Time for a Beer?
If you were a guest at
the Onoway Hotel when it opened in
1927, would you have been able to buy a glass of
beer that came from a wooden
keg? Or was beer in long-neck bottles available
then? Judging by the number of
beer bottles that can be seen at garage sales and
antique stores (as well as
the Onoway Museum), take-away beer must have been a
popular commodity for a
Remember that women
were allowed only in special segregated areas
of beer parlours in hotels (with a separate
entrance) and had to be accompanied
by a male escort. In 1967
the law allowing mixed
drinking came into effect. And it wasn't until the
1970s that the legal
drinking age dropped from 21 to 18.
bottles could be purchased at
government liquor stores and taken home to be shared
with family and friends. Then
in the 1960s, the new "stubby" beer bottle hit the
market - short and
fat. Brewers liked them because they were easier to
ship and store, plus there
was less breakage because the glass was thicker.
Alberta beers -
Edmonton had a number of breweries
over the years –
Molson Brewery and Bohemian Maid
probably the most well-known.
Stubbies – Two of
these bottles are still unopened!
But back to the
bottles. It seems that women didn't enjoy
holding the fat stubby so the brewing companies went
back to the long-neck
bottle. After WWII, canned beer came on the horizon
and by the late 1960s,
aluminum cans were more popular than bottles. Today,
beer is still sold in
bottles (quite often craft beers) but it's almost
all beer cans (as you can see
as you drive down almost any road – light, compact.
So. What's the next
step? Beer in plastic bottles? Hang on
to those old brown bottles!
Onoway Hotel giveaways – Bottle
openers were common gifts to beer
customers but the Onoway Hotel was
creative. An ash tray, a plastic
even a thermometer were giveaways.