 12 hours to prepare the bottles, Wood told TheBayNet.com.
The inner structure of the tree is a wood frame made from 2 x 4’s and a 4 x 4. Wood said “I reinforced the rings with vertical rod and welded them together. I spaced the rings so each row of bottles would lay on top of the previous row giving the appearance of bottles cascading downwards like branches on a tree. The star is nearly 48″ diameter and constructed from 3/8″ steel rod with a frosted glass Moosehead insignia.”
Many still ask…. Why a beer bottle tree? To sum it up in Keith Wood’s own words:
This Moosehead Christmas tree was built as a tribute to Moosehead beer and the Oland family. We are thankful that through great challenges and disasters the Oland Families stood steadfast with persistence and perseverance to rebuild and remain an independent brewery. Moosehead beer was built on tradition and family values and this tree represents how thankful we are for both. -Thank You and from our family to your’s Merry Christmas!
After seeing this heartfelt tribute, Moosehead Brewery President Andrew Oland called Wood last year and a story about his magnificent tree was published on their blog page. In addition, he and his wife were flown out by Andrew Oland for a site visit and toured New Brunswick Canada in St. John and the Moosehead brewery. “Everybody we met was extremely nice and really enjoyed working at Moosehead. I was not surprised to find out the people that make Moosehead, were as passionate about the beer as I was all these years.”
Contact Shertina Mack at s.mack@TheBayNet.com.