The history of bottles is of course glued to that of labels.

Here is my earliest known Simonds Label. Note the bottle still has ‘Simonds’ moulded into the glass. A commemorative brew from the Coronation of 1911.

 

1911-Ale-Coronation-4

 

This image of the cellars at Buckingham Palace showed that the Royal Family still had stock from this brew in 2007!

 

2007-Queen's-cellar-0207

However – all was not quite as it seemed, since we always wondered how it was possible that so many 1911 bottles survived intact into the 21st century and the answer was provided by a website visitor in 2020.  This certificate was issued with these bottles – explaining that they were in fact bottled in 1953 for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth!

 

Earlier bottles had no label and the brand of beer was moulded into the glass, with more details on the screw top stopper, this one from the Hastings depot.

 

Bottle-Stopper

 

In 1947 there were 2 Royal events to commemorate; The Royal Wedding, swiftly followed by the Coronation:

 

1947-Ale-Wedding-1

 

I still hope to find a label that celebrates the Coronation of King George VI.

This is the very last brew from the Seven Bridges Brewery in 1979, just before closure.

 

1979-Ale-Case-last-brew

 

Beer was also supplied in stoneware ‘flagons’ holding 2 or 4 pints:

 

Flagon-1Flagon-2

 

Early beer bottles needed to be corked by a specialist ‘Corker’, like the 1911 Coronation bottle above, at which time only 4% of beer was sold in bottles, and most bottles had corks through the 1920’s. The screw top was first introduced in 1879 when moulds for the bottles came in three pieces, one each for the sides and one for the top. The ‘Crown Cork’ was invented in 1892 in the USA and slowly took over so that in 1952 bottled beers were up to 36% by volume.
This is a crown cork from the 1930’s

 

1931-crown