Young and Hungry

The Year in Beer: A Bottle Cap Analysis

It's only half-way through 2009 but since Tammy is an educator, the Lagerhead household tends to operate on a school calendar. Summer break begins this week and the weather is finally starting to feel like DC in June. It seems like a good time to stop and reflect, especially when you have just run out of pages in your beer journal and your bottle cap bowl has reached its capacity.

Our little analysis is not very scientific, since not every bottle cap made it to the bowl and the composite represents not only beer that we bought and drank ourselves, but also beer our guests brought over and consumed. Also throwing the study off is the fact that we buy a lot of 750mL bottles and those are more often corked than capped. Still, the collection represents a decent sample of the beer we have had on hand over the past nine months. Let's see what the data tells us.

#1 Dogfish Head - By a landslide. What can we say? We absolutely love this brewery. We had a keg of Indian Brown Ale at our wedding, bought a lot of Midas Touch this year, and have probably had more Raison D'Etre in the house than any other beer. DFH is abundantly available at the two closest liquor stores to our Adams Morgan apartment, and it seems like the guys and gals in Delaware are always brewing up new stuff that interests us enough to end up in our fridge.

#2 Homebrew – With a ranking this high you would think we were active homebrewers or had a small army of friends making us beer. We actually haven't brewed much at all this year. It turns out our friend Jeff has been keeping us in homebrew and we just figured out to what degree. Needless to say, we owe the guy. Big time.

#3 Brooklyn – We hadn't actually realized that we drank so much Brooklyn beer this year. There was a Black Chocolate Stout stint over the winter, now that we think of it. It's good stuff. Why not?

#4 Bell's – Ah Bell's. We were thrilled to see this Michigan brewery make its way to DC two years ago and have been enjoying it since. Perhaps Oberon has lost its novelty a bit, even with it only being available in the spring and summer, but we think the entire line is full of solid, balanced beers.

#5 Weyerbacher & Magic Hat – Tied. Our first Weyerbacher (their Blithering Idiot barleywine) was purchased during a trip to Bierkraft in Brooklyn a couple years ago and we've been seeking out their beers since. We think the skewed number of Magic Hats was actually the result of a variety pack someone brought to a party. Decent beer but not something we usually buy ourselves or drink on a regular basis.

Other beers with a strong showing: Lienenkugel (purchased more out of Chicago nostalgia than taste), Troegs (another relatively new-to-DC beer we are thankful made it down here), Blue Moon (friends bring this to our parties), Sierra Nevada (no explanation needed), Old Dominion (our grocery store beer), and Leffe (love that Brune).

Most Revered Bottle Cap: New Belgium – When we visited Tammy's brother in Bristol, Tennessee, this spring we were floored when we saw Fat Tire in the coolers of his convenience store. Fat Tire hasn't been available in DC for almost eight years, but the Colorado brewery has been steadily making their way east and our sources tell us their fantastic beer should be in Virginia fairly soon. We decided to bring a six-pack back with us and were able to share the hot commodity with a few friends from out West we knew would appreciate it.

Most Sentimental Bottle Cap: Kasteel (Belgian) & Weltenburger (German) - The two beers that got Tammy and Bruce hooked on beer, respectively. We head up to Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits from time to time to get them and other hard-to-find treats. Now that Bill Catron is at DeVino's they have some Kasteels but Weltenburger hasn't made it to our neighborhood yet.

Most Embarrassing Bottle Cap: Hooch Hard & Bacardi Silver Mojito – Who the heck brought this stuff into our home, let alone consumed it?

So that's it. The year in beer. Now we just need a creative idea for a bottle cap art project so we can empty the bowl and start filling it up all over again.

  • Jeff

    Hooch Hard (both green and black ones, if I recall) is home brew :)

  • Tammy Tuck and Bruce Falconer

    That explains it!

  • Liz

    Lagerphones are always a good way to use bottle caps, and given that yours is a musical household, it's an appropriate project, too.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey_stick

  • KMango

    What a fun experiment. I'm inspired to break out the camera and try this as a photo essay with other common objects I encounter like drinking straws, cloth napkins, or the different shapes of ice cubes.

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