Beer; Twist-off vs. Pop-off. Why GOD?

Without ragging on my budding alcoholism, can someone tell me why some beer bottles are twist-offs while others necessitate a bottle opener or a fancy snap of a bic lighter? It seems that the lower quality beers of the world (sorry Budweiser & Co.) opt for the the tool-less opening, while the nicer beers demand a little more effort. I wait in the wings.

It’s remarkably easy to open most traditional “crown seal” beer bottle caps with a key. Choose a key which has a large sharpish triangular part on it’s cut edge somewhere, and use that to prise off the cap by pulling out two or three consecutive protruding parts on the bottom of the cap. Then put your thumb under the newly splayed out part of the cap and flick it off.

It might take you ten or twenty seconds (which is still efficient compared to going looking for a bottle opener - and great if you’re out somewhere and simply don’t have an opener). With a little practice you can do it in about three seconds.

A fine trick. I also like hooking the bottle on the end of a flat surface (staircase or table, for example) and hitting the top with the palm of the hand. Not that classy, but definately effective.

Still, the question remains…why are some twisties and other poppies?

The bottles that require an opener are usually returnable bottles, but not always.

Most breweries in the US have already or are in the process of converting to twist-offs because returnable bottles are a major headache for them. They must be collected, shipped back to the brewery, cleaned with caustic ( which must be disposed of properly), labels removed, inspected for damage and for foreign objects and all of these steps can be skipped by using non-returnable bottles. Also, non-returnable bottles are cheaper because they are made with thinner glass, as they do not need to withstand the rigors of being re-used.

Microbreweries often use non-returnables that are not twist offs because they are using older equipment that does not have the proper type of crowners to crimp a twist-off crown.

I did that until I effed up my kitchen counter.
I guess it’s all in the technique :smiley:

It doesn’t seem fair though…they cost more and are harder to get open.
They ought to include a free can opener with ever 12-pack, for Pete’s sake!
Especially Corona. :mad:

If you drink Corona, you deserve whatever happens to you.

IMHO, that beer should be as hard as possible to open.

The biggest problem is thinking it’s a twist-off when it isn’t. Hands up…how many of you have shredded your fingers trying to twist off a regular crown cap?

Thought so.

Or you can just carry a beverage key and not have the problem to begin with! :smiley:

I just have an opener on my keychain. Of course, I brew my own and cap with crown caps, so I don’t spending a little extra time to get good beer. Imports are mostly crowns, too.

Someday, a kegging system. Sigh.

It’s nummy with some lime, TYVM.
Beats the hell out of a “heiny” any day. :stuck_out_tongue:

Not to be too big of a stickler, but since this is GQ I should point out that closures on both types of bottle are called “crowns”.

And yes, Corona is vile. Even with a lime. And non-skunked Heineken is pretty good, you have probably only had the skunked stuff.

I think it’s easiest to get the top off with a lighter. YMMV.

Ooh…do tell!
I didn’t know there were skunked and non-skunked versions.
What’s the difference?
How do you tell when buying?
Any time I’ve tried it, tap or bottle, it tasted like I imagine horse piss would.
And I’m not picky about beer.
Two words: Red Dog :smiley:

I suspect it’s more about the cost of the bottling machines than anything else. Older and smaller and/or low volume breweries are probably using older equipment to save on the cost of the machine if they are doing their own bottling.

Try Heinieken in a can, where light can’t get to it. It may change your opinion of it.

Sorry, I missed that you have had it on tap. I guess it just isn’t your style. No worries, everyone is entitled to their own opinion on what type of beer they like.

That’s most of it, though customer perception plays a part. Some beer drinkers think of traditional crown caps to be higher-end than twist-offs (in fact, on some really expensive beers you can still find real or simulated cork rather than plastic at the sealing rim). Further upmarket, like the Belgian monk brands, you’ll find the older-still cork seals with metal fasteners. They could produce the same product with crown caps if they chose, but Baron Rothchild could use faux-cork stoppers, too.

Between modern production techniques and faster shipping, almost no one consumes a beer old enough that the type of seal matters much.

Really? I’m surprised. The crown cap was invented by the guy who founded Crown Cork and Seal. Unless they also introduced the twist-off cap I’m surprised the company let the term stick to that kind of opener without a fight.

OK, good to know. :slight_smile:
Back to the OP, the best I could find on the net was someone talking about home brewing and that the twist-offs just don’t keep the air out good enough.
: shrug :

As a homebrewer, I really prefer the non-twist as they are easier to cap. The problem is that the non-twisties aren’t really refillable. They are returnable. I have started drinking mexican sodas because they are in real refillable bottles (the empty bottles weigh about fifty percent more). This doesn’t answer the OP, but it puts me into the bottle consumption pyramid.

An international element may come into play. Twist-off caps are never sold here (no idea if they’re banned or just not liked) - anybody planning on shipping bottles to such markets (Budweiser, for instance) may find it easier to make everything the same.

is a joke, right?!

Hey manhattan.

I don’t know if they were invented by the same company, but I suspect that, like aspirin, a former brand name has come to include an entire category. I know our brewery has changed suppliers twice since I have been there, and all three labelled their products as crowns.

And yes, daffyduck is mostly correct. It’s the same thing I said in my post at 4:15.

This returnable bottles idea is throwing me for a tiny loop. Returnable as opposed to recyclable, right? Although, returning for reuse is recycling in the strictest sense. So where do the returned bottles come from. Could one, for example, send one’s Miller High Lifes (assuming one would drink such swill) to Miller for compensation? I’m saving my High Lifes for the impending lawsuit. It’s gotta come sometime right?