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Collectible Beer Bottle Caps

Ever since William Painter made the first bottle cap in 1892, people have been collecting beer bottle caps. There are many different styles with some collectors choosing to specialize in one certain style while others choose to collect those from a particular region or era. If you are starting a collection of beer bottles and caps, then you may have many questions.

What are the parts of a beer bottle cap?

While not all bottle caps are created the exact same way, collectors use names for the different parts of bottle caps. These names include:

  • Face: The top where the brewery's name and logo are usually found.
  • Skirt: This part is found around the outside rim of the bottle cap above the teeth.
  • Teeth: The indented part that grabs on to the container.
  • Insides: The underside of the lid.
  • Liner: The part in the middle of the insides which often contains a message.
What are the different types of bottle caps?

There are many different types of beer bottle caps including:

  • Standard: Made of metal, they are the most common and they fit a 12-ounce beer bottle.
  • Oversized: These fit a 24.5-ounce beer bottle, so they are larger and may have a larger liner.
  • Cage: Often found on higher-end beers, they are held in place with a cork and a cage.
  • Pull-off: Also called ring crown, rip cap, or ring pulls, they have a ring or other device attached to the side allowing for them to be lifted off.
  • Metal screw: This screw-on type usually has a plastic liner.
  • Porcelain: Also called flip-tops, swing-tops, stoppers, or E.Z. caps, they are held in place with special wires connected directly to the beer. While they are called porcelain, many are made of ceramics or plastic.
What are the different design types in bottle caps?

There are at least 5 different design types of bottle caps including:

  • Standard: Printed with lasers, these are commonly used by major breweries, and they show the company's logo and other information.
  • Plain: Available in a variety of colors, they have no markings on them at all.
  • Homebrew logos: Ordered by home brewing associations and sold to their members, these usually have the association name on them.
  • Generic homebrew: Containing a variety of pictures, they have no words to tie them directly to one brewery or association.
  • Custom printed: Some breweries use custom printed designs that are slightly raised from the bottle cap because of the way that they are printed.
  • Promotional: Special laser printed bottle caps promoting a special event.
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