Sunday, April 28, 2013

Unexpected riches

I started out today thinking I had but two caps to show you.

The first is my latest "eBaby", a King's Tavern Ale.  This cork cap is of 1934-9 vintage and brewed by what was then the Flint Hill Brewery, which eventually took on the name of it's home town, Frankenmuth Michigan.  The Frankenmuth brewery was bought in 1989 by a German investor, but it burned down the next year.  He sold it to another group who rebuilt as a craft brewpub, and by 1993 it was up and running again.  Then in 1996 it was the target of an F3 tornado.  Again it rose from the ashes only to be shut down when a bank loan was turned down.  Still another group re-established it in 2009.

The other is what my son has been drinking, Redd's Apple Cider Ale by Miller.  It has "natural apple flavor"- IOW, no apples were harmed in the brewing.

As I said, I thought that was it.  But Juli over at Surviving Boys said she'd send me some caps she'd acquired, and I checked the mailbox to see if they arrived.  Hoo Boy, did they!

SEVENTEEN caps, all new to the collection!  On the top row that you see, these caps are ones I have, but not this design or style.  The first is Brooklyn Pennant Ale.  Then comes a Saranac with a nifty New York State silhouette in the middle.  That Troeg's is just a couple shades different on the maize color than the one I have.  The next one is from Bluepoint out of Long Island.  After that is a Bud Select that I didn't have, and ending the top row is a Wauchusett which is like one I had, but the reverse color scheme.

The next row are all new to me.  Rogue Ale- "for the Rogue in all of us"- is out of Oregon, and (hey Deadliest Catch fans) one of their beers is Captain Sig's Northwestern Ale.  That dude has his name on everything!

Beer, coffee, salmon patties- even popcorn fish!
Anyway, that next white cap is an O.K. beer from Okocim brewery near Warsaw, Poland.  This is from Carlsburg Polska, the Polish division of Carlsburg brewing, and is their premium lager.  Then comes an Affligem Blonde, a pale ale brewed on license to the Affligem abbey in Belgium and distributed by Heineken.  If you look all the way to the end of line two, you'll see another foreign beer distributed by Heineken.  It is a style called La Rossa, a doppelbock (double bock) brewed by Italy's Birra Moretti out of Udine.

After the Affligem is a pair from Ommegang, a company out of Cooperstown, NY that brews Belgian style ales.  They were formed originally from a US beer importer and three Belgian breweries which have since been absorbed, plus another Belgian brewer, Duvel Moortgat, who bought out the whole thing in 2003.

Finally in row two, and additionally in row three are a pair from Abita, an outfit out of New Orleans.  The brown one is a Munich lager they call Amber; the purple is called Purple Haze, and has raspberry flavor.  Next to the Purple Haze is one from Heavy Seas from Clipper City brewery.  It's founder, Baltimore's Hugh Sisson, was behind making craft beer legal in Maryland, and they brew 24 different styles in 3 "fleets".

Those last two were a pain in the butt as they had no ID on them.  The first is a Scottish Ale brewed in Belgium (I didn't make that up) by the Scotch de Silly brewery (didn't make that up either; Silly is a town of about 8,000 in central Belgium where the brewery is).  The other turned out to be my second Steinlager ( and first that didn't say "Steinlager" on it).

My best addition says we're at 745 caps now!  Not as big as many, but if you consider I don't count caps that have different things on the bottom (like playing cards or rebuses) as different and stay away from "non-beer" caps as much as possible, it ain't bad!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

And now... a glimmer of hope...

Long ages ago, when I was assisting my can-collecting nephew, we went to an old dumping ground my dad called "Sowtown".  A little research years later told me it was the former site of a platted town called Centerville that died as quickly as it was born when the railroad decided to put its depot a few miles southeast in Monroeville.  Or perhaps, as my memories are no longer clear, it might have been a dump we discovered in the wild area of Pokagon State Park.  In either event we found a can that was almost unidentifiable.  It was fragile and about 95% rust.  But we had discovered the "magic" of boric acid solution, and took it back to see what could be salvaged.  What we saw- barely- once looked like what you see above.  Its value was negligible- its condition on the lower end of the "poor" category- but I fell in love nonetheless.  I always did have a thing for rusty, "antiquey" cans.

I was hooked then and there on Drewrys, though it would be years later when I could drink it legally.  Soon after I found a cork "big D" cap in my dad's 1937 Chevy upholstery.  But you remember the 1990's- Budweiser marched over everything and everyone like the Wehrmacht over Eastern Europe, and Drewrys became another on the long list of "Hey, remember that beer" brands.

So the other day, I hit something I couldn't believe on eBay, and today it came home.

That's right, a little Drewrys Draft "shortie", formerly the holder of 12 ounces of South Bend's most refreshing beer.  And since I have another cap coming, I was going to wait and post this sometime this weekend.  But then I did a little research, and was knocked over by this bit of news:

Though Drewrys labeled beer has been non-existent  since it was last produced in 1997, Drewrys was purchased in 2011 by Chicago-based entrepreneur, Francis Manzo. The city of South Bend will be the site of launch for the rebranded beer as this was the location for Drewrys largest operation. Production is slated for 2013.


I quickly found the website for the reborn company, and learned that it's TRUE!!!  Sometime this year- and I signed up for the newsletter and liked them on Facebook so that I can get some as soon as possible.  To be sure, it will NOT be the original recipe- diligent searching came up with a verdict of "recipe lost", which we will blame on Pittsburgh Brewing, since they had the rights last (though they never brewed it).  However, they have looked at notes and consulted experts to come up with as close as they can to the original flavor.  Also, they hope to be able to produce it in South Bend as soon as feasible.  It seems that for now it will be brewed in the last location it was brewed- Evansville- and will be mainly marketed to the South Bend area.

South Bend is just under 2 hours away.  I can't wait!