Next time you pick up a six-pack of beer at your grocery or liquor store, the bottle caps might look different than they usually do. And they might get you thinking about your prostate. Almost 5 million blue “Pints For Prostates” bottle caps (technically called crowns) will appear on beer bottles starting this month as part of a campaign to encourage men to get screened for prostate cancer.
The organization, Pints For Prostates, has for four years distributed some of these special crowns each fall. This year, the Crowns For A Cure campaign will greatly expand to partner with 50 breweries in 25 states, more than doubling the number of crowns it distributed last year. The blue caps display the organization’s name, while the undersides contain messages like “Survivors drink more beer! #CrownsForACure” and “You know your IPA. Do you know your PSA?,” a reference to Prostate-Specific Antigen tests.
Each brewery will package 10,000 to 80,000 of its beers with the special caps; participating breweries include Michigan’s Bell’s Brewery, Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery, Michigan’s Founders Brewing, Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing, and dozens more. Homebrewers can get in on the action too by ordering the caps through Northern Brewer.
Pints For Prostates was founded in 2008 by Rick Lyke, a beer writer who was successfully treated for prostate cancer. The organization also hosts the much-anticipated Denver Rare Beer Tasting event each fall, coinciding with the Great American Beer Festival.
A noble cause to be sure, but why bottle caps, and not beer labels themselves?
“The reality is with TTB [Alcohol And Tobacco Tax And Trade Bureau] restrictions there’s really not a lot of available real estate on a beer label and you have to get all sorts of approvals when you’re making those adjustments. Add to that the matter of press runs and those types of things, and that real estate becomes really complicated,” Lyke tells The Takeout. “The one thing that every brewery has that’s interchangeable in most cases is the bottle cap.”