Make your own beer flight holder

old license plate as beer flight holders
Quite the unique holiday gift set! Old license plates turned into beer flight holders.

An inspired Christmas gift

What holiday gift do you get a newly engaged couple? I mean, they already have everything they basically need! An Adventure gift (not plain old money…which is no fun opening at Christmas!). This adventure gift kept in mind something they like (drinking beer) and going the next step in trying something new. I made them a set of beer flight holders from old license plates!

Connor Weldon and Christine Sgueglia and their Xmas present
The happy couple (Connor Weldon and Christine Sgueglia) with their gift. A little bit of Oregon for those two East coasters!

Origin of the inspiration

The Tap Station front in Independence, OR
The Tap Station front in Independence, OR. The beer bar used to be an old gas station. After a day of cruising an Airstream rally, this was a perfect pitstop.
bathroom sign at the Tap Station featuring human figures and an alien
We stopped in to use the bathroom, and stayed for some refreshment. I laughed at this sign!
beer flight holder on a bar at the Tap Station, Independence, OR
Since the tap bar used to be a gas station, there are touches everywhere honoring it’s past. One touch is the beer flight holders made by the owner’s grandpa. These are displayed and used at the bar, the Tap Station, Independence, OR

Making the beer flight holders

One day, while out on a walk around the neighborhood, I found a discarded Oregon license plate. I picked it up, remembering the beer flight holder I had seen a few weeks earlier. I brought it home and showed my brother-outlaw Jim, who loves to figure out how to make things too!

The test pattern

beer tasting glasses on an Oregon license plate
After hammering the plate flat, we knew we needed to make sure the tasting glasses would fit. We borrowed two glasses from the local tavern. So far, so good!
measuring tape, beer tasting glass and an old Oregon license plate
We made sure the holes would be properly centered. There seemed to be something that was throwing off our sense of proper spacing. When you are doing this, it’s best to know the size of the glass base that will be in the holes for a proper fit.
drill press to saw the hole in a license plate
I was lucky that Jim has a drill press and knows how to use a Hole Dozer. It took a bit of scouting to get the right size (we used 2 1/4″ – the more typical size is used for door knobs). If you don’t know how to use one, check out Family Handyman’s “How to Properly Use a Hole Saw”
peeking through the drilled holes in the license plate
I enjoyed peeking through the drilled holes in the license plate. We realized the tree in the center of the design was key to the spacing issue.
filing the rough parts of the metal holes in the license plate
The hole saw leaves sharp edges and little bits of metal. Jim showed me how to file the sides down, and to make sure I didn’t wear the paint off the plate.
fitting the glasses into the drilled holes in the license plate
The next steps included choosing which wood to use under the plate for the base. There will be two pieces of wood : one with the holes to hold the glasses, and the other to be the bottom. We tested oak, and it didn’t go through the planer without issue. Then we settled on cedar, as that has added longevity against a wet environment. Spilled beer, perhaps?

After the test

drilled holes in the wood to fit the beer flight glasses
My vintage Airstream came with a very pretty (and expired) license plate. I learned that the style (with the covered wagon) is no longer available. But when we go to register the trailer, the state may allow us to use it. Since we like the thought of “olden times” trailer (a covered wagon was a camper!) with our shiny trailer…we didn’t use it on the beer flight holder.

The wood base

wood for the beer flight holder made from old license plate
The beat up license plate I found was perfect to test the hole size & spacing. But it was too bumpy to make a pretty beer holder. Fortunately Jim had a bunch of old plates stored in his barn, and he loved the idea of them being used in such a cool way. Getting the wood base the right dimensions took a few more tests. We ended up deciding to have rounded wood edges on all four sides. The one at the Tap Station did theirs differently.
stained wood base for beer flight holder
Once we glued the two pieces of wood together, Jim suggested we varnish them. We used a decking stain which is also waterproof .(McCloskey Man O War Spar Varnish – link is to my Amazon Affiliate which I may receive compensation if you buy through it. You can get it at your local hardware store!)

The last touch

license plates drilled & ready to be screwed onto bases
The last part! After the wood and the stain dried, it’s time to screw on the license plates and drill in the centers to the bottom of the holes. The screws are just long enough to go through both pieces of wood (and not through the other side) to add extra grip to the two parts. I could then wrap them up and pack in my suitcase to bring to my son (and his fiancee) across the country. It made me happy to give them a little bit of my travel Adventures as they start this next part of their journey together.

Important Additions to the holder

variety of beer for beer tasting present
Since I can’t drink beer (I’m gluten-free), I had to rely on the advice of the local beer retailer for advice on beers. I took a photo to remember which order they should be tasted. (The beers were a present from my mom to them, but I helped pick them out). Check out “Beer Tasting & Flights Intro” for more info on having your own beer tasting!
The Man Can Mini description
While I couldn’t get a set of these cute beer can shaped tasting glasses in time for Connor’s present, you can get them for your tasting! Here’s my Amazon link to The Man Can Mini for your ease (again, the legal note: I may receive compensation as I am an Amazon Affiliate)

The inspired gift at home

beer flight holders on display in their new home
The happy couple are happy with their gift. Bonus side story – another friend was so impressed with my (and Jim’s) handicraft, she was inspired to start her own craft project! Hopefully you’ll be inspired to create something really fun too!

How to conduct a beer tasting

Don’t forget to check out my other blog “Intro to Beer Tastings & Flights”

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