Tuesday, September 27, 2011

coney island lager

I recently had friends in town who were supremely into Coney Island. So I thought, why not blog about this awesome bottle cap (which also happens to be my twitter pic)?

Obviously, I love this bottle cap. I wouldn't have it as my twitter pic if I didn't! My friends who fell in love with Coney Island were even considering getting tattoos of the Carney on the bottle cap while they were in NYC.

Alas, despite finding them a reputable tattoo parlor, they backed out at the last minute. They did bring the bottle cap home with them, which makes me think that it is still a possibility. And, it does raise the always interesting question: bottle cap collectors, do you have any bottle cap designs that YOU would have as tattoos? Do you have them? I'd love to see pics -- post links and/or images in the comments section!

I know you're out there & reading -- and I would love to hear from you -- ink or no ink.  Even just what you'd consider having as a tat.

I personally don't have any tattoos. But ideas are always welcome. (Sorry, Mom!)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ayinger Oktoberfest Marzen

So, if you haven't already guessed, yesterday's mystery post is today's real post.

This bottle cap is pretty unusual based on my normal comings and goings with crowns. It looks like a painting, and goes all the way to the edge of the crown -- not just the top. It doesn't give any indication of the brewery or the beer (or even that it is beer!) but does bring to mind a quaint German village where beer is enjoyed and possibly brewed. Maybe you can even get some spaetzle or a delicious pretzel.

The deli where I purchased Ayinger -- The Foodery -- presented an interesting question that Michael and I have been discussing for quite some time.

What should bottle cap collectors do when they come upon an amazing new selection of bottle caps while traveling? Sure, you can bring a bottle opener on trips and try to drink a few in a short period of time. But sometimes that's just not enough; there's a limit to what one can buy and consume while on the road. So what does one do? There will always been those bottles left behind. There will always be the bottle caps that I will think about (Bad Elf, Seriously Bad Elf? They have Santas on the crown who are too fat to slide down the chimney!) and hope that someone out there has a few extra crowns that they might want to trade for or even donate to the cause. (Hint, hint!)

Does anyone have any traveling tips? This reminds me of my trip to Seattle earlier this year when I went to the deli across the street from my hotel three or four times every night to get different sodas. (Seriously, there are a glut of microbrew sodas in the Pacific Northwest.) It got a little out of hand. And I still wasn't able to get all the caps that I wanted.

And, FYI The Foodery: if I ever come back to Philadelphia (I'm sure I will) I will buy you out of all of the awesome bottle-capped beers you have!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

mystery cap!

Check out this cap! A hint: it was purchased during my trip to Philadelphia, however, it is not a Philadelphia-beer.

Let me know in the comments if you can figure it out!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Yards Brewing Co.

I may as well continue with my Philadelphia theme this week.

I admit that I didn't do nearly enough research in anticipation of my recent trip to Philadelphia. Clearly there are tons of local breweries in town that I should have taken advantage of. This is a major oversight in my quest for bottle caps in the northeast region.

Anyway, even though I didn't have the chance to sample a Yards when I was in Philly, Ryan, my trusty reader, sent me a Yards Brewing Co. bottle cap a few weeks ago, and it seemed like good timing to discuss it now.

The bottle cap is striking: white type on black, with some embellishments (Philly, year established '94) in gold. And to be totally dorky, I must ask: does anyone know what font is used on the Yards? It has a nice mixture of old-time serif with something that makes it contemporary. Maybe it is the leg on the R. Sorry, I just read a book about fonts, so now I'm obsessed!

There's much to like about Yards in addition to their beer. Check out these facts:

Brewery Facts
  • Pennsylvania's first 100% wind-powered brewery.
  • Bar tops are reclaimed bowling alley lanes.
  • Floors made from recycled concrete
  • Block walls covered in earthen American clay.
  • Hot water collected and reused whenever possible.
  • All fixtures, furniture and equipment are reclaimed.
  • Salvaged mahogany trim on the bar and walls.
  • Century-old pool table originally manufactured a few blocks away at 222 S. 8th Street.
  • T-shirts and hats created from organic cotton.
  • Reusable growlers to reduce packaging and waste.
  • Grains donated to local farms as feed.
  • Yards cases are printed using 65% post-consumer recycled cardboard at a local SFI-certified manufacturer.
As a consumer who is interested in these things -- wind power, recycling, etc. --  I love that Yards is interested in keeping things local. (A pool table from just a few blocks away? Reclaimed furniture and fixtures? Fun!) Definitely makes me want to visit.

Michael and I  need to take a trip back to Philly and really see what this town has to offer in terms of beer and breweries. We clearly underestimated the City of Brotherly Love.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

philadelphia brewing co.

Between work, house-guests, and traveling, there just wasn't enough time to write up any posts last week. Despite not writing, I did continue to collect some great bottle caps!

One of the activities I recently took part in was watching the Phillies clinch the NL East. I went to the game with a Phillies fan and a Cardinals fan -- I'm a New Yorker, so I tried to remain neutral. But none of us had seen a baseball team clinch in person before, so it was a fun experience all around. There were a few fans who couldn't hold their liquor, though -- we witnessed someone topple down two rows of seats (rolling over people, no less) and almost get into a fight & thrown out of the park. Don't mess around with Phillies ushers. They wouldn't even let people congregate in the stairwells. I don't think I ever witnessed that in Yankee Stadium or Citi Field.

Near our hotel in Philly was a great international beer shop -- I found a couple of great ones (more on that later this week), as well as some nice local brews. The one I felt I had to buy was Philadelphia Brewing Co. When in Rome, right? I bought a Walt Wit to fit in with a continued literary theme that I have going on in my life.

I'll admit, the bottle cap got a bit dented (I need a better travel bottle opener!) so I will rely on a photo taken of a bottle cap in the window. Simple design: black on silver. Not super special, and it didn't seem that they have a variety of crowns to choose from. I didn't even realize that there was a brewery in Philly, but now I know the next time I visit I'll have to take a tour. Philly isn't that far away and I have many friends in the area, so I know I'll be going back soon!

Monday, September 19, 2011

brooklyn flea

I love the brooklyn flea. Every time I head over there I find something that I want. Whether it's cool retro sunglasses, beautiful earrings, or even some bottle caps, there is really something for everyone.

This trip, I managed to find a few bottle caps at dan's parent's house, a cool booth that literally has stuff from his parent's basement (cheap toys, old keys, stuff that in your own house is probably covered in dust and awaiting trash day). Dan smartly understands that people in NYC will buy anything that reminds them of their childhood.

Michael and I were browsing while our friends were over at another booth, and out of nowhere, Michael yelled, "LAUREN! HE HAS BOTTLE CAPS!" I dashed over and found a healthy collection of cork lined soda crowns sitting in a box, underneath about 5 other boxes of stuff. Good eye, Michael. Good eye. Unfortunately, none of the bottle caps were particularly rare, and there were a lot of duplicates -- someone must have bought them with the intention of a crafty project. But there were some that I didn't have, so I picked out the best of the bunch and gave Dan my dollar.

Some of them are really fun and retro looking -- I especially like the diet sun drop cola with the star on the "i." And 2-way also gives the impression of being a type of lemon lime drink. They'll be excellent additions to the collection.

Some other time I'll tell you about the $250 coffee table decorated with bottle caps and the bottle cap robot. Not that I bought them. I just covet them.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

stella artois

Watching the US Open this week has gotten me a bit obsessed with Stella Artois. Usually found only in bottles or on tap, it's a good beer to order if you want to look sophisticated in a bar. It's what I used to order before I became adventurous with beer and bottle caps. It's a perfectly acceptable beer. And they have some pretty interesting advertising. One of my favorites is the bikers:

Stella is now advertising their new Chalice Can. I'm not a fan. Beer should be on tap or in bottles. The way its MEANT to be.

Stella's bottle cap is nothing special, but it is distinctive. Tan on white, clear writing. Some embelishment around the edges. Seems appropriately for Stella. And of course, whenever I drink it, I always think of that scene from Streetcar...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

bard's beer co.

I must admit, I feel badly for anyone that might have a gluten allergy. No bread? No crackers? No oatmeal? I'm not sure I would be able to handle that. And, worst of all, no beer.

Well, until recently. Bard's Beer offers a gluten-free beer to those who would otherwise be unable to enjoy a tasty brew.

It isn't a beer that I would want to drink on a regular basis, but if it was my only option to keep drinking beer, I would definitely be happy that it was available.

The bottle cap (and name) are pretty cool. As someone who loves Shakespeare, and goes to The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park every summer, the fact that there's a beer named after the Bard, and that it has a colorful cap with both a forwards and backwards "B" standing for Bard AND Beer--well, it fits in well with the crowns here at SCBC.

They also have a Magic Hat thing going on with a little phrase or question under the cap. Mine says "Would ninjas also excel at ballroom dancing?" This is an excellent question.  I suggest we discuss it in the comments here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Q Tonic

Michael sure knows how to impress a gal. One night this week he arrived home with a bottle of Q Tonic, much to my delight. (I am very easy to please!).

I know I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about beer and soda, but I like a good mixed drink, too. Don't get me wrong. Usually my mixology skills don't go past two ingredients, so when I make a mixed drink, it's usually something like a rum and coke, or a vodka and tonic. Anything more ambitious than that should be left to the professionals in my case.

I've had some Absolut Citron sitting in my freezer for longer than I care to admit, so when the Q Tonic came home with Michael, I knew that some vodka tonics were in my future. And although I didn't have any limes lying around, there is always some lemon juice in my fridge, to spruce up my tap water. So, yeah, I was all set.

Over Labor Day weekend, with a full day of watching the US Open ahead of me, there was a vodka tonic calling my name. Since I didn't actually get to go to the Open this year, and couldn't have the signature Honey Deuce, a vodka tonic would be a nice replacement. And, man, were they refreshing!

Best part? Of course, the bottle cap.  Black, elegant, with a big Q. I approve. If you need a tonic water to keep on hand at home, I highly recommend Q.

Monday, September 5, 2011

mystery cap!

In true Labor Day fashion, I'm taking a few days off of blogging. But I didn't want to leave my faithful readers without something fun to do, so it seems like a good time for a mystery cap.

Ryan, no guessing. This one is from your shipment! But for anyone else it's fair game.

See you in a few!