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Beer caps from West Virginia, North Dakota or South Dakota?

Discussion in 'Breweriana' started by sweetsimon, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. sweetsimon

    sweetsimon Initiate (12) Oct 22, 2017 Louisiana

    Hi all, I'm new here, but for this past year I have been seeking out the "most representative" beer bottle cap from each U.S. state for a beer cap map, and I am having difficulty tracking down caps in particular for the states of West Virginia, North Dakota and South Dakota.

    I came across this very impressive map of the U.S. in beer caps but cannot find a high-resolution version. Does anybody know what the bottle caps for North Dakota and West Virginia are on this map?[​IMG]
     
    Lone_Freighter likes this.
  2. sweetsimon

    sweetsimon Initiate (12) Oct 22, 2017 Louisiana

    Also, would anybody have any insight on where I might be able to find a Mountaineer Brewing Company bottle cap (pictured here)? It was a West Virginia brewery out of Martinsburg which apparently closed in 2011. Nothing has turned up on eBay or anywhere else in my searches thus far.
    [​IMG]
     
    Lone_Freighter likes this.
  3. sweetsimon

    sweetsimon Initiate (12) Oct 22, 2017 Louisiana

    Also for your reference, here is my beer cap map as it currently stands... the frame was given to me as a gift ordered from amazon.com and has 50 holes for the 50 states. South Dakota and West Virginia are all I'm missing. I just got a 1960's-era Dakota Beer cap for North Dakota, although I'm wondering if there might be something more current and/or more representative, hence my original question. Note that many caps are pushed away from where their state should be due to limited space for caps in the New England states on this map.

    I realize my choice for the "most representative" beer for each state is subjective, and some people may not agree with my choices for some states--it's hard to choose just one. I used my personal familiarity and preferences to guide me, recommendations from friends, plus various lists and maps online for the oldest/best/most popular/most iconic/largest/etc brewery or beer in each state. The Seek a Brew US Distribution Map was helpful for finding what out-of-state beers are available for purchase in my state and in nearby states, and I was able to purchase a number of caps from thebottlecapman.com which I had difficulty finding otherwise.
    [​IMG]
     
    #3 sweetsimon, Oct 22, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
  4. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (1,991) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Supporter Subscriber

    Welcome to the BA site, sweetsimon. We're glad that you're here.

    I'm a bottle collector as well as a quasi cap collector, and I try to find a representative bottle for each state (but I have not had that goal for caps). I've done research trying to determine which breweries bottle their beers in the few states where I was lacking a bottle, but I can't find my notes right now. However, when I travel I will always look for certain breweries' bottles for my collection. Unfortunately I have a can representing both Dakotas and W. Va. so that means that I had no bottles from which to choose when I visited those states and in the store where I shopped. So I doubt that any currently-operating brewery in those states has a cap with a graphic on it, or if a brewery does, it's a small one that distributes only from the brewery. (I can recall from my research that one brewery in WV bottles some beers, but I'm pretty sure it is a small brewery and that they hand bottle these beers, thus that likely use a generic non-graphic cap. That may also be the situation in the Dakotas too, but my travels don't take me to where those breweries distribute in order for me to find out.)

    Nice collection.
     
    sweetsimon likes this.
  5. sweetsimon

    sweetsimon Initiate (12) Oct 22, 2017 Louisiana

    Thank you very much Mothergoose for your reply and insight!

    From what I've found through researching online, the only West Virginia brewery currently selling in bottles is Bridge Brew Works in Fayetteville, WV, and they seemingly use plain caps (their website has a "beer locator" which shows additional locations around the state other than the brewery which carry their beer). In North Dakota, I have seen some pictures online of bottled beer from Fargo Brewing Co., but their website states they distribute in cans, so they may have switched from previous bottling--I'm not certain. Drekker Brewing Co. in Fargo, ND seems to produce bottled beer, but in larger non-standard sizes with screw caps. I have not found any South Dakota breweries which appear to package beer in anything but cans. I sent self-addressed stamped envelopes to both Crow Peak Brewing Co. in Spearfish, SD and to Fernson Brewing Co. in Sioux Falls, SD with hopes they might put out bottled seasonal brews or something for which they could send me caps, but they just sent back stickers.

    Your collection sounds impressive, and the process of assembling it quite adventurous and fun as well. Thanks again!
     
    Mothergoose03 likes this.
  6. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,287) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Subscriber

    As for a temporary placeholder West Virginia crown -

    Like many other states, WV once required beer cans and bottles to show that the state excise tax on beer was paid (similar to how cigarettes are "stamped" on the bottom of the pack). These caps are pretty common in the breweriana hobby, eBay, etc.
    [​IMG]
     
    sweetsimon likes this.
  7. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (1,991) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Supporter Subscriber

    The breweries that you mention sound familiar, except for Fernson which may be a new brewery since I did my research two years ago. (Or I may have missed it entirely.) Canning has become so popular, and I'm guessing that canning machinery is less expensive than bottling equipment, so that new breweries may be unlikely to bottle their beers, thus no chance at more caps. Bummer!
     
    sweetsimon likes this.
  8. sweetsimon

    sweetsimon Initiate (12) Oct 22, 2017 Louisiana

    Jesskidden>> Thanks for your suggestion! I had seen some of those crowns pictured for WV and other states on the website thebottlecapman.com and appreciate your insight into what they're all about. It is worth considering!

    Mothergoose>> Yes, my understanding from advocates of canning beer is that it is both cheaper and keeps the beer fresher for longer due to being sealed better and less exposed to light. It seems there's enough of both options around anyway, even if not in SD and the other aforementioned states specifically. I found and sought out Fernson Brewing in SD in particular because I came across this article online stating they might bottle some seasonal brews, which gave me some SD beer cap hopes: http://www.sdpb.org/blogs/arts-and-...sts-fernson-fest-this-weekend-in-sioux-falls/. Alas, nothing has materialized yet to my knowledge, so I suppose I must bide my time.
     
    Mothergoose03 likes this.
  9. nepro

    nepro Initiate (114) Nov 17, 2015 New York

    I am pretty sure I have a Mountaineer cap in my trade stock...
     
    sweetsimon likes this.
  10. sweetsimon

    sweetsimon Initiate (12) Oct 22, 2017 Louisiana

    Thanks nepro! I'm actually waiting right now on a Mountaineer Brewing cap to arrive in the mail from somebody else I met here on the Beer Advocate, but if that doesn't work out, then I will definitely get back to you!
     
  11. Pacioli1445

    Pacioli1445 Disciple (367) Nov 13, 2012 South Dakota

    As for South Dakota, I think the only brewery bottling rather than canning is Hydra out of Sioux Falls. And even they had cans available the last time I was in the liquor store, so they may be switching over. I will check for bottles the next time I'm there. I'm sure I could hook you up if all you are interested in is the cap.
     
    sweetsimon likes this.
  12. sweetsimon

    sweetsimon Initiate (12) Oct 22, 2017 Louisiana

    That's awesome Pacioli1445, thanks so much for the insight! That would definitely be a great step towards completing my beer cap map, as that's the only time I've ever heard about a current beer being bottled in South Dakota. I wonder though if their bottle caps would have an image on them--a quick Google search turned up this picture leading me to guess that they might just use plain caps. I would be quite interested in finding out though and will most definitely take you up on your offer if so!

    [​IMG]
     
    #12 sweetsimon, Nov 4, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  13. sweetsimon

    sweetsimon Initiate (12) Oct 22, 2017 Louisiana

    A big thank you to a member here at the Beer Advocate for sending me the Mountaineer Brewing Company bottle cap I was looking for to represent West Virginia! Here's my updated map:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. sweetsimon

    sweetsimon Initiate (12) Oct 22, 2017 Louisiana

    I have finished my 50-state beer cap map search (for now at least), so I will wrap up this post and summarize my findings for anyone who may come across this post on a similar quest (as doing Google searches for North/South Dakota beer bottle caps and discovering past Beer Advocate forum posts is what led me here in the first place).

    I was ultimately only able to find 49 state beer caps. For South Dakota, the only brewer producing in bottles and not just cans appears to be Hydra Beer out of Sioux Falls, SD, but they use plain caps. In fact, the only beer cap from South Dakota ever made with a graphic that I've found is Gold Nugget Beer produced by Black Hills Brewing Company circa 1878-1917, and those caps apparently occasionally show up on eBay for about US$100 (images of two such caps can be found in the "cork crowns database" at bottlecapclub.org). But since that's prohibitively expensive for an amateur collector such as myself, I have instead taken one of the stickers from Crow Peak Brewing (of Spearfish, SD) sent to me in response to my beer cap inquiry to them and taped it behind the South Dakota hole on my map to represent the state until an actual South Dakota beer cap comes along.

    I never figured out what the caps for North Dakota or West Virginia are in the map in my original question at the top of this post, and as far as I can tell neither state has any current beer caps with a graphic being produced. So for those two states, I have put Dakota Beer for North Dakota and Mountaineer Brewing for West Virginia, both older caps which took some searching around online to track down. I'll stick with those unless something more suitable comes along.

    The other 47 U.S. states all appear to have current beer cap options at my time of writing this. I was personally trying to get the "most representative" beer for each state, be it most popular or historically influential or whatever other reason (the color and appearance of the cap, as well as if it showed geographical features representing the state also swayed my choice). Of course people's personal preferences may lead them to other choices for some states--it was hard to choose just one--but the good thing is that there are multiple beer caps to choose from for most states.

    As I stated in an earlier comment, the SeekABrew US Distribution Map at www.seekabrew.com/distro/index.html was very helpful for finding which beers are available in which states (as licensing limits which beers are available state by state, and there are also restrictions on sending beer in the mail, so generally you cannot mail order out-of-state beer). As I also stated, if you are looking to just acquire the cap and not actually drink the beer that goes with it, ordering caps from the extensive selection at thebottlecapman.com proved very helpful for getting otherwise hard-to-find caps. For my quest, I drank 35 of the beers shown on my map, but ultimately I had to resort to seeking out caps online to complete the map... maybe one day I'll find a chance to drink the beers that go with them.

    Ultimately, the process of researching and tracking down the beer caps was in many ways more meaningful than the resulting beer cap map itself, as each individual cap on this map has a story behind how I went about choosing and acquiring it. And honestly I feel a little sad now that my map is finished. I'm probably going to get a picture frame and fill it with all the beer caps I acquired but didn't end up using for my map as well as new caps to keep the hobby going. My completed map is shown below--as stated previously, many state caps are a bit displaced due to limited space for caps in the New England states, and also I acquired the 50-hole U.S. map itself from www.amazon.com/USA-Beer-Cap-Dark-Stain/dp/B019OEJJEU. I hope my information is helpful to those interested. Good luck!

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (1,991) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Supporter Subscriber

    Excellent report. Thanks for posting it and the pic.
     
    sweetsimon likes this.
  16. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,287) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Subscriber

    That "Natty Boh man" crown is supposed to represent Maryland? Although the brand originated in Baltimore at the National Brewing Co., the beer hasn't been brewed in that state since the 1996 when Stroh closed the last of the two Heileman/Carling-National breweries there. It's now one of the Pabst brands contract-brewed by MillerCoors. After MC closed Eden, NC not sure where they brewed National Bohemian - Ohio or Virginia mostly likely.

    Given their contract-brewing or multi-brewery situation, I think I'd pick other crowns as more representative of beers brewed in those states to replace the Narragansett, Samuel Adams, Redhook, Schlitz, Budweiser and Kona crowns but, hey, it's your map... :wink:
     
    sweetsimon likes this.
  17. AndyCapper

    AndyCapper Initiate (22) May 6, 2015 United Kingdom (England)

    To complete your USA map set - besides finding a sample SD cap, have you considered adding a cap from Washington DC? I am only aware of one brewery registered in DC that produced branded caps and that was The Olde Heurich Brewing Co (now closed). There may be a brewpub or two in DC nowadays.
     
    sweetsimon likes this.
  18. sweetsimon

    sweetsimon Initiate (12) Oct 22, 2017 Louisiana

    jesskidden >> Heh heh, I am surprised I didn't get such critiques sooner, as I have had many of these types of conversations with family members and friends regarding certain choices on my map. It truly is hard to choose just one representative beer per state, and the choice is subjective and debatable. I used different reasoning for each state, and at times it just came down to my own personal preference, as alas it’s my map.

    For example, a lot of people have asked me why I didn't put Yuengling for Pennsylvania given that it's the
    oldest brewery in the U.S. The main reason is because I'm not all that partial to Yuengling, plus the cap looked drab on my map, and also I used to live near Pittsburgh and have a stronger association with Iron City Beer, plus the latter has more geographical connotations for map purposes. So there you go--I had to make 50 such choices, and I have my reasons behind each choice.

    I mainly chose National Bohemian for Maryland for its historical roots in Baltimore, and even though it's no longer brewed in state, from my understanding that's still where it's mainly consumed. It's also the beer I used to always drink with friends in college, so I have my personal reasons for that choice too. Flying Dog was suggested to me for
    Maryland instead, but I personally favor Mr. Boh. For many of the others you named, I also chose them for their historical associations and influence in their respective states, despite how those companies and the beer culture there have evolved.

    I would assume I could get into a lot of these types of debates with Beer Advocate members, most of whom are probably more knowledgable than me on such topics. And if people want to say what they would have chosen for the states instead, then I have no objection to that. It's all subjective though, and I'm content with my selections. And ultimately I will say what I typically say in such debates, which is: if you would make different choices, then please feel free to do so on your own map. :slight_smile:

    Nevertheless, I understand your reasoning, and I thank you for your suggestions and insight. Have a great day!

     
  19. sweetsimon

    sweetsimon Initiate (12) Oct 22, 2017 Louisiana

    AndyCapper >> It's a nice thought, and I appreciate the insight. This map only has 50 holes though, so... I'm content with it as it is. It became quite time-consuming with my busy schedule just to research about and collect these--doing so has been my obsession for over a year. So I'm going to take a break before I embark on any new such bottle cap collecting quests. I appreciate your suggestions though.

    The only other thought I have regarding adding to this map came from my sister who lives in Toronto and suggested leaning Canadian beer caps along the northern border of the map after I hang it... hmm... I’ll think about it. :stuck_out_tongue:

    Thanks again!

     
    AndyCapper likes this.
  20. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Defender (678) Apr 21, 2014 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    If you thought North Dakota and West Virginia were tough wait until you start looking for a cap from Nunavut!!!!!
     
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  21. sweetsimon

    sweetsimon Initiate (12) Oct 22, 2017 Louisiana

    AndyCapper >> I do appreciate your suggestion and information—even if I don’t use it, it may be helpful for somebody doing a similar project.

     
  22. AndyCapper

    AndyCapper Initiate (22) May 6, 2015 United Kingdom (England)

    Sweetsimon, it occurs to me that you might also have added a cap from the 51st State - Puerto Rico, as I believe you share the same President:grin:.

    A couple of years back I flew from England to North America via Calgary and travelled down through ND and SD in search of a beer cap or two - without any luck whatsoever. I still enjoyed the vacation and the scenery and was rewarded when I got home with the opportunity to buy a Black Hills Brewing Co - Golden Nugget cap on ebay. If I recall correctly, I paid about $80 + P&P to the UK. I only wish I had a spare to offer you. I have the same ND and WV caps as you which were almost as difficult to obtain.
     
    sweetsimon likes this.
  23. sweetsimon

    sweetsimon Initiate (12) Oct 22, 2017 Louisiana

    AndyCapper >> Well, the United States administers 16 territories as insular areas, with Puerto Rico falling within that category and many of the rest spread across the South Pacific, so... I think I'll just stop at 50 for the 50 states and the 50 holes on my map. :slight_smile:

    I read about your legendary trip across the ocean in search of a South Dakota beer cap in another past forum here--that's very impressive--the farthest my searches took me was to 5 different states in 3 separate trips. You may also remember that we sent a few private messages back and forth regarding that much coveted Black Hills Brewing Company cap you acquired--I'm glad you were finally able to find what you had been seeking! I'm content with what I've got anyway and will lay down my bottle opener for now (at least as far as this beer cap map is concerned). Thanks again!

     
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