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Both bottles pictured are very similar in shape and size and contained beer though the bottle to the right is of a type that was primarily used for soda/mineral water and has distinctly heavier glass than the bottle to the left.
Fortunately, there were stylistic differences between the typical containers for the two products that allows a person to reasonably differentiate which product a given bottle was used the of the time.
Early (pre-1870s) dedicated beer bottles (i.e., made specifically for beer) were very similar or identical to bottles used for soda and mineral waters and unmarked (not embossed or labeled) examples of these bottles can not be differentiated as to what product they originally held.
With the prevalence of bottle re-use common, the same bottle could easily have held both products during its useable lifetime.
The export style is still one of the most common beer bottle styles.
Beer and ale - and the related stout, porter, and weiss - are the yeast fermented products of various grains, most commonly malted barley and/or wheat.
(Note: All four of these very similar products are lumped together and referred to simply as "beer" in this section.) Beer brewing began in the U. during early colonial days when beer was consumed in large quantities on all sorts of occasions and during almost all meals.
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.