Monday, 6 October 2008

Historical Tidbit: Beer Bottles and Sea Glass, pt 1

I ran across an interesting book at the home of a relation, called Pure Sea Glass. Geared toward collectors of the polished shards that wash up on beaches, the book includes a few pages related to the history of beer bottles:
Beer and ale were abundantly produced throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, but primarily consumed in taverns or inns, so only a few glass bottles were used prior to 1860. Those early bottles were normally made of thick dark green glass known as "black glass." Some of these were made in America beginning around 1820. Stoneware jugs were quite popular for beer in the 1800s since they could be used repeatedly and maintained cooler temperatures. Breweries sprouted in many cities during the 1860s and by 1870, brewers started providing their beer in embossed bottles. Many were initially in blob-top bottles similar to soda bottles, and in colors such as amber, aqua and green. If a shard is found with embossing noting either "porter" or "ale," it likely dates to before 1900 and originated in the Eastern states. Beer manufacturers in the Midwest (St Louis and Milwaukee) were more partial to lager-style beers.
This post is part of a series: part 1, part 2, and part 3.

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