Tuesday, May 31, 2011

sprecher's beer

Oh my god! Another day of Sprecher? Well, I figured yesterday's post might have been a little long, with the sob story about our traveling woes, and worth breaking up Sprecher's into two days.

Sprecher's also offers a wide variety of beers, a few of which we sampled at their brewery. I tried the Special Amber, and Michael partook of the Pub Ale. We had a sizable tour group, it being Memorial Day Weekend and all, so the bar had pre-poured our samples. Luckily, they were both tasty.

Afterwards, Michael and I perused the gift shop. We bought one of every soda that we hadn't tried (see yesterday's post) as well as a Premium Reserve Triple Abbey Ale and their year round Hefe Weiss.

The interesting thing (I feel) about Sprecher is for all of the fun that they have with their soda bottle caps, they are pretty boring with their beer crowns. All of the beers, be they seasonal or regular, either just have the Griffon Crest (the griffon, by the way, is named Rooty) or no design at all. I noticed quite a few colored beer crowns, but with nothing on them! The premium reserve crown has the crest smaller, and with Premium Reserve on it, but there's no differentiation between beer lines. Sprecher, I am disappointed!

Monday, May 30, 2011

sprecher's soda

You may remember my mini-rant a few weeks ago against those who went to Milwaukee without me. And I promised that if I ever made it there, it would be beer and cheese galore. Well, shortly thereafter, Michael found some cheap tickets to the land of Wisconsin over Memorial Day weekend, and off we went.

It started off rocky. The bus to the airport didn't come for over an hour, and we barely squeezed on (the bus driver tried to tell us to wait for the next bus). Then we got off at the wrong terminal (the D instead of the B terminal! Damn you MTA and your scratchy PA systems. "D" should be distinguishable from "B" if at all possible). Then, we sat on the runway for an hour after having already lounged in the narrow terminal beforehand for hours. Finally, shortly before midnight, we arrived in Milwaukee. But then we strolled to the Enterprise desk and were told that they had underestimated their reservations for the weekend. We ended up having to wait for an additional hour while they called in cars from some mystical off-site land. Sigh. There were numerous calls to the hotel to make sure we would still have a room when we finally did arrive. But arrive we did, and we quickly went to sleep in anticipation of a big day of breweries and sightseeing for Saturday.

One of the breweries that I was really excited about seeing was Sprecher. I've already blogged about their caps in the past, and so far the sodas I've tried have been pretty good (thumbs up for the root beer... sideways thumb for the cream soda). I love their bottle caps and really wanted to see where, as they say, the magic happens.

It turns out that when Randy Sprecher started the company in 1985, he brewed only beer. Many of his visitors then were children, and he wanted something to give them at the end of the tour. So he started making root beer as well. Now they output more root beer than all of their other beverages combined.  Michael and I tried some beer at the end of the tour -- amber ales, which was delicious -- but we were more excited by the prospect of trying their Red Apple Soda, Cherry Cola, Ginger Ale, and Lo Cal Root Beer. None of them disappointed. (Well, maybe the Red Apple Soda -- it was too sweet.) The best part is that I've found a new favorite Cherry Cola. (I've been a Cherry Coke Zero drinker for quite some time.  But man! If I could find a local deli or store in NYC that sells Sprecher Cherry Cola, it would be all over for me.)

These soda crowns are fun: each with a unique color and font. The fonts are both retro and sincere -- a tough combination, to be sure. Their seasonal sodas have plain colored crowns... disappointing, to be honest. Think about the possibilities for Red Apple or Raspberry!

Another thing to note: I'm sorry to report that Sprecher is slowly switching over from their awesome 16oz bottles to 12oz. Stock up on 16oz's while you still can!

16 oz bottles! They're goin' fast! 

Root Beer and Red Apple Soda. The Red Apple Soda was really sweet, so I went back for some Cherry Cola. YUM.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

cooperstown brewing

It's almost Memorial Day!  In honor of the unofficial start to the summer, I offer the Cooperstown Brewing bottle cap. Michael and I have our work cut out for us. All totaled, I think we're going to five major league stadiums (and a few minor leagues thrown in for good measure) over the next three months. Technically, Michael already started his baseball season (in ATL) but it is MY official start this weekend. And on that note, next week's posts will be a day late. So, have a great Memorial Day weekend, drink some brews for me ...and save the bottle caps!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

leinenkugel big butt

Leinenkugel does come up with a good name, don't they? Leinie's Summer Shandy...Big Butt Dopplebock....Ummm, ok, maybe just those two.

When I first saw this crown on the Crowncap Kidd's website, I knew I had to have it. I emailed him and asked if he was willing to do a trade, and also asked if he had any knowledge of where the name came from. He sent me this story:

Well, rumor has it that a specific woman patron of the Leinenkugels’s taproom, Molly Phillips, had an affinity toward their seasonal (Autumn/Winter) bock beer (actually a double bock). This woman also had an incredibly large backside, so big in fact that she often saddled up two bar stools next to each other so that she could enjoy the bock during happy hour when she visited the taproom. The other patrons took notice along with the bartenders, management, and brewers. For a while (prior to bottling) their bock in the tap room was designated "Double-Stool Bock" on the white board. Upon the decision to bottle, however, they decided to make a name change since marketing wanted to steer away from the possible potty-minded folks and assure everyone that there was no possibility sales would be hurt from drinkers who feared getting the runs from the consumption of their strong double-bock beer. Wanting to still honor/razz Molly, they changed directions and simply stated the obvious. Thus, Big Butt Bock was born for the marketing push of the bottled product. Crazy, huh? 

Ok, Ok. It's not true. But Crowncap Kidd, as I said in the email, you spin a good yarn.  I don't think I could have come up with a better one!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

topo sabores & barrilitos

Target is good for many things.  Bizarre Mexican Sodas can now be added to that list.

I found Topo Sabores and Barrilitos in the very back of the soda aisle in Target. They were heavily discounted -- both bottles were less than $.70.

Topo Sabores was a strawberry soda that tasted, well, sticky. I had one sip before I needed to chase it with some seltzer. Even Michael couldn't finish this one for me!

The Barrilitos fared much better.  Usually apple is a good way to go with international sodas, and this one was no different. It basically tasted like a sparking cider.

I'm not sure what to do about these Mexican sodas. They're really turning into another version of Malta for me. I know they're good for the whole "international" aspect of this blog, but really, I just don't know if I can take many more of them! I might have to stick to apple varieties only.

As for the crowns, they're pretty fun. Topo Sabores is the more unusual one, with the florid font -- usually Mexican sodas stick with bolder fonts, such as the one on Barrilitos.

In any case, hopefully this means no more strawberry soda for me for a while. I can focus on root beers, regular beers, and other tasty drinks.  Wish me luck!

Monday, May 23, 2011


A few weeks ago, I was invited to a birthday party in Williamsburg, aka hipster central. Home of the skinny tie, ironic moustache, NYC food truck scene, and trucker hats (are those still popular?), Brooklyn also has its fair share of micro brew sodas and beers.

Saranac, an Upstate NY brewery does a bit of both: beer and soda, that is. And soda is what I found on that fated day in Williamsburg. An Orange Cream, to be precise. Tasting a bit like an orangicle, it was way too sweet for me, so I handed it over to Michael to finish.

But Saranac also makes beer! I think I've mostly had Saranac beer on tap in finer establishments across the city, but thankfully, due to a recent shipment of admittedly awesome bottle caps by the Crowncap Kidd, I also have a bottle cap for the beer (thanks!).

So, readers, lets compare and contrast.

Personally, I am leaning toward the beer crown. Classic and simple in design, the beer crown doesn't need to fuss with bells and whistles. It is here, and it is making a statement. The soda crown, however, is slightly easier to read from a distance, and also offers a bit of history (established in 1888? Well done!).  They also kindly state that you are about to have a soft drink. No alcohol to be found in this bottle. (thumbs down!)


Sunday, May 22, 2011

sparky's and frostop

I love a good root beer.  There are some days (few, admittedly) when I don't want a beer, I don't want wine, I don't want a mixed drink -- I just want a crisp, refreshing, and delicious root beer. After a shipment arrived from Old52 full of sodas with awesome crowns (I hope the folks in my office didn't hear me screaming with delight when that box arrived!), I figured I'd take home two bottles at a time and do a few taste-tests.

Sparky's (reviewed here at rootbeerreviews) had a lot of bite and not a lot of honey flavor, which I appreciate (that Sprecher's Creme Soda with the honey was all wrong!).

The bottle cap is a lot of fun.  Sparky's gives off an old-fashioned-but-hip vibe, with upper and lowercase letters and a funky red and white swirl design in the background, which doesn't take away from the name, but offers a kind of pharmacist feel. I know it hasn't been around that long, but it has a fun, old-timey feel.

The other root beer that I brought home was Frostop. This one is a diet root beer, and was sweeter (but not too sweet) and less bitter than the Sparky's. I know I shouldn't really be putting a diet up against a regular, but surprisingly, I liked the diet better. (I always like regular... )

The Frostop crown is also fun. Loopy fonts dominate the crown, which also boasts the brew year (in this case, 1926).  It also reminds us that more often than not, root beer is caffeine free -- which is quite nice for someone who can really drink caffeine only in the morning...

Over the next few weeks, I'll be reviewing a few more of the crowns gotten from Old52, and I'll be sure to note it in the tags.

a correction!

Back on May 15, I talked about a few missed opportunities for bottle caps.  One of the companies I railed against was Dog n Suds....But I was informed that they DO in fact have a pretty cool bottle cap:

Unfortunately, just not on the bottle that I wanted to order! Thanks for the correction, Crowncap Kidd.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

stevens point brewery

You have those weeks, right? Ones where you don't want to come home and make dinner. All you want to do is order food and crack open a beer. Said week was last week, and it ended up being takeout Thai food and a Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout from Stevens Point Brewery.

A beer that was procured at the ever-wonderful New Beer Distributors on the LES, Whole Hog is not one of my favorite beers, unfortunately. And sadly, even though it has promise, I'm not a huge fan of the bottle cap either.

A dark green with a curiously dark pig running across, Whole Hog had the potential to be an awesome cap. But the pig is... hard to explain... but just not cool. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is something about this crown that turns me off. The pig looks like it just rolled around in dirt. It's just too dark and I can't get behind the Whole Hog. Maybe I secretly want it to be more like Porkslap Beer (of which I don't have a crown, but often see their beer cans around the 'hood.)  Do you have any thoughts on Whole Hog, or crowns that failed to live up to what you wanted them to be?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Recently, I found an Italian specialty store close to my office. I stopped in on the way back from a business lunch and found quite a few bottled beverages with bottle caps. sThe best part? The option to purchase individually OR as 6-packs.

The first one I purchased was Yoga's Peach Nectar.  Surprisingly tasty, Yoga Nectar has a bright, simple bottle cap, and is unusual in that it's not your typical beverage: not a beer, not a soda, not a water!  Who knew that you could get a nectar with a crown...

I also didn't realize that nectar is an Italian thing... I see it all the time in supermarkets (but in much larger containers than I got). Or at least Yoga Nectar is Italian.  I don't think it was a beverage that has caught on widely in the US. What does one use nectar for? Can I mix it with seltzer? That might be tasty! If you have any recipes, let me know!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


It has been a while since I have had a proper international post (apparently, there is some controversy about whether the Monty Python Ale is British or American) but a few weeks ago, when visiting my parents, we happened upon an Escudo Beer crown in the depths of my sister's bedroom.

She took a trip to Chile about 15 years ago on an exchange program. In her sentimental state she kept the bottle cap after she had mixed a beer and Fanta. (I know it sounds gross, but I've tried it and it's not that bad. It's almost like drinking a Blue Moon with an orange slice.)

When I was in Chile earlier this year I don't remember drinking Escudo, but we did have Cristal, Lemon Stones, and other interesting Chilean beverages (Bilz? Kem?). I've said it before and I'll say it again: it was an amazing trip, and if you want to go somewhere far away but not deal with jet lag (if you're in the US, of course), I highly recommend South America as a destination!

Monday, May 16, 2011

monty python holy grail ale

If you ever met me, one of the first things that you'd probably learn is that I love Monty Python. Many a night of my childhood was spent watching reruns of Flying Circus on PBS, and even more afternoons were spent watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail over and over and over again. I had taped it from TV, and the VHS tape got to the point where the sound didn't work anymore. But by then it didn't matter: I could recite the whole script anyway.

A few years ago, much to my surprise, I found a large bottle of Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale at my local supermarket. I had to buy it. And then it sat in my fridge. And sat and sat. I was conflicted about it. I couldn't find another bottle, and I didn't want to open it and then have to throw it away. And I live in a NYC apartment, so its not like I have somewhere to keep spare Monty Python Holy Grail Ale bottles on my shelves. So it continued to live in the refrigerator.

Then I started collecting bottle caps, and I would look at that lonely bottle of beer in my fridge, I'm sure skunked beyond all belief (and frankly, now I'm afraid to open it), and didn't quite understand why it didn't have an awesome, Monty Python-esque bottle cap. So it continued to sit there, unopened.

Then last week happened. Some free time before a concert on the Upper West Side and a wander through Fairway and what did I happen upon? A six pack of Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale. You don't even KNOW how excited I was! And I couldn't buy it. I wasn't headed straight home - there was a concert, and then I had dinner plans. There was no way I was carrying a six pack of beer all over NYC, as much as I wanted to bring the bottle caps home right then and there. Luckily, a very good friend of mine lives not far from Fairway, and I immediately told her that we were making plans for the next weekend that would involve drinking beer. She agreed. And so it was done. In thy mercy. With the yams and the sloth and the orangutans and the breakfast cereals......

The best part? These bottle caps are WAY better than the one I have in my fridge. They have a grail. They have Monty Python. They cross out the Gr in Grail. Why, then, would the bottle cap in my fridge not be as good? I guess they're both in the set/series, but really now.  Black Sheep Brewery (Oh man, you guys better have some good sheep on your other bottle caps. Trusty readers -- send me pics! Or better yet, send me crowns!)

This is also the perfect excuse to post some Monty Python and the Holy Grail clips. It is SO hard to choose a favorite! Enjoy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

lost opportunities

I spend a lot of time on this blog discussing the general awesomeness of bottle caps/crowns.  Even though last week garnered two new Hall of Fame entries, I want to bring to your attention, dear readers, to a rather sad reality in the land of bottle caps.  There are many lost opportunities for bottle cap designs.

I'm looking right at you, companies that make "fair trade" bottle caps or "twist off" bottle caps or *gasp* entirely plain bottle caps.

A few months ago, on a trip to Chicago, I had a chance to try Green River Soda. Fluorescent green and overly sweet, this soda has just a plain, green bottle cap. Why not snazz it up a bit with...I don't know, maybe a graphic of a river? Does it really cost that much to stamp 2 squiggly lines on there?

Another example was when I was at the delicious Luke's Lobster restaurant. They serve Maine Root Soda. Also delicious! But what kind of bottle cap do they have? A boring fair trade crown. How on earth do you expect me to remember what your soda is? Honestly, I had to look up Luke's Lobster and check the menu to remind myself what I had to drink there! And I can't even tell you how disappointing it is to go into a bodega, see a new soda I've never tried before, check the cap, and discover that it's a fair trade crown or, even worse, blank.

While ordering some sodas from Old52.com, I had a great DM conversation on Twitter about what to order, but quite a few of the sodas that had a) great names and b) fun labels were scant to offer amazing bottle caps. Dog & Suds, Pig Iron and Bulldog -- you have awesome names. Get awesome bottle caps, please.  Do you realize that you lost sales because of this?

Have you ever not purchased a beverage because of the bottle cap?

Friday, May 13, 2011


It's well established that I favor an animal on a bottle cap. So, yeah, Shiner is right in my wheelhouse.

Shiner is brewed at the Spoetzl Brewery (named after Kosmos Spoetzl), located in Texas between San Antonio and Houston. Is it weird that I think of Cosmo Kramer and Spatzel when you put those two names together? Cosmo eating Spatzel. Why wasn't that an episode of Seinfeld? (Or was it?!?!)

Anyway, back to the cap. It's not quite a farm animal (read: sheep) but it comes pretty darn close. Bright colors, bold image. It's, well, pretty awesome, something I'd want to look at again and again. I don't know if it's kosher to blog about two hall of fame caps in one week but what can I do? Michael did a great job of bringing home the goods from his trip. And frankly, this is my blog and I can do what I want! Right?! Shiner, you are officially HOF. Congratulations! I say celebrate by having some Spatzel and watching some Seinfeld!


Re-post! Blogger was down!

I'll admit it: When I was younger, I had a crush on Michael Stipe (my dreams have since been dashed). I even considered applying to the University of Georgia, Athens, just for the possibility of running into him on the street. All of the interviews I ever read with him talked about how he would just walk down the street like a normal dude in Athens, GA.

Well, now apparently he divides his time between NY, LA, and Athens and hey, I live in NY. I have never once seen Michael Stipe on the street. I have, however, seen his friend Mario Batali on more occasions than I care to count. If you wear orange Crocs and have bright red hair and are Mario Batali, you will stand out in a crowd. I promise you. He does it on purpose.

Anyway, Terrapin Beer is brewed and bottled in the lovely city of Athens. And it kind of makes me want to move to Athens all over again! Check out this bottle cap! It's green! It has a super awesome turtle! When Michael got it, he immediately texted me: "I think I found the next hall of famer" and he's right. There's just something exciting about a turtle splashing toward you on a bottle cap. And seriously, go to the website. There is a turtle chewing on straw and strumming a banjo. Have you all figured me out yet? Anthropomorphize an animal and you got me. Congratulations, Terrapin! You're officially in the HOF!

Terrapin has only been around since 2002, but it looks like they're doing well with their 40,000 square foot brewing facility. And they offer tours. All the more reason to go to Athens.

I also like that Terrapin offers charity options on their website, and seem to want to give back to the community. That is always a good sign of a small, local business.  Support your local ale house!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

leinie's summer shandy

Well, this just makes me want to have a bbq in the back yard with a bunch of frosty brews, some good friends and some great music. Who doesn't think of that when there is a lemon on your bottle cap?

Leinie's Summer Shandy is self-described as "perfect for those sun-splashed summer months" and based on the crown, I couldn't agree more! For those who don't know what a Shandy is -- including me, up until about 10 minutes ago -- it's a mixture of beer and lemonade...an Arnold Palmer for grown ups. Um, awesome.

Leine's is clearly trying to make a statement, and their message is coming across loud and clear.  It's better than a straight-up Malt beverage (Zima? Mike's Hard Lemonade?) but not quite a full-on beer. It reminds me of that new wine that is out there: Mommy-Juice. Juice for grown-ups...um, also awesome...or maybe not really....Hmmm, I'll have to think about that one a bit more....

Anyway, the next time you're invited to a cookout or going camping but are reluctant to bring a six pack, Leinie's Summer Shandy might be the best in-between drink. The Arnold Palmer for the 21-and-up crowd. With less caffeine.

And for those of you wondering: what on earth does this have to do with Atlanta? Leinie's is based in Wisconsin! Well, it's simply that this lemony crown was brought back to me from said Atlanta trip.  Don't worry. There are some other local breweries coming your way.

Monday, May 9, 2011


When Michael told me that he was taking a trip to Atlanta, I told him that directive number one was finding me some bottle caps. You wouldn't believe how quickly we've gone through the sodas in our neighborhood. Every once in a while we find a new one, but the bodegas, supermarkets, and health food stores can supply us with only so much!

So, when I got a text message from him that he found a new crown before he even took off, I knew that the trip was going to be fruitful. You'll see the remaining fruits of his labor as we move through the week.

Hank's is a Philadelphia-based soda company that offers beverages like root beer, cream soda, orange cream, black cherry and more. I can't vouch for the taste, since Michael was the one who had it, but the bottle cap is just lovely.  A big, bold name, with the claim of being gourmet (who wouldn't want a gourmet soda?), Hank's offers a better-than-average crown.

The next time I'm in an airport, I'll have to put them head-to-head against Boylan's (currently my favorite soda) -- especially since they offer many of the same flavors.  The one problem I might face is getting the soda through security! Sorry, TSA officer, it's for my blog.  Official bottle caps business....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

coca cola

I'm oddly excited to add another Coca Cola cap to my collection. Last weekend, Michael and the men in his family took their annual baseball trip, this year to Atlanta to see The Braves. It was Michael's first trip to ATL (I went back in the early 2000s to visit a friend) and I told him a must-see was The World of Coke. *

Now I admit that I don't remember getting a bottle of Coca Cola at the end of the tour, but apparently you do. And what do you get along with that bottle of Coke? An only available at the factory World of Coca Cola Bottle Cap. And who got their caps? Yours truly!  Apparently Michael learned all about the history of Coca Cola, how the secret formula is made ONLY in Atlanta, and then shipped out to different places all over the world, where they add their own water and sugar (or high fructose corn syrup, depending on where you are). And there are very few people who actually know the secret formula. Except maybe the folks at This American Life.

Anyway, this just feeds into the Coca Cola collection craze that so many people have. Slap a Coca Cola label on something, or the polar bear or Santa Claus, and people go nuts for it. One of my favorite reality shows is American Pickers, and I don't think an episode goes by without them seeing some sort of Coca Cola sign. (I've since learned that porcelain signs are the best, for reasons that escape me. A side note about American Pickers -- do you think they ever find bottle cap collections?!?  Do they want to sell said collections to me?? I'm so curious!)

So, fellow bottle cap collectors -- how many Coca Cola caps do you have? Do you seek them out?

* Michael will be guest blogging later this week about some of the crowns he got for me! This week is officially Atlanta week. Get pumped.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

mystery cap!

Try this one on for size! A fun new cap from Michael's trip south of the Mason Dixon line.

Leave a comment here or send me a message on Twitter!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

a quandary

Dear readers, I have an issue that I would like your opinion on.

As I am sure you can tell from my posts, I live in a city.  And a pretty dirty one at that.  There are numerous opportunities to rescue poor, helpless bottle caps that have been tossed aside on the road, the sidewalk, and in the dirt of trees and bushes along the street. I understand this can sound gross. Who wants to pick these things off the road where animals (and possibly homeless people) have done their business? What is the proper protocol?

I ask because there are opportunities to get bottle caps that I would never in my right mind purchase with the intent of drinking the contents of the bottle. Drinks like Bartles & Jaymes. Olde English. India Malta. Freez.  Budweiser. Bizarre, gross or unappetizing beverages that just happen to find their way into my walking path. What is too much? And when is it more useful to just pick them up and forgo drinking something that I know will just be nasty? I don't want to drink any more Malta. And I don't really want to trade for them. So if, in my wandering through the streets of NYC, I find a Malta cap that I don't already have, is it OK or bordering on crazy to pick it up?

Should I get my head out of the gutter?  Should I carry around a Ziploc bag and/or plastic gloves? Should I simply trade for them on the interwebs? How far is TOO far?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

horny goat

One of the more unusual crowns I bought this year at Crownvention was from Horny Goat Brewery. A microbrewery hailing from Milwaukee, WI, these guys give a whole new meaning to...well, farm animals, I guess. And double entendres.

Ah, Milwaukee, home of Shotz beer of the legendary Laverne & Shirley show:

I love Laverne's shirts.  I wish I had one... and speaking of Shotz -- did they ever make a bottle cap of that? Gotta love the fictional beers of TV land -- Pawtucket Pat, Shotz and of course, Duff. (do you have a favorite fictional beer?)

Obviously, Milwaukee has an amazing history and tradition of brewing beer. (Milwaukee's Best? Schlitz? Miller? Pabst?)  You can't throw a bottle cap in Milwaukee without hitting a brewery.  I should mention, for the record, that there was an opportunity for me to go to Milwaukee a few years ago and I was denied. Flat. Out. Denied. in my request to accompany those headed to the great Midwestern city of beer, bratwurst, and cheese. It is truly a shame, and something that I hope to fix in the coming years.  If I am ever let loose in Milwaukee, it will be beer and cheese for me -- all day and all night -- and I guarantee  you'll have to roll me back to the airport.

But back to the task at hand:  Horny Goat, you have a pretty fun bottle cap!  It has a goat with horns! It has the name of your brewery! It has more than one meaning! You are coming SO CLOSE to a HOF entry.  But I think I need a little more color and/or background to let you in.  Keep trying, and please do send me any new bottle cap designs you might be entertaining. I would be happy to give some notes.

Monday, May 2, 2011

dogfish head

A few years ago, I read an article about Dogfish Head  and its founder Sam Calagione in the New Yorker Magazine. It really went into the  man behind the brew, and how difficult (and rewarding) it is to brew your own beer and sell it in the U.S.  Microbreweries have to compete against the big guns (Miller, Budweiser, Coors, etc) and also have the added difficulty of being in a country that was "watered down" by Prohibition, which has made it difficult to sell full bodied, rich, exciting beers.

Dogfish Head is an unusual brewery that has NYC in its corner. You can't walk into a deli or grocery store in the city without seeing at least one of Dogfish's signature brews available. Many bars have it on tap. Until I read the New Yorker article, I didn't quite realize how difficult it is to be a brewery in this country. And it reminded me (again) of how lucky I am to live in a place that offers such variety in beverages.

I will admit: until I took a really good look at the bottle cap, for some reason, I thought the fish had an actual dog head on it. Maybe it was my eyes playing tricks on me. Or maybe it was the power of suggestion. But really. Look at the bottle cap! It's a shark!

Dogfish Head's slogan is "Off centered stuff for off centered people" which I think on some level, applies to me and others who have similar interests. I'm glad to know that the weird kids really are taking over the world in some ways. Let's start with the beer. Cheers, Dogfish Head!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Some of you know that I have an affinity for sheep. And you already know that I have an affinity for bottle caps. I am pleased to report that both of my obsessions have come together in perfect harmony with the German beer Lammsbräu.  

On my pilgrimage to New Beer Distributors (which I am sure will become weekly, monthly, or semi annually -- at least) on the Lower East Side,  I found Lammsbräu among the rows and rows (and rows) of domestic and foreign beer. Luckily, New Beer Distributors encourages mixing and matching, and I took that to heart and made a custom six pack. Being my first trip, I was a bit overwhelmed with the selection. Since I knew I had to carry any loot home without the help of a car trunk, or even a friend to help with the load, I needed to keep my purchases to a minimum, much to my dismay. It won't surprise anyone that all of the beers were purchased based solely on the bottle caps.  The prize of my custom-made haul was definitely Lammsbräu. 

I will admit, amazingly, that I actually like the bottle a bit better than the crown, ONLY because you can really see the sheep on the label. Perhaps blogger The Pour Curator would consider discussing the label! (I know it's not nearly as colorful as the labels he usually covers, but maybe a theme day of animals or Germany might be in order.)

I also noticed on this website that there is another version of their crown that is full-on sheep (go to "animals," and then click on "other").  If anyone can find me this bottle cap: EMAIL ME! laurenwalles (at) gmail (dot) com. Let's make a deal!  

I would also like to note that Lammsbräu also has an umlaut, which is awesome. They also promote sustainability and boast that their beers are organic. Bonus points all around. (Can you tell it doesn't take much to get on my good side?)  

Lammsbräu, based entirely on your mascot (if you want to call it that), you have officially made it into the Hall of Fame. Congratulations! 

As a side note, I will try to mention when I blog about a bottle cap found at New Beer Distributors or at least will make sure to tag the entry as such.