Thursday, June 30, 2011

mystery cap!

Whoa!  Check this one out.  It is in a language that I cannot read but I believe is Russian. It has the # 3 on it (I also believe there is a whole series 1, 2, 3....).  This bottle cap was given to me by a friend of Michael's. Thanks!

Let me know if you know what the heck this one is.  Have a great weekend.

Sporadic updates next week -- I'm hunting for more caps! Happy 4th!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

the pop shoppe

Now, this is how you do retro.

The Pop Shoppe hails from our neighbor up north, Canada. With a crazy-looking bottle, and a retro looking logo, The Pop Shoppe just LOOKS like fun, and you know you're going to enjoy the beverage you're about to drink.

The Lime Rickey I drank was purchased from good ol' Old 52 from that shipment I received about a month ago (can you tell that I'm a little backlogged? Crowncap Kidd, I have some of yours on the roster coming up!).  Thinking back to when I ordered the soda, I realize that I picked the lime rickey because I had never had one before. Upon reflection, I realize that I probably should have gotten the root beer or the black cherry.  The Lime Rickey was delicious, though. I think that if the Pop Shoppe made a cherry cola, I would be madly in love. And they might even give Sprechers a run for that special place in my heart.  Pop Shoppe: Get on that!

Check out the bottle cap. Red and white, upper and lower case PoP (which looks way better on the bottle cap than when I type it) and the great twist design and white stripes. Foxon Park could take a lesson from The Pop Shoppe on how to do old timey.

And I highly recommend that you check out the website. It has some crazy animation and sound fx. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Cascal is a holdover from my trip out west a few weeks ago. I was backstage at a TV show (fancy!) that was like a party. There were about a zillion people, a full bar, catering (not just a craft services table), and a fridge full of beer and a beverage I had never seen/heard of before.

Cascal is fermented natural soda that has a little bit of a identity crisis. It's billed as soda, but it tastes kind of like a cider. Yet it doesn't really advertise that it's nonalcoholic, so you sort of wonder what you are drinking. It's also much drier than a standard soda, which also makes you think it might be a cider. I tried the Crisp White with notes of pear, apricot and magnolia.

Don't get me wrong: it wasn't a bad beverage. I can't complain that it was too sweet, but I still couldn't bring myself to finish it. (Michael wasn't there to finish it for me.)  My colleague had a similar reaction: she thought that it was a cross between a soda, a cider, and a malt beverage.

The bottle cap is nice. It offers a "salut!" and a "cheers!" in addition to the Cascal logo. The bottle cap looks like someone left a sweating beverage without a coaster on it. I'm not sure if that is what they were going for, but it's not a bad thing.

Have any of you ever had Cascal? Are there fanatics for it?  Convince me! It's not something that I've seen on the east coast/northeast... although their twitter explains that they are in a partnership with Whole Foods. I like that they offer what the different flavors pair well with. Sort of like a wine or beer tasting, but, again, this proves my theory that Cascal has a bit of an identity crisis on its hands.

Monday, June 27, 2011

foxon park

This weekend Michael and I took a trip to Connecticut with a friend of ours. Her father generously let us use his house as our home base, as well as borrow his car so that we could drive all over the state. We did everything from antiquing, to going to minor league baseball games, to drinking lots of beer in German beer gardens, to eating grilled lobster while sitting on a tree stump. And we also looked for some bottle caps.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm now on a quest to find root beers from all 50 states. Connecticut, you are checked off the list. Foxon Park has been found. Hailing from East Haven, CT, and family-run for 80+ years, Foxon Park is an excellent specimen to represent The Nutmeg State. There were many flavors to choose from, and we tried the Cream Soda, Root Beer, Ginger Ale and Iron Brew.

I will admit that the Cream Soda was much better than the Root Beer. And I've never had an Iron Brew before, but according to our friend, it's something that hails from Scotland. I'll definitely need to investigate further.

The bottle cap seems a bit old fashioned. Red on silver with an old-timey font and the twist off/pry off instructions (just twist it off!). For some reason, when I look at the bottle cap quickly, I think it says foxtrot. Yet the root beer does not make me want to do a jig. The aftertaste was too overpowering, lingering in the mouth for a good minute or so after each sip. I preferred the smooth and sweet vanilla taste of the Cream Soda. As for the Iron Brew, well, let's just say that we had a ten minute conversation trying to figure out just what flavor it was supposed to be. The bottle, with a picture of a detached arm clutching an axe, offered no clue -- is it the flavor of lumberjack? It's a mystery, really.

Foxon, I know you're trying to portray an old fashioned soda, but you can still have a cool bottle cap in the meantime.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

the sopranos italian soda

A few weeks ago, Michael and I were forced out of our apartment for a few hours: the landlord told us there was some work that needed to be done in the apartment and we couldn't be there when it was taking place. We saw it as an opportunity to do some exploring. The weather is finally nice in NYC, we wanted to see if there were any new brunch places to experiment with, and frankly, we just wanted to stretch our legs a bit. So off we went in search of brunch. And bottle caps.

After our sub-par brunch at a too-fancy-for-its-own-good diner, we happened upon an old-school Italian grocery store.  I thought that there had to be something great within the walls. I think Michael was pretty skeptical.  But in we went, with a beeline towards the back refrigerator.

Lo and behold: The Sopranos Italian Soda. Yes, my friends. The Sopranos had a soda line. And not just one flavor. Chianti, Limonchello and Amaretto. The Italian grocery we were in, disappointingly, only had Amaretto, and we honestly weren't sure how long those bottles had been in there. Case in point: 1) the bottles were extremely dirty. As in, literally covered in dirt and grime -- gross enough to not want to put the bottle anywhere near your mouth. As in, we don't think anyone had opened that fridge door in at least a few months, if not longer. Maybe since The Sopranos went off the air. 2) When, after being totally grossed out and making Michael grab a bottle because they were that dirty (and I am that committed to bottle caps) the guy behind the counter looked at me like I was nutters and I think a little surprised that his store even carried this particular item, had to go to the back of the store for what seemed like 15 minutes to find out how much the beverage costs. No joke. After about 5 minutes, I turned to Michael and said, "Why don't they just charge me a dollar and be done with it. Clearly they didn't even know they had this here! It's all profit for them now!"  Alas, I was charged $2 for the soda that I was afraid to drink.

But the bottle cap is, admittedly, awesome. It has a gun on it! Seriously. Someone tell me how many bottle caps have a gun on them? But I won't sell out and end this blog post with a fade to

Hahahaha! Gotcha!  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

saint arnold

I had about 1 hour of free time for the entire 36 hours I was in Austin. Despite it being 103F when I had a chance to walk around outside, I was able to take a stroll around downtown Austin and find myself a local Texas Root Beer.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company, billed as Texas' Oldest Craft Brewery and hailing from Houston makes a darn flavorful root beer. Or, as they say on the bottle cap, "Yummy Root Beer".  How can you not like a bottle cap that describes its contents as "yummy"?!

This bottle cap is cool not only because of the "yummy" factor.  It also has the full state of Texas on there. And with everything being bigger in Texas (and Texas being a pretty big state to begin with), the fact that they got the whole state on there with room to spare, frankly, is impressive.

The funniest part about tasting Saint Arnold was sharing with my coworker who, being from another country, was not entirely familiar with root beer.  He tasted it and immediately had the most sour look on his face.  He described it as a "wintergreen" taste and for the rest of the trip made a point to chide me every time I tried a new soda or beverage.  Alas, not everyone has an interest in new and unusual drinks!

Another state checked off the list. I'm still looking for map apps... any ideas?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


On my travels for work, I managed to pick up a few new sodas that I will highlight this week.  One of the more unusual root beers I came across (this one from a Whole Foods in LA) was Hawaii's Waialua.  Which made me think: can I find a root beer bottle cap from all 50 states? Beer bottle caps? Cola bottle caps? I'm sure that I'm already well on my way (and I did just find another one today, thanks to a fantastic cheese shop in the West Village).   Faithful readers, I hope you'll help me find the local root beer brews in each city I go to.  Upcoming destinations:  Kansas City, Philadelphia, Hartford, CT -- I'll also be in St. Louis, but I already have Fitz's covered... so if there are any others, lemme know! Leave me a comment if there is anything I should be looking out for. Also, if you know of a good online map system that I can plug into the blog so that I can track the progress. Any feedback is appreciated!

Anyway, back to Wailalua.  This was purchased for a lunch on the go, that sadly, was never eaten (damn you 12 hour days!).  But the root beer was saved and enjoyed with a delicious burrito dinner late at night in my hotel room after a VERY long day of work. It was smooth and refreshing. It has a hula girl on the bottle cap. I think that any soda or beer out of Hawaii is pretty much obligated to have a hula girl, palm tree, macadamia nut or umm.. a roasted pig... on the cap and/or label. Hula girl? Check.

At Whole Foods, I believe there were a few options for crazy flavors, but since I was on the clock, I didn't want to tip my hand as to what I was doing, so root beer it was.  I wonder if other Whole Foods carry Waialua so that I can do additional taste tests.  I'll definitely have to check it out.

I have a few more bottle caps from my travels. Stay tuned!

Monday, June 20, 2011

dr pepper

Last week I had to travel for work. I went to Austin and Los Angeles. But working didn't keep me from my quest to find new and awesome bottle caps.

While I was in Austin, I managed to pop into a convenience store to check out the beverage situation.  And boy was I in for a treat.

Dr. Pepper is bottled just a few hours outside of Austin, and the so-called "weird city" has the privilege of not only having Dr Pepper made near by, but they also have original Dr. Pepper (made with real sugar --- not corn syrup).  And what did I find in the deli? A Dublin Dr Pepper! Hurray!

This was the one bottle that I didn't drink on the road -- I knew that Michael would want to taste it as well. Carefully wrapped in my clothes (and a plastic bag), the Dr Pepper traveled home with me for a delicious taste test right here in NYC.

The bottle cap is standard Dr Pepper fare. Nothing to really write home about. But the fact that its on a bottle made with real sugar makes it special in my eyes!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

bad frog

Second Street Antiques was an embarrassment of riches. Not only did I get the Miller Girl caps and two Schlitz caps, but I also found something that is definitely a contender for the Hall of Fame.

Bad Frog. You are bad-ass. Self-described as The Beer So Good...It's Bad, Bad Frog seems to be more about marketing than actual beer. If you read their history you'll see that they actually started making t-shirts for Bad Frog Beer, and then people started asking for said beer! HA!

So, the Bad Frog is giving you (and me) the finger on this pretty awesome bottle cap. But part of me thinks, man, if I put this sucker in the HOF, that is just one more feather in the Bad Frog cap! They didn't even want to make beer at first! Their website is clearly for people who have Attention Deficit Disorder. WTF?

But on the other hand, it's a badass frog. Under the cap it says, "Flip the Bird Get a Frog." It's colorful. It's eye catching. It really has all of the requirements for a HOF entry. Readers, I think I want to leave this one up to you. HOF? Leave your comments & I can tally them over the weekend.

And I want to leave you with this -- next week is killer for me. I will probably not be able to post at all but I will try my best to find some new crowns during my travels. So have an awesome week, and I'll see you on the flip side.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Schlitz is a beer oft associated with Milwaukee and rightly so. Their website, I will admit, is pretty great despite their bare-bones timeline. Check out their TV advertising! Check our their downloads! Want a ring tone? Want a Schlitz desktop image? Look no further. And why is that woman forcing Schlitz to her man (who is bowling)? Why are they bowling?!? And the most important question: why isn't the image of the bowling man with woman from the '50s a prominent download? I want THAT to be my desktop image! And can they make that an image on a bottle cap? I'd buy that, too.

This bottle cap, which I'm guessing is older, was purchased at the amazing antique market where I also got the Miller cork lined cap and the Schlitz Malt Liquor. Upon reflection, neither Michael nor I have ever actually HAD a Schlitz. I believe that Shotz (Laverne & Shirley) is supposed to be Schlitz... I won't show the theme song again though.

This bottle cap is another case of the twist off OR use opener instructions, which I am growing to love. Seriously, if you can twist it off, just do it! I love that I'm given a choice, but if you know it's that easy to get the cap off... I don't know... that's just an extra step in my mind (and an opportunity to ruin your bottle cap, which no one wants. At least I don't!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

stevens point brewery/point premium root beer

I've written about Stevens Point Brewery before -- there was a little controversy about the "coolness" of the Whole Hog bottle cap a few weeks ago.

I came across Point Premium Root Beer in the Milwaukee Public Market (do you think my tourism dollars had any effect on the local economy?? I hope so!) and was excited -- and overwhelmed -- at the series of caps before me. I wanted all of them, but Michael was trying to reign me in. How much soda and beer could we drink in a day? We couldn't bring it with us on the plane (damn you TSA and your no liquids on the aircraft!) and we only had a day to drink it. And frankly, opening it, taking one sip and then dumping the rest is just wasteful - unless it's a malta -- so I really had to chose my battles, and try to get a variety of caps, instead of many in a series.

Point Premium Root Beer bottle caps remind me of Henry Weinhard's soda line (Can't Top This! Flip My Lid!) Dear readers -- who started this trend? Was it Henry? Was it Steven? Someone else that I have yet to discover? Which ones do you like better? Who has better slogans?

Monday, June 6, 2011

ale asylum

Yeah, with all of the selection at the Thief Wine Shop and Bar, there was no way I was leaving the Public Market with only two bottle caps. I admit it. I went back for more. There was an Ale Asylum Madtown Nutbrown that was calling my name. And with pretty lax rules about walking around the Market with open containers, sipping my Nutbrown and browsing the other vendors seemed like a perfectly reasonable way to spend another hour checking things out. We tasted some cheese at the West Allis Cheese and Sausage Shoppe . We smelled spices at the The Spice House. We discussed our plans for the afternoon (Harley Davidson Museum, shopping, etc).  We looked for more bottle caps!

The Ale Asylum has a pretty interesting theme going on: it makes me think of comic books and goth kids. As a former comic book store employee and a chick obsessed with The Sandman, I am totally cool with this association. The bottle cap uses some sort of gothic font, and black and silver can go a long way with those who love The Cure and Morrisey. And the Madtown Nutbrown? The label looks like gravediggers and crosses.

Most importantly, it falls in nicely with the overall theme of trying to really stick to the local breweries while in the Wisconsin region. I have a few more regional trips throughout the US coming up... if anyone has any suggestions for local brews in Austin or Kansas City, let me know!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

new glarus and lakefront brewery

Friends, I was definitely busy in Milwaukee. It is officially week two of Milwaukee coverage here at super cool bottle caps.

Last Sunday, Michael and I decided to have lunch at the Public Market in the Historic Third Ward. With tons of food, beverages and free parking on the weekends (!!), it seemed like the perfect place to explore on a rainy afternoon. We had soup in bread bowls from The Soup and Stock Market (you don't even know how much I love a bread bowl) and beer purchased from the Thief Wine Shop and Bar. Michael had a New Glarus Spotted Cow and I had a Lakefront Brewery Klisch Pilsner.

Both beers hail from Wisconsin. Michael and I had discussed going to Lakefront -- we really wanted to try their Friday Night Fish Fry.  But as you recall from last week, we had a difficult time actually GETTING to Milwaukee on Friday night, and Saturday was already booked with brewery tours and baseball games. Alas, on Sunday Lakefront Brewery wasn't open. So we had to settle for beers at the Public Market. I love the Lakefront Brewery bottle cap: LB with a frosty mug along with a clear indication that it's a local Milwaukee brew.

The Spotted Cow was equally tasty, in its own way, of course! And the bottle cap also proves to be great. The state of Wisconsin with a fingerprint in it. And it tells us boldly: Drink Indigenous.  Indeed.  Local brew = good times.

Procuring just two bottle caps at lunch didn't seem to be enough for us, so we went back for more...Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

mystery cap!

It's time for another Mystery Cap! This one was found at the aforementioned Junk Store. What is it?! And how can it be twist off AND pry off? Fascinating....

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

miller brewery tour

When Michael took a trip to Milwaukee a few years ago (the trip that I wasn't allowed on), he called me from the road, excited about the "educational" video that Miller played at the start of their brewery tour.  Miller didn't take itself too seriously: they had some cavemen talking about how "from the dawn of time, Man has yearned for Miller Time" and then proceeded to play a bunch of fun Miller commercials from the past. Michael said it was awesome in a non-corporate sort of way.

I was definitely looking forward to that video when we journeyed to the Miller Factory during our trip to Milwaukee. Unfortunately, MillerCoors has become much more corporate since the last visit. The new video they have features a bad actor playing the founder, Frederick Miller, and speaking in a silly German accent. We encountered Frederick Miller again in the beer cave. Tragic, really. The other thing that Miller really, REALLY stressed on the tour was how green they are now and how much they give back to their community, don't waste water, and make awesome beer.

I'm sorry, but Miller didn't really seem to help the community directly around the factory. Michael and I were driving around not five minutes away from the factory looking for some breakfast, and the community looked awful. Rundown, poor, not a lot of local business. Maybe we missed the main downtown of Menomonee Valley, but they could have done something to give the local community some more business. Have the workers go to a nearby restaurant for lunch? Have some local stores? Anything to bring some money to the community!

Another gripe that I had was the beer at the end of the tour. Now, I've been to my fair share of brewery tours, and it's a perfect opportunity to try to sway those who don't drink your beer, or are on the fence.  The Budweiser and even the Bud Light at the Anheuser-Busch Factory tastes pretty amazing. It's so fresh, fizzy, cold, crisp, and refreshing...It almost makes me want to go out and buy some Budweiser for the fridge. Almost. Miller... oh goodness. We had Miller Light and MG64 along with Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy. They were all watered down -- especially the Shandy. And I couldn't even tell the difference between the Miller Light and the MG64. They both tasted like watery gross beer.

And the biggest gripe I have? Of course it is about bottle caps. You can't buy bottle caps in the gift store! You know what you can buy? Bottle cap earrings. Sigh. Miller, when will you learn?

Luckily, Michael and I also love a good thrift store (aka junk store) and there was a great one in downtown Milwaukee. Second Street Antiques had a little bit of everything. I found some cork-lined Miller Girl in the Moon caps, as well as a few others, so all was not lost..... stay tuned!

See below for some additional pictures from the Milwaukee Brewery Tour.  Despite the gripes, it was kind of fun.

Oh my goodness. It is where the bottle caps go! 
The High Life Bus! 

My MG64. I don't think I had more than 1 sip. So sad.