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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Evolution of Beer Bottle Openers

I believe I've mentioned it on this blog before - I collect the odd breweriana. Canadian growlers, old tap handles, glassware, books and bottle openers are just some of the items that take up room in boxes scattered throughout my place.

I was recently given some 'new' old bottle openers during the holiday's and when I went to put them with some of the others that I have accumulated throughout the last couple of years I took notice of how different they all are. From the early 30's (first images - so I've been told) to the 50's, 60's and today, the shapes, design, material have all changed, but all do the exact same thing: open your beer.

Bottle openers aren't just a device to allow you access to your beverage, they are also a key marketing feature that breweries have used since their inception. Each opener that I have in my possession all bare the name of the brewery and/or a brand that a particular brewery makes/made. Some fit in people's wallets (Cameron's below), some are wall mounted (think Steam Whistle's big metal and magnet one), some take on a persona (O'Keefe's below) and some smaller ones are perfect for keychains (allowing you to have one wherever you go, Bar Towel below). The latest bottle opener that caught people's attention in the last year are the BBbarfly butterfly knife style openers (TAPS below) that are not only durable and sleek, but are is fun to play with and a great conversation starter. 

Here are just some of my openers. If anyone has ideas on dates for any of the openers, please leave a comment.

No branding - very old bottle openers that are also equipped to pierce an old tin beer can

Molson's, Canada - still the most common style of opener

Colt 45 - hard plastic (think hockey boards)

O'Keefe, Canada - starting to realize the importance of branding

Carling Breweries, Canada - continuing with unique branding (one of my favourites - so simply yet cool)

Labatt Blue, Canada - cheap material, but shows the brand quite well

Lowenbrau - plastic with metal opener

Carlsberg - metal with plastic covering

The Bar website - key chain

Brahma, Brazil - sleek, wavy-said to be shaped like the curves of a woman's body

Creemore Springs Brewery, Ontario - also acts as a paint can opener

St. Bernardus, Europe - wooden handle (old wooden handle openers become more beautiful the more they get used imo)

Flying Monkeys, Barrie, ON - wall-mounted, great for cottages

Boston Beer Co., USA - classic for bartenders

Peroni - Sleek and slim, yet heavy and durable

Grand River Brewing, Cambridge, ON - solid and durable, with hole for keychain

Steam Whistle Brewery, Toronto, ON - the brewery releases new openers each year

Cameron's Brewing Co., Oakville, ON - Credit card opener. Fits nicely in your wallet to take with you wherever you go

Alley Kat Brewing, Edmonton, AB - key chain and other side has a cap to place on your beer if you can't drink it all at once 
Dogfish Head Brewery, USA - in the shape of their actual logo

BBbarfly butterfly knife style bottle opener

TAPS The Beer Magazine - BBbarfly butterfly knife style bottle opener

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