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Monday, February 13, 2012

The Irish Bottle Cap: Because No Issue Is Too Small For My Consideration

This is more or less a "huh, lookit that" kind of post, free of any unnecessary information or reporting from the blogger. I had no clue when I bought the beer and I have no clue now. (Though Porterhouse Red was a damn tasty beer.)

1. Most Curious

2. In Action

(If you listen very carefully, you can hear Dropkick Murphys playing, appropriately, in the background.)

3. Dead Soldier

If you have more penetrating thoughts than I on this matter, I invite you to share them in comments.


  1. Wouldn't an Irish band have been more appropriate? :P

  2. My first thought was... weird. My second thought was... I wonder where I could get caps like that for my homebrew!!

  3. See, I told you there was a post in this... Now I want my residuals - my hands 'aint free chump.

    Beer Nut: Wait, are you saying there are some Irish left in Ireland?

    Actually, it was an accident of timing - if the video had been taken a few minutes earlier it would have been the Pogues. But an Irish immigrant beer probably deserves Irish immigrant music.

  4. Wouldn't an Irish band have been more appropriate? :P

    No. We own the patent on Irishness. Or Diageo does, I forget which.

  5. Probably not a good time to point out to Patrick that The Pogues are English...

  6. Theakston used a similar sort of 'peel back' cap, back in the day.

  7. Beer Nut: fair cop - I knew they formed in London but I thought they were all Irish ex-pats.

  8. I like that cap. I thought I could hear U2 playing Even Better Than the Real Thing. Maybe not.

  9. Nope. Definitely "Shipping Up to Boston."

    We were listening to my jig punk playlist on the iPod--largely Pogues and Flogging Molly (who while American DO have an Irish front man). If you're at all into jig punk (aka Celt punk), Flogging Molly is a must-hear. Love that band.

  10. Based on non-mouse's comment and a vague sense of deja vu, I emailed the Theakston brewery and received this reply from Simon Theakston.

    "We [Theakston] did indeed use what was known as the wide-mouth cap on our non-returnable bottles for the supermarket trade for our brands Old Peculier and Best Bitter.

    The idea was that you could drink the beer straight out of the bottle.

    The same principle of opening the bottle as described in ... [the blog] ... applied in terms of removing the cap via a ring-pull.

    They were launched into trade in 1974 and were used up until around 1988 when they were replaced with the current shape."

  11. The Porterhouse labels have an embossed thumbprint on them which implies that they too are suggesting drinking straight from the bottle. Which, when you get down to their pale ale, strong ale or imperial stout, would be downright sinful.

    Re the title, there's nothing particularly Irish about this cap: The Porterhouse are the only Irish brewery who use it.

  12. A number of similar designs had been used in the US in the 1960's for standard US bottles (can't recall most of the brands, tho' Ortlieb's in Phila. had a sort of "ring pull" design, in which the ring circled the crown). The invention of the "twist-off" threaded lipped bottle doomed them all probably, since they took standard crown and probably meant a lot less re-tooling time and money.

    That "Old Peculier" style cap and wide mouth bottle had also been used in the US in 1960's by a number of breweries using "wide/big mouth" barrel-shaped and straight sided bottles. In the East, the best known was Rheingold and their "Chug-a-Mug" but they were also available from Piels. In the mid-West, a number of Associated Brewing Co.'s beers used them (and Heileman continued doing so when they bought the brands)- the sole survivor being Mickey's "Big Mouth" Malt Liquor. The bottle shape remains similar, but it's now capped with a screw-off.

  13. As has been mentioned, Old Peculier used these, and some New Guinea beer as well (which had a brief vogue in the US back in the 1980s). I'm glad to see them gone, because I sliced the f*$% out of my finger on them...twice.