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Leave the cheese and beer pairings to casual drinkers. That complex sour you discover at the Great American Beer Festival (October 6 to 8) deserves a worthier companion: a locally crafted bottle opener. Sippers with a penchant for recycling might try Aurora woodworker Elroy Collins’ C-shaped version made from beetle-kill lodgepole pine. Those with an interest in, uh, efficiency might prefer the GrOpener, a gadget designed by Denver artist Mark Manger that requires just one hand to operate. (Or they could consider the wall-mounted stainless steel Stout opener with a magnet to keep your bottle caps from getting lost under the fridge.) But real Western boldness demands Johnson and Held’s belt buckle/bottle opener hybrid. The gorgeous, three-ounce openers are made in Englewood by artisans such as Lyda Oliver, who’s been cutting the intricate wood designs for 30 years.
Top poppers from above photo:
Top: Stout Bottle Opener; $36, stoutbottleopener.com
Left: Colorado Beetlekill “C”; $18, jccustomdesignworks.com
Right: Johnson and Held’s belt buckle bottle opener; $260, jandhbuckles.com
Bottom: GrOpener; $16 to $30, gropener.com