Sunday, January 6, 2013

Cast Iron

After the extended holiday season, we are are left to pick up the scraps of wrapping paper and cookie crumbs, take down festive decorations, and settle in to the new year with the help of gifts we received from friends and family. Today we would like to share with you our thoughts on a few of those gifts. 

Appropriately enough, three of them happen to be a perfect match  for your faithful authors, and this blog. First up is a bottle opener that we will refer to simply as "the pliers bottle opener." Cast from iron in a facsimile of a pair of pliers, it is neither pliers, nor bottle opener, as we quickly discovered. Our initial attempts were to try to open another gift from the season, a bottle of home-brew from a friend named Jeremy (who runs St. Paul Pet Supply), and were swiftly thwarted by the pliers. While it has the trappings of a serious beer tool, it seems to have been crafted by a group of teetotaling blacksmiths, or perhaps an industrious chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Try as we might to remove the completely ordinary, standard-sized bottle cap from our much anticipated brew, we were unable to do so with the obvious mechanism. Being the resourceful fellows that we are, we experimented with various "alternative methods," using the many potential angles and openings available. (1)

(1) We did, however, apply the rule that we would not utilize the classic "lighter-trick" style of opening, since nearly any object can be successful with that method.

Eventually we were able to beat the cap into submission, and it resigned its duty as protector of the golden nectar - but not without a fight.  Despite the struggle to gain access to the brew, it was worth the fight. Being unlabeled and home-brewed, we weren't sure what to expect to pour out of that bomber, but were pleasantly surprised to find a lovely belgian ale. Heavy with bubble-gum overtones and well balanced hops, you couldn't ask for a better reward.

Having successfully retrieved our beverage, the next step of the plan was to utilize the third gift in question - a shiny new Lodge cast iron grill-pan. The natural choice of meals to break it in with was smoked-swiss, basil, kalamata and mushroom paninis. After that combo, we were forced to ask ourselves, "Why would anyone make a sandwich that wasn't a panini?"

Most bottle-opener review blogs would be content to end there. Not us, good reader, not us. We would not be satisfied until we had a fully working bottle opener in our hands. As luck would have it, we had a set of files at the ready, and the willpower to make this opener work.
After several minutes of filing, checking, and repeating we seemed to be getting close. The rasp of the files only made us thirstier, and we became anxious to utilize the pliers on our next round. (2)

(2) We would not be deterred by the taste of iron filings in our beer, either. 

Finally, we were able to use the pliers opener for its intended purpose, and it did a surprisingly good job! Even though we were able to redeem this opener, and transform it into a decent tool, our professional ethics dictate that we score it on its original form. Based on our rigorous testing and our complex (and secretive) rubrik for scoring openers, we give the pliers opener a resounding
0 out of 6 bottle score.
Even though it was initially inept at removing caps, with a little bit of work, the pliers is a solid addition to the Bottle Opener Review's arsenal, not to mention the fact that it is visually appealing and solidly constructed. It will serve us well for years to come.

1 comment:

  1. I have a few openers if you would like to schedule a review some day. Maybe next Wednesday?