You might be amused. You might be aghast. But you will not be the same after reading about the King of Beers condo. I wasn’t.
When I first heard about this beer-lover’s condo for sale in Lake Worth, near Florida’s West Palm Beach, I had two thoughts in rapid succession: I can’t write about this. I have to write about this.
In a tribute to his best Bud, the owner had covered the walls and ceilings of his residence with Budweiser cans. The beholder of the beverage-inspired vision, Mike Amelotte, died in June at age 69 of cancer. His condo went up for sale six weeks ago.
I had to see the pictures. Then I had to get the scoop: Who was this guy? Was this a getaway or a full-time residence? What did it smell like? And why didn’t he just get kegs?
A U.S. Navy veteran, Amelotte later worked as a pool man and a waiter. He bought the two bedroom, 815-square-foot condo in 1986, and lived there full time. And his custom décor idea began to brew in 1990.
According to his close friend Kris Johnson, Amelotte had a towering stack of Budweiser cans on his dining table. Rather than squire them to the recycle bin, he told Johnson that he was going use them to cover the walls. (Notably, he did not have a wife to knock him to his senses.) He finished the project 16 years later. (At least he didn’t drink all that beer at once.)
“He placed every can himself,” Johnson said. “If you dented a can, he would give you hell, and replace it.”
As Amelotte’s personal representative, Johnson took on the task of selling the man cave after his friend died. And here we are.
Listing agent Jesse Kearney, of Kearney & Associates Realty, recalls Johnson’s phone call. “I have this condo of a friend who passed away,” the caller said. “He covered the walls in Budweiser cans.”
“How did he get Budweiser wallpaper?” Kearney wondered. Then he visited the property. “As soon as you open the door, you are overwhelmed. Seeing the pictures is nothing like walking in. That’s an entirely different experience.”
I can only imagine. “Did it smell funny?” I hold my breath as I ask, though I am hundreds of miles away.
“Actually, the place smelled of cigarettes, not stale beer,” Kearney said. “He was particular about the cans’ cleanliness. After he emptied a can, he would clean it and let it dry before mounting.”
“And he mounted them, how?”
“He attached them to the walls and ceilings with caulk, and to each other with hot glue. When you take a close look, you see how much time and effort this took. The attention to detail is amazing,” he said.
Indeed, Amelotte used different sized cans to go around outlets and vents, created crown molding and oriented each can so labels faced the same way.
Though unique properties like this can be a sales challenge, Kearney priced