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National Prohibition was the death of many local breweries who could not make survive just producing near beer, malt syrup, or soda type products during that dry time.
The number of brewery plants in operation plummeted from 1,345 in 1915 to just 31 who were able to resume production within 3 months of the Volstead act revisions allowing for 3.2% beer in April 1933, although full repeal (21st amendment which included spirits and wine) did not occur until December 1933 (Okrent 2010).
The two-tone stoneware bottle pictured to the far left was made in Great Britain during the 1870s or 1880s. This bottle also had a fragmental label noting that it contained either ale or stout (i.e., "Ale/Stout"). (Photo from e Bay.) Stoneware or ceramic bottles for beer were generally discontinued in the U. As noted on the Spirits/Liquor bottle typing page, the growing strength of the Temperance movement and rising anti-alcohol fervor during the late 19th and early 20th centuries led to the passage of ever increasing restrictions on the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages including beer.
The medium brown stoneware bottle to the immediate left is almost certainly American made (incised with J. SCHRIBER on the shoulder) and is fairly typical of a U. The power of the Temperance movement culminated in the addition of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution on January 16th, 1919; the amendment written to take effect one year after ratification, i.e., January 17th, 1920.
The bottle pictured to the right is an example of a style commonly used for both beer and soda/mineral water during the 1840s on into the 1870s (this bottle dates from the mid-1850s and is discussed later).
If there is any one physical feature that differentiates them it is that soda/mineral water bottles tend to be of heavier glass than beer bottles due to the higher carbonation pressures and use of machines to force carbonate the contents (beer was usually naturally bottle carbonated) (Papazian 1991).However, using bottles to contain beer was uncommon during that time as beer was dispensed from kegs in taverns and inns and bottles were relatively rare and expensive.The types of bottles used for bottling beer in the earliest days would have been the common heavy glass black glass utilitarian bottles of the era which were used for various liquid products.By the late 18th century, beer was being bottled in the northern Atlantic seaboard states in various black glass bottles in enough quantity that some was being exported (Munsey 1970; Mc Kearin & Wilson 1978).By the second quarter of the 19th century, beer (and the related soda/mineral water) bottles began to evolve a style of their own though "strong, heavy, and black" bottles continued to be used for beer bottling up through at least the late 1870s and even until the early 20th century with imported bottles (Wilson & Wilson 1968; Mc Kearin & Wilson 1978).