Wednesday, August 31, 2011

the duck-rabbit

When I arrived home earlier this week, there was a package full of bottle caps waiting for me. Ryan, a faithful reader, had sent me quite the collection. A few bottle caps really stood out, and one in particular caught my eye -- I just had to write about it this week!

The Duck-Rabbit is a microbrewery out of North Carolina with a very cool logo. They've been around since 2004, and specialize in dark beer. It looks like as of right now they are only distributed in North Carolina, so if anyone is traveling there and feels like bringing me back a brew or two, go right ahead! I'd probably like the Milk Stout the best. I'll be right here, blogging about bottle caps.

The Duck-Rabbit also reminds me of Duck! Rabbit! the book, the classic Looney Tunes cartoon on Duck Season/Wabbit Season (see below), and The Duck & Bunny: A Snuggery from when Michael lived in Providence for a year. The Duck & Bunny was an adorable tea shop that had cupcakes, crepes, and other delicious nibbly things. It was not far from Michael's apartment, and we often walked by, and dropped in to work and read in the afternoon on a Saturday.

Readers: how many other duck/rabbit hybrids can you think of? Why do ducks and bunnies make such great companions?

And thank you Ryan, for the awesome haul.  Keep on drinking 'em, and I'll keep on writing about them!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

palma louca

As I am sure you have noticed, and has even been discussed on this blog, I am not afraid to pick up an abandoned bottle cap off the ground and bring it home to have a second life in my collection and, potentially, on this blog.

Such was the case last week when I was walking home from work. My office is about a 10-15 minute walk from the subway in the West Village, and I often walk down a street that is lined with restaurants. The restaurants always seem to be changing. But there are a few standbys -- a great pizza place, an awesome sandwich shop that has amazing coffee, and a Korean place that I believe is partially-owned by Quentin Tarantino.

There is also a Brazilian restaurant that I pass on a fairly regular basis, but have never been inside. In its previous incarnation, it was a neat little brunch spot, and I went there a few times with friends. But for some reason, the Brazilian place isn't enticing me like it should (and it should -- I've now been to South America a few times!). Anyway, I was walking home from work, and near the Brazilian restaurant, in a freshly wood-chipped tree box on the sidewalk, I saw a blue bottle cap glinting in the evening sunlight. Palma Louca was looking back up at me, waiting to be taken home.

Did the Palma Louca bottle cap come from said Brazilian restaurant? I don't know. But if I were a betting woman, I'd say probably. According to their website, Palma Louca is a beer for the Brazilian style of fun. Which I assume means Carnival.. and well, some other weird stuff -- if you care to explore the website. I really don't know what else to say.

All in all, I'm just excited that I found a totally random, not as beat up as it could have been bottle cap in the West Village. Between this and Croatia, I really am spanning the world.

Monday, August 29, 2011

route 66 soda & bottling

One of the best by-products of this blog are the surprises I get in the mail.  Recently, I received a very exciting bottle cap that I hadn't encountered before.

Route 66 looks like it makes fantastic sodas. Root beer, cream soda... black cherry! I've gotta get my hands on some of this.

This bottle cap is fantastic. It has the iconic Route 66 logo (which I have driven on!) and even says "From Chicago to L.A." I've even eaten at some Old Route 66 Landmarks -- the Ariston Cafe, Ted Drewes. I almost went to a movie in a working drive-in on Route 66 (but didn't, because the movie advertised was not the movie being shown. We didn't really want to see Hot Rod.)  Michael is, conveniently, from a town that is on Route 66, so I am luckily very familiar with the St. Louis to Springfield stretch of road.  So, this bottle cap has a special place in my heart, no matter what!

Someday, I will do the Chicago-to-L.A. drive of Route 66 and I will collect bottle caps along the way. And maybe I'll even drink a Route 66 Root Beer on the road. They can't pull me over for that.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I don't think I ever thought that I would be writing about Croatian mineral water and Hurricanes in the same blog post, but life is funny that way, isn't it?

Jamnica (warning, this website is in Croatian). The mineral water of hurricanes. I bet the Croats never thought they would get that distinction!

When Michael and I were on our way home on Friday night from a lovely evening in Brooklyn -- literary walking tour, BBQ, red velvet cake, and the last subway ride for a few days due to the impending Hurricane Irene -- we weren't sure what would be open on Saturday & Sunday, so we ducked into a local deli to grab a few extra drinks before the storm. Originally, we were both just going to grab some Boylan's -- but I had a hunch that we might find something extra special in the back of the store, just because of the circumstances. Lo and behold: Croatian mineral water. How do I find these things?!

It turns out this mineral water is kind of narsty, and I really just would have preferred a Boylan's seltzer. The bottle cap is red writing on white. Nothing fancy. And no mention of Croatia anywhere. What gives?! But it makes for a great "last drink" story here on the blog.

Ultimately, my neighborhood made it out of what became Tropical Storm Irene (when it made landfall in NYC) relatively unscathed. There were some downed limbs, some flooding near the East River. But compared to Queens Blackout of 2006 -- where I went without power for a week, for no apparent reason --  Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene really just felt like a nasty rainstorm and an excuse to watch a lot of movies and eat potato chips and some pop tarts. Michael and I also managed to clean our refrigerator and under the sink in the kitchen, so all in all, a rather productive weekend.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

tesalia springs co.

According to Wikipedia, Machachi is located in Ecuador. That's basically all you get.

What you don't learn is that Machachi, in Ecuador, also has a spring water bottling company called The Tesalia Springs Co (which, strangely on their website, is also called The Thessaly Springs Co. Did something get lost in translation?)

Tesalia Springs Co--AKA Machichi Ecuador bottle cap with a cool polar bear on it--was found in a very dark and dingy deli in Corona. This is a revelation for me as a bottle cap collector. It meets the requirements: Name of company: check. Cool animal: check. Place where it's from: check! Does it matter that their website isn't in English? NO!

Hop on a subway and go a few stops and there is a whole new world. The woman behind the counter spoke absolutely no English. The water tasted like agua con gas. Nothing special. Yet. Imported, Ecuadorian Spring Water can be had in NYC for less than $2. Brilliant.

The only question is: why is there a polar bear on the bottle cap? The last I checked, polar bears didn't live in Ecuador.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

sidral aga

I have written about Sidral Mundet before, but I don't believe I've touched upon the apple soda Sidral Aga. Except for their bottle caps, they're pretty interchangeable. Although, it does beg the question: which would hold up better in a taste test? I have my work cut out for me, if I'm ever able to find both Sidrals again.

Sidral Aga was procured during out recent sojourn to Corona, and when the weird Mexican sodas abounded, Michael and I took the call. We were double-fisting our way down 106th St in Queens with wacky, oddly-colored drinks in our hands. Sidral Aga, as mentioned before, is an apple soda, and tastes like every other apple soda I've ever had.

The bottle cap is up there -- we have the green background, huge red apple, and Sidral in flowing letters and AGA in bold, purple letters. If you didn't know you were getting an apple soda via that bottle cap, well, you just don't get it, do you?!

The more I think about it, the more I think I need an Aga vs. Mundet taste test. Who's in? It would also, of course, feature a head-to-head comparison of the bottle caps. Bonus post? I think so.

p.s. Check out the Sidral Aga website: it has a curiously amazing song playing upon entry to the English site. Pop/techno/muzak thing going on with some awesome synthesizers. What that has to do apple soda and Mexico, I really couldn't tell you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

inca kola

Michael and I took a trip to Corona and Flushing, Queens recently. Despite just being a subway ride away, it took a while for us to actually make the trip happen. In NYC, things, you know, get in the way.

Despite us putting it off for longer than expected, it certainly reaped some benefits in the bottle cap collecting area.

As I've mentioned before on this blog, NYC is an excellent place to explore sodas and beers from different countries, and Corona really provided some excellent fodder for the blog, which my faithful readers will be reaping the benefits of for the next few posts. Be prepared!

The primary goal of Corona was visiting the Louis Armstrong House, a home-turned-museum of the famed jazz musician Louis Armstrong*. On our short walk from the subway to his home, Michael and I found numerous delis, restaurants, and markets to duck into, finding bottle caps all along the way.

At one point, I was hungry, and admittedly a little grumpy. We stopped in a pizza place, and what did we find? The oddly-colored, bubblegum-tasting beverage Inca Kola. Found in my neighborhood only in plastic bottles, this random pizza place had it in glass with requisite bottle cap. Michael and I, having a special fondness for this South American beverage (owned by Coca-Cola, no less), jumped on having one while sharing our slice of pizza intended to tide us over until dinner in Flushing.

This is not a special bottle cap. In fact, it's quite bland in comparison to its sticky-sweet soda counterpart. But throughout our munching on our slice, Michael marveled that it had taken this long for us to actually find an Inca Kola in bottle cap form. Happily, we can now add it to the collection.

* Did you know that when you call the Louis Armstrong House you're calling Louis Armstrong's original home phone number? I find that so cool.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


London. London. Land of The Beatles, Monty Python, awesome accents, Stonehenge, and royal weddings. How could you have failed me so?

I had spent most of my (admittedly short) life longing to visit London. When I was in high school, I had an opportunity to go to London for a week sponsored by my high school. It was All. I. Wanted. A week with limited adult supervision, hanging out with my friends, trips to Stonehenge, the country where The Beatles (THE BEATLES!), and those who care to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow gripping a coconut by the husk came from...and educational stuff... you know, the ideal trip for a high schooler. A trip for me. Alas, it wasn't to be. My friends left without me, and returned with nifty trinkets and stories and "you should have been there" looks and possibly-fake English accents for a week. Sigh.

It took more than a decade for another opportunity to present itself. It came to fruition last weekend for a whirlwind trip that started on Thursday night and ended on Monday night. Jet lag ensued. Flight delays were endured. We didn't have any bangers and mash, but there was Indian Food, Fish and Chips, and many sightings of Pret a Manger and more Kate and Will memorabilia than I care to remember....

But despite my attempts to find awesome bottle caps in The Big Smoke, I generally came up empty.  Pubs have their beers on tap (and who am I to pass that up?) and sodas come in twist off caps that really don't do anything for my collection. All I was really able to find... and this is sad...was a Becks, and a San Miguel -- and both of those were found on the street.

I emailed the Crowncap Kidd about a bottle cap that had a bat on it (he collects those), but he already had it:

I also, ug, found a Malta. Which I bought. It is called SUPER MALT. I can almost guarantee you that it is not super, unless they're referring to Super Terrible. I am afraid to open it.

Despite my trip to Abbey Road, and Stonehenge, and Bath, and getting to see London Bridge (not falling down) as well as castles; London, I am disappointed in thee. And on that, I leave you with Eddie Izzard (who is NEVER disappointing) and his brilliance about castles and history:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

brown's brewing

To be honest, I have not thought much about Troy, NY in the past. But then again, up until a few years ago I hadn't thought much of St. Louis or Kansas City, and now I know a lot about them!

I was sent a crown from Brown's Brewing Co by the Crowncap Kidd. (Thanks!!). It reminds me a lot of Kansas City's Boulevard Brewing Co's bottle cap -- it has the smoke stack and the brewery image.  The part I like best? (Can you guess?) It says "Cheers!" which is always welcome when opening a frosty brew.

After checking out Brown's selection of beer, my mouth started to water. Can I find their Cherry Raspberry Ale and Oatmeal Stout in NYC? Or their Pumpkin Ale? Gotta love the seasonals...

I am a fan of this bottle cap, and now a fan of the beer, and I haven't even tried it yet!  Here's hoping that I get to, soon.

Unfortunately, the schedule doesn't allow for posts next week. Drink a cold one for me, and see you on the flip side.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

fitz's root beer

One of the regular stops on my bi-annual trips to St. Louis is Fitz's American Grill and Bottling Plant. A restaurant and bottling plant in one, Fitz's is a great place to get a burger, fried pickles and of course, unlimited frosty mugs of their made-on-site root beer or cream soda.

I have been there more times than I can remember. The last time I was in St. Louis, though, we skipped the stop to Fitz's because we weren't willing to wait the 45 or so minutes it would take to get a table (so we went across the street to Blueberry Hill...and what did we get to drink? Fitz's.)

Fitz's is pretty tough to find outside of the Midwest. One time, many years ago (it may have been 5 or 6) Michael and I found Fitz's in a Japanese deli in the East Village. After that one spotting, we couldn't find Fitz's anywhere in NYC for years! It was like searching for Sasquatch.

Just recently, Murray's Cheese started carrying Fitz's. On a particularly hot night a few weeks ago, I called Michael and told him I was making a pit stop at Murray's, and did he want a Fitz's. He was amazed that I had found it again! Of course, I had to buy a bottle.

Fitz's doesn't mess around with glitz on their bottle cap. It's plain, functional, and gets the job done.  They call their beverages "premium" and I have to agree.

Michael also wanted to say a few words about his local root beer brew:

I went to college in St. Louis and lived blocks away from Fitz's. I took the restaurant for granted then -- it was just a place that bottled their own root beer literally right next to your table. I'd grown up with mass-produced root beers (A&W, Barqs, Mug) and Fitz's tasted a bit too spicy for me. There's a distinctive bite that lingers in the mouth for a moment afterward. And did I mention that in the upstairs part of the restaurant, there's an Elvis pinball machine? It's only now that I realize I was fool not to go to Fitz's for drinks more often. (I was, sad to say, rather enamored with two inferior restaurants on the same block: a predecessor to Chipotle, and a seedy Italian place that served all-you-can-eat spaghetti every Tuesday.) Now, there's a Chuck Berry statue right outside Fitz's and, invariably, a long wait. It seems that I still had much to learn in college.

Monday, August 8, 2011

O. Key

Ohhhkaaayy. O. Key. Mexico, when will you learn?

O. Key is a bright yellow Mexican pineapple soda that I found at a sketchy deli in my 'hood (the same place where I found the bottled Sangria). Michael and I were extremely nervous when opening this puppy.

Michael tried it first. I'm not sure I can accurately describe the look on his face and subsequent actions, but it approximated horror, disgust, placing the bottle down gently and slowly backing away without actually turning his back on O. Key -- for fear that it might leap out of the bottle and physically assault him. And then the inevitable: "You gotta try it." Sigh.

I smelled it first: nothing special. I brought it to my lips, hesitating. I almost held my nose, but managed to get one sip down before practically throwing it across the room in disgust. Sticky sweet pineapple grossness filled my mouth. That was it. The rest was going down the drain.

I'm sorry, O.Key. You are disgusting.

Your bottle cap is kind of gnarly, too. But I realize that can't be helped. You've been sitting on the back shelf at Sketch-City-Bodega for what could possibly have been years, developing a film that I'm not sure anyone can scrub off.

All I can do is rescue you from deli purgatory. I hope you appreciate what I've done for you. What have you done for me lately, except provide fodder for a blog post? I guess that will have to do.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

magic hat

Last week I had dinner with a very good friend of mine. We are both making a concerted effort to spend more time together (in NYC it can be easy to go weeks/months without seeing friends -- life just has a tendency to get in the way).

The restaurant we went to for dinner was BYOB, and she texted me while on the way that she was picking up the beer. Hurray! In retrospect, I should've told her to get a mixed six-pack, but it was too late.

Luckily, she came to dinner with a six pack of Magic Hat #9.  How can I complain about that? And it was then that I realized that I haven't actually blogged about Magic Hat yet.

Magic Hat is both awesome and terrible for collectors of bottle caps. On the one hand, they have fantastic sayings underneath each bottle cap.  Examples?
  • Poise and Grace Keep Egg Off Your Face
  • Try to Impress And You Make a Mess
  • Never Decline A Number 9
You could also just go to the @MyMagicHat twitter feed for a constant stream of witticisms by Magic Hat.

But the terrible aspect is that Magic Hat only has one main type of bottle cap (up top) -- the place where I'm most interested in diversity & design.

Magic Hat, I must ask -- why, if you enjoy the phrases below, do you not vary your bottle cap above? It seems only logical that you would want to give variety and color to your bottle cap BEFORE people take it off to drink your tasty beers. And then, while drinking and enjoying, to be able to read the quotes and also admire the variation in design.

It also brings me to the question that my faithful readers can hopefully answer: what other bottle caps have phrases underneath? Are any as varied as Magic Hat?

Also, have any of you ever won the bottle cap opener? (hint, hint, Magic Hat!)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


This is a big day here at Super Cool Bottle Caps. It is my 100th post. I'm so excited that I have made it this far! I hope I have lots more bottle caps to blog about in the coming days/weeks/months. I hope that I don't drive my friends and family too crazy with this little obsession of mine.

Todays post has to be special, I think. I wanted to blog about a cap that has one of my favorite elements: animals. Yay!

Moosehead was another beer that was procured during the fruitful trip to the Midwest. Before we sat down to gorge ourselves on horseshoes, we had some tasty beverages while waiting for our tables.

One of the beers available was Moosehead, Canada's oldest independent brewery. Michael and I took a trip to Canada a few years ago, but didn't venture outside of Montreal. And I don't recall us drinking any Moosehead. The closest we came was poutine, which I guess, sort of reminds me of a horseshoe. Just substitute cheese sauce for cheese curds and texas toast for gravy. Or something like that. In any case, the horseshoe beats poutine by, like, a mile. On a bad day.

Moosehead Lager has one main thing going for it. It has a moose head on the bottle cap. You didn't even have to take the advice that I would have given, Moosehead (i.e. put a moose head on there). You figured it out yourself, and for that I salute you. Never underestimate the Canadians, our neighbors to the north. I just wonder how you all survive those winters.

Happy 100th post everyone! Hurray!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

bacardi silver mojito

There is an apartment-building on my block that always has bottle caps in front. Recently, there has been a run of Bacardi crowns littering the streets -- and not just any ol' Bacardi, but rather their "silver" line of pre-mixed beverages. The kind of beverages that, frankly, I'm glad they're drinking and leaving the caps around. That means I don't have to drink them. They might be tasty and all, but I still prefer my mixed beverages to be, you know, mixed.

One cap that I've found a few (well two) incarnations of is Bacardi Silver Mojito.

Personally, I like the black crown with the script. Michael aptly described it as a visit to a nightclub in every bottle.

At my deli, they have only Mojito, Raspberry, and Strawberry flavors. But I am now on a quest for the Watermelon. Anyone got it? Wanna trade? Is it as awesome as I hope it will be?

Monday, August 1, 2011

johnnie ryan soda

Since starting this blog a few months ago, I've been searching constantly to find new and unusual sodas. (The beers don't seem to be as difficult to find. All I need is to take another trip to BRAVO Supermarket, where the selection is outrageous. And my mom (hi mom!) just told me that the next time I visit her, we are going on a "beer run" to various markets in her area. So I'm not so worried about that.)

But, again, the soda situation has become increasingly difficult in my general area (around home/around work). So it was a great surprise to me when Murray's Cheese, which has an outpost near my office, started carrying new sodas. One of them is Johnnie Ryan Soda -- a beverage I had never heard of! Hailing from Niagra, NY, Ryan has 6 flavors: Cola, Cherry, Cream Soda, Ginger Ale, Root Beer, and Orange.  No diet, no frills. Just good, old fashioned flavors.

I haven't been able to taste-test them all yet, but I did manage to try the Cream Soda and the Cola. This cream soda is decidedly clear, unlike the red cream sodas that I kept coming across in Kansas City. The Cola is good, but nothing memorable. The cream soda I would go back to again.

I think the caps are great. Individual to the beverage they are capping, different colors, and with a lovely star/hat/wand design that is a little bit retro, and a little bit "I'm into magic." Nice. I like that they don't use black lettering on the color background, and there is a simplicity to the caps that are really quite lovely. According to their website, their "retro" design is courtesy of a tattoo artist. Go figure! Check out their fun facts.

I'll definitely go back to Murray's to get the full line. As soon as I need some more cheese, which, as Michael will attest to, is never a problem for me. Murray's, when is your next beer & cheese pairing? I want in!