Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Because it pays to pay attention...

I mentioned on the main blog that Mynx had sent me her lovely artwork, but I had got so excited that I forgot she said she was sending caps with it!  So I dug out the package, and sure enough, here were these two beauties:

All the way from Oz, here are two from Coopers.  Not only are they noted for their high quality beers, but are also the world's largest manufacturer of home-brew equipment.  As you can see, the brewery is celebrating their 150th anniversary.  If the pic I saw on Wikipedia are accurate, I believe the red one is a Sparkling Ale (which is one of those cloudy, stir-it-first English styles) and the green one is their original pale ale.   Many thanks again!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Here's the other bunch!

I told you I had another lot coming in, and this was a fun bunch to look at and research.

Let's start clockwise from the black horse, which would be a Black Horse Ale.  Originally a Carling product, it was contracted to the Fred Koch brewery in 1961.  Like all small breweries, Koch was shuffled around and ended up with Genesee by 1984.  Genesee actually won a gold at the great American Beer Festival in 1988 with BHA, but by the early nineties had shuttered most of the Koch brands, including BHA.  Next is an Old German, followed by a National Bohemian.  Nat Boh is still around as a Pabst brand, but the interesting thing is where it ties into the Altes on the bottom.  Altes was first brewed by Tivoli from 1933.  Tivoli changed names to Altes Brewing in '48, and in 1954 Nat Boh bought them out.  Nat Boh merged with Carling in 1973, and were both part of the G. Heilman empire from 1979-96.  I'm not sure when the Altes brand was shut down in all this, but I believe the brewery itself was shut down in '91 so we'll go with that.

Next is a Van Merritt, which was easily the hardest to get a straight story about.  As far as I can confirm, it was Brewed by the Burlington Brewing Co. of Burlington, WI from 1933 to 1953, when it changed names to reflect its main beer.  Two years later, the Van Merritts sold out, and here's where the story gets iffy.  I have seen it connected to the Wisconsin Brewing company, to Centlivre/Old Crown, to Monarch Brewing in Joliet, to Joseph Huber, and even saw an article saying the company's assets had been sold to a New York cosmetic firm.  In any event, I saw no evidence that it was brewed after the brewery closed in 1957, but the cap is plastic lined and not cork, so I can't really be sure.

Then comes a Storz, one of the old-time brews founded by Gottlieb Storz in Omaha in 1876.  Grain Belt bought them out in 1966, and shut down the plant in 1972.  Next is another Blitz-Weinhard, which was another one of those brands that got bounced around and finally got shut down when Strohs sold the brewery in its death throes to Miller, who shuttered the plant.  Then a Schmidt, the aforementioned Altes, and a Schlitz Malt Liquor.

This bunch was neat for me.  So many of these brands- Altes, Nat Boh, Van Merritt, Storz, even the Bosch from last post- they were some of those neat, uncommon brands that were within reach of the average can collector when we all got started in the seventies.  Heartbreaking to see all the brands- and the jobs they supported- gone by the wayside, many of them through the 1990's stupidity of Strohs and G. Heilman.  I really salute Pabst and the various startups that kept so many of these brands alive.

I think I may have one more coming, I'll let you know.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Playing catch up

Well, now that I've gotten a bunch of new caps in, let's take a look at the latest.

Okay, so the top three on the first row we covered last post (which admittedly was in July, but...).  Right after that is a Beck's Premier Light, then a Smirnoffs (as is the one right below it).  The Coors Light and Miller Lite are variations that I acquired on or about Jack's surprise party earlier this year, along with the Smirnoff.  The CL has a white boundary around the mountain.  I think the ML was actually from in front of KC's new apartment on our first visit.  Next was a Bud Light Lime that Scrappy found on a walk (no lie!) and next to it is a Sam Adams Oktoberfest I saved from a dumpster.   The next Bud Light was found right out in front of the door on another walk.

The Dow is a cork, undetermined date, and you should remember the crazy Dow story from last post.  (Consider it a subtle hint to look at the last post again!) From here on, we have the caps from the new lot I got yesterday.  First off is another Buckeye, albeit more modern than the previous two I've posted.  That next one (row three center if you lost track) is from Capital Brewery in Middleton WI (which isn't a capital, but a suburb of state capital Madison).  This plant was founded in 1986 in what used to be an egg-processing plant.  The red one (which is hard to make out even up close) is from Whole Foods and bears their premium Authentic Food Artisan seal. 

Leading off row four is Big Sky IPA, made by a craft brewer from Missoula and is the biggest brewer in Montana.  They gained fame of sorts a few years back when Moosehead brewing sued them over the name of their brown ale- Moose Drool.  Then comes a modern Berghoff, and there's actually a connection between it and the third guy in the second picture.  They are both part of the brewing empire of Ravinder Minhas and his wife Manjit.

Ravinder, his wife, and their beers Boxer, Lazy Mutt Farmhouse Ale, and Mountain Crest Lager.
They built up the Mountain Crest brewing company renting space in the old Joseph Huber brewery in Monroe, WI.  Huber is of course a veteran of the beer wars, founded in 1845 and the oldest contiuing brewery in the midwest.   After Huber bellied up it was bought by Leinkugel, and in 2006 they sold it to Mountain Crest.  Mountain Crest had been basically brewing in Wisconsin to export to their home in Calgary, and they split the company into a separate outfit to brew Berghoff products, and renamed the main brewery Minhas Brewing.  They brew Huber's line of beers along with the aforementioned cap on picture 2, which says "Bock=Taste" and belongs to their Billy Bock beer.

That puts us in the middle of row three and Big Boss Brewing.  This is a Raleigh, NC, outfit founded in 2006.  Next is an Alpine, celebrating their 75th anniversary in 2012.  The distinctive "Banquet" logo of the next one marks it as a Coors, from their recent short-lived ad campaign.  Last row of Pic one leads off with the very interesting Coney Island Craft lager.  This beer, which a portion of the proceeds goes to support Coney Island, is brewed by Shmaltz brewing, originally  the American Jewish Celebration Brewing Co.  They started out brewing something cleverly called HE'BREW, which was actually a pomegranite beer.  They went on to develop their Coney Island line along with others, including a winter ale they call Human Blockhead.  You tell me, we both know.

Next is a Brown's, founded in 1993 by Garry and Kelly Brown in a dilapidated Troy, NY, warehouse.  Then is a Bayhawk, an Irvine, CA, outfit who won a world beer cup gold in 2002 with their "chocolate" brown porter.  Next is Mexico's Carta Blanca, the original premium brewed by the same outfit that brings you Tecate, Sol, and Dos Equis.  The Bosch is another long time vet, whose home brewery in Houghton, MI, closed in 1973.  Leinkugel bought them as well, but declining sales led them to shut the brand down in 1986.  Devout worshippers of the brand have been hoping to get Leinkugel to re-start production, and Red Jacket, which brews now in that very building, has tried to get them to sell the recipe.  To the most recent of my information, Leinkugels has said nothing.

Which brings us to pic 2, which is led by a Coors Light with the "Twist Off" and arrow sweeping around the perimeter.  Next up is a Boulevard, a mate to the IPA I still have on it's bottle just inches from this keyboard.  I've already covered the Billy Bock, so that leaves us with this cute little guy with the colorful little town on it.  This is an Ayinger, from the village of Aying outside Munich.  This brewery is young by German standards,  only 136 years old.

That's it for now, but stay tuned for something coming real soon!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Chris goes crafty

Just got some new caps- and something else- in to share with you.  First up is something that will no doubt look familiar.

This Blatz is a mate to the Budweiser I got not long ago.  Unlike the Bud, I did find this one on the CCCI page, and they estimate a 1949-58 age.  In fact, I got it from the same guy- and he sent along a quarter to make up for the 50 cents postage due from the Bud.

That brings me to a set of Canadian corks that were both much older and more interesting than I imagined. 

Top and third are Boswells- one ale marked "QUEBEC" and one pale ale also marked thus.  Between them is a pale ale from William Dow and Co., Montreal.  Boswell was a brewer in Montreal from 1843-1952 until bought out by Dow. It was in turn bought out by Carling O'Keefe and shut down in 1966.  The Dow name was acquired with COK by Molson in 1989 and finally closed out by Molson in 1997.  But let me bring in Wikipedia to tell the really interesting part:

In August 1965, a patient presented to a hospital in Quebec City with symptoms suggestive of alcoholic cardiomyopathy. Over the next 8 months 50 more cases with similar findings appeared in the same area with 20 of these being fatal. It was noted that all patients were heavy drinkers who mostly drank beer and preferred the Dow brand, consuming an average of 24 pints of alcohol per day. Epidemological studies found that Dow had been adding cobalt sulfate to the beer for foam stability since July 1965 and that the concentration added in the Quebec city brewery was 10 times that of the same beer brewed in Montreal where there were no reported cases .[3]
Although Dow denied any responsibility, the Dow Brewery in Quebec City temporarily shut down and the remaining beer was dumped into the Saint Lawrence River. At the time of the incident, Dow Ale was the number one selling beer in Quebec, however, as a result of the "tainted beer scandal" sales of the brand soon dropped dramatically never to recover.

UPDATE:  Found another page that claims Dow destoryed 390,000 cases of beer- or 16 years worth of beer for each of the 50 victims!
UPDATE #2:  A French-language  article I Looked at made several points about the Case.  For one, reporters were building a "case" out of bits and pieces of news that ended in unnecessary hysteria over the deal. Two, most of the other breweries in Canada, as well as some in the US of A, were at least testing the cobalt salts in their beers.  Third, the article listed Dow's market share at the time to be 51% and Quebec City's share over 85%.  A group was rumoured to exist among Canada's other brewers, and the article hinted that this group's fanning the fire of rumour was not out of the realm of possibility. Fourth, the article mentions that in light of 536 deaths from myocarditis in 1965 and 480 in 1966 in Quebec City, that 20 deaths and fifty cases over an 8 months span was far from earth shattering.  Apparently one of the doctors on the case, one Dr. Yves Morin, Quebec Institute of Cardiology, pushed the idea of cobalt being the problem to the province's newspapers.  I don't mean to bad-mouth Dr. Morin; he is a nationally-decorated cardiologist and Liberal member of Parliament.  But you gotta kinda wonder...
24 pints works out to around 32 cans a day- or in the neighborhood of 9 cases and a six-pack a week.  Somehow, I'm dubious that the cobalt sulfate killed them.  If this story is straight, the "victims" of "cobalt poisoning" were downing the average per capita Canadian year's worth of beer between Monday and Friday of every week.  And according to what I researched, this is the straight dope. Victims were malnourished enough that the first diagnoses were Beriberi.

The middle guy was a Dow pale ale.  I'm thinking it is a mid-40s, but couldn't find it.  The re Boswell was from 1942, the green from 1945.  Then at the bottom is a John H.R. Molson and Bros Export Ale, dating from 1935.

The other thing I got was this cute little bugger:

A four inch tall PBR!  Isn't it adoreable?  I decided to put in a shadow box, thus:

The background was from a picture of an advertisement painted on a brick wall on a building on historic 25th street in Ogden, Utah.  I cropped it onto a 4X6 glossy.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The great martin beer tasting #2.

My son KC and I attempted another beer tatsing yesterday.  What you as possible beer connoisseurs need to know about us is that we grew up on American Lager.  My Dad started on Black Label and thankfully switched to PBR.  My Unlce Dick was a Falstaff man, as was my brother.  Another uncle preferred Busch.  A brother in law subsisted on Miller Lite and Meister Brau, later Milwaukee's Best.  A cousin introduced me to Drewrys.  The nice thing was, when I was little, you could go into our local tavern and get all these and more- Old Chicago, Colt 45, Little Kings, Schlitz, Blatz, the list goes on and on.  So with apologies to some of my friends, carbonated coffees like Guinness don't hit the spot for us.  In fact, we checked the review on and found that we only agreed once- and it was the day's winner.  So, let's take a look at the contestants and how they did:

#1 was the Flying Dog brewery's Tire Bite ale.  This was a "Kolsch" beer, originating from Koln (Cologne), Germany.

KC carefully poured himself a drink, sipped and said, "It Tastes like a Rolling Rock... with some bad aftertaste".  I didn't detect the aftertaste, but agree that it was very similar to a Rolling Rock (IOW, good when you are hot and thirsty, but not neccessarily the brand you buy for lazying around the house.

Next up was St. Pauli Girl, famous from posters  worldwide.  It comes in a green bottle, which I do not understand why ANYONE uses anymore, and of course it had the green bottle's curse...

KC:  "Good, but a bit skunky."
It was good despite the skunk, very light.  But why on earth put it in the damn green bottles anyway?  You KNOW three bottles out of five will be skunked. 

Next up came a contestant from Leinkugels:

Leinie's Red Lager is a Vienna-Style lager, rich amber color and a bit stronger than the regular American beer.

At this point, alcohol was beginning to effect the camerawork, so we had to stage KC's reaction.  (The original pic was a nice view of his shorts, though.)  He detected a bit of a salt taste, and agreed with me that it had a bit of a metallic taste, as if it had sat in a keg for a while prior to bottling.  It improved somewhat after we took Scrappy for a walk, but not much.

Next up:

Becks, from the same company that now owns St. Pauli Girl.  KC has had this in the past, and said he liked it.  But as you can see, it was in a green bottle, so you know what that means...

Yup, a little skunky.  Not bad, though I think if you take the skunk out, I'd have preferred the SPG.

This brings us to the most bitter failure of the lot- and not surprisingly, the highest rated on BeerAdvocate of our six...

(Funny how you get more junk on the table the more beer we drink, eh?) Rogue Brewery's Dead Guy Ale.  From Ashland Oregon, this is a Maibock, or pale bock.

KC: "YUKKK!  This tastes like straight earwax!!!"  I took a sip, and while I don't profess to know what brewed earwax tastes like, I quickly proceeded to the kitchen sink with this brew.  Only trying to get up off the floor kept KC from beating me to the sink with his mouthful.  I washed away this failure with a nice cold PBR.

We had one contestant left:

A Schlafly Unfiltered Hefeweizen, or wheat beer.  This one is brewed at St. Louis Brewing, and was founded by the nephew of activist Phyllis Schlafly.  Now, I've had wheats before, and they have two main charactaristics- light, with a dry taste.  This one was about the same.  However, the dry wasn't as prominent here, and it was so smooth it seemed to evaporate just as it approached the throat.  KC pronounced it "pretty good", and even Scrappy liked it enough to search out every fallen drop.

Mighty damn tasty... where's MY glass?

So there we have our six contestants:

And the winner?  It was between the Flying Dog and the Schlafly, but the Hefeweizen wins out in the end!  Surprisingly, it was the second highest rated of the crew on BeerAdvocate as well.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Next round of new stuff

Yesterday, I added to my "collection" of print ads this old PBR magazine ad:

Not real sure what the NRA patch to the right of the toast-er is about, but whatever.  Today I got the latest cap:

A 1940-49 Jacob Ruppert, AKA Knickerbocker Beer.  Around the edge it reads: "Knickerbocker the talk of the town".  Ruppert was owned by the famous Colonel who owned the New York Yankees way back when, and his family.  They sold out in '66, and another brewery kept it alive until 1974.  It was ressurected in the 1990s like so many others, but Pabst finally pulled the plug in 1997.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Got some new oldies coming in...

...and the first to arrive is a lovely ancient Budweiser (Surprising in that the sender didn't account for the cardboard protection he put around it and it cost me 20 cents postage due!).

Maryland state seal, cork lined, and can't find a thing out about it as no online collector seems to have one!  Seller said 40's-50's, and that matches with the logo style.  The manner of the state coat of arms tends to put it towards the later end, so I'll guesstimate late 40's.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Board 21

Much of board 21 are corks that I got from eBay.  Hamms corks are leading off row one, fourth in row three, and second in the last row.  The blue one dates from 1957; the reds, differentiated by the brighter white on the last one, date from 1953 and 1948, respectively.  That second one in row one is a Michelob Ultra, actually one I just found that improved on a rusted one I had before, and is not a cork.  The Pabst in row one, pre-Blue Ribbon, was from 1942.  Of course, the MGD is not a cork, but it is a handsome cap.

Row two starts with the Rolling Rock I mentioned yesterday, with the difference being the lack of the tax amount on the side; it dates from 1948.  Three Drewrys are on the board.  The first one, here in row two, is a 1946.  The second one, second in row three, dates from 1954, and the third, sitting second to last on the board, is also a 1948 cap.  Three Schlitz also on the board, in varying shades of cream/off white.  All three date from 1950, and you see them in the third and fifth slots on row two and third on row three.  The PBR that finishes off row two in the fourth slot is a 1948 gold.

Row three begins with a Gunther Premium Dry.  Gunther was a Baltimore brewer bought out by Theo Hamm in 1959.  Hamms dumped the BBC brands, but sold out to Schaefer three years later.  Schaefer remade Gunther as one of its discount brands until it was in turn sold in 1976.  The only one we haven't hit in this row is the Meister Brau at the end.  Meister Brau was a Chicago brand until a beer chemist invented the formula for light beer.  Meister Brau Lite was much more attractive than the main brand, and Miller bought the brewer and changed it to Miller Lite.  In more recent news, Meister Brau, Handi-Wrap, and 150 other brand trademarks are up for auction next month by Brands USA Holdings.  For a pittance, it could be yours...  my Meister Brau dates from 1947.

Row four starts out with Breunigs,  from Rice Lake Brewing in Rice Lake, WI.  This brewer went belly-up in 1974; the cap is from 1962.  The blue one in the middle is a non-cork Rolling Rock;  and the last one left to mention is the Budweiser at the end.  Buds are almost impossiblr to get a good date from, but I'm guessing late 50's.

That's it for this trip.  Hopefully I'll get through the next few boards really soon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Well, here we go again

I think you'll excuse how long its been by the small buncha caps I have to show you that are newbies.  But I'll make up for it by using my NEW camera to show the bunch off!

Just the bottom 9 here, guys.  First up is a super-size Coors Light.  That next pale little fellow is a Bud Light Platinum, which believe it or not we found at a campsite along the river.  The red one is a Miller 64 contributed by my ever-lovin' firstborn.  Next comes a Blatz Pilsener, a cork used from 1933-57 that I got on e-bay.  Next to it is a Budweiser cork from 1935-42 from the same purchase.  The Dos Equis featured here I acquired from a group of lackwits who came to the pool across the street.  First they sat right at the corner of  the street waiting for someone (and along came us) to move so they could park right across the street.  Did them no good though; when they took their flimsy styrofoam cooler out, the bottom dropped completely out, and all their barley pop and ice (including the bottle this cap came from) shattered in the street.  Most of which they conveniently left.  The Bud next is a tall twist version of an earlier acquisition.  Next up is a Goose Island "pry-off" that also falls to KC's credit, as I found it near the door of his new apartment building.  Finally, that last one is indeed the lower half of a dancing guy in shorts, apparently hula-hooping a garland.  That is from a Michigan micro called Short's Brewery, out of Belaire, a town not far from Grand Traverse Bay in the far north-west of the lower penninsula.  We found that one on the far side of Johnny Appleseed park yesterday.

And that brings us to boards 19, 20, and 21.

First up is a navy-and-gold Busch "twist-off".  Then a tall-twist Haffenreffer Private Stock, the malt liquor as nasty as you want to feel.  A Corona Extra, a Miller Lite, and a formerly-tall twist Milwaukee's best round out row one.  Following a worse-for-wear Busch light on row two is a Magnum, a malt liquor from the Miller-Coors stable.  Hard on the malt liquors at this point, we next have a tall Colt 45; the rusty specimen next is an Aspen Edge, a discontinued Coors light.  A Natural Light (pre-"Natty light") closes that row.  A Blue Moon variant sits at the head of row three, followed by a Guinness Extra Stout, a Stella Artois variant, and a Bass variant.  The cool black one closing the line is a Michelob Amber Bock; Heading up row four is a Mickey's sporting a green bee.  Then a Smithwicks out of Ireland, a Spaten from Munich, a brand begun in 1397.  Next up is a Red Hook Ale, out of Seattle and distributed nationally. Finally a Old Dominion, a micro from Virginia begun in 1989.

Board twenty kicks off with a Black Label, a classic Strohs, and then a Gibbons, Brewed by Lion out of Wilkes-Barre PA until 2007.  Then a pair of Buckeyes, which was brewed in Toledo until 1972, after Miller bought Meister Brau from Peter Hand (and took Buckeye with 'em).  Miller folded the brand in '74, but the Maumee Bay company bought the name from Miller and spent quite a while trying to re-invent the old formula.  Next is Burger, a Cincinatti beer owned by Hudepohl since 1973, and then lost through a number of hands until local business bought the brands between 2004-6 and in 2009 brought Burger back to life. 

Next up is Queen City's Cumberland Old German, a brewry bought out by Iron City (aka Pittsburgh Brewing) and is still produced.  A red-rimmed Black Label next, then a pair of Rolling Rocks, the solid green is a cork from 1948.  There is another on the next page just like it, except the tax paid message on the side (this one gives the tax paid as 2 cents).  A Burger "twistop" leads off row three followed by Lucky (a Texas beer from Falstaff/General).  Next is a Fyfe and Drum twist.  I don't know if I dug into the previous F&D;  It was a 1960-70s Genesee brand.

Then comes IC Light, the "IC" being Iron City. Next is a twist-off POC. This was originally brewed in Cleveland by the Pilsener Brewing Company. POC was a matter of a guessing game. I had always been told that it stood for Pilsener On Call, but apparently that was just one of many possibilities (such as Pride of Cleveland). The brewery claimed the real meaning was lost to the mists of time; speculation points to it originally meaning Pilsener OF Cleveland. It was another local revival, re-started in 1999 by brewer Stuart Sheridan.

Last line starts with a Stegmaier; this is another beer in the Lion stable, who bought it in 1974 when the brewery went belly-up and its facilities were sold to the city for back taxes. Lion is still brewing Stegmaier. Then a Ballantine, and a Schaefer. Schaefer, which claims to be the oldest beer in the nation, was at one point the world's best selling beer according to wikipedia. That gorgeous blue Pabst is a Florida cap.  And last but not least is an Alpen Brau cork, circa 1933.  AB was brewed by Columbia Brewery from 1933-1948; After that, Falstaff gobbled it up and AB didn't resurface until renewed by Augusta Brewery, a micro from Augusta, MO.

Holy cow!  That's enough for now, I'll probably get to page 21 tomorrow.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hi There!

I realize it's been a while, but what with winter weather, the unwillingness of my neighbors to drink wild and unusual beers, and lack of hours at work with which to waste money (not to mention Obama's bang-up job on keeping gas prices down-) has been since January 23rd since I've got to add a cap, and longer since I've posted on caps I already had (I'm sure that's Obama's fault too).  But today, all of that changes.  Well, the lack of money and the high gas prices haven't, but the weather and the willingness of neighbors to drink have, so here we go!

First up, here are the two newbies that Scrappy and I found this morning.

The first is from Leinkugels- a Leinie's Summer Shandy.  Now a Shandy is a fruit flavor/beer mix, and Leinkugel describes this as their "take on a traditional German Radler".  A radler is a 50/50 or 60/40 mix of beer and "German lemonade" which is more along the concept of Sprite or 7-Up.  Next to it is a Michelob Ultra "pomegranate raspberry".  This is one of three MU flavored beers.  The MU site calls it a "light pilsener infused with fruit flavor and aroma."  One reviewer called it, " A decent beer that is barely beer enough to not be a wine cooler. "  Which one is right?  Well, after the fact I thought about getting a page snapshot, but since I can't seem to find the sign out button, I'll have to describe:  when I went to get on the MU site, it had the standard blanks to fill in to make sure you were of age.  The first blank had a shadow "DD" in it and a caption of "Month" below it; the second had the shadow "MM" in it and the caption "Day" beneath it.  Hmmm...

Okay, we left off so long ago on board #16, so let's move on to board #17.

Top left is your standard Bud tall twist.  The large gentleman next door is a Mickey's ML "Big Mouth" cap.  Next is a fifth variation on the Little Kings cap.  Little Kings was brewed by Schoenglings, who bought out Hudepohl, who were then gobbled up by Samuel Adams, but by 2004 it had went the Pabst route, being brewed on contract by several regional breweries.  The next is the blue twin of that first Bud tall twist.  Following that is an old-style Olympia cap.  Next up is the original (to me) Bud Light cap, followed by a fairly rare red Strohs.  Then comes a Molson Golden, followed by a blank gold cap that came off a German beer called Kessel.  Then comes a Michelob Light twist off.  Row three has another red Strohs, followed by a Raffo, which is a European-style pale lager from Italy.  Then comes a Wolfbrau from Germany, and a ring pull from South Pacific, which claims to be the dominant beer in Papua New Guinea.  Then a Labatts 50 twist off, and the last line of board 17 leads off with a Asahi Draft, which is the founding beer of a company that holds 40% of the Japanese market.  It is a pale lager that I am told goes well with ramen noodle dishes.  Next a pair of old timers, a Busch and a Hamms, followed by a Michelob Classic Dark.  Finally, we have a Hacker-Pschorr Munchen from Munich (duh).  This brewery has been around since the 1400s and still going strong.

Board 18 leads off with an Augsburger.  This brand started out with the Monarch brewery in Wisconsin, and then like most little brewers passed up the chain, starting with Potosi in 1967, ending up going from Strohs to Stevens Point Brewery in 2003.  Pabst bought the brand and had Stevens Point produce it afterwards, but apparently it is now out of circulation.  Next is another Mickey's Big Mouth, allegedly "pilfer-proof".  Never met my nephew, I'm guessing.  Then come identical Strohs, one a tall twist and one a regular crown, differing from the one on the last board because the logo is an outline rather than filled in.  Then comes a misprint Miller tall twist (they seemed to be good at that) with the top blank and the logo on the side.  Leading off row #2 is a Sagres, yet another pale lager from Portugal brewed by an underling of Heineken.  Then, after a Lowenbrau twist-off, we have a Cristal, "the preference of Cuba".  A Bud Light tall twist is next, followed  by a Haffenreffer Private Stock, formerly a Falstaff brand now brewed by Miller.  This is a Malt Liquor which, I can attest to, tastes crappy the first sip and you don't notice the taste thereafter.  6.8% will do that for you.

Row three leads off with a plain jane Michelob, followed by a twist Labatts Blue and a Modelo of a slightly different hue than the other I have.   Next, another Bud variation, followed by a plain jane Miller Genuine Draft.  Row four has an Old Milwaukee tall twist that I remember finding on an empty bottle somewhere along the highways and byways.  A crown twist off OM is next, followed by a Michelob Dry, yet another Strohs variation, and a Michelob Light with a cleaner look that the one on the last board.

Okay, enough for now. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wychwood mysteries solved

Straight from the horse's mouth:

Thank you for your email.

The bottle cap is one of our standard Wychwood bottle tops and could be from any of our range of Wychwood Bottled Beers. Unfortunately we do not produce a non alcoholic beer. The January’S ale is only available in cask during January and this year is 2.8% abv. (this was 3.8% in 2011).

The lowest abv bottled beer that we produce is Brakpear Bitter at 3.4%, the next are Goliath and Ginger Beard at 4.2%

We hope that you are able to get the opportunity to try one of the above beers, which are widely available from most major supermarkets and if we can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Kind Regards

Wychwood Brewery

Marstons Beer Company

So to sum up, there is no non-alcohol Wychwood, so I'm wondering if maybe it was the Gingerbeard (which is alcoholic but if you think "ginger beer" you might think it isn't).  January'S ale (with the capital "S" that mad me think it was January Sale at first) has a alc. content that varies by the season and thus the discrepancy there, and the cap is their "standard one" which is about what I figured.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Just in from Australia...

From our good friend Mynx , 5 new caps.  Starting at top left, we have a Crown Lager.  This beer was so premium, from 1919-54 it was ONLY served to visiting dignitaries in Australia.  Next is a Cooper's Pale Ale, from a brewery established way back in 1862  Their beers have a secondary fermentation, meaning they have yeast- and thus, sediment- left in the beer. Not sure I'd like that...  Then comes a West End Draught, first brewed by the South Australia Brewery, since bought out by Lion Nathan in 1993.  Up to then, it had been the top selling beer in the state.  Next is a Miller Chill, their version of Bud Light Lime- even though it had started out as a "chelada-style beer"  (meaning it had clamato, red pepper, and other disgusting things added to it).  So when BLL took most of their market share, they re-formulated, while Bud began making their own chelada beer.  Ring around the rosie..  Finally, we have a contestant from Wychwood breweries of the UK, who make a whole mess of different beers.  I'm not sure which one, though I know it is NOT a Hobgoblin, which seems to have a blue cap.  One of my sources says its a Scarecrow Golden Ale, but I don't know.

So that's the scoop.  Thanks again to a lovely lady for the lovely caps.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New years day

First off, the best harbinger of the new year came Friday from our friend Theng:

A lovely homemade Christmas card from Malaysia!  Thanks and God Bless you!!

Then we move on to the NYE party.

People were losing their clothes pretty early at this thing.

Laurie got a high score on a Wii game that I could see about as well as the camera...

But the reason why the story is here was that I opted to do another beer tasting, the results of which I shall now reveal.

First at the top- and last one I drank- is a Red Stripe Light.  This Jamaican Lager was actually pretty good- however, it was made better by how bad the one before it was.  Next to him is a Leinkugel's Honey Weiss, which was a lot better than the other wheat beers I've had.  (Sure beat the Fireside Nut Brown I had at Christmas!  Who wants coffee in their beer?) 

The solid gold is a Leffe, a Belgium Abbey beer.  Leffe Blonde is what we tried.  you can look here for what they have to say about it.  This was to us, like a bad attempt at wine (which when you consider that someone brought a chocolate wine that tasted more like chocolate Ny-Quil, is saying a lot).  Tasted like it had a clove soaking in it.

To its left is a New Belgium Ranger IPA, an India Pale ale.  For us, one picture is worth a thousand words:

As Jack's face can tell you, this had to be the single most vile thing of any sort that ever passed my lips. EVER.  Both the bottle and the sip's worth in Jack's cup swiftly found the kitchen sink.

The final one there was a Landshark Lager, a benign little  Bud Light-ish lager that offended no one.

This here is an unopenned Boulevard Pale Ale. Boulevard is the 10th-largest craft brewer in the nation.  However, since our experience with the Ranger IPA was so, er, bitter, this bottle will go into the "Bottle Wing " of the collection unopened for the forseeable future.

Combine these with various sips of slushie concoctions, a swig of that horrifying Chocolate Ny-Quil (sorry, Joyce), and more-than-neccessary palate cleansings with Rum and pepsi, and you could say that a good time was had by all:

However that does leave us with the nasty experience of before...
...and after...
Mommy, I promise I'll get the caps catalogued tomorrow... I don't feel so good right now...