Craft Beer Caps


This collection of historical ephemera is based around the industry of craft beer and its significant uprising in popularity in the 21st century. Personally, these bottle caps come from some of my favorite beers that I have had between 2015-2016. Specifically, using bottle caps from various craft beers currently on the market shows insight to the industry, and different marketing techniques.

Technical Specs:

Item 1- Inside of Stone Brewing Company “Stone IPA” Bottle Cap
Image size: 1.2 MB JPG
Item 2- Highland Brewing Company “Black Mocha Stout” Bottle Cap
Image size: 1.6 MB JPG
Item 3- Foothills Brewery “Hoppyum IPA” Bottle Cap
Image size: 1.6 MB JPG
Item 4- Sierra Nevada “Celebration” IPA Bottle Cap
Image size: 1.6 MB JPG
Item 5- Natty Greene’s Brewery “Thicket” Autumn IPA Bottle Cap
Image size: 1.5 MB JPG

The approach taken to digitize this specific ephemera was to capture the art on the bottle caps, taking into account angles necessary. Many of the growing craft industries use the marketing technique of a logo or graphic design on their bottle caps. My goal was to capture that image and digitize as effectively as possible.

Historical Description:
In general, this collection of beer caps represents craft beers that I find enjoyable, and are growing in popularity. While these bottle caps were meant to serve the temporary purpose of keeping the beverage fresh, they offer insight to my personal hobbies and interests. In addition, the bottle caps offer an image of marketing techniques used by craft beer companies. The craft beer industry has been growing immensely in the United States, consisting of thousands of small microbeweries, as well as large scale breweries such as Sierra Nevada. As seen in the Stone Brewing Company cap, companies are linking social media webpages to the bottle caps. Not only does this give insight to the beers of the 21st century, it gives insight to the consumer culture.

Pedagogical Implications:
While I would not engage students in my example of ephemera revolved around my affinity for craft beer, students can learn various concepts through the idea of historical ephemera. For example, as students collect sources and artifacts for historical context, ephemera also offers insights to an individual or families’ hobbies, beliefs, traditions, etc. In addition, one could argue ephemera is more valuable than permanent items kept intentionally in gauging someone’s character or history. Ultimately, most families will collect wedding bands, childhood pictures, Christmas cards, but the temporary items that choose to be collected offer greater detail when placed in context with family heirlooms intended for permanent use. As an assignment in the classroom, I would have students bring in five items that are historical ephemera, have another student digitize those items and return them immediately, and write a description of how those items offer insight to the personal history of the student. As historians piece together sources and artifacts to make inferences, students will do the same with ephemera and the personalities of their classmates.

Written by krcollis

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