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!