Ahh, glorious German beer. Bought most cheaply in crates of 18 to 24 bottles. The only problem is that these crates can be heavy and unwieldy, especially when they’re full of beer.
If you dropped one on a small child, for instance, tragedy could strike — you could lose several bottles, if not the entire case. Fortunately, German ingenuity has left its mark here. Behold the Paulaner 20-bottle crate (here, full of Kristallweizen):
When you liftt up the golden handles on either side of the top, something charming happens:
It splits safely into two halves, which are not only stable but easier to carry (in the above photo, I have returned the carry-handles to their "locked" position to make the separation mechanism clearer). The only problem is that for the uninitiated, like me, there is no warning this will happen. I picked up the handles of this case of beer at the store, and suddenly the bottom seemed to drop out of it. I quickly reached under the crate to stabilize it before I took a closer look, and saw that, indeed, the crate was designed to split apart in precisely this manner.
After that dawned on me, I was filled for admiration for the designer of this beer crate. Anyone happen to know who it is?