Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news

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6star
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2010/08/18 12:46:27 (permalink)

Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news

Straub Brewery needs its returnable bottles back:
http://apnews.excite.com/article/20100818/D9HLOBAG0.html
#1

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    Davydd
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    Re:Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news 2010/08/18 15:23:30 (permalink)
    It used to be a matter of pride and brand loyalty to covet your cases of returnable bottles. A garage was not complete unless you had at least two cases sitting just outside your kitchen door.

    When I first homebrewed about 10 years ago I had a case that no one any longer took back. Those bottles were stronger than the disposables. Now it is getting difficult to collect long neck disposable bottles that are not screw top to use in homebrewing.
    #2
    mayor al
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    Re:Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news 2010/08/18 15:38:55 (permalink)
    Davy,
    Sprecher's uses a 'semi-screw' top. Are those "re-useable"??
    #3
    David_NYC
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    Re:Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news 2010/08/18 16:37:36 (permalink)
    Who is going to drive from Virginia or New York and climb up the 1700 feet or so to get to St. Marys, PA to return some empty beer cases to the Straub Brewery? I only ever saw the returnable cases being sold at the brewery or in towns close to St. Marys. Straub must now be the target of every fiberboard case thief and home brewer looking to buy bottles for less-than-retail.

    It has been years since I priced out the difference between cases of returnable vs. non-returnable beer at Pennsylvania beer distributors. Towards the end, there was not much of a savings buying returnable cases. I suspect a big user of returnable bottles in non-bottle-bill states was bars and restaurants; it saved the cost of commercial refuse removal.

    Straub themselves gave the wholesale price of a case of returnable bottles five years ago: $6.00 a case. For Straub to continue returnable bottles (for ecology reasons or just for bragging rights) they would have to charge a deposit pegged to the currrent wholesale cost of the bottles, or have customers in the St. Marys area open accounts to be able to purchase returnable bottles.

    I once ran into an absurb situation at one of the Pennsylvania beer distributors. It was cheaper to buy a case of one of The Lion Brewery's beers in returnable bottles and pay the deposit than it was to buy the same beer in non-returnable bottles. And Dick Yuengling is right: young people from New York who brought a case of Yuengling in returnable bottles back to New York would have no idea these bottles could be reused.
    #4
    joerogo
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    Re:Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news 2010/08/18 16:43:20 (permalink)
    You see, in Pennsylvania we are always ahead of the times.  Or behind the times?
    #5
    Davydd
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    Re:Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news 2010/08/18 17:19:57 (permalink)
    I'm not sure what you mean by semi-screw top. All bottle beer use the same type of caps whether it be screw top or not. It is just easy to pop a cap with a twist in a screw top design but if you are a home brewer trying to cap a screw top bottle is next to impossible and get a tight seal. One thing about screw top is the top of the bottle is much weaker and you can easily break the top with a home hand capping tool. So you quickly learn not to use screw top beer bottles.

    When I first moved to Minnesota in 1970 one of the first architectural projects I worked on was the remodeling of a small town on/off sale liquor store. The bar side poured bottle beer in glasses for the customers and then disposed of the bottles into a slide chute that went into the basement. Many of those bottles broke on hitting the tub in the bottom and they were all returnable bottles at the time. I was astounded. Never did understand their reasoning for that setup.
    #6
    rebeltruce
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    Re:Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news 2010/08/18 19:51:11 (permalink)
    I have had good luck re-using my Straub screw top bottles for my homebrew....the trick is to use a bench capper rather then a hand capper.

    Works like a champ, buying non-screw top bottles to bottle homebrew can get a bit pricey...investing in the bench capper has more then paid for itself.
    #7
    mayor al
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    Re:Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news 2010/08/19 07:01:52 (permalink)
    OK, Understand. I seem to use a bottle opener to pop the cap on my Sprechers soda. I will say the bottles are brown, and fairly heavy glass.
    #8
    mayor al
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    Re:Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news 2010/08/19 14:03:09 (permalink)
    Davy,
    Now that you have drawn my attention to it, My Micalob Amber Boch uses pry-off caps and the brown glass seems fairly heavy. Maybe those empties would be useable for your home-brew efforts??
    #9
    Davydd
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    Re:Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news 2010/08/19 14:58:49 (permalink)
    I don't think I have ever seen Straub or Sprecher bottles so don't know much about them to comment. There are several breweries that still use non-screwtop caps. Schell's in New Ulm, MN and Bell's in Comstock, MI are two and thankfully two breweries I very much like so there is not much difficulty in stocking up on bottles. We have a few homebrew suppliers that will sell new bottles but I can't see much difference, if any, from the Schell's bottles.

    Even if a screwtop bottle would work with a capper, I don't think I would care to use them for aesthetic reasons.


    #10
    Foodbme
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    Re:Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news 2010/08/19 20:30:14 (permalink)
    David_NYC

    Who is going to drive from Virginia or New York and climb up the 1700 feet or so to get to St. Marys, PA to return some empty beer cases to the Straub Brewery? I only ever saw the returnable cases being sold at the brewery or in towns close to St. Marys. Straub must now be the target of every fiberboard case thief and home brewer looking to buy bottles for less-than-retail.


     
    I grew up in St. Marys, PA. First, you need to understand that the town is made up of 98% German Catholics who love their beer. It's reported that the first thing the Settlers did was build a Church, the second was the Brewery. Recent evidence suggests that the order of completion may have been the  reverse!
    Back in the day, you used to sit your empty case(s) out on your porch or stoop. Straubs had regular route drivers that would come to your house on a given day, just like the Milkman, and pick up your empty cases and leave full ones. You just left a note for how many cases you wanted. If it was winter, you just left your front door unlocked and the "Beer Man" would set your cases inside the house. Once a week or whenever payday was, you would go up to the Brewery, draw a couple free ones from the "Eternal Tap", stand around, sip your brew and swap stories with the guys, wash your glass and go to the office & pay your bill! All the worlds problems were solved in that tap room! 
    The "Eternal Tap" is still in operation last I checked. From their web site www.straubbeer.com -  If you're one of the thousands of Straub fans who have stopped by to enjoy a refreshing free Straub Beer from our Eternal Tap, we invite you to return again soon. And if you've never visited the Straub Brewery, what are you waiting for?! We'll be looking for you!
    To Quote Archie Bunker, "Those were the days!"
    (And Yes! I have a Straubs Fiberboard Case that is probably 40 years old)
    post edited by Foodbme - 2010/08/19 20:33:31
    #11
    David_NYC
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    Re:Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news 2010/08/19 22:13:01 (permalink)
    Great Story.

    I guess the AP will have to update the report to read:
    "The 138-year-old, family-owned Straub Brewery is begging customers - mostly in Pennsylvania, but also some in Arizona, Ohio, New York and Virginia - to return thousands of empty cases. If enough customers do, Straub will keep selling cases of 12- and 16-ounce returnable bottles past year's end."
    #12
    Foodbme
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    Re:Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news 2010/08/20 03:09:50 (permalink)
    David_NYC

    Great Story.

    I guess the AP will have to update the report to read:
    "The 138-year-old, family-owned Straub Brewery is begging customers - mostly in Pennsylvania, but also some in Arizona, Ohio, New York and Virginia - to return thousands of empty cases. If enough customers do, Straub will keep selling cases of 12- and 16-ounce returnable bottles past year's end."


    They haven't missed mine in over 40 years so I guess I'll keep it and my survivors can keep my ashes in it! It'll look good up on the mantle along side my autographed picture of our beloved Sheriff, Joe Arpaio! 
    #13
    rebeltruce
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    Re:Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news 2010/08/20 07:25:41 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    David_NYC

    Who is going to drive from Virginia or New York and climb up the 1700 feet or so to get to St. Marys, PA to return some empty beer cases to the Straub Brewery? I only ever saw the returnable cases being sold at the brewery or in towns close to St. Marys. Straub must now be the target of every fiberboard case thief and home brewer looking to buy bottles for less-than-retail.


     
    I grew up in St. Marys, PA. First, you need to understand that the town is made up of 98% German Catholics who love their beer. It's reported that the first thing the Settlers did was build a Church, the second was the Brewery. Recent evidence suggests that the order of completion may have been the  reverse!
    Back in the day, you used to sit your empty case(s) out on your porch or stoop. Straubs had regular route drivers that would come to your house on a given day, just like the Milkman, and pick up your empty cases and leave full ones. You just left a note for how many cases you wanted. If it was winter, you just left your front door unlocked and the "Beer Man" would set your cases inside the house. Once a week or whenever payday was, you would go up to the Brewery, draw a couple free ones from the "Eternal Tap", stand around, sip your brew and swap stories with the guys, wash your glass and go to the office & pay your bill! All the worlds problems were solved in that tap room! 
    The "Eternal Tap" is still in operation last I checked. From their web site www.straubbeer.com -  If you're one of the thousands of Straub fans who have stopped by to enjoy a refreshing free Straub Beer from our Eternal Tap, we invite you to return again soon. And if you've never visited the Straub Brewery, what are you waiting for?! We'll be looking for you!
    To Quote Archie Bunker, "Those were the days!"
    (And Yes! I have a Straubs Fiberboard Case that is probably 40 years old)

     
    Of course the Eternal Tap is still in operation, otherwise it wouldn't be the eternal tap!!!
     
    I drink a few every year from the Tap. Several friends and I make a St Mary's run on motorbikes every year just to tour the Brewery and have a few from the Tap.....
     

    This time all the glasses were in use......so I had to settle for a plastic cup........
    post edited by rebeltruce - 2010/08/20 07:27:05
    #14
    David_NYC
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    Re:Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news 2010/08/20 08:56:00 (permalink)
    The time I toured the brewery, we were taken into the cooler where the keg for the Eternal Tap is located. We found that the employees also kept their lunch in this cooler, near the keg.
    #15
    callmebruce
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    Re:Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news 2010/08/20 10:12:56 (permalink)
    Wow, an eternal tap!!!!!!

    I wanted to start brewing rootbeer, so have had the pleasant task of er, ahem, emptying non-screw top beer bottles. Fat Tire is not screw top. Sam Adams isn't screw top, either.

    Come to think of it, I may not have enough glass bottles for making sodas. I may have to go empty some more this weekend.

    But returnables? That seems so cool!
    #16
    rebeltruce
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    Re:Returnables: Straub and Yuengling in the news 2010/08/20 10:33:21 (permalink)
    I should say...the first picture I posted is two years old.

    This year there was a third Tap added for Straub Special Dark......



    Here is one with me, my buddies and a pretty young lady who gives most of the tours, she had a Straub with us pulled right off the bottling line.......

    #17
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