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The origins of ginger beer can be traced back to England in the mids. Metheglin was more of a naturally carbonated, yeast-fermented honey tasting beverage. It often included ginger, cloves and mace, which proved to be a popular drink in the colonies. The difference is that while ginger beer includes the yeast for fermentation, it is also sweetened with honey. Cane sugar or molasses were also used. Additional ingredients included whole Jamaica ginger root and fresh lemons. After brewing, the ginger beer was stored in stoneware bottles and corked to maintain a natural effervescence.
When the carbonation process was introduced in , an essence of extract was used to achieve the right taste. But the old English brew masters observed that naturally fermented ginger beer still produced the best flavor. Until the mids, a of ginger beers contained large amounts of alcohol content, some as much as 11 percent. Ginger beer eventually was introduced to the United States and Canada around with England shipping large amounts to both countries during the s. The early stoneware bottle was used extensively from until to when industrialization and new manufacturing techniques introduced a new gray stone bottle.
Use of these new bottles took place between and , having been stamped with various logos and des to attract the interest of the buyer. In England and Canada, ginger beer peaked around During the heyday, ginger beer breweries existed in the U. While this article presents a good cross-section of ginger beer bottles from the United States and Canada, I recommend collectors check out two books co-authored by Scott Wallace and Phil Culhane, both specialists in the field of Canadian glass and stoneware ginger beers: Transfer Printed Ginger Beers of Canada and Primitive Stoneware Bottles of Canada.
Scott Wallace also conducts a of auctions throughout the year and can be contacted at www. Special Offer: Enjoy free U. This offer is valid through Nov. Collecting Business of Antiques. Buying and Selling. Care and Preservation. Clothing and Accessories. Costume Jewelry. Fine Jewelry. Jewelry Style Basics. Vintage Technology. Antique American. Antique English. Furniture Styles. American Fine Art. Fine Art Regional. Folk Art. Illustration Art. Prints and Multiples.
By Mike Polak. By Antique Trader Staff. By The Intelligent Collector. By Kris Manty. By Paul Kennedy. Feature Stories.Dating ginger beer bottles
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Bottle Treasures Uncorked: Popularity of ginger beer bottles