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Another limiting factor to beer/ale bottle variety was that a large majority of the bottles produced during the period covered by this website were in some shade of amber, aqua, or colorless glass, with earlier (pre-1870) bottles tending towards some shade of green, olive green, black glass, and aqua.Other colors - including cobalt blue - are unusual but occasionally seen.The date you see on most beer bottles are not expiration dates but ‘pull dates,’ which are the dates retailers are instructed to pull beers off a shelf if they haven’t sold yet.
“Born on dates” are the less common marking you’ll find on some bottles indicating when the beer was bottled.
In the 1700-1800s, the terms 'Ale', 'Porter', 'Beer', 'Stout', or 'Lager' meant neither more nor less than 'Beer' fermented at varying temperatures, and clarified naturally by a shorter or longer after-fermentation." Because supply did not meet the American demand, these products were widely imported into the United States from Europe in both pottery and glass bottles.
The earliest reference I could find was an 1764 ad which offered among other things, "bibles, Spelling books, primmers gloucester cheese and bottled beer." The forms varied little from the 1850-1880s. American manufactured stoneware beer bottles are commonly found in the Eastern States.
Beer was to be drunk at room temperature, but storage was best in a cool place. Bottles not always recycled, but when they were cleaning them out was problematic.
These difficulties contributed to limiting the amount of beer produced in bottles until the late 1870s.