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!