Dating antique beer bottles

Prior to 1890, laws dictated that bottle could not be bottled at the brewery. Sanitation was a problem, especially since the product was not bottled at the location it was made.Beer was to be drunk at room temperature, but storage was best in a cool place. Bottles not always recycled, but when they were cleaning them out was problematic.These are typically three piece mold bottles, mostly in quart size, made in various shades of olive, olive green, olive amber and amber.They differ slightly from their European counterparts in the lip styles and shape.However, the distinction is blurred as many of these bottles were used interchangeable to bottle soda or beer.Many American manufactured ale bottles were recovered from Civil War sites.In the early 1890s, Congress passed taxes on bottled beer, along with legislation allowing companies to bottle their brews onsite and bypass an archaic process of...One of the most frequently asked questions about old bottles is, 'How old is this bottle?

In the 1700-1800s, the terms 'Ale', 'Porter', 'Beer', 'Stout', or 'Lager' meant neither more nor less than 'Beer' fermented at varying temperatures, and clarified naturally by a shorter or longer after-fermentation." Because supply did not meet the American demand, these products were widely imported into the United States from Europe in both pottery and glass bottles.

With each chart the reader will find accompanying pictures to further aid in bottle identification and age.

Chart 1 The Basics of Dating Bottles Readers first need to develop the vocabulary necessary to distinguish early and late forms of bottles.

Many are stamped with a name some have cobalt blue decoration, others have various glazes in shades of cream and brown.

These pottery bottles were manufactured in the 1830-1860 period.

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