There aren’t all that many absolutes in life, but here’s one of them:
The best kind of bottle opener, by a mile, is the “church key” style shown below, in giant form, in a still from one of the 1970s Mickey Rooney commercials for Rainier beer, in which Rooney and others hunted for the “Wild Rainier”:
This was also the style favored by Cool Hand Luke, who wore his as a necklace, used its to open beers while sawing the tops off parking meters and was allowed to keep it after his incarceration in a Southern prison. Here’s Luke (that is one of my favorite films, btw):
They’re not all that easy to find anymore, but I am pleased to report I have a couple such bottle openers, an ancient one that came from my family home, and a newer one given to me by niece’s husband, who works in the alcoholic beverage industry in Australia. Here they are:
Malt Shovel Brewery is an Australian outfit, and that opener hangs from a powerful magnet, a relic from an earlier era in newspaper composing rooms, on the side of the little fridge in which I keep my beer (I always prefer beer in bottles, though 16-ounce cans are useful too).
Occasionally, if I need the opener in a room away from the refrigerator, I’ll put it around my neck, Cool Hand Luke-style, and wear it until the night’s, well, drinking is over. This amuses my family to no end, but so what. If a bottle-opener necklace was OK for Luke, it’s good enough for me.