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.