I HAVE A MINOR COMPLAINT: Stop Waxing Your Bottles

We have recently concluded the holiday season, a time in which special bottles of ale are removed from the cellar and shared with friends. Before all that sharing can begin, however, one must engage in the Trials of Wax. Sharp implements are retrieved; sawing, poking, and slicing commence. The plasticky wax goo yields slowly and crumblely. A fine coating of particles collects on the bottle, the sharp implement, and the inevitably bloody hand of the now-enraged tippler. Eventually, the war won, the ale is decanted, carrying with it into the glass the spray of fine particles. The process resumes only when a chump can be found who will be the next to engage the further Trials of Wax.

Breweries subject us to this under the misguided notion that the wax-tipped bottles are elegant. They are not. There is no bottle as unsightly as the American 22-ounce bomber, and coating its tip with tar-colored plastic does not improve matters. Perhaps breweries believe entombing bottles in plastic preserves them, but caps do an adequate job of sealing (it's the oxygen already inside the bottle that does the damage). And nobody likes them. Nobody.

You want a really attractive and protective container? Try a can. Or, if you must, cage-and-cork. But please, no more wax.