Antique Beer Bottles We Love

When building the vision for your beer bottles, you can learn a lot from what’s been done in the past. If you want a vintage look for your craft beer, antique beer bottles like these can inspire your design. And as mentioned in a previous blog post, it’s not just the label that can set your beverage apart from others. It’s the container type, too.

These are some of our favorite antique-looking beer bottles that work great with well-designed labels:

The “Picnic Bottle”

Similar to the growler, “picnic bottles” were popular in the late 19th century and early 20th century. These plump bottles held a half-gallon of beer and were meant to conveniently serve large groups of drinkers. They were given the name “picnic” bottles because they were thought to hold enough beer for the occupants of an entire picnic.

picnic beer bottle

(image via taverntrove.com)

Typically, these bottles were produced with amber glass and stood about 13 or 14 inches tall. Most of them had marks on the bottom that said “A.B. Co. glasshouse”. These bottles were most popular in select states, including Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. You can see from the image below the unique shape, size and color of these antique beer bottles, which really sets them apart. Sadly, they stopped being produced during the mid-20th century.

Beer Jugs

If you’re going for something as far away from the typical beer bottle as you can, beer jugs may be the answer. And did you know that this type of beer bottle started out as a tin can? As a type of growler, beer jugs became popular prior to Prohibition in the 1920s after they evolved from tin pails to half gallon jugs. Once Prohibition hit, canning of any type of beer in jugs, kegs, bottles, jars or other containers was made illegal.

beer jugs

(image via thedieline.com)

Overtime, growlers lost popularity due to the competition from other types of beer bottles. The great aspect of beer jugs today, however, is that the quality of beer in a jug is much better than it used to be. Modern day’s counter pressure-filling technology allows craft brewers and beer makers to use beer jugs without the risk of flat beer. And today, some brewers choose to sell their beer in jug-like containers to give them a vintage feel. If the quality of the beer is just as good, why not make your beer bottles pop?

Stubby Beer Bottles

More popular in Canada than the United States, the stubby bottle was Canada’s national beer bottle from 1961 to 1984. These bulky containers came in both 12 oz. and 22 oz. bottles. As you can probably guess, they got their name from their short and fat stature, which was actually much easier to ship, stack and store. Because of how thick these bottles were, less breakage (and loss of beer) was likely to occur. This made stubbies a great investment choice for breweries.

stubby beer bottles

(image via creativeroots.org)

Another reason these antique beer bottles became popular is because of how quickly their beer could be chilled. They held less beer than a typical beer bottle, meaning the beer would get colder faster. Not to mention these bottles have eye-catching appeal with their amber-colored glass and wide labels. You can see from the image below that these beer bottles were one-of-a-kind.

As you can tell from the images above, the type of beer bottle mixed with the right label design can really say a lot about your beer. You can go for a traditional long-neck bottle, but if you really want to stand out from the crowd and set your beer a part, you can take the vintage approach by using antique-looking beer bottles. If you’re going for the vintage look, don’t just consider the container type without the label design – or vice versa. The two features can work together to give your bottles the antique look you’re envisioning.

If you have questions about how to design outstanding craft beer labels, we’re here to help. Get in touch with us today.

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