Mankind has enjoyed beer for hundreds of years and has used beer containers to store and drink beer from. Over time, many aspects of making and consuming beer have changed to enhance a beer drinker’s experience. Today, the brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries.
A Timeline In the Development of Beer Containers
To begin, the way we consume beer has developed as beer advanced. The earliest vessels humans used for drinking include stoneware, pottery, carved out wood, and even sewn-together bits of leather. As time went on, humans saw small improvements in the quality of their beer glasses. For example, during the bubonic plague, beer steins were essential because of their closed top. This kept bugs from getting in the beer.
Today, the most important change in beer glass production is the development of glass. Since customers could see the beer through the glass, they started making requests to enhance their experience. For example, drinkers didn’t want chunks in their beer any more. To solve this problem, manufacturers started to filter their products.
All kinds of beer glasses were created and produced for different kinds of beverages. The most popular in the United States is the 16-ounce pint glass. This was originally used to cover a Martini shaker. However, barkeeps found that as the beer flowed, the pint glass was the perfect vessel. To expand, the pint glass releases some carbonation and enhances the smell of the brew. Additionally, they are easy to stack and place on selves. Rapidly, the pint glasses became popular with bartenders.
Furthermore, on the advertising and marketing front, some extraordinary and groundbreaking moves were developed by early breweries. This was to try and persuade people to buy their products. To promote their products, manufacturers handed out beer to people on the streets.
Furthermore, breweries started creating beer glasses that were works of art unto themselves. Gold or silver embossing on either side of the glass was not uncommon for these first flashy and pricey glasses.
Gradually, artisans for the breweries began doing detailed etchings on the sides of the glasses or steins and even developed a method of firing enamel paint onto the beer glasses. Although they were produced later than others, these painted glasses are some of the most unique beer souvenirs.
Often used for transporting craft beer from breweries, growlers have an iconic jug-like shape with a convenient, sturdy handle. Growlers are typically made of glass and have either a screw-on cap or a hinged porcelain gasket cap. This allows for beer to stay fresh for a week, or sometimes even longer. They are most popular in the U.S., Australia and Canada.
These containers might look like ordinary beer bottles, but they’re far from it. Beer bombers are generally 22-ounce bottles, sold individually. They’re much larger than the traditional 12-ounce beer bottle, and therefore provide more beer. Beer bombers are also extremely convenient as consumers can simply buy one bomber instead of a 12 pack of beer. Moreover, bombers are most often used for special edition or premium beers.
The best thing about canned beer is the size variations – you don’t have to stick with the standard 12-ounce can. You can go with a 12-ounce flat top steel can, the 12-ounce slim can, the 16-ounce pint can, the 8.4-ounce can, 32-ounce “crowler”, and even the 12-ounce “Sam Can”. This last beer can features a flared lip and wider top – setting it a part from other standard beer cans. However, keep in mind that you should not drink beer straight from the can. Pour your beer into a glass for safety reasons, in addition to the fact that it always tastes better this way.
There are 2 types of common keg styles. Open system and closed system. Traditional kegs have a bunghole on the side by which the interior can be readily accessed. Newer closed system kegs require automated equipment for cleaning and filling. They also offer many advantages over the older styles and are thus becoming increasingly popular. Introduced in the 1960s, closed-system kegs are upright, cylindrical vessels, and are typically straight-sided. On the other hand, open system kegs are wider and can be accessed without extracting the valve body or spear. The openings allow the kegs to be visually inspected before filling and for the kegs to be cleaned manually.
Today, fervent collectors all over the planet continue to collect these signs and collectables that are can be worth thousands. Next time you have a beer, take a moment to appreciate the rich history!
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