I’ve never given a lot of thought to bottle openers or to ‘venting’ cans. Since I drink the majority of my beer these days either on tap or from a growler, I don’t often have use for a bottle opener or much reason to vent a can. I’m also, in general, not a huge fan of cans anyway. I totally understand why they’re back, why so many craft breweries are canning their beers and why they’re popular but, if I have to purchase packaged beer, I’ve always preferred the bottle over the can. It’s just my personal preference.
In addition, my days of drinking straight from the bottle or the can are pretty much over. I used to drink beer that way, back in my college days, but no more. Perhaps some of you think that makes me a beer ‘snob’. I don’t agree. I just prefer to drink my beer as it was intended to be: out of a glass. Granted, if I’m offered a beer somewhere in a bottle or a can and there’s no glassware available, I will go ahead and drink it from the bottle/can. Again, it’s just not my preference.
Having said that, I know that I may be in the minority. Not everyone drinks the majority of their beer on tap or in growlers as I do. If they did, there wouldn’t be much of a reason for breweries to package their beers now would there? Also, I obviously have need of a bottle opener at times. Not every beer I drink comes from a tap or growler. We’ve also reached the point where some beers only come in cans. So I do occasionally find myself opening a can rather than a bottle. You can’t fight change. So, when the Snake Bite Co. contacted me about trying out their product, I figured I’d give it a look.
Made in the USA out of high quality materials, the Snake Bite is a dual-purpose tool that lets you open bottles as well as vent cans. Some of you may be asking; why ‘vent’ a can? I’ll let Snake Bite answer that one.
According to Snake Bite Co.:
Basic physics: If just the main can opening is utilized, the pouring has to stop so that air can enter the can and re-establish equilibrium. This is what causes the “glug-glug-glug” sound when pouring something from a can if it isn’t vented. If you have venting, then air is let in which constantly keeps equilibrium in letting the liquid out smoothly. This is especially important when pouring a canned craft beer into a glass. It’s worth mentioning that every canned beer has different levels of carbonation and due to that, pour results will vary. Venting also eliminates a significant amount of air you ingest while drinking straight from a can. This greatly improves drinkability, comfort, and overall experience.
It works too. Upon receiving my Snake Bite, I purchased a few six packs to give it a go. Granted, if you know how to pour properly, it is possible to get a smooth pour from a can without venting it. However, you must pour very slowly and carefully. Venting your can first eliminates this worry. You can pour as fast as you’d like, and you won’t get any ‘glug-glug’ whatsoever. It’s also true that a traditional church key can open bottles and vent cans for you, but Snake Bite wanted to create an all-in-one tool that would accomplish both functions in a more compact design. Besides, most people I know don’t carry around a church key with them. It’s just not convenient. The compact design of the Snake Bite allows you to keep it in your pocket and/or on your key chain, so it’s always on hand when you need it.
The leather cover for the Snake Bite fits snugly and is essential if you plan on carrying your Snake Bite opener in your pocket. The ‘fangs’ on the Snake Bite are actually quite sharp. Without the leather cover, I’m sure users would wind up stabbing themselves with the opener in their pocket. It’s that sharp which, of course, makes venting your can with it pretty easy. Heck, it could almost function as a personal defense device too. You could do some serious damage with the fangs on this thing.
Here is a bit more information about the materials and construction from Snake Bite Co.:
- 302 stainless steel – Made in the USA
- 6oz Vegetable Tanned Domestic Leather Made in the USA
- Military Grade Kydex Holster Eyelets Made in USA
- Nickel Plated Hard Drawn Steel Split Rings Made in USA
- 100% Handcrafted & Assembled in St. Louis, Missouri
As a bottle opener, the Snake Bite does the job just fine – in fact much better than the cheesy little key chain opener I’ve had in my pocket for years. However, I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who likes to collect bottle caps, since the Snake Bite will bend the cap (and can even leave little ‘fang marks’ on it). It’s a very practical on-the-go tool to have with you, but personally I’ll be using a different opener on any bottle where I want to save the cap.
The cost of the Snake Bite is $22 and you have your choice of leather cover: black, brown or natural. Alternatively, you can opt for the Snake Bite Kit, which includes a Snake Bite opener, a Snake Bite T-Shirt, a can/bottle koozie and 2 buttons/pins. Some may consider the Snake Bite a bit pricey for a bottle opener/can venter, but it is well made and should last you quite a while. You’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s worth the cost to you. Just be careful with those sharp fangs.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.