Thursday, December 15, 2011

holiday roundup - inside out & hopsidedown glasses

I am a sucker for inside-out and upside down glasses. Case in point:

 Beer Hopside-down Pint Glasses

And WineStein (get it?)

A beer stein that is also an upside-down beer bottle? A champagne flute that is also a cylinder? A wine glass that is also a beer stein? These are hilarious.  I want them all! Almost as much as I want zillions of bottle caps!

Happy Holidays everyone. The blog will take a few weeks off for the holidays, and hopefully I'll drink lots of beer and soda over the break and have many more stories to tell you in the new year.  Don't drink too much. But enjoy yourselves! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

holiday roundup -- camo six pack beer holster

I picked this next item based solely on the writeup on  

How can you not be convinced by a completely serious bullet point for this camo six pack beer holster belt: "Certified to bring on the good times and guaranteed to captivate the ladies" And please, read the description and the bullet points VERY carefully. Notice anything? Like that the bullet points are basically just a repeat of the description? AWESOME.

For all of you guys out there who want to "captivate the ladies," I suggest NOT getting this six pack beer belt. But if you want to have a conversation piece at your next tailgating party, or even holiday party, DO get one of these. The only thing that would make this better is if there were a bonus pocket to keep your bottle caps. I mean, you could always just put 5 beer bottles in the holsters, and save the 6th pocket for bottle caps, but that would defeat the purpose of the whole "six pack" mentality. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

holiday roundup --- wooden bottle opener

Michael and I were shopping for a Christmas present for his mom the other day, and stopped in the MoMA Design Store, one of my favorite places to browse. Sure, we were looking for his mother, but that doesn't mean I can't point out other fun, interesting pieces in the meantime!

One cool item we found, which happens to be perfect for this blog, is a wooden bottle opener. Not only does it have a magnet underneath to keep the bottle cap from flying across the room, but it has a magnet on the top as well, so that you can keep it conveniently on your 'fridge and not have to dig through your drawers to find it when that unexpected guest swings by for a nightcap.

I like the simple design: a piece of wood, and a bent nail. I do worry, however, that this might bend your favorite bottle cap in an unpleasant way. Anyone who may have used this: please let me know if it keeps your bottle caps in tact!  But from a completely aesthetic standpoint, this bottle opener is the bees knees.  (Michael's mom, don't worry: we didn't actually buy this for you!)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

holiday roundup -- beer savers

This is the time of year when holiday roundups abound. Why should it be any different here at SCBC? Throughout the year I've found some pretty great bottle caps, but what about the accoutrements that go along with drinking beer, soda, and other beverages that sport a snazzy bottle cap?

This week I'll highlight a few things that might make a good gift for the beverage connoisseur in your life. Enjoy!

While surfing the web I recently stumbled on beer savers and couldn't have been more excited. How often have I needed Michael's help in finishing a beer or soda? ALL THE TIME. What would I do if Michael wasn't around? In the past, probably just flush the said beverage down the drain, much to my chagrin. Unless, of course, it's a malta. Then down the tubes it goes, no regrets.

But a beer saver?  Well, that might be the perfect thing for someone who just can't seem to finish those last sips of beer. Why not save it for later?

I love that these look like bottle caps but with stretchy, silicon shape; and of course, they're reusable.  They may not have great designs on the top, but they make it so that I don't have to try to smash my original (awesome) bottle cap back onto the bottle, causing all sorts of problems.

Definitely worth getting for those who (for whatever reason) can't finish their beverage in one sitting. Or want to save some for a friend, who just isn't home yet.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Michael's mom sent me a few bottle caps recently. The new shipment, along with a few crowns from my stash, are going to make for some fun posts coming up.

Today I wanted to talk about Shiner. I've talked about the awesome ram bottle cap here and the ruby redbird here. But I haven't really talked about their standard Shiner caps, which happen to have amusing phrases on them (and you know I love a good phrase or slogan.)

Hefeweizen's bottle cap has the great and succinct phrase "It's Good!" and Oktoberfest has "Make a Toast." Something else very cool about these caps are the sides: Oktoberfest says "Twist and Toast!" and Hefeweizen says "Twist and Enjoy," which is cool because a) these are twist-off crowns (and you won't ruin the cap with a bottle opener) and b) there are fun phrases on the sides. I mean, come on!

I'm now realizing that Shiner has quite a variety of crowns, and I'm sure there are more than what I have. If my faithful readers have additional phrases from Shiner caps,  or other Shiners that they want to send my way, let me know in the comments.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

goose island matilda = frobscottle

The last time my mom took me out on a beer run, we got quite a few Goose Island products.

Matilda is Goose Island's Belgian style pale ale that comes in what looks like a wine bottle. I think they're trying to appeal to a crossover audience of beer and wine lovers. I'm sold!

But really, Matilda reminds me of the Roald Dahl book of the same name that I read as a child. This book and The BFG were two books that I come back to time and again. Matilda was amazing: she could move things with her eyes, and was friends with her teacher. When I was a kid I wanted to be Matilda. Or I wanted to be the kid Sophie who was kidnapped by the BFG so that I could drink frobscottle (the bubbles go down!!). What do you think THAT bottle cap looked like? So the Matilda bottle cap makes me think of Frobscottle*...and wishing I was friends with my teacher when I was little. A leap, I know. But it all makes sense in my head.

To get back to the beer and bottle cap portion of this blog post, I recall that the beer was pleasing on the palate, but nothing to really write home about. I do like the bottle cap: A silhouette of a goose -- silver on black. Very classy, and again, appeals to the wine drinker in me.

*Going back to the Frobscottle, because now I'm thinking about it: Can we have a bottle cap design contest for Frobscottle and market this stuff? I want to be able to buy it. This is a million dollar idea, people!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

mystery cap!

A mystery cap! This was found at Randall's and the grape soda was sticky sweet and I think has basically turned me off of grape soda for the rest of my life.

Guesses in the comments section!

Monday, November 28, 2011

fox barrel cider co.

Oh. My. God. People. There is a beer/liquor distributor in St. Louis that puts every distributor in NYC to shame (we honestly don't have that many, so it's not hard to beat us. Sadly.) Have you ever heard of Randall's Wine and Spirits? They have a huge selection of not just beer, but ever kind of liquor you have ever heard of (and then some), as well as a beer selection that puts my corner deli to shame. It was a little overwhelming.

Ultimately, Michael and I decided on Fox Barrel Cider, a delicious pear soda, for our first purchase. Their bottle cap pretty much gives you what they advertise: a fox in front of a barrel. Cool! I would love a little more color on the cap, but they have the two-tone thing going on.

Next time I'm in STL, there will definitely be another run to Randall's. I only wish that I coud mix-and-match a six pack. There is so much to choose from, and usually my trips to the Midwest are too short to drink that much, so I always end up having to be very choosy. In fact, score points for NYC, where New Beer Distributor DOES allow for mixed six packs. But I'll still go back to Randall's.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Michael and I recently had to take an unexpected trip back to his hometown, a place we affectionately call "The Patch." One of our favorite pastimes in The Patch is going to Walmart. If you can believe it, we don't have a Walmart in NYC, so this is like a safari for me: wide aisles, one-stop shopping -- seriously, you can get a t-shirt, sneakers, AND carrots in the same store (and guns, if you really want them -- but I find that weird). Amazing!

We were in The Patch smack dab in the middle of the World Series, and if you recall, Michael has a bit of a superstition with Schweppes, so we had to make a Walmart run to get him his soda. What am I thinking about this whole time? What OTHER sodas do they have at Walmart that I might not be able to get in NY? And I was not disappointed.

Ski has been around since the '50s, and is your traditional lemon-lime soda. I had heard of it, and even seen it available online, but never had I seen Ski "in the flesh," if you will. Walmart stepped up with a four-pack, and along with our Schweppes, we were all set for soda.

I am sure this is not the only incarnation of Ski: and sadly, it has that little black marking across the main part -- I couldn't find any without that stamp, but it does have a nice bold appeal. I also like that it's a local Illinois soda: Ski is made in Breese, Illinois. Next time we're in town, Michael and I will have to see if there are tours available.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Now I'm officially getting into beers that I can't pronounce. Is this a good thing? We're really expanding the borders here at Super Cool Bottle Caps. It is like going to a new beer garden and pointing to the weirdest beer on tap, only to find that the bartender gives you a glass with a weird wooden handle. (This happened last weekend! I swear! What is this contraption? I know, it has nothing to do with the beer I'm talking about, but this beer glass disturbed me. I understand how different types of wine glasses open up certain wines, so I guess this is similar for beers. But what happened to a good old fashioned pint glass? Even the cool Delirium Tremens glass looks like something that you could conceivably find in a bar. But this thing? That is just way too much storage space for a NYC apartment to commit to.)

Anywhooooo....This bottle cap is another one from @Vadrach that was sent to me a few weeks ago. It seems I can't go long before I need to blog about another bottle cap that has some sort of animal on it; Koningshoeven fits the bill. It's a beer from the Netherlands, has a horned animal (a ram? a deer?) and bright, bold colors.  Animal. Check. Colorful. Check.  Perfect for SCBC!

P.S. I know it's not out of it's protective plastic case! I have such a nice collection of caps from @Vadrach I didn't want to mess it up yet! 

P.P. S  OOps!!! I made a mistake!  The brewery is actually called Koningshoeven. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Červená Selka

How excited was I when I came home about two weeks ago to find a huge package full of bottle caps waiting for me? Well, as @Vadrach knows, very excited. Thanks to him, I have a whole slew of international bottle caps and plenty to blog about for weeks to come. There are quite a few that I definitely want to discuss, but first and foremost, I must blog about this bottle cap:

Doesn't it remind you of the Disney movie Pocahontas? When I saw it, that was the first thing I thought of.  Check it out: 

OK, maybe our bottle cap girl has red hair and isn't a Native American who "falls in love" with John Smith. But there is something about the flowing hair, the almond shaped eyes, the barely-there nose... the whole thing! Either way, it's a pretty awesome bottle cap, and based on the other bottle caps I've seen that have women on them, this one is doing pretty well, considering the ratio of naked ladies to clothed.

So, thanks @Vadrach! I'll blog more about the caps you sent and make sure to tag it in the labels.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Carolina Blonde

As mentioned yesterday, Michael and I had some tasty BBQ in the Charlotte Airport, of all places. I'll admit it: my favorite is from Kansas City. (And I can say I've had Texas, Kansas City, Southern Illinois and Carolina BBQ, so I'm pretty well versed, if I do say so myself. And this is from a mostly-practicing vegetarian, so that's saying something. Seriously, people, I eat pulled pork. I don't eat chicken or beef. Deal with it.)

Carolina Blonde is proving to be a curious beer, though. It looks like it started in the Carolinas, but has been sold at least a few times. I can't even find a dedicated website for it! When looking over the bottle (and bottle cap), we noticed that the beer is actually brewed in Pennsylvania. So, we have a bit of a schizophrenic beer on our hands. Sure it tastes good with BBQ, but where are you from? PA? NC?  Long Island (see: lighthouses)? Somewhere else?

I will say that I think this bottle cap is lovely. Bold letters. Bright picture. And if I were a betting woman, I'd say that my dad would also like this bottle cap (hi dad!). He has a bit of a lighthouse theme in the house that my sister and I encourage with small lighthouse knickknacks, paintings, and lamps. It's like me with sheep and, um, bottle caps. It gives you character. Just keep telling yourself that, Lauren!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

coco fizz

Michael and I are usually lucky enough to get direct flights from NYC to St. Louis. This past trip, however, was last minute, and we had to fly through Charlotte. Our layover was a few hours, so in between checking email, reading my book, and staring aimlessly out the window, Michael and I had a chance to explore the airport and--what else?--look for bottle caps. Even the Charlotte airport proved to be fertile grounds for new crowns.

We flew in just in time for lunch, and found a delicious Carolina BBQ joint, complete with Carolina Beer (this will be tomorrow's post!). We also found a crazy chocolate store, complete with: Chocolate Soda. Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Coco Fizz tastes like a carbonated tootsie roll. Super sweet and weirdly carbonated, it was a soda that I could take only one sip of before I handed the rest over to Michael. We couldn't even drink half of it between the two of us. Some foods simply should not come in soda form.

The bottle cap? Well, it advertises exactly what it is. Coco, little bubbles, and a retro font. I think it's worth trying it once, so that you can say you lived through the experience. Chocolate soda. Is there nothing they haven't thought of?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

schlafly brewery tour

Michael and I had to take an unexpected trip to St. Louis a few weeks ago, and while we were there, we took the opportunity to go on the Schlafly Brewery Tour. I've talked so much about St. Louis & Schlafly on this blog that it seemed only right that I go with a nice big group of people (there were 6 of us!) and sample the beers in their Tap Room before our tour started. While are the different brews were tasty, I have to admit that one of the best discoveries was the root beer that Schlafly bottles: Lewis Osterweis & Sons. And do they have a bottle cap?! Of course they do!

I mainly want to talk about the brewery tour, though. As much as I love Schlafly, I hate to say that I was not overly impressed by the tour. First of all, they start you off in a room that seems to be their museum, but there's a video playing in the background on a loop, which makes it VERY difficult to hear the guy (in our case) trying to tell you all about brewing beer. Our brewery guide, whose name I can't remember, was also not the best at enunciating or projecting his voice at any rate. It got even worse once we left the museum area and went into the actual brewery, where there was your typical clanging, whirring, and other loud sounds that breweries make. Unless you were standing right up next to him, it was pretty tough to get a good idea of what we were learning about. Also, our guide kept wanting to quiz us. He didn't quite understand his audience: we weren't experts in the process of brewing beer, yet he kept asking us elaborate questions about ratios of sugar, how head is made and, the best kind of yeast for beer. We clearly didn't know the answers, but instead of just telling us, he just sort of made fun of us and made us feel dumb. It was a bit disconcerting. There were even a few people who claimed to brew their own beer, and when they couldn't answer the questions, he reprimanded them and told them their beer probably wasn't very good!

Schlafly! I don't want to tell you not to employ these people--clearly they know a lot about beer and are probably otherwise excellent staffers. But maybe don't have the know-it-alls guide the brewery tours. Most people on those tours just like your beer and want to learn a little something about the process. Just because I've been on tours before doesn't mean I remember what wort is or how you need to boil the water and use a centrifuge to get the floaty bits out of the mixture in big stainless steel drums. I just want to enjoy the beer!

Anyway, it IS Schlafly's 20th anniversary -- next year you're legal! I hope that if I go back to STL and take the tour again, maybe I'll get a free t-shirt or something. Think about it, Schlafly. St. Louis is like my 2nd home. I want to love you guys!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

big sky brewing

I'm very lucky to be receiving loads of bottle caps in the mail these days. It gives me lots of opportunities to blog about crowns that I wouldn't normally have a chance to talk about, and also just lets me know about all kinds of breweries and sodas from across the country that I might not otherwise know about!

Big Sky Brewing is the perfect example. Michael's mom sent us a package a few weeks ago that included some delicious sweet potatoes from their fabulous garden, some recipes, and also, of course, some bottle caps. Among the Schlafly and Fitz's crowns, there was a new bottle cap -- one that I hadn't seen before: Big Sky Brewing.

Big Sky isn't even close to being available on the east coast. But with brew names like Moose Drool, Slow Elk and others, it is definitely something that I'd buy a bottle (or 6!) of if I saw it in the store. I'm guessing that their bottle cap doesn't vary based on the brew, but I might want to make a case for them to change that. They would definitely be contenters for the HOF if they used images even remotely similar to what they have on this page (and I'm guessing is what is on their labels).

Big Sky's bottle cap is blue, with gold lettering and a gold outline of Montana. They also have some phrases under the cap similar to Magic Hat. Mine says "Set Beer Goggles To Stun." I think they can do better than more about the Moose Drool! C'mon!

Monday, November 7, 2011

flathead lake monster soda

Well, I learn something new every day, and this blog is a great way to do it.

Did you know that the U.S. has its very own Loch Ness Monster? It's called the Flathead Lake Monster, and it apparently lives in Flathead Lake in Montana.

And how would I know about this amazing monster? Well, faithful readers, if you can believe it, there is a soda made in Montana called Flathead Lake Monster Soda, which has a bottle cap with a flathead monster on it (even though the monster looks vaguely like a crocodile). This soda company doesn't seem to have its own website, or even its own facebook page, so I can't really find out that much about it, other than via Bevnet claims that Sour Cherry is the best of the flavors, and that (luckily) was the only one available when I got my four-pack. My mom was so excited to find this in the grocery store -- it had basically all of the criteria that I look for: it was on the bottom shelf, had lots of dust on it, and looked way weirder than the other beverage options available. (Wait, is there something wrong with me?!)

And for the actual bottle cap: Honestly, it leaves much to be desired. The black overpowers the green -- you can tell that the Lake Monster is trying to be detailed, but really, it just muddies the image. It's hard to see what the monster really looks like. Also, although I'm always a fan of an animal on a bottle cap, this one doesn't actually say that it is a Flathead Lake Monster, and can easily be confused for a dragon or other lizard creature. And since you can't tell what it is anyway, having some verification might actually improve the bottle cap. They use way too much of their precious bottle cap space with the twist off and arrow instructions. A disappointment, Flathead Lake Monster. You're no Nessie.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

loco blackberry

Man! I wish I had been around for the Loco Soda line. This was a bottle cap that my mom (Hi Mom!) found in my sister's room when they were redecorating a few months ago.

How cool is this? It's wacky, has some great color, and could potentially have been a mystery cap contender. It looks like there were four flavors to choose from (blackberry, lime, mango, and raspberry), and the label looks sort of like a four-year-old designed it. It begs the questions: 1) how did this beverage get made? 2) why was it discontinued? Based on my preliminary googling of LOCO, people seemed to have liked it, and are sad about its disappearance. Even APM's The Splendid Table talked about Loco Soda. (And the Splendid Table is of course, how we got the wonderful Schweddy BallsYUM. How did LOCO not last?)

Is it still possible to get LOCO? I know some random, hard to find sodas can be procured in limited distribution areas. It's not looking good for LOCO, but if anyone has leads -- let me know! It just seems so delicious with its fresh fruit juice AND chili peppers! And since it's a NYC soda I will certainly keep my eyes open.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

various sodas

As I mentioned before, I had a pretty amazing time this year at the barn sale in "upstate" NY. Tons of soda caps for $.25 or $.50 a pop, and I tried to snatch as many of the cool ones as I could.

Two particularly fun ones that I found are these Raspberry and Cherry Soda caps.

Part of the reason I like them is because they aren't trying to hide the fact that they're imitation and artificial sodas. With today's foodies focused so much on artisan, local, and all natural, I find it amusing to see the blatant indication of fake food colors/flavors/etc on bottle caps. It was a simpler time back then, wasn't it?

I also love the blatant use of a Native American on the Pequot bottle cap -- and it really does beg the question: what on earth does a Native American have to do with an imitation black raspberry soda?

The Wild Cherry Soda? Well, I just like the font -- what is up with that Y? It doesn't even look like a letter! Or a Cherry! But it does make the artificial-ness of the soda seem just a little fancier.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

sioux city

It's taken me a little while to collect even part of the bottle caps from Sioux City bottle caps, the soda company that hails from Wisconsin.

Clearly I don't have all of the bottle caps to make a set, but I do have enough for a blog post!

I've had the privilege of trying the Root Beer, Cream Soda (yum!) and Sarsaparilla varieties, all at unique places around the US. The root beer I got from a Cracker Barrel in Pennsylvania -- I actually think it may have been the first time I ever ate there (Michael and his family were shocked -- SHOCKED -- that I had never been to one before). The cream soda was procured at none other than Oklahoma Joe's in, of all places, a gas station in Kansas City, Kansas. And the sarsaparilla was found, of all places, at a local pizza joint that also has the most amazing Four Cheese gnocchi I've ever had.

These are pretty standard-looking bottle caps. It's nice that they switch up the colors and names for each of the different types of drinks, and the sodas are pretty tasty, too. When drinking the sarsaparilla, Michael and I got into a discussion about the difference between root beer and sarsaparilla (other than the fact that sarsaparilla is spelled funny -- OR we just pronounce it funny.) Any thoughts, readers? Enlighten me.

Monday, October 31, 2011

wychwood brewery

Well, it wouldn't be a proper halloween if we didn't celebrate it here on SCBC. Michael and I are watching It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on DVD, and drinking a Wychwood Brewery Scarecrow Ale in honor of this festive holiday. And of course, Halloween parties galore!

We even had our first snow in NYC this weekend, which I think makes the season weirdly complete. It might be a little early for snow in NY, but a beer and some awesome cartoons always makes us feel better.

Enjoy the holiday and have some candy!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

world series

And now, for a special guest blog post from Michael:

There are only two times when I tolerate Budweiser: when on the brewery tour, and when the St. Louis Cardinals are in the postseason. In July, while on the Budweiser brewery tour with Lauren, I figured that I should enjoy the cold Bud at the end while I could, since the Cardinals were mired in mediocrity at the time with little hope of making the postseason. They had the talent--Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter, Yadier Molina--but couldn't put it all together. Even when the team made a run in early September, I blew it off as too little too late. Lauren and I went to a game in Philadelphia with her uncle in mid-September in which the Cardinals were blown out in spectacular fashion. I bid adieu to the team there.

Then, unexpectedly, they went on an unprecedented tear at the same time that the Atlanta Braves, the wild card leaders, swooned. As was fitting, the Cardinals waited for the last day of the season to clinch a playoff berth. I figured that it was going to be a short-lived series, considering how badly the Phillies beat the Cards at that game we attended. But they somehow dispatched of the Phillies in five games, and as readers of this blog know, went on to face the Milwaukee Brewers in the Suds Series. If every there was a time for Budweiser, this was it.

It was the beer-iest series in baseball. The Cardinals play in Busch Stadium, the Brewers play in Miller Park. The Cardinals were owned for decades by the Busch family, who used to parade out on a beer wagon pulled by Clydesdales every year on opening day. The Brewers mascot is a beer-maker who slides into a vat of beer each time the Brewers hit a homerun. What more could Super Cool Bottle Caps have hoped for?

Well, a Cardinals victory for one, which happened in six games. So it was on to the World Series. Thankfully, the Clydesdales still make an appearance in the World Series, parading onto the field as a reminder of St. Louis's proud beer history. Never does Budweiser taste better than when the Cardinals are in the World Series.

Of course, the Cardinals stretched the series to the limit, going so far as to almost lose the sixth game twice before improbably rallying back in extra innings. Lauren had long since gone to bed by then, but I was so amped afterward that I woke her up and babbled on until three in the morning. The deciding game was almost anticlimactic in comparison, decided as much by the Rangers' sloppiness as the Cardinals' greatness. But a win is a win is a win, and once the last out was recorded, it was definitely time for a Bud. I should enjoy it while I can; it might be a while before a Bud tastes so, well, triumphant.

So raise one high for the Cardinals and for the brewery that's sponsored them for so long. They deserve it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

taking a few days off

I'm taking a few days off -- unexpected travel.

Check out some of these stories in the meantime:

Beer for One, Beer for All

What's On Tap

Gothamist Beer Month

ted's root beer

It was certainly a stellar week in bottle caps for me. Not only did I get a great shipment of bottle caps from Greg, I also got a few from Michael's mother (in a package of things containing, among other things, a full season's supply of sweet potatoes). My mom also took me on a beer/soda run. More about that later this week.

But the best thing was this weekend when Michael and I went up to my parents' house for our annual trip upstate to visit our favorite apple orchard and purchase fruit, pies, freshly made donuts, hot cider, all natural peanut butter and other delicious things for the fall. We peep leaves, listen to 80's rock on the radio, and just get out of the city for a few hours. It's a nice annual tradition that I've been doing since I was a kid, and I'm glad that Michael is game for continuing the tradition every year.

Down the street from Salinger's Orchard, there's a Barn Sale. Some woman sells pumpkins, old milk bottles, light-switch covers, and junk from her basement, along with some tin signs that may or may not be vintage (I think not, but I could be wrong). Usually, the Barn Sale is good for a laugh, but generally a bust in terms of actually finding fun stuff to buy.

Last year that changed when we found an awesome replica tin sign for Michael's dad -- which we were able to get signed by Stan the Man Musial. The streak continued this year when I found...yes...4 bins full of cork-lined soda caps. You could probably hear my squealing with delight all the way up the hill at Salinger's. They didn't know what was going on!

I'll be sure to make a note in the labels below when I'm blogging about a Barn Sale bottle cap, but the one that I'm most excited about, which also ties in well with last week's Suds Series, is Ted's Root Beer, a line of beer made by Moxie in the '60s.

I had been coveting this bottle cap via eBay for some time now, and kept threatening to spend up to $10-$15 for the bottle cap. But I knew that this was just way too much for a crown, so I held off. Thank goodness I did.

This bottle cap is pretty amazing. It has a lot going for it: endorsed by a celebrity, it has "stitching" like a baseball, it's a root beer bottle cap, and it's cork-lined. Who knows if it is authentic, but it wasn't expensive, and damn, it makes me happy.

This might be a contender for the HOF! Even without an animal on it!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I love my loyal fans here at Super Cool Bottle Caps. About two weeks ago, I received a DM on Twitter from @PourCurator (Greg) saying that he'd slipped some bottle caps in the mail for me. YAY! I've always loved coming home to a package full of crowns. I couldn't wait to see what they were!

One of the cooler bottle caps of the bunch was Otto's Pub and Brewery's own bottle cap.

It's simple, but it works. Script font across a black bottle cap. When in doubt, I always say go for simplicity. Or an animal. Either one works.

While doing a quick scan of the Otto's website, I noticed that they also have a great video showing their bottling plant at the brewpub.

As I learned many years ago from my obsession with the show Unwrapped on the Food Network, any show or video that features assembly/bottling lines is instantly entertaining. But the bottles (and crowns) that they use in the video don't seem to be the ones that Greg sent. Are there more out there? Were they using generic bottle caps before, and now have custom? Inquiring minds want to know.

P.S. Those glass beer mugs with "Otto's Pub Club" etched in look very cool. Otto's, do you sell them? I didn't seem them in your "gift shop"!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

suds series vol 5

Readers of SCBC know that I love me a good microbrew. What better way to continue our series than with some old fashioned head-to-head (or maybe crown-to-crown) action via microbrews from our respective cities?

Schlafly and Six Row, I'm pitting you against Sprecher and Lakefront.

I have written about Sprecher here, here and here. Clearly they are a popular topic of conversation in the Lauren Walles household. They have a crap-ton of different types of bottle caps that are excellent for collecting. And did I mention that their root beer is delicious, so creamy and smooth. My only complaint is that it's rare to find Sprecher in my neighborhood.

Schlafly, you are harder to find in NYC than Fitz's, and that's tough to do. I have not been to your brewery, but according to your website, you have a BBQ Shrimp Po Boy, which I can only imagine is delicious and goes well with beer. My friends in St. Louis swear by Schlafly and have turned me on to the tastiness of their beer. Thanks to them, I have a lovely collection of Schlafly bottle caps, and I'm hoping to tour the brewery the next time I visit St. Louis in December.

Lakefront, oh man. I had a delicious Lakefront brew in Milwaukee in the Public Market, and I'm still thinking about it. Such a great experience: beautiful Germanic architecture, amazing food stands in the market, tons of Wisconsin cheese, and a full-bodied Lakefront. Heaven. The bottle cap rocks, too -- it comes complete with a frosty beer mug! Really, it doesn't get better than that.

And finally, Six Row, your beers are tasty, your logo is really clever, and your menu looks amazing.  Can I come have some mac n' cheese? I admit that I have not seen your bottle cap. What gives? Do you have one? Is it the 6 with the wheat? This could tip the scales one way or another.

Six Row Brewing Company

Hmmm, this is the toughest of them all. Honestly, this should be a tie; I'm a fan of all these microbrews. But if I were forced to choose, I'd go with Schlafly. The brews are varied and interesting, folks in St. Louis seem to love it, and, most importantly, the bottle caps are way cool, which is an important criteria here at Super Cool Bottle Caps. 

So let's say that this was an extra inning contest that St. Louis barely squeaks out.

And so, with that, I announce the winner of the best-of-5 Suds Series 2011......

ST LOUIS!!!!!!! 

St Louis 3
Miller 2

I hope you enjoyed this little experiment, and next week, we will be back to our regularly scheduled bottle cap posts. Have a great weekend everyone. Watch some baseball, and of course, drink something tasty. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

suds series vol 4

Next up on our Suds Series: the ever important Brewery tour.

Yep, I'll admit it: I've been on the Budweiser Brewery Tour 3 times: the first time I traveled to St. Louis,  when my sister came to visit, and when my parents came to visit. It never gets old. The tour is your classic indoor-outdoor walking tour (all downhill! And then a trolley takes you back UP the hill!). You meet the Clydesdales, and sometimes the dalmatians. You see beautiful red-brick architecture, learn about how to make crappy beer, and ultimately, get to drink crappy beer for free. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase: "They couldn't pay me to drink that swill."

The best part about the brewery tour is how the tour guides really seem to love Budweiser. And I bet they do. Regardless, they're basically spewing beer propaganda, musing about how Budweiser is the greatest beer in all humanity, which I find really amusing. They take themselves a little too seriously at the Busch brewery.

The Miller Brewery tour, is a totally different animal. As I've said before, Michael went to Milwaukee without me on a baseball trip a few years ago. When he went on a brewery tour at Miller, the promotional video that they played before the start of the tour began with several shots of cavemen looking glum and bored. A voice-over narrator intoned: "From the Dawn of Time, Man has yearned for Miller Time." Instead of canned discussions of corporate responsibility and the number of fresh ingredients that go into each brew, the video had intentionally hilarious re-creations of the birth of Miller and flashbacks to the old Bob Uecker commercials from the 70s and 80s. That is how I want my beer company to act.  Not too seriously. They know they're not a great beer, but they know that they have a good thing going. Miller Time, baby. Miller Time.

But when Michael took me to Milwaukee to go on the Miller Brewery Tour, Miller had changed its tune. They talked about how they gave back to the community. They talked about how they're green. They talked about boring things like brewing beer. They did NOT talk about Miller Time. Nor did they show cavemen. I was very disappointed.

So how do we judge this? I WANT Miller to win this because in the very recent past, they didn't take their brewery tour so seriously. And honestly, if I hadn't gone to Milwaukee earlier this year, and was doing this Suds Series anyway, I would be basing my opinions on Michael's story about cavemen and Miller Time. And I want to be able to forgive some sins.

So Miller and Milwaukee, I am going to give this one to you. I hope that you'll bring back the cavemen. It will be good for your image. And it will give me a reason to go back to Milwaukee.

St. Louis: 2
Milwaukee: 2

Next up: microbrews!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

suds series vol 3

Today is my favorite blog post of the series so far. We get to look at the advertising campaigns of Budweiser and Miller and see if we can figure out who has done it better over the years.

Miller, you have one of the best ad campaigns in history (according to Advertising Age) with your "Great Taste, Less Filling" one-liner.
You also have the Wiener Dog Drag Racing Commercial, which I remember from my childhood:

But honestly, it's the ONLY campaign I remember from Miller. Readers, you may feel otherwise, but I have never been as impressed with the ad campaign for Miller as I have been for Budweiser.

Budweiser has, among other things: the frogs. Who doesn't remember Bud-Weis-Errrrrrr?

Sure, there was the irritating Wassup commercial:

But I think ultimately, one of the best ad campaigns in recent memory was actually radio commercials that aired in the Midwest. Real Men of Genius. Below, my favorite of the series, Mr. Rolling Cooler Cooler Roller. You have to listen to the guy singing in the background, and his asides, to get the full effect.

Miller's radio campaign that can compare just isn't as funny, although you can tell that they're trying.

Budweiser also had the ULTIMATE ad campaign going for many years during the Superbowl. Budweiser or Bud Light in the BudBowl? When I was a kid, and didn't understand football, I would watch the Superbowl just to see the BudBowl. I always thought growing up that Bud Light won every year, but according to Wikipedia, it was Budweiser 6, Bud Light 2.

This one isn't even a question. Budweiser, you may lose a few points for the "Wassup" campaign, but you redeemed yourself. The Wiener Dogs just can't beat Real Men of Genius. You win this round!

St Louis: 2
Milwaukee: 1

Tomorrow: brewery tours!

Monday, October 10, 2011

suds series vol 2

Tonight, in our ongoing Suds Series, St. Louis vs. Milwaukee, we look at mascots: both in the baseball realm and in the beer realm.

First up, baseball. The Brewers have Bernie Brewer: A blonde haired, blue-eyed, mustachioed drunken man who slides down a beer slide every time the Brewer's hit a homerun. In theory: awesome. But in practice, not quite as cool. Why, might you ask? Well, when actually at the game, Bernie has to stay really close to his "dugout" in the outfield so that he can be ready to slide down his slide whenever the Brewers are up. This limits the amount of interaction that Bernie can have with the fans. He leaves it to the Bratwursts to hang out in the stands and throw t-shirts to the crowd. Sure, the Brewers gave us the Sausage Race. But do you really want a hot dog dressed up in a baseball outfit or a bratwurst  wearing lederhosen giving you free things? Well, maybe.

The Cardinals have the ever-popular FredBird. 

FredBird is admittedly more fan-friendly (and kid-friendly) than Bernie. He hangs out in the stands, runs around with flags when the Cardinals win, has a build-a-bear (bird?) store in Busch Stadium, and likes to touch people with his beak -- in a good way, of course. Michael's niece and nephew both love FredBird.

Sausage Race? Beer Slides? Or touching fans with your beak? Hmmm. Let's think about this while we ponder the mascots of the breweries.

Budweiser has a slew of mascots: Bevo Fox, the Dalmatian, the Clydesdales, the Eagle (All American!), Spuds MacKenzie, the frogs, the lizards, the penguins. I think there isn't an animal on earth that Budweiser hasn't used to promote their beverages. Next thing you know they'll be using red pandas or something.
Bevo Fox
And yet, when I google Miller Beer mascot, this is the first thing that comes up:

Miller!! Seriously?! It's a beer bottle holding more beer bottles. Yes, you have The Girl in the Moon. And apparently a beer bottle mascot type thing. But I don't think it's going to cut it against all of those animals listed up there.

So where does that leave us? I think that because Miller can't even come up with a decent mascot, despite the beer slide and bratwurst race at the stadium, it's tipping in favor of Budweiser.

We are all tied up:
St. Louis: 1
Milwaukee: 1

Tomorrow: advertising!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

suds series vol 1

Michael Lober here. As some of the loyal readers of Lauren's blog might know, I hail from the great beer city of St. Louis, where Budweiser and the baseball Cardinals are religions. Our baseball stadium is named Busch, the only beer available there carries the label "Bud," and it's surprising that our mascot isn't a pint. In all honesty, I find Budweiser rather terrible--a watered-down, tasteless alcohol liquid--but it's MY terrible beer.

Anyway, I bring this up because the mighty St. Louis Cardinals suddenly find themselves locked in a battle with the Milwaukee Brewers, those hosers from the north that claim the title of America's brew-town. Granted, they love their beer up there in Milwaukee and there are some excellent microbrews, but I'm not interested in that now. It seems to me that the only fair way to contrast the cities is through a showdown between their flagship beers: Budweiser vs. Miller. It's on.

I never buy Budweiser, think Bud Light Lime is just crappy beer dashed with lemon juice, and would choose pretty much any beverage over Bud Light; but if someone says that Miller is better than Budweiser, I suddenly become an irrational champion of my hometown brew. Budweiser is the best! Miller is just Lake Michigan water put through a strainer! Come on, it's not even a comparison!

OK, obviously, I can't be a judge between the two companies. But Lauren can. So I propose the following this week at Super Cool Bottle Caps: a Suds Series between Budweiser and Miller, the arch city of St. Louis vs. the beer-and-cheese berg of Milwaukee. Best of five, with categories ranging between mascots, advertising, local microbrews, brewery tours, varieties, and, of course, bottle caps. I'll have no hand in the outcome, nor will the outcome have anything to do with the Cardinals vs. Brewers series. Lauren is the judge, juror, and jailer. So take it away!

Hi, Lauren here!  Obviously, I  have written about St. Louis and Milwaukee before on this blog (probably ad nauseum), BUT what better time than now to discuss all things St. Louis vs. Milwaukee and base it entirely on beer? I will be impartial. As always, I would love to hear my dear reader's thoughts -- that is what the comment section is for!

So let's start tonight with the most important -- to me, at least. Bottle caps. Obviously I don't have every bottle cap at my disposal from the many years of brewing for both of these storied breweries. But I have what I have, and I have a *little* bit of knowledge outside of that. For this series, and this one only, I will be pulling some images off the web to fill a few gaps in my collection.

Budweiser Classic Bottle cap vs. Miller Classic Bottle cap:

So, what do we have here? And how far down the chain do we want to go? Just stick with classic? Does the Girl in the Moon count as classic or is it really just MGD? Do we want Bud Light and Miller Light? Miller High Life and Bud Light Lime? There are so many ways to go. As Michael mentioned above, this is a 7-game series, so I say stick with the classic -- and let's make it a fair fight. We can always come back for more.

Budweiser: we have the bowtie, the A with the eagle, the proud line: "King of Beers."
With Miller, dark background, some gold, some white lettering. No mascot, no logo. Just text.

I feel like if you look at both, Miller just has a stronger, bolder look to it. Sure, there is no mascot, but do you need it with that bold, black forceful bottle cap? I don't think so. Sure, the beer may taste like Lake Michigan water (Michael's words, not mine!) but damn, don't you want to drink it if you just took a look at that bottle cap?? The Budweiser - eh, it kind of looks off-center, it doesn't flow...

And even if you compare it to the Miller High Life bottle cap, which also has the bowtie thing goin' on, it just doesn't have that bold look:

 Sorry Budweiser. You lose the first round. Luckily we have 6 more to go!

St Louis: 0
Milwaukee: 1

Tomorrow: Mascots. (Beer AND Baseball)