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Canned craft beer might be cool, but glass bottles aren’t going away anytime soon. That means you need a good bottle opener to uncap your favorite IPAs and lagers. Sure, the edge of a table will work in a pinch, but consider this an opportunity to up your opener game. Bottle openers today are more than a simple tool. The best of breed marry functionality to first-rate design, from wall-mounted openers to magnetized ones that you can stick on a fridge, never far from a favorite beer.
Here are the best bottle openers.
Best Overall: Westmark Hermetus Steel 3-in-1 Resealer Beer Bottle Opener
Once you open a big bottle of an imperial stout or similarly potent beer, the clock starts ticking on the loss of carbonation. Eventually, the beer will lose all of its bubbles and become as flat as tap water. If you want to keep your boozy barley wine bubbly for another night, invest in the Hermetus opener and resealer, made by German household-good firm Westmark.
“It not only works for both pop-off and twist-off caps, but it also reseals bottles,” says Rob Lightner, a founder of East Brother Beer Company, in Richmond, California. The tempered-steel Hermetus features a tight rubber seal that preserves a beer’s fizz, making it “awesome for that 22-ounce bottle of high-ABV brew that’s just a bit more than you can finish in one sitting.”
Best Basic: Thirsty Rhino Rubber Coated Bottle Opener
Even if you can’t bend elbows at your favorite bar, you can still uncap your beer bottle like a bartender with a speed bottle opener. The stainless steel speed opener, also known as a bar key or flat opener, is durable and functional, able to remove any cap with a quick flip of the wrist. Busy bartenders often keep this slim tool in a back pocket for easy access. You can do the same at home, and then store the slender tool inside a kitchen drawer or dangle it from a hook or nail.
Speed openers come in a variety of finishes, but we favor a simple rubber-coated opener, like this one from Thirsty Rhino. Pick your favorite color and you’ll have a dependable bottle opener for years of drinking bottled beer.
Best Wall-Mounted: DropCatch Magnetic Wall-Mounted Bottle Opener & Cap Catcher
If you’ve ever spent far too long searching for a suddenly missing bottle opener, then you’re a prime candidate for installing a wall-mounted opener in your kitchen, basement, garage, or anywhere and everywhere you drink beer. A good one will quickly remove a cap. A great one, though, will catch the cap before it clatters to the floor. That’s why we love DropCatch’s magnetized wall-mounted bottle opener. Screw the lacquered walnut base into the wall and get to drinking. The muscular magnet captures caps and pins them to the base, allowing for easy one-handed bottle opening. Thanks to strong magnets, you can mount this opener on a refrigerator, too.
Best Magnetic: Areaware Bent-Nail Bottle Opener
East Brother Beer Company's Lightner is a big fan of the simple Bent-Nail Bottle Opener, designed by Brendan Ravenhill for gift and accessories brand Areaware, because "the design is amazingly simple." It’s a piece of wood with a bent nail stuck in it, but it’s done so elegantly and works well.
This tool flips the script on opening bottles. Instead of pulling forward, you pull backward. The ergonomic shape and smooth finish make it the most comfortable tool to hold in your hand. As a bonus, the inlaid magnets keep the cap from falling to the ground and let you stick the opener on your fridge.
Best for Bicyclists: Freedom Bike Bottle Lever
After pedaling for miles on your bike, not much tastes better than a cold beer. To make sure you’re never missing an opener when you’re far from home, install the sleek and lightweight Freedom Bike Bottle Lever on your frame. (The opener is mounted behind water bottle cages.)
“The happiest people are getting out of their cramped homes and hitting the open road with two-wheeled transportation,” says Jeff Mello, the “chief yeast wrangler” at Bootleg Biology, a brewing-yeast supplier in Nashville. “Stopping mid-ride through a bike trek to pop a cold one is one of life’s great pleasures. Just remember: If you bike it in, bike it out.”
Best Personalized: Blue Ox Wood Shop B.O.W.S. Style Bottle Opener
This customizable Blue Ox Wood Shop tool “has been my favorite bottle opener due to its ease of use, high amount of customization and low price point when compared to similarly customized bottle openers,” says beer influencer Brandon Montgomery, who runs the Black Beer Travelers Instagram page. “Everywhere I have been able to share beer with close friends, this opener has stolen the show. The serrated teeth lock in and cut through bottle wax with ease, while the screw-top opener finishes off the bottle cap with even more ease. I personally maxed out the customization of the opener with double-sided artwork and colored wood throughout the handle.”
For an awesome bottle opener that will preserve the integrity of your beer's bubbles long after it's opened, try the Westmark Hermetus Steel 3-in-1 Resealer Beer Bottle Opener (view at Amazon). For a basic tool that will get the job done quickly and easily, we recommend the Thirsty Rhino Rubber Coated Bottle Opener (view at Amazon).
What to Look for in a Beer Bottle Opener
Ease of Access
Where you use the beer bottle opener the most can determine the best type for you. Should it be permanently mounted on a kitchen wall or in your home bar? Or is the fridge door a convenient place? Then a magnetic beer bottle opener is the best choice. Small, lightweight, and flat beer bottle openers are the best type to fit in your pocket. To pop open a chilled bottle of beer on a bike ride, there are special bike-mounted beer bottle openers.
Resealing Beer Bottles
American craft beers often come in 22-ounce bottles, which might be a bit too much to drink at once. But saving a good beer for later is useless if it turns all stale and flat. To prevent the beer from losing its fizz, consider a beer bottle opener that doubles as a re-sealer or bottle stopper to keep the beer fresh.
A beer bottle opener that gives you the option to add an engraving or select a customized design makes a great personal gift.
What are beer bottle openers?
A bottle opener is a tool to remove the metal cap from a beer bottle. They come in numerous designs, shapes, and sizes.
Why is a bottle opener called a church key?
In the old days, beer bottles were difficult to open; it took a heavy cast-iron opener that resembled a church key, hence the name.
How do you use a beer bottle opener?
Hold the beer bottle opener in your dominant hand and firmly grab the beer bottle with your other hand. Place the opener with the sharp edge under one side of the bottle cap and lift the bottle opener upwards. This will bend the bottle cap and remove it.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Joshua M. Bernstein, the author of this piece, knows beer. He's penned five books on the subject, as well as articles for The New York Times, Wine Enthusiast, Men’s Journal, and Imbibe. He interviewed three experts for this story.