Bottle Caps on a Wooden Floor: the Beer World Map

Since I wrote an article about beer photography on this blog last year, I own a colorful collection of bottle caps. Its numbers are growing because my friends keep collecting caps for me and I also like to open the occasional bottle myself. I had the idea for some time to make a world map of all those beer caps. And the partial lockdown we’ve had in the Netherlands for a few weeks now was a good reason to implement that plan. As a kind of moral support for the Dutch bars and restaurants. Not that it really helps them, but still…

World map made of bottle caps of 54 different beers from Belgium and The Netherlands on a white wooden floor
A world of bottle caps

Virtual

The regular readers of this blog will already have a suspicion that this world map, like all my maps, is virtual. Unfortunately, in real life I don’t have such a beautiful raw white wooden floor. But I did use the bottle caps from the aforementioned collection as a reference. In total, the map consists of 514 bottle caps of 54 different beers.

Of course I could have made the different continents with caps of local beers. Bintang in Indonesia, Kingfisher in India, Budweiser in the United States, to name a few. But that is difficult in practice. I am afraid that in Greenland and Northern Siberia and certainly in Antarctica, there are simply not enough beer brands. And on the other hand, a beer paradise like Belgium would occupy less than a quarter of a bottle cap.

Detail of a world map made of beer bottle caps on a white wooden floor, showing Europe and adjacent regions
Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East

Belgium and the Netherlands

That is why I only used caps from breweries in the Benelux. From Belgium because that country has such an impressive beer culture and from the Netherlands because quite a few interesting breweries have sprung up here in recent decades.

A trained eye will probably easily recognize most Belgian Trappists. And of course the Dutch Trappists are there, but hey, there are only two: La Trappe and Zundert. In addition, three Rotterdam breweries have been incorporated into the map: De Pelgrim, Kaapse Brouwers and Noordt. But I make no claim to completeness.

Close-up of a large number of bottle caps of Belgian and Dutch beers on a white wooden floor, together making a world map
The Americas

Artistic freedom

I am still unsure whether I will also offer the map in my webshop. There are quite a few logos in it and that is a bit tricky, for legal reasons. On the other hand, there is also such a thing as artistic freedom; otherwise Andy Warholl could never have made his Campbell’s soup can piece. Moreover, these are so many different beer caps in my map that there is no association with one specific brand but with a general product: beer. Anyway, if there are legal experts among my readers: advice is welcome in the comments below.

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