Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bounty from up north, eh?

Yeah, I got in a set of 50 caps from Canada, and forty-five went into the collection.

The first two in line are the two I just got from MsNkRey a week or so ago.  A very pretty blue Guinness and a Victory brewing. Victory was founded in 1996 and started in an old Pepperidge Farms bakery in Downingtown, PA. Then come the Canadian caps, starting with a pair from Alexander Keiths, one of the oldest breweries in North America, from Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Then two each of Alpine lager and Alpine Light, which are Moosehead brands.  Then, from the people who brought you Black label, a Carling (which is now part of the Molson empire).  After that are three variations on Coors Light that I didn't have.  Then the string of Labatts begins, with a pair of John Labatt's (either the founder or his son- I couldn't find out which- both long since gone to that great recycling center in the sky.  I got several variations on Labatts Blue in the bunch; the first one ends this photo.

The next one has this neat "fade to silver" strip down the diagonal.  The second is another variation; the third is in French.  Finally, one simply titled "Labatt".  Next comes one from Lakeport brewing, out of Hamilton Ontario.  They were founded in 1992 and soon foundered, going through bankruptcy and then rebounding on the concept of selling "24 cans for $24" (the lowest price allowed in Canada), and the business improved to the point that Labatt made a $200 million plus offer that they accepted.

Row two starts with a Laker, from Brick Brewing in Waterloo, Ont.  Brick was the first craft brewer in Canada. Then comes the Molson parade.  That first one has a lion crest and the year 1867 on it- Canadas independence year, as well as the name of their new light beer. The gold one celebrates 227 years in the business (1786-2007).  Next is that Molson 67, which like Bud 55 is the calorie count per beer.  And we finish out the Molson with two gorgeous Export caps.  Now Export is an ale, and I said to myself, I thought Golden was their ale.  Apparently they at some point changed it to a lager instead of brewing two ales.

Next begins the march of the Mooseheads.  Before I begin, I've just gotta tuck in this wiki story about Moosehead.

In August 2004 a truck driver transporting 60,000 cans of Moosehead beer to Mexico for a Mexican supermarket chain disappeared with the beer, leaving the nearly empty transport truck abandoned in a parking lot located in Grand Falls, New Brunswick. Easily identified by the Spanish writing on the labels (which is not common in the English/French speaking country of Canada) the beer was slowly tracked.
The first signs of the missing beer showed up in Fredericton, New Brunswick, with two empty cans; another report of two cans were reported later in northern New Brunswick. Police working on a tip eventually found the truck driver in Ontario; earlier in the same week, police discovered nearly 8,000 cans of the stolen suds in a trailer that went off the road near Woodstock, New Brunswick.
With most of the beer recovered and the driver in custody, the police in the New Brunswick area began to look in wooded areas for the remaining beer. Knowing the area in which the police were looking, many civilians took up the search as well. Because of the media attention on the story almost all of the beer was quickly found by civilians and police, and most of it was returned to Moosehead Breweries.
The final piece of the story occurred in October 2004 when 200 cans of the stolen beer were found at a marijuana growing operation in the forest near Doaktown, New Brunswick about 100 kilometres northeast of Fredericton.[4] "Six of the cans were discovered with bite marks in them indicating a bear had, at one point, been into the beer," the RCMP said in a news release. The release said there was no sign of either the animal or the people who had stashed the beer.

Gotta love drunken bears, eh?  Anyway, we start with a standard Moosehead, differing from my other one by banner placement.  Then comes one celebrating a gold medal at the 2000 World Beer Cup.  Next is a premium Dry; and then we go onto our next picture.

Three straight Moose Lights, the second an obvious crib of Coors Light, and the third with that magical year 1867 on the bottom.  We wrap up the Mooseheads with a pair of Pale Ales.  That OV leading off the bottom row is actually an Old Vienna.  OV started- if you can believe this, from City Brewing (later Koch Brewing) out of Wapakoneta, Ohio!  Koch was bought out by Carling-O'Keefe, which in turn was bought out by Molson.  Next up is a Rickard's Red, which is an amber ale brewed by Molson.  Then a Sleeman's Honey Brown.  Sleeman's also is a fascinating story.  One of the oldest brewers in Canada, it was shut down in 1933 for bootlegging beer into Detroit. In 1988 the founder's great-great grandson re-started the business, and by swallowing up other craft breweries, became the #3 brewer in Canada behind Molson and Labatts.  They were themselves purchased in 2006 by, of all people Japan's Sapporo brewing.  They also brew all the little niche brands that Pabst serves for Canada.

That second to last fellow is from Upper Canada brewing out of Guelf, which was one of those aforementioned conquests of Sleeman's. and thus also owned now by Sapporo.  Rounding out that board is an escapee from the Moosehead row- a Moosehead Dry Ice.

Finishing off the Canadian end of today's story, we start with a Cold Filtered Light, another Moosehead brand.  Then comes a St. Ambroise, from  La Brasserie McAuslan, a craft brewer started in 1989 and expanded when Moosehead became a part owner in 2002.  Next comes a Schooner from the Oland brewery.  This family is relatives of the Olands who own and operate Moosehead.  Then we have a more familiar lot, the Budweiser family.  First up is a Bud Select 55 (which I mentioned earlier).  The next cap says Beer in English and French under the bow tie.  The next two are variants of ones I have;  the B cap is a brighter color than the one I have, and the bow tie is unique in the blue "eagle-A" at the top, no "twist off" logo, and blue outline on Budweiser.  The Bud Light also has no twist off logo on the side, and is slightly different in size and alignment.

But our story doesn't end here, because I also got in some old cork tax caps.

The firsat one on top is a Silver Fox De Luxe, brewed by Peter Fox in Marion Indiana until they moved to Chicago and closed in 1955.  They have been re-openned as a Chicago craft outfit in 2008.  This cap dates from 1948-51.  Next is a Richbrau VA tax cap, which was made by Home brewing until 1969.  It was reborn as a craft brewery, but died thanks to the Obamaconomy of 2010.  Several of these caps are generic, having been issued to various manufacturers to sell in Virginia in the 1940-48 period.  The Pennsylvania generic next, though, ran from 1945-65.  Next to it is a Budweiser VA cap.  Second picture has a Schlitz; next to it, a generic "Commonwealth of Virginia" that dates 1938-40.
Below them we have a Pabst; and the yellow "Commonwealth" cap also dates from the 1940-48 group.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Beer show

The 37th annual Ft. Wayne Turkey Trot beer collectables show, as a matter of fact.  Just look at the prizes from this trip!

Yup, 13 new caps join the family today.  And if I'd have been a rich man, there'd have been signage, taps, cans, cartons, etc., as well.  But I was a good boy, and here are my prizes.

First we have an Old Crown Ale that the guy who sold me the case the other day brought in for me.

In addition to that cork, we also got these three oldies but goodies.  Kamms was the first brewery in Indiana to re-open after prohibition.  The plant burned in 1950 and closed the next year, but got rehabilitated a few years back into Mishawaka's 100 Center:
Full of restaurants, pubs, and apartments.

The Drewrys and Berghoff are pretty self-explanitory.  But the cork Drewrys was not the ONLY Drewrys...

This was the standard cap when I was growing up, but instead of the blue or red on silvers that I already have, this one is black on gold.

These were newer caps, "8 for a dollar".  Top row is a Molson, followed by a Shiner Bock, a Lakefront Brewery out of Milwaukee (apparently they name their brew after neighborhoods in the city), then the first of three Leinkugels, this one a Red Lager.
Second row has the leinie's Summer Wheat and Fireside Nut Brown.  Then comes a New Holland, from Holland, MI, and a Coors.

And if that wasn't good enough, let's play "before and after".  Here's that Old Crown Bock bottle I got back during Three Rivers before...

...and here's the "new, improved" version...

That's right, I got a label for it!!  Not exactly the same, but I put it on the back side for display purposes.

This show brought back a ton of memories.  Gluek Stites, Hop'n Gators, Old Toppers, wow... and Openers! I could kick myself square in the butt for not keeping all those old openers I used to have.  I dearly wanted to bring some signage home, but the cheapest I found was $35, well past my "allowance".  I hope all those old boys getting loud and boisterous at the beer-tasting got home okay.  I heard somebody ask the leader of the "pack" whether he was driving, and he answered "Only backwards."

Saturday, November 19, 2011

An update...

First off, I forgot to mention that in doing research on the last post, I discovered that the cap I described as a "pain in the butt to find Molson Dry"  was actually something else.  It was a Wit beer, from an outfit from NY called Spring Street.  Spring Street was a jumping point for founder Andrew Klein; he launched an IPO that he then morphed into a means of trading over the internet.  This became Wit Capital; and as near as I can figure, the brewery was left to fall apart while he concentrated on turning WC into a major Wall Street player.  A NYTimes article (titled "nitWit") cast aspersions on the relative success of this, and eventually the whole mess was folded into Goldman-Sachs in 2004.  I wasn't able to figure out just when in all this that Spring Street assumed room temperature, but I kinda doubt it made it out of the 1990's.

Second, our mystery cap with the ship has been identified with the help of Mike's beer store on eBay.  He confirms from the brewer that this is a recently released cap by the Wachusett brewery.

Third, I forgot to mention last time in my discussion of Evansville brewing that according to news sources, one of its last acts in life was to raid the employees 401ks to keep afloat.  Real princes, that lot.  Perhaps brewing so many different brands that Noah couldn't have kept track of 'em wasn't such a good idea.  Pittsburgh Brewing ended up taking over the Sterling, Wiedemann, Falls City, Drummond Bros., Eagle Mallt Liquor, Gerst, Drewrys, and John Gilbert's Riverboat brands the next year (1998).  After reorganizing in 2007, they still brew the Wiedemanns, Drewrys, and Drummond Bros.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wow! A bunch from E-bay... and a new home

Won a lot of forty caps (mainly defunct micros) from eBay.  Spent most of the afternoon trying to track the little buggers down!  But, I was 98% successful, so here we go!

A TON of these are from Evansville Brewing, who brewed a lot of rare and wild things for others before going belly-up.  On this page, they include top row #1, a Gerst (originally from Gerst Haus in Nashville, TN);  right next door, that is Joe's Freakin' Micro; then the next three, two are Blue Ridge beer ( originally from Rainbow Ridge in Marietta GA), the second one having a FL tax stamp, and the third is a Red Ridge Ale; second in row 2 is a John Gilbert's Riverboat Brand; next to him a Bicycle malt beverage ("We brewed the beer flavor out and brewed the fruit flavor in", somewhat like today's Smirnoff Ice flavors);  At the front of the bottom row, that's a Bad Frog Malt Liquor flipping you off ( a trait for which it was banned in Pennsylvania);  and third and fourth in that row are a Jackaroo Micro Light and a Gringo Light.  The remainders of the picture? Leading off row 2 is an Eddie McStiffs, a bar/pub in Moab, UT.  Fourth in the row is a Teton Ale from Grand Teton brew/pub in Wyoming.  The text says, at the top, A Taste Of The Tetons, and at the bottom, Jackson Hole's Original.  Next is a Burger, which I have others, including from it's first life as a major brewer out of Cincinnati; this is from it's current life as a craft brewer.  That rogue in the middle of the rows is a River City, which is a micro out of Wichita, KS.  Bottom row #2 was a "Certified" Sauna Beer made by Bosch from 1968-1973,  based on a traditional Finnish recipe "for when you get out of the sauna".  After that, the brand was bought by Leinkugel, who sold only the Bosch brand until 1986.  The last one in the picture is a 10th anniversary version of Winterfest, a seasonal by Coors.  10th Anniversary puts it at 2005.

This is Scrappy, who had to have his picture took when I turned on the camera.

Evansvillians (or Evansvillains, for what they put me through looking for them) are but 2 in this picture- the last two.  The sunny fellow is a Hey Mon Lite, and the other is a Mississippi, a twist off to go with a plain one I have elsewhere in our journey.  Top row consists of, first, an Iron City.  I have a comic book where a omnipowerful character goes to some alien boardwalk and orders a beer.  The bartender says, "Rigellian, Skrull, or..."  and OC says, "Earth beer, you dummy!"  The bartender says nervously, "Of course, sir, Iron City, sir, the BEST!"  Next is a Rhino Chasers beer.  This brand was aoriginally brewed by William and Scott brewery in Huntington Beach CA, where a rhino chaser was a surfer hunting a "rhino" (big wave) with his "gun" (Board).  That concern folded, but a craft brewer in northern Virginia bought the TM and brewed it once again in tribute.  This one also has a FL tax stamp.  Then comes a Slim Chance Light Ale, one of two caps in the lot brewed by Red Hook - the other being the Black Hook porter at the front of the bottom row.  Then comes a Red Bell, from a defunct Philly brewery.  The next one posed the biggest problem to find, because the only way to find it was to figure out what the near microscopic writing  on top of the word "country" in "Country Spring" was.  I finally found one I could blow up on a Russian collector's site- it said, "MountainMeadows".  The Mountain Meadow Country Spring company was a San Diego concern that has, as Rush Limbaugh says, assumed room temperature.
The next one, second in the bottom row, is not actually a beer brand.  Morgan's is an Australia-based outfit who sells beer-making kits for home brewers.  Then comes an Aviator Ales, which was out of Woodinville, WA.

The last of the lot Had the remaining 2 Evansvillains, an Alabama, and it's twist-off twin.  Then comes a WBC, which stands for Wyoming Brewing Co., out of Hazelton, WY.  The next is a Widmer Brothers (who I discussed in a much earlier post), this one being an exact replica save for the much-larger text around the edge band.  Then comes a pair from Wachusett Brewing, also talked about in that much earlier post.  The first says "only available in Wachusett Brewery, Westminster, Massachusetts", while the second says "since 1994" on the top.  The SSB is from State Street Brewing, another cap from that post.  And there at the end... well, I have no clue what it is, after hours of searching it out.  I'm guessing it could be another Evansvillain, but I have no idea.

Later in the day, my plan to eliminate having binders lying about the living room came to fruition, when a nice man from Rome City delivered this:

Yes, sir, an Old Crown beer case!  In fact this was no normal beer case...

The stamp says "DRINKING CUPS", and what it held at one time were rounded down cans that could be used for... drinking cups!  What it holds now are the 550 members of the Martin cap collection.  And that nice man, having learned what I had intended for it, also brought along another surprise...

A Centlivre Old Crown, cork backed, from the early 40's.  Altogether, an exhausting but A-1 day for the collection!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hey, I'm back...

...and I bring the long delayed first round of caps from Binder #3.  But first, I have some that I found in a cup in a trash bag in a dumpster a couple of weeks ago (no, I don't root thru everyone's trash, just the ones known for having beer caps).

Obviously the first one is a Guinness. The second is a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale form Alltech Lexington Brewing.

The sunshiny guy is a Oberon Wheat Ale from our friends at the Bells brewery up in Michigan.  His friend is the generic cap from Founders Brewing, another Michigan outfit rated the second best brewery in the nation by
Okay, so on to pages 15 and 16.

And guess what? We start here with a Guinness, as well.  Following him is a Corona Light; then a Red Stripe, which comes to us from Jamaica man; then a Cerveza Sol; and Harp, which is a Guinness brand based in Ireland.  Second row starts with a Hampton Ale, then a Sam Adams; and MGD light 64; a Bud with the shadow design in the background; and a Genesee generic twist off.

Here we see I inherited some of my mom's ability at cutting things out of a picture.  She really was a master at the one eye/ear/nostril look.  Anyhow, the 2 you cannot see are a Labatts Blue and a Regal Pale cork backed cap.  In the first row, we also have a pair of Michjelob Lights and a Mich Ultra. Then comes another cork, a Muskegon pilsener.  She's from 1937 and Muskegon brewing, who capped it, was eventually bought out by Goebel.  The Regal Pale is a 1948 from the Regal Amber brewery which was out of San Francisco until about 1961. Next is a generic premium, then another cork, a Gunther 2 cent VA tax paid from the mid 50's; a Burgie from the same era that comes from the San Francisco brewing co. from... well, you know.  Wrapping the row is a Rheingold, a 50's era cap from a Brooklyn NY brewer.

Page 16 begins with a Ukrainian beer called Zibert.  Then a Busch Light,then a Dogfish Head, then a Widener Brothers out of Portland, OR; and the end of row, a bit of a rhymes-with-witch to figure out when I first got it, is a Magic Hat, out of a Burlington, VT, outfit.  Row two leads off with a Stone Brewing, a "big Character brewer " (known for its Arrogant Bastard brew) out of Escondido, CA.  Following him is an offering from New Belgium Brewing from Fort Collins, CO.  Next is a Lindener Spezial, out of Hannover, Germany; a New Glaurus out of Wisconsin; and a Flying Dog from Maryland.

Our last section for the night includes a Bass (for which we'll have a couple of slight variations later); Yet another color for Sierra Nevada; a Saranac Amber; Leinkugel's Classic Amber; and another variation of the JW Dundee's Honey Brown.  The bottom row has a Sam Adams seasonal; a plain-jane Bud twist-off; a Miller tall twist; another pain-in-the butt to track down Molson Dry; and a beloved cork PBR.  That is it for this episode, tune in hopefully sooner for our next installment.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Boom II

I decided if it works with Shiner, will it work with someone else?  So I wrote Pabst, and here is what came of it:

We add a Schlitz; a pair each of Lone Stars (top #3 and bottom #2) and Lone Star Lights (#2 top and #3 bottom); a PBR I didn't have; a Rainier (the big "R", duh); and one that I couldn't identify (top #4) on Pabst's site or among there "portfolio of beers; I finally tracked it down at a collector from the Czech Republic's site- he IDs it as a Blitz-Weinhard.  This used to be a flagship brand of Henry Weinhards of Portland OR, but these days the original business makes just sodas.  However, Miller brews some Henry Weinhard brands (though the Blitz-Weinhard name has apparently lapsed) under contract for Pabst.  At this point, I can neither confirm or deny that this is a Henry Weinhards, so it remains a B-W until I learn otherwise.  In any event, it gave me a chance to ask Miller-Coors for caps too.

Also this weekend, KC and I tried a little beer tasting event.  We didn't get too far since he tasted a few too many beers the night before.  However, I have 2 caps in the binder from the attempt, and four more in the fridge awaiting our next sing at it.

First man up is a Goose Island 312 "Urban Wheat Ale" .  What makes it urban I have no idea, but I can tell you that wheat beer has (to me) an odd dry taste.  Goose Island is a Chicago micro in the process of selling out to Anheuser-Busch.  Next to him is a second Brooklyn beer (which you saw in book 1, board 7), this one Green background and gold "B" rather than the opposite.  Next up is my 4th Sierra Nevada, found in the Kroger parking lot on our way to get the six beer-tasting beers. Next to it is a Newcastle Limited Edition that was among three that KC found on a walk (one of which, sadly, turned out to be a hard cider). I wasn't able to determine much more as the Newcastle Brown Ale website is both confusing and annoying.  The other one KC found was a Breckenridge Breweries, who brew a variety of beers from Denver and environs, all apparently wearing the same cap.

Here are the yet-to-be-drank gang.  Top left is another variation on Leinkugel's Oktoberfest; Next to him is an Indiana Amber from the Oaken Barrel brewery, a brew-pub in Greenwood, IN.  Bottom left is my third Moosehead lager, and next to him is a Molson Canadian.  So today netted a total of 17 caps, and by the time they all join the book we'll be up to 510!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Our story started last week when Scrappy and I found this cap.  I soon determined it was a Shiner Bock, from the Spoetzel brewery in Shiner, TX.  I went to their website and found a fascinating website with a fascinating story.  But most fascinating to me was what I found on the FAQ page:


My grandpa collects bottle caps from all over. Being the Shiner beer fan that he is, I’d love to add to his collection with the new caps that recently came out. Can I purchase those or do I have to buy a six-pack of each brand?

We’ll be happy to send you some of our Shiner bottle caps; just send us your mailing address. (Due to the high volume of e-mail we receive, please include the body of this message in your reply so we’ll know what it’s in reference to. Thanks!)

Yow! So I did as instructed, and today I got two of the one we found, plus these:

The top row I was able to find on their ingenious website; the three on the bottom I had to do a little digging.  Here's what we have:

Top left:  This is Blonde Light, their light version of their regular lager.
Top center: 102 is a double wheat ale (which uses a 50%wheat mix), that they describe as "a hybrid between wheat beer and wheat wine".
Top right: their Bohemian Black Lager, their darkest blend using imported Czech saaz hops (for geographically illiterate, Czech Rep. = Bohemia + Moravia).
Middle left: The Shiner Hefeweitzen, a wheat beer with orange and lemon zest, with clover honey and yeast added just before bottling to give a double fermentation.
Middle center: Blonde, their basic lager.
Middle right: Their seasonal Oktoberfest.
Bottom left: The outer ring says (top)limited edition (bottom)craft brew; inside, (small) Shiner selection (large) brewers pride.  This is their "old time alt", an ale brewed Dusseldorf style with top fermentation.
Bottom center: Kosmos Shiner reserve, an American style pale lager.  Kosmos Spoetzel was the founder of the brewery.
Bottom right: reading "the perfect summer beer", this is called Ruby Redbird summer ale, brewed with Ruby Redbird Texas Grapefruit and ginger.

I thank Anne Raabe over at Spoetzel PR.  Check out the Shiner website (that's what the link's for)- and Theng, she sent me doubles, I'll send them over next time!  This donation (hence forth known as the Spoetzel donation) brings us up to 491 caps, and so, though this isn't exactly blog-related, I hereby award Spoetzel and Ms. Raabe the coveted Trophee du Beagle!

You guys are the fourth recipient of this great award.  Enjoy it in good health and God's grace!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Boards 13 and 14.

Today, we finish off the second binder.  And, I'd like to announce that now I've figured out how to make a computer-generated list of these things on my computer.  Way easier to keep track of things.

Leading us off today is a Miller Sharps, which was their non-alcohol brew.  Next is a Bud whose distinguishing trait is the thin arrows for twisting at the top and bottom of the cap. Third is a Moosehead which a)actually is staying in good shape unlike the first one, and b)has text on it, unlike the first one. The Bud Light next has the arrows at the sides of the logo and "twist off" on top.  Following him is my one and only Bud Dry.  Apparently run out of customers by Bud Ice, they stopped making this just last December.
Second row starts with a very light Coors Light, with just the cursive (remember cursive?) Coors and the printed Light.  Next is a Rolling Rock, one of three variations of this style I have.  It's one of those caps that has the company's full address on the side (to which I say, even if the drinker wanted it, why would he look there?).  Next is the familiar Coors waterfall, with the text "the Rocky Mountain Legend" around the side.  Probably would have been a more effective advertising back in the Smoky And The Bandit days when you couldn't get it everywhere.  God knows 98% of caps I find on the ground are either Bud Light or Coors Light.  I was about to look up the top beers to see if they were one and two, but I just found this game that gives you 3 minutes to guess the top 15 sellers in the USA in 2010.  I got 11 of 15 (the 95th percentile!); you can play here.

Now that I'm done with that bunny trail, the last two on this picture are an exact replica of the first Coors in an aluminum tall twist (that isn't so tall anymore) and a Sapporo, a Japanese cap out of Tokyo.

On this picture, the first and third are two more of the endless variations of Little Kings.  Tucked in between them is a Huber.  Next is an older MGD, one that says Miller at the top, Geniune draft at the bottom, with arrows for the twist connecting. Then comes a Bud with the same logo as the one before, but the arrow placement and text of the Bud light we just looked at.  Second row leads off with an Augsberger, a seasonal brand bought by Strohs in 1989 and discontinued when Strohs crashed and burned in 2000.  Then comes a Colt 45 Dry, another of the craze of dry beers in the late 1980s.  Dry beer is given a longer fermentation, to make it stronger- similar to Malt Liquor (which Colt 45 was) except ML uses an additional brewing process.  So dry beers were beers trying to be malt liquors, and a dry malt liquor is... uh...

Next is an Olde English 800, another malt liquor (made by Miller) that was trying to be "English" (which it wasn't.  Then come a pair of less than aesthetically pleasing entries- a silver Strohs tall twist, and a Miller Lite tall twist that, like a previous Miller cap, was misprinted, with a partial logo on the side and a blank top.  Not sure how you accomplish that one.

Leading off this section is an Old Milwaukee tall twist.  Then an MGD Light with no mention of Miller on the cap.  Third is a Coors Light that is similar to the regular cap a while back (albeit not so faded) on a tall twist.  Then a Michelob with the Twist Off and arrows on the top (instead of the side of the cap as a previous one had).The next one is a rather flattened Michelob Classic dark.  Second row is another couple of Colt 45s, one a tall twist and one a regular.  Then comes the mysterious Hi Dragon, which I have had zero luck in finding anything out about.  Following her is a Paulaner, which is a German brand brewed by the Mimin Friars.  Finally on this picture is a very rusty, almost illegible Labatt, an example of the depths to which I will stoop (as if the Hi Dragon wasn't).

Today's last picture leads off with a pair of Champales, which were malt liquors brewed with yeast normally used for wine to give them a queer wine-y taste.  Then comes a Red Horse, an extra-strong Philippine beer.  Next is a "beware the penguins" Bud Ice cap- truly one of the stupider ad campaigns of our lifetime.  Finishing the first row is a Steinlager, which is an award winning beer from Germany New Zealand.  Leading of our last row for today is a Corsendonk Agnus, "a bubbly beer with a hoppy aftertaste" brewed in Belgium and originated once again by friars who had nothing better to do. Then comes a Molson Golden, followed by  a Grolsch which is out of the Netherlands.  Wrapping things up are a gold colored Busch and a flattened, faded, but still unique Strohs tall twist.

Okay, that's a wrap for today.  Next time we'll go into binder #3 at long last!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Caps!

This was actually going to be a post at first about what brand name has the most entrants in my collection.  But then I got a e-mail from my friend over at Waiting For God that she was sending me some caps, so I decided to hold off until I got them to begin.  She had started to describe them over the phone to me, but I told her just send the whole bunch.  Reason being, the differences in caps are many and subtle.

For example, Thursday Scrappy and I were behind Pierre's in Canterbury.  (for those not in the know about the midwest's largest entertainment center, google Pierres Fort Wayne.)  There we found among others, these two members of the family.

The silver one is a Coors Light tall twist, which I only had a regular crown like that before.  The other was a Bud Light Lime- and I had one of those.  But if you look at the one I had... see the swoosh runs right through the "Lime" on it, and stops short on the new one.  Plus, there is a color difference.  Things like this, that on sight trigger my "spider sense" couldn't be conveyed well on the phone.  So let's take a look at "Norma's Newbies".

Top left is a Yeunglings, basically the same as the one I had, but with a darker background and brighter reds.  Next is a Dundee Ales and Lagers, which is what Genessee switched the name of their craft beer to when they decided "J.W. Dundees honey brown lager" was too long.  The actual honey brown has went back to that since, with the other craft beers still using this cap.  The next one was hard to figure- a deer in gold with the only text "Twist off only" in white on bottom right. But it had a trivia question about Australia on the bottom, and that was the clue we needed to learn that this is a Toohey's New.  Still not sure what the buck has to do with Down Under, but whatever.  Second row is another flavor (and color) from Dogfish Head.  Apparently the pink ones (like the one I had) is their 60-minute IPA (India Pale Ale), and this red one is a 90-minute IPA.  The difference?  If you're a drinker, the red one's more bitter.  If you're a collector, it's a different color, duh!  Next is a Harps, and it is close to the one I have, except for the tiny harp above the word "Harp", which you can see that I don't have on my other one.

Next is a cap that helped me with another in the collection.  It is labelled "Two Hearted Ale", and is brewed by Bells.  Now, I found nothing on my first Bells to indicate origin, other than a vague reference to a brew-pub in England that made beer.  But searching out this, Laurie found that it is made by a micro outfit in Kalamazoo.  The name, I guess, stems from the fact that it is "massively hopped" once in the kettle and again in the fermenter.  And the original Bells I have is their flagship Amber Beer.

Then we come to the Sam Adams Seasonal, one of three I now have.  The first is the same logo on a pale green back with a gold edge; the second is exactly like this one other than it has a baby blue edge instead of the orange.  They are all different flavors, but I could not deduce which one was which of a certain.  I guess I'll have to look in the beer aisle when the holidays approach.  Next comes a Bass, much like the other 2 I have.  But where one has a somewhat larger logo, and another has a more flat background, this one is both more metallic and a bit offset compared to the others.  Here's the closer one to it, along with the Seasonal with the baby blue.

Next comes a Thirsty Dog Breweries, the standard cap for all the varieties from this micro out of Dayton.  The thirsty dog has a mug (or perhaps one of those little St. Bernard barrels) under his chin.  Finally, we have a Dos Equis, and unlike the one in my last post, there is no other text than the double x.

And there you have it, and "Norma's Newbies" bring us to a total of 479 caps.  And that brings us back to my original thought- what do I have the most of?  Well, given that I am very particular in my dividing (e.g. Budweiser does not= Bud Light does not= Bud Light Lime, and Samuel Adams Seasonal with baby blue would not = Sam Adams seasonal IF I knew what was which, I have a total of 211 different brand names.  136 of these are one-and-dones, 27 are twofers, and another twenty are at the three or four mark.  That said, here's my top 20:

18 (tie): Coors, Colt 45, Labatt Blue, and Lowenbrau at 5 apiece.
16 (tie): Drewrys and Old Milwaukee, 6 each.
14 (tie): Hamms, Michelob, 7 each.
10 (tie): Coors Light, Little Kings, Michelob Light, Rolling Rock, 8 apiece.
9. Schlitz, 9.
7 (tie): Busch, Falstaff, 10 each.
5 (tie): Bud Light, and ironically, Miller Lite, 11 each.
3 (tie): Pabst Blue Ribbon, Strohs, 13 apiece.
2. Miller High Life, 16.

And at #1 Budweiser with 30, including the one you can see on the post over at TAW I found with Scrappy a couple days ago.

Whew! Thatsa lotta beer, dudes!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Boards 10, 11, and 12

Well, long time, no see.  It seems to be contra-intuitive to say I haven't had the time to add more boards here because of the short work hours we've had, but other projects have taken up time- as has my son, coming over more frequently on the weekends of late.  Anyway, as I have a few moments to myself that I'm not busy doinking around with something else, let's look at a few more boards.

Here we are on board # 10 and that odd little guy leading off was once silver (before we met) with black text that says "TwisTop/ or use opener" and has a Georgia state seal in the middle.  I believe that this is a Pfeiffer, or one of their brands.  Then comes a string of 3 Tuborg Golds.  The first is the same as the third, save for the logo is smaller and FLORIDA is printed at the top.  All four of these were from the Florida trip.  Next was the second generation standard Busch cap, with "Born of natural ingredients/Smooth, refreshing beer" under the logo.  The fellow in row two that seems to say nothing but "Twist Off" came from a Blatz.  Next is another of the endless variety of Little Kings Cream Ale, followed by a somewhat smushed Cerveza Modelo.  After that is the perfectly preserved Genessee Cream Ale, obviously a "nephew" cap.  Closing this section is a twist off Colt 45.  Somewhere along the line I have another of this design with blue text rather than Navy.

Here we lead off with a Lowenbrau twist cap, then a rare Michelob in red text. The rust-damaged gentleman in the middle is another Lowenbrau, this time with the trademark lion.  Then comes my first Heineken, pried from the hot tar of Webster Road many years ago.  Ending that row is an ancient (aprox. 1968) Olympia with just the horseshoe and no text. Next row starts with my first Moosehead ( a drinker), then a Black Label "Twist Cap" that was made with substandard paint by CCC. Next is a plain ol' Michelob twist cap; coming next is a Schlitz Malt Liquor tall twist,  followed by the now defunct Anheuser-Busch L.A.

Board 11 starts with a pair of St. Ives Special Brews, the first obviously a big mouth tall twist.  Then comes yet another Little Kings, a green one this time.  Right about the time I started getting these caps, my memory of how they were acquired goes non-existent.  Thus is the case for that George Killian's Irish Red coming next.  Then we have my first Michelob Light.  Row 2 leads off with a Dos Equis,a Mexican brewery product currently owned by Heineken.  It's spokesman, "the most interesting man in the world", is actually Johnathon Goldsmith, an actor whose high point previously might have been getting shot between the eyes by John Wayne in The Shootist.  He has supposedly fueled a 15.4 % increase in Dos Equis sales.  It is  followed by a 4-pack of Bud Light.  Both the regular first one and the big mouth second read "Guaranteed Fresh" top and bottom.  The third, silent around the sides, somehow worked its way out of its spot when I took these pictures.  He was suitably scolded, rest assured.  The fourth begins the blue background motif of which I have several iterations.

This section is heavily Miller.  Two High Lifes without the bow lead it off, the second a tall twist.  The third is also a tall twist, though he ain't so tall anymore.   Then we have a Molson Ice, followed by an unusual gold Michelob.  The second row here starts with a Michelob Lager, with the script "M" supered over the background.  Then comes my first Michelob Ultra, followed by a Miller High Life Light, which always puzzled me why you need a High Life Light brand when you already make a Miller Lite.  We finish out the board with a pair of MGDs (Miller Genuine Draft), one a Light.  Sometimes I wonder if some of these variations aren't the exact same thing in different bottles.  I guess to me it doesn't matter- as long as the caps are different, and what the hey, detergents have been doing that for years.

As if to prove my point, we lead off board #12 with  a MGD Light 64, which is apparently lighter than light. In trying to find out what the difference is, I found several sites that mentioned that MGD 64 not only cut calories but alcohol (from 4.2 to 2.8).  One reviewer called it "a watery pretend of a beer. A beer that tries hard to not be anything".  Then Comes a J.W. Dundee Honey Brown, which is a Genessee owned brand.  Then comes a pair of the aforementioned Miller Lites, the second reading around the edge "Taste protector cap/Locks in fresh pilsener taste".  Then  a Coors "The Rocky Mountain Legend" with waterfall.  Row 2 starts with a big mouth Coors Light, followed by three smaller ones- the first with a mountain "painting", then a duplicate of the big mouth, followed by the much simpler stylized mountain without text.  Wrapping this section up is a Bud with "Guaranteed fresh/ Great American Lager" about the sides.

We wrap up board 12 with a big mouth Bud, a dupe of the last small one.  Then comes a Bud with just the "B" and a crown.  Then comes the stylized crown of the Bud Select, followed by the really neat old style "Brewery fresh/Since 1876" Bud cap.  Next is a hybrid Bud with the stylized crown, the bow tie, and the "King of Beers" logo.  Bottom row is a pair of Labatt Blue, followed by a Heineken that differs from the one on board 10 by being lighter, with a colored in central star Then comes a pretty white Heineken Light, follwed at last by a battered Icehouse- anyone out there remember that?  It was brewed by Miller's Plank Road division, which was named after the original 1855 brewery in Milwaukee.

12 boards means we have now went through 240 caps.  Just under halfway!  See you next time.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Boards 8-9

But first, for those allergic to links, here's the pictures of my prize from yesterday- a 1935 Centlivre Old Crown from the Summit City (AKA Ft. Wayne), complete with bottle.

This is a cork lined original to the two replicas featured on the board six post.  Apparently, several brewers used this cap- and at least one was our hometown brewery.

Anyway, let's get started with boards 8, which ends the first binder.

This board is also part of the great e-bay initial haul. We lead off with Costa Rica's Imperial.  This is made by Cerveceria Costa Rica from San Jose- but was originally known as the Florida Ice & Farm Co. started in 1908 in La Florida de Siquirres, Costa Rica.  Next up is a Guinness; Beside him is the GB of the Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, brewed by founded by Dan Gordon and Dean Biersch out of another San Jose, the one in California. Then comes the very pale colors of Plzensky Prazdoj, which I incorrectly thought was Polish.  I was close- it is from the city of Plsen, currently in the Czech Republic in Bohemia.  The name can be roughly translated into English as "the Fountainhead at Pilsen" or "the original source of Pilsner".
Then comes your standard Fosters- "Australian for 'beer' ".

The second row leads off with Birra Peroni, out of Lombardy in Italy.  This is brewed by SABMiller, a huge Kraken of a company which is the merger of South African Breweries and Miller, which is in North America the Miller/Molson/Coors empire, and in Europe include not only Peroni but the aforementioned Plzensky Prazdoj and Holland's Grolsch, as well as extensive holdings in Latin America. Next are a pair of identical twins- two color variations of Sierra Nevada.  The first is a Pale Ale- the second leading USA craft beer in sales behind Sam Adams Boston Lager.  The second is their Glissade Golden Bock.  This company was formed as a home brewery in 1979 in Palo Alto, CA.  This brings us to one of my 2 Amstel Lights.  Rounding out row two is a Bud Ice.

Row three is a Sam Adams Seasonal; after him is a Warsteiner, brewed since 1753 in Warstein in west-central Germany- the largest private brewery in Germany.  Sandwiched between standard issue Bud lights and Coors Light is a Modelo from Mexico City.  An identical with slightly different shading we'll come across later.  After the standard Michelob Ultra in row 4 we have a Troegs, out of Harrisburg PA.  Then comes the sister Amstel Light, with "imported at the bottom instead of the top.  Next is a Saranac, brewed by F.X. Matt, formerly better known for Utica Club and Maximus Super (another can which I found the first in our area- and traded it for a Schlitz Malt Liquor because I liked the color!!!).  Finishing off the board is a Blue Moon, a Coors witbier ( a Belgian type which uses little or no hops and a lot of orange). 

Board 9, which opens up book two, goes back to the older caps of the collection.  The first two rows feature a collection of Schlitzes:  A tall twist that was found near that Georgia Falstaff behind the shed at the old house; A Malt liquor tall twist, probably from Zulu; a pull ring, found at the dump in Pokagon; a non-twist oldie also from the dump; the standard "twist off or use opener", one of my nephew's acquisitions; in row two, a Florida twist from the legendary trip; and a fellow tripper from Georgia.  Then come a pair of Stroh's tall twists- one a pale gold, the flat one a pale silver, both road finds.  Rounding out row 2 is a Schmidt's twist off, another road find.

Next comes my first two Rolling Rocks- the first a twist off acquired by my nephew; the other, with the gash poked in the middle, he had on a bottle he got from some collector.  Then comes a blue Bud twist off, perhaps home-drank.  Then come two road finds: a Little Kings tall twist, and a Miller Lite twist off.  Moving to row 4, We have the color-scheme twins Miller twist offs, from Zulu.  Then come three Stroh's to end our journey- a rarely seen red, the "old style" twist off, and the standard maize-background crested cap.  The first two were road finds, the other a Zulu child.

Finally, let's answer the question: what/where is Zulu? The dry details are here; But to me, Zulu was a second home.   My Aunt and two uncles (siblings, people) all lived there; The general store, the Zulu Tavern (Later Billy's Haystack), and the Zulu Garage were all there.  The legends of my youth, the semi-legendary Hiney Winery behind the library, the local "dead man's curves", were all there.  My first legal beer and my first illegal wedding was there.  R/T Machines, with snowmobiles and so much more, is there.  It was a dead three-mile walk from my door to the door of the general store (though by the time I walked it, it was Lortie's Bar).  In 1898, it was a hamlet, a crossroads called 4 Corners- but the government wanted to establish a post office, and that name was taken.  Somebody got out a geography book, randomly turned to a map of Africa and stuck a pin in the page- whence comes Zulu.  In my father's youth, it had two baseball teams- the Blues and the Juniors. It was the gathering point of my father's family, and the site of some of the most pointless arguments ever waged.  I had my first paying job there, and my first bad case of poison ivy.  About 70% of our families old 8mm movies were filmed there.  It wasn't quite home, but to tell anyone out that way you lived on the near side of Zulu was enough to get an, "Oh, I know where you're at."  The best cheeseburgers I've ate to this day were cooked by Bill Riley at Zulu, and in a poem I wrote that got published in the Monroeville Breeze, the term Zuluburger was born, and to the best of my knowledge still exists.  I never lived in Zulu, it's true.  But you could never tell the story of my life- not by half- without it.