This bottle opener was a gift from Courtney's mother, and it's origin, brand, and other identifying information are all unknown. All we do know about it is that it has what appears to be a bone (perhaps whale bone?) or horn handle, inscribed with the word Norge (Norwegian for Norway), and decorated with an idyllic scene of a small hut against the backdrop of a misty mountain.
While on the face of things, it may seem that this is merely a novelty souvenir, or tourist trap fare, we choose to believe that this is an ancient heirloom - passed down from generation to generation of broad-shouldered viking descendants, perhaps from Harald Fairhair himself.
But we digress. The important thing about this tool is that it opens bottles! Perhaps not so spectacularly as our description so far might lead you to believe, but nonetheless well enough to dispatch our beers for the evening; Southern Tier Unearthly Imperial Pale Ale, Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout, and Rogue John John Ale. An eclectic bunch, if we've ever seen one.
To accompany our historic opener, and the assemblage of beers we used to test it, we crafted a decidedly un-vikinglike meal of sauerkraut, pineapple, peppers and barbecue sauce pizza AKA When the Cubs Win the Pennant Pizza (1).
(1) The toppings of this pizza were inspired by a trip to Cubby's Bar in downtown Downsville, WI where the owner makes pizzas behind the bar and freely recommends a sauerkraut, pineapple, and bacon pizza. We left out the bacon, but kept the craziness - hence the name.
The resulting pizza was smoother than a Whitest Boy Alive lick, (2) and lick our fingers we did. Let's start from the top: red onions, pineapple, and pickled peppers riding a wave of fresh mozzarella with sauerkraut and barbecue sauce lurking below the surface. All atop a hand made crust, from dough raised, relaxed, and baked earlier that day. The kind of crust with a crisp that invited you to take another slice and crack another brew.
(2) The author spent the next fifteen minutes watching Whitest Boy Alive videos, the smashingest of which you can see here:
We at the Bottle Opener Review attest that the best beer is one that is freely given. And while each beer consumed this evening had it's own mass, the one with a planet's worth of gravity and a celestial body to boot was the Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout, which was a gift from a seasoned couch surfer who biked to Menomonie the weekend prior. This brew followed the pizza dinner in a manner that was fitting for a few travelers returning home to the hearth, with a warm oaky aroma and plenty of sweet-tart cherry.
When all was said and done, the night was a success, and no-one was thrown overboard. The Norge opener did a fine job, and will remain in our arsenal, and the pizza was some of the finest this town has to offer.
As far as the opener; the Norge scored points in our book for it's style, and imaginary history, and on top of that - it opens beers. Overall we give it a score of 4 out of 6 bottles.
We'd like to thank everyone for joining us on the journey to Scandinavia tonight, and hope you'll make it back for the next one. Until then, keep it classy.