Sunday, September 6, 2015

Welcome back...

Yes, it has been a very lazy time at the ol' bottle cap collection.  Before I needlessly pillory myself, let me explain the "system I use to do this great cap collection.

First, I have a little black book in which I record the caps by brand, with descriptions just good enough for me to figure if the latest prospective member has a chance to join the collection.  Then, I have a computerized "master roster" which keeps track of brand, how many of, which of the now six binders I have them in, and on which page, as well as the description location in the little black book.  It can be a bit overwhelming, which is why I started this blog in the first place- to give me a photographic record.  But if you thumb through back posts, you see that it is just about as organized as the little black book.  Thus, I kinda get in the habit of collecting new contestants "off to the side", until so possessed as to update.  Which as you can see, took me 468 days since I last got around to it.

Of course, this post is going to be a bit easier.  Mr. McCarthy, whom I still hope the best for, has decided to unfriend me due to his inability to brook opinions not quite his own.  However, Bobby G stepped up into the breach recently, and he has gifted me with a bunch of caps- several of which I already had, and one I almost forgot to include, even though I DRANK ONE WITH HIM!

This was a Guinness Blonde American lager, and considering my American inability to handle their usual "sludge", it was pretty good!  Here we go with the rest of the update:

This first pair are obviously a couple of variations on popular themes I put in the book sometime less than 468 days ago...

Here you have the ones that Bobby passed on after valiantly disposing of their contents: the two Guinnesses plus the Harp.  Next to them is a Michelob Amber that I found, a Coors Light that KC consumed, and a couple more that I found sometime in my travels.  With the Blonde that sat in my room while everyone else got recorded and mounted, that brings us to a total (according to "compu-count") of 869 different caps.  Thanks to everyone involved, and we'll see you in December 17, 2016 (or sooner...)

Monday, May 26, 2014

And finally, the latest shipment!

As well as a couple I actually found...

Up top, our first cap is a new version of Third Shift, an "if no one looks, they'll think I'm a craft brew" by MillerCoors under the "Band of Brothers" brand.  Next up is from a dark lager from Session, a Full Sail imprint.  The original Session was a "pre-prohibition beer" much like Third Shift; this one is a dark lager "that doesn't drink like a meal", their website proclaims.  Funny how some of these dark beer brewers are now trying to get those that don't like thick beers to try it.  Next to him with the bee is a Shock Top honey bourbon cask wheat.  Shock Top is basically Anheuser Busch's version of "Band of Brothers Brewing", and this flavor is a honey wheat beer.
The Arizona flag cap belongs to Oak Creek Brewing out of Sedona, AZ.  It goes to their Amber Ale.  Oak Creek was founded in 1993 by German immigrants Fred and Rita Kraus from Pottenstein, a village near the Czech border between Bayreuth and Nurnburg.  Leading off the second row is the self-explanatory Leine's Lemon Berry Shandy, with blackberry juice.  The blue foot print goes to Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot Ale, a "barleywine style ale", which is a beer brewed like a wine.  They even suggest it gets better with age.  Next is another version of Goose Island.  The next one and it's brother beneath him belong to "Day of the Dead" beers, a label from Cerveceria Mexicano, who brought us the Black Mountain Chili Beers, among others.  The top one belongs to the "Death Rides A Pale Horse" blonde ale, and the lower one is the "Pay The Ferrymen" porter.
Starting row three is a variation on a Redd's Apple Ale;  Then comes Hop Nosh from Uinta Brewing of Salt Lake City, not to be confused with Uintatheriums, which died out in the ice age.

Now Hop Nosh is about the opposite of Session Dark, and claims to be "Literally a hoppy snack."  Ugh.  Next door is another one at the other extreme, the Red Hook KCCO Black Lager, which claims to be "Amazingly light..."  What that has to do with the green ostrich on the cap (which of course I have sitting upside-down), I do not know.

Lastly on the bottom is the Hoegaardens I bought myself.  A wheat beer from Belgium, It's much more to my liking than a "hoppy snack".  Once again we thank the wonderful Stephen T McCarthy, whose debaucheries make these additions possible.  Cheers!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Now that I've thouroughly confused you...

People that follow this poor little space of internet knew I messed up and posted this week's Time Machine here about 28 hours before I did.  That was an aberration; I am not planning on simulcasting TM on this channel or anything like that.  Somehow or another, I hit a wrong button.  Can't even blame Blogger this time... though I was about to when I finally sniffed out my culpability.

Anyway, I should have been here before this, as I had won a couple more caps on e-Bay.  One of them, however, was sent by a French-Canadian who not only added what I assume was someone else's merchandise (a packet of postage stamps) but packaged the caps in such a way that one of the many rollers the letter (not package, letter) that they were sent in went through ripped both my cap and a bonus cap they decided to send right out of the package.  Note to self- always send a note to Canadian suppliers to PACKAGE STUFF PROPERLY.  Perhaps the Canuck postal service kid-gloves their mail, but the USPS does not.

(Did I get any recompense?  What do you think?  The USPS said, "Not our fault, bitch at the dumb Canadian", and the dumb Canadian said, "Je ne peux pas vous entendre. Je ne parle pas anglais." (I can't hear you, I don't speak English) )

But I did get one, and then my work buddie Gary contributed one, and then a care package from Arizona arrived.  And that means I got all these:

Let's start with the solid green one in the ring and go clockwise.  This is from Twisted Pine out of that drunken town, Boulder, Colorado.  It came off of their flagship Hoppy Boy IPA.  I learned very little more there because their website takes a full minute to get to any link (at least today).  The purple one is from Nimbus brewing, whose info was also problematic since the Tuscon brewery went belly-up in late January If the angle had been better, you'd see the chimp face on it.

Next came two new colors from Alaska Brewing; the maroon one from their Amber Alt Ale, the green from an IPA.  Next is a Four Peaks Kilt Lifter Scottish type Ale out of Tempe.

Next is an Avery brewing, also from Boulder. Then comes one from Sudwerk Brewing, a local hangout of UC-Davis students.  The Shock Top is different from my other one in that the text is white rather than yellow.   The Bear Republic difference from the one I had is just as subtle- the website address is absent from the bottom of this one.  Following is a Woodpecker Cider, technically not a beer, but a pretty cap to an alcoholic beverage, so I bent the rules slightly for it.

The brew, which comes from the UK, they say is in "managed decline"; they've lost 1/3 of sales in the last 13 years.  Next is a third different New Belgium for me, this one Trippel Ale, brewed with a touch of coriander.  The last member of the ring is a Colorado Native, which is one of Coors' "craft brews", made with "Rocky Mountain water, Colorado hops, Colorado barley grown in the San Luis Valley, and Colorado yeast, and sold only in Colorado."

On the inside are the other two I got.  The Schlitz, with the reversed color pattern, was one of their last cork caps, used from 1960-65.  The other is the brand new Miller Fortune, which is basically Miller's way to eat into the growing wine and spirits market by upping the alcohol content of their normal beer to 6.9%.

And somehow missing the boat was this one:

This is an Orkney Brewing Skull Splitter.  Brewed by the Orkney Brewery on the Orkney Islands off Scotland, it is named for the 7th Earl of Orkney, a Viking ruler named Thorfinn Torf-Einarsson, nicknamed the skull-splitter, though I confess the facts and fictions of his story are such that I couldn't tell if he was a warrior, or just got really bad hangovers.

Once again, a tip of the hat to ST MCCarthy and Gary Williams.  And if you shop on eBay, beware of seller ly***v  from Quebec- you may have to specify how you want your stuff shipped if you want them to arrive.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Knock knock...

I've been getting a lot of traffic here from new followers who've hopped on my profile and see my blogs sitting there in alphabetical order.  Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't seem to give one a way to adjust that.  So let me make this announcement now:  If you want to follow me where I mostly blog, go to Tilting At Windmills.  If you really really like beer caps, then this blog is okay too, but I'm only on it as necessary.  (Though I guess if you think about it, do you really want to hear from me 4 or five times a week- or once a month or so?  Maybe it isn't a mistake...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

And when you have time off and a big snow coming.... go out and buy a mixed six pack!  Actually, you also go get something else in case you don't like the things you picked in the mixed bunch, too, but even that turned out aces this time.

First off, a word on what you didn't see:  I tried once again the Upland Wheat Ale.  I had this before, it had the cinnamon-stick kind of back taste.  At this point, we were halfway through the Chiefs/Colts debacle Saturday, so I devised a drinking game.  I really had to compromise on the "hot chicks" section, since NBC is afraid to show cheerleaders (Thank God for Morgan Smith Goodwin), but at least I did get a hit on the "Peyton Manning mentions" category, as well as several on the "ref blew the call" and "announcer is full of crap" sides.  Anyway, the beer that kicked this off was Bell's Oarsman Ale, which is hyped for it's tartness.  Me, I gagged my way down it, but Scrappy actually seemed to like it better.   I also had an Abita Amber Ale in the mix... for me, the coffee smell was enough.  Now, onto the three that made the collection:

First off is one of the Mickey's Malt Liquors I bought to give me something I knew I'd like (or wouldn't care much after a few).  I have a smaller one with the bee, but not a big mouth and not with the web address on it.  Next is the hit of the party, the Bells Winter White.  Next time, it might be a six-pack of these.  And that oddball on the end comes from Three Floyd's Brewing.  Their Pride and Joy ale was another that Scrappy liked far better than me- heck, when I grabbed it, I thought I was grabbing a Barking Squirrel, but obviously SOMETHING was misplaced.  They are brewed by father and two-son act, Mike, Nick, and Simon Floyd from Hammond, Indiana.  They started out in 1996 using an old swiss cheese aging barrel for a fermentation tank.  That explains a is described as "a great session beer which still has pale ale characteristics."  At least the cap was neat.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Sgt. Pepper Shipment

As a loyal voter on The Battle Of The Bands on various blogs, I recently won the Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band CD from Stephen T. McCarthy, a man willing to sacrifice his liver for my cap collection.  Thus I was not surprised that, as I fought mightily with the packaging the above CD came in, I felt a gentle thunk on my foot, and then heard a rattling sound.  No, I hadn't broke the CD; he had sent more lovely caps my way.

The first three up there we covered earlier; the fourth, a Bud Light Lime with an actual lime twist pictured on it, Scrappy helped me find a while back.  The next 8 are the ones that rode the Beatles express from Arizona, Land Of The Rainbow Shades.  (There was also a Blue Moon and a Shiner I already had.) 

The lone newbie on the top row is from Coronado Brewing, not surprisingly out of Coronado, CA (Which is smack in the middle of San Diego Harbor).  It is a mermaid with a round of beers (which I stupidly didn't recognize at first- DESPITE the fact it belongs to a Mermaid Red Ale.)  Starting off row 2 is my third different color from Alaska Brewing;  Beside him is an El Toro, from wine country in Morgan Hill, CA, south of San Jose.  My second Smithwicks is next, followed by Boulder Beer.  Founded in a goat shed outside Boulder, CO, way back in 1979, this offering from Colorado's first micro was a Kinda Blue Blueberry Wheat, which I might have to look up this spring (when the website says it comes out:  around March-April).

My third Abita is next, this is from their Harvest series, and is flavored with Pecans, of all things.  Leading off the bottom row is an offering from Epic Brewing, one of the many startups once Utah allowed them in 2008.  This came from a Hopulent IPA- something that is nowhere near my taste wheelhouse, sorry.  Finally, we have a Mendecino Red Tail Ale.  Founded in the early eighties, their first claim to fame was "the world's largest six-pack"- six magnum bottles that contained 50 ounces each and packaged out at 42 lbs.!  Impressive, but I wonder what a six-pack of the old Oktoberfest Gallon cans would have came in at...

Monday, September 2, 2013

Yet another beer-tasting weekend

Me, KC, and Scrappy had another two-day beer tasting adventure... some really good, some not so much, and one...

Here we have our first four contestants.  The solid yellow was a six-pack of Mad Anthony's Gabby Blonde Lager, of which we had a six-pack in case my other choices were stinkers.  This is made right here in Fort Wayne and was a nice, refreshing, light lager with yeast particles enough that you had a nice cloudy beer if you poured the whole thing in a glass.  And it was better cloudy.  Definitely was the winner of our lot.  Not surprising, because unlike "beer connoisseurs" , we don't prefer beers that taste like Barney Miller's coffee with a shot of bourbon and a pinch of allspice thrown in.

The Tyranea was more to that end of the scale.  It was a brew called Rocky's Revenge, a brown ale aged in oaken bourbon barrels.  Immediately KC was turned off, mainly by an aftertaste that was reminiscent of unsweetened toffee and vanilla- which I didn't think was too bad. KC thought it tasted like straight coffee, to which I replied, "I might not drink coffee, but if I did, I'd want it to taste like this."  To which he replied, "True that."  As darker beers go, it was pretty good and at 6% alcohol, quite fun as well.  But that aftertaste was still faintly in my mouth even the next morning.  KC grabbed another Mad Anthony's and promptly dropped it on the floor, giving Scrappy his chance to sample.

Scrappy is a lager dog, and sips of the darker beers were accepted, but the taste wiped off by licking his leg.  Never did that on the lighter beers.

The blue Kona cap belonged to their Big Wave Golden Ale.  Before I review, let me say something nice about Kona.  They are based in Hawaii on the Big Island, but much of their mainland stuff is brewed at the facilities of their partners in the Craft Brewers Alliance, Widmer Brothers and Red Hook.

The review?  Should have named it "Big Weed".  Tasted like you went out to your garden or flowerbed, found the biggest weed in the plot, and pulled it out with your teeth.  The garbage disposal got to enjoy it.

The last one on Saturday's adventure was the HopCity Barking Squirrel, made by a spin-off of Moosehead.  This is a 5% amber lager, and once again KC sipped and rejected, turning to the Coors Light he brought.  It was a lot like the Rocky's Revenge, but lighter and without the aftertaste.  Not repugnant as brown beers go, but I cant imagine it has enough oomph for regular dark beer fans.

And Sunday came round two...

These were all lagers/pilseners, and Scrappy was actually begging for a taste... what a lush!

By the end of things, I thought this was a good idea for the cap picture.  Maybe not, upon reflection...

The second Kona was their Longboard lager, which was definitely the pinnacle of day 2.  A light, refreshing, drink-all-you-want lager.  On the other end, you see one of 2 from Upland brewing of Terre Haute, Indiana.  This is actually from a Champagne Velvet, "the million dollar beer" which sold nationally from the early 1900's into the 1950's when it ceased production.  Craft brewer Upland acquired the original recipe and began reproducing it in the early 2000's.  KC thought it reminiscent of Miller Lite.  The final contestant was an oddity called Upland Wheat Ale.  A witbier-style pilsener, it has coriander, chamomile, and orange peel, which you don't taste until you swallow, and then it tastes like you had a spice stick in the back of your mouth.  I would think this better as a Christmas-season beer.  Unusual, but not bad.

After the tasting we adjourned to the Corner Pocket pub, where the night ended with PBR and a shot of duck fart.  Scrappy, much to his chagrin, was NOT invited.

(PS:  Scrappy got nothing more than scattered sips.  If he'd had his way, he'd have gotten a bowlful, but that did not happen.)