Looking Back


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 long while!

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.

Long-neck "pilsner" 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

Onoway Hotel giveaways Bottle openers were common gifts to beer parlour customers but the Onoway Hotel was creative. An ash tray, a plastic wallet and even a thermometer were giveaways.

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Last updated: May 11, 2021