Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cider & Steel

If there's one thing that we are the Bottle Opener Review look forward to each Fall it is the scent of freshly chopped apples on a crisp breeze, while enjoying our perennial favorite beverage. We all know that there are innumerable ways to access that golden nectar, but sometimes it's the old-fashioned methods that work best. Our chosen opener for this autumn afternoon will be referred to as the "Keglined" opener, since that is its stated target. As we were to discover, though, it works just as well for beverages in other varieties of container.

Our particular Keglined opener claimed to be intended for opening Pabst Tapa (1) Cans. Since we've never been very good rule followers, we decided to instead test it out on some Wisconsin favorites; New Glarus Brewing's 
Staghorn Octoberfest beer and Moon Man pale ale.

(1) We are unsure of the provenance of these cans, but it did make us hungry for Spanish food.

New Glarus beer, being only available in Wisconsin, seemed an appropriate choice for a day of apple picking, chopping, and cidering; which is what we had in store for us on a sunny October morning. Staghorn and Moon Man are two of the best selections from their line-up, if you ask these two midwestern boys, and they did not disappoint. 

Moon Man, a hoppy vestige from a season ago, served us well in the sun. A warm reminder befit for an Indian summer. Yet, when the north wind blew and the sun slipped behind a cloud, your reviewers would turn up their collars and turn to the Staghorn, an Octoberfest beer meant to be sipped during these transitory times.

The Keglined opener proved to be as reliable as your grandpa's rocking chair, and probably as weathered, too. We're not sure the last time beer came in cans that required a dedicated tool, but this opener has been performing its job at least that long, and doesn't look to quit any time soon. 

We didn't have the opportunity to thoroughly test the Keglined, due to a lack of canned Pabst, but it worked exactly as well as you would expect when opening bottles, for a venerable classic such as this. 

The Keglined's design allowed us to open our beverages with thrift, threshing cap from bottle in a swift, economic movement befitting a day of cider production. Who has time to fiddle with their bottle caps when there are so many apples to process?

The Keglined liberated the beer from bottle the first time. Every time. This bottle opener was as old as Moses and twice as good at delivering its people to the promised land.

Worth its steel, the Keglined uncapped dozens of beers during Apple Cider Sunday, serving these seasonal workers through every stage of apple paring, chipping, pressing, and bottling. Tasks always made easier with a beer at hand.

As the day pressed on, friends arrived bearing apples from across two counties. Each apple variety contributed to the complex taste of the cider. Each newcomer contributed to the task at hand, relieving one from their post. Perhaps to open a new brew or check the score of the Green Bay Packer game.

Throughout a long day of work, the Keglined opener never let us down once. There's not much that can go wrong with a solid piece of stamped steel, and even the encroaching rust could not impede our bottle opening frenzy. This opener probably existed before we did, and will be passed on to further generations. The only flaw with it is that, unless cans that need openers come back into production, only half of the Keglined's purpose can be fulfilled. With that in mind, we feel that it has earned a decent 4 out of 6 bottle score.