Tuesday, January 31, 2012

triple xxx root beer

Triple XXX continues my quest to try at least one microbrew root beer from every state. Hurray, Indiana!
Of the root beers from this particular haul, Triple XXX seems to have pushed its way to the top. It is more vanilla-y than the others, and has a bit of a Sprecher element to it. Overall, everyone who tried Triple XXX liked it.

I love the website, too: and be sure to check out the "about" page. Multiple generations running the same restaurant? Fabulous. It does make me sad that there used to be a whole lot more Triple XXX restaurants across the Midwest.

The bottle cap is great.  I love the bright yellow, with the orange oval. And who doesn't like an italic "drink" that is also underlined? Please, try this beverage! It will quench your root beer thirst.

Monday, January 30, 2012

pop goes the bubble

It was pretty funny when Caroline pulled this bottle out of the stacks of beverages in Straubs. She was laughing because it was covered in dust. Which made me SO excited. Have we not discussed my affinity for the sodas and beverages that have been long abandoned on the shelves of supermarkets across the country? If it's not dusty or weird looking, I don't want it.

Pop Goes The Bubble fulfills many categories for me. Covered in dust. Check. Weird color. Check. Funky bottle cap. Check. Tastes awful. Triple check.

This was another one that we couldn't wait to open up when we got back to Caroline and Ryan's house.  Pop Goes the Bubble? Yes please. Unfortunately, the taste of this beverage didn't match the fun crown or the party-in-a-bottle label. My notes from this tasting are as follows:

  "the back-side of my butt"
  "basset hound butt-hole"

I'm not making any of these up.

But the bottle cap has so much promise! It's a little bottle cap man with a funny hat! And it's a "Real Soda." Alas.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

almaza & malt star

Seriously. What is up with the maltas? I keep thinking I can get away with avoiding them, and then they just go and creep their way back into this blog.

A few weeks ago, just before Michael and I moved to our new place, Michael called me -- he was very excited.  He had found a new bottle cap and it was AWESOME. He couldn't wait to bring it home. But there was one small wrinkle. It was a malta. Not just any malta: a malta from Israel. Whoa! Maybe this one had a chance.

The bottle cap is pretty cool -- it's red, black, has some wheat on it, and, yes, it is in Hebrew. Does it say Malt Star in Hebrew? I'm not sure.

But the actual taste: well. You know what I'm going to say. It tastes like licking grass and dirt. Michael thought there was a coffee undertone. But I couldn't keep it in my mouth long enough to taste that.

And since we live in a new neighborhood, it is obligatory that we check out all of the new corner delis for beverages that weren't within the small radius of the old place. The corner deli has already brought us this: Almaza. We thought that since it was right next to the Laziza, it might also be a fruity beverage that would be relatively palatable. But no. It tasted even worse than Malt Star. Michael mentioned to me the other day that if it weren't for this blog, he would never have known how many malt beverages there are, nor how popular they are. Me neither, Michael. Me neither.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

bell's brewery

I can't let the first week back go by without blogging about a midwest brewery that I found at Straubs.

I had a delicious Bell's Brewery Amber Ale a few days after Christmas at Michael's parent's house. We were deciding which beer I had gotten was going to be dumped into the chili Michael's dad was making, and Bell's was just too good to sacrifice to the chili. We ended up donating a Tecate to the greater good of dinner, and Michael's dad and I shared the Bell's. I think we made the right choice.

Bell's has an understated bottle cap, and a beautiful label. And I love that there are, in fact, bells on the Bell's crown. I'm glad I was able to find it in St. Louis, because it's definitely not distributed in NYC. So, if you live in a state where you can find it, seek out the Bell's!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

big red

Michael and I have long debated the taste of sodas that are red in color. Often times, especially in South America (ie. Bilz), red sodas don't really have a flavor other than "red." This is obviously not the case with food: red could be cherry, raspberry, tomato, even vanilla (see Boylan's) or cinnamon, etc, etc. Why can't red soda have a taste? Why must it taste red?

Big Red, not to be confused with Big Red, falls into this "tastes like red" category. Similar to Green River, which Michael and I recalled tasted green when we had it one cold day after New Years in Chicago. Sure, it could taste sort of vanilla-y, or even a little cherry. But it doesn't. It just tastes like red. Or as this NPR story suggests, perhaps like effervescent Robitussin or carbonated juicy fruit.

The bottle cap, however, is a fun, splashy crown -- red and white, and, lo and behold, says BIG RED in big, bold letters with a splash of red soda behind it. It's bottled by Dr. Pepper, which gives me hope, since I do love me a Dr. Pepper, and when I was in Austin, I was so excited to find Dublin Dr. Pepper just hanging out in the convenience stores.

Anyway, if any faithful readers out there can figure out what Big Red's flavor really and truly is, post in the comments section!

Monday, January 23, 2012


I know that this is a blog about bottle caps, but during my travels this past Christmas, I may have found one of the best bottles that I've ever seen. Leninade also hails from RealSoda, and despite having a www.leninade.com website smack dab on the bottle cap, there is no such website. This. Is. Disappointing.

Before I get into Leninade, I do want to give a shout out to Caroline and Ryan Lober-Huston, Michael's sister and brother-in-law, who not only indulge me in my bottle cap obsession, but also drove Michael and I around St. Louis looking for sodas and beers, and didn't make fun of me (too much) when I bought 13-20 individual sodas at Straub's Grocery Store (see above). And then they helped me drink them so that I didn't have to take them on the plane with me. [Bottle caps are much easier to carry on a flight than full glass bottles of soda!]

OK, back to Leninade.  The bottle cap is admittedly cool. It did get a bit mangled when I took it off the bottle (this totally should have been a twist off. Why wasn't it?!). And how come no one got me a decent bottle opener for xmas? Ah well. But, the cap pales in comparison to the bottle, with what I think might have the coolest phrases ever:

  • Get hammered & Sickled!
  • Join the Party!
  • A Taste Worth Standing in line for!
  • Drink Comrade! Drink! It's This or the Gulag!
  • Beware the Repressed Communist Party Animal Who is Really a Proletarian in Denial Masquerading as a Bourgeois Cold War Monger!

There are more -- I don't know how they fit them all on the bottle -- but it's worth buying one just to chuckle while you sip your delicious lemonade. And just to prove how awesome the bottle is, it survived the move. Michael will tell you how much I threw away, and I just couldn't bear to part with this silly bottle and its funny phrases.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

jack black

Oh. My. God. It's been a crazy few months, crown-fans. Between the holidays, work, and me moving into a new apartment (!), there just hasn't been time for blogging. I apologize for anyone who has been relying on this blog for a source of entertainment and, of course, suggestions for new bottle caps. I will do my best to update regularly now that I'm a bit more settled.

So, despite the holidays being totally nuts, I did manage to find gobs and gobs of new bottle caps. And I had help tasting all of the beverages that went along with it. (Thanks Michael, Caroline, and Ryan!)  Their thoughts will be scattered throughout these posts. I was taking notes!

First up, Jack Black Blood Red Cola and Black Lemonade. Jack Black doesn't seem to have its own website, but is part of the "Real Soda" umbrella.

I admit that I love anything with a pirate theme*, and Jack Black doesn't disappoint in that area. Skulls and Crossbones adorn both crowns, and the bottles/labels also had witty phrases on them -- things like "This may be your only way out" and "Animal testing was consensual."  The crown even says, "Once you've jacked black, you never go back." (BUT stay tuned for the BEST bottle full of bizarre/hilarious phrases to come later this week...)

I'd say these bottle caps are pretty awesome. They are pirate-y. They are dark. They are witty. The drinks, however, were...well, interesting. The Black Lemonade was carbonated, which is kind of weird. And it was also bitter. The Blood Red Cola, I am sorry to report, was not red. It was just cola-y, nothing special, really. If it was red like, say, Boylan's Creamy Red Birch Beer, I'd be much more into it. Who doesn't want a red cola?

If you're looking for some pirate-themed crowns, though, seek out some Jack Black.

*Have I told my favorite pirate joke ever?  Voila:
"There's a new pirate movie coming out. I didn't hear much about it other than it's rated ARRRRR!"  OK, it's terrible. But I love it!