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19th of November, 2017

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The smug hipsters at Boing Boing are all awonder! ‘How to open a bottle of beer the Scandinavian way’; which would mean, with another bottle.


I figured these guys had been around a lot more than that. That’s not the ‘Scandinavian Way.’ It’s more like, the ‘Places That Don’t Have Screw-Capped Bottles Way’. They do it here in Germany, too. They also use cigarette lighters, ballpoint pens, and just about anything else you can think of. Really, if they think opening a beer bottle with another bottle is spectacular, they’d probably have a seizure if they saw 1000 Arten ein Bier zu öffnen (1000 ways to open a beer). They’re all the way up to 971, at last count.


The coolest bottle-opening method I’ve seen was Glacier Bay’s (sadly discontinued) opener-in-the-bottom-of-the-bottle trick. Each bottle had a real opener in the bottom of it; so, when your beer was out, you just grabbed the next bottle and zisch! pop open the replacement. I drank an awful lot of Glacier Bay during my Georgia Tech days.


In a sad coincidence, in college I was walking through a shopping mall, and one of those survey people came up to me. She offered me $5, checked my age, and asked if I’d do a taste-test of foreign beer brands. Being 21, poor, and a borderline alcoholic, I had no choice but to comply. I followed the nice young lady to a small room at the end of a hallway, and they had about 12 different kinds of beer, stacked up in crates all around the room. Among the Heinekens and Beck’s, I noticed an unfamiliar brand, whose red and white label struck a familiar chord. It was called Arctic Bay, and the bottle looked exactly like the Glacier Bay bottle I’d known and loved, albeit not in the familiar blue and silver. I asked the lady if that was a new beer from the same brewery, perhaps. She then told me that Glacier Bay was no more, and had been bought out by a competitor. Shocked, I hefted this usurper beer Arctic Bay, and cautiously checked the bottom of the bottle. No opener. Just flat and smooth, like every other cheap Canadian beer on the market.


I tried 7 different bottles of beer, just a swig from each. The others, though imports, were not unknown to me, and tasted pretty much as I suspected. The Arctic Bay, though, was like ashes in my mouth. After they were opened and sampled, I asked the survey lady what would happen to all the beer. She said she’d throw it out. We kind of looked at each other, and then drank all the beer. Then we had another round of taste tests, but under a different name. I think we stopped after the fourth, by which time I was filling out the forms with names like ‘Philip McCracken’ and ‘I.P. Frehley’.


So there you have the story about how one time, in college, I actually got paid $5 a round to get ‘faced in a room full of imported beer with a bored young coed.

Comments

Ann

Reliable sources tell that even some soopa hot German chicks do that bottle opening thing. Does that mean they're Svenska inside?

Justin

Oh man.. Your rant about Glacier Bay is so true. That idea was pure brilliance and I curse the day they discontinued it.

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