Vancouver Breweries Ltd questions

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Mudlani

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What I think I know: Vancouver Breweries Ltd quart beer bottle, manganese, mouth blown, cup-bottom base, crown top (missing), 1918 or earlier.
What I want to know: What was in it? Cascade, their most popular beer brand, came in an amber bottle. Did they have another one in a clear bottle? Or could this be a soda bottle (They made Silver Top Soda Water and Silver Top Apple Cider in the teens)?

Where it gets tricky for me is VBL's relationship with BC Breweries Ltd, which marketed a clear bottled beer called Newlife Pale Ale "in the light bottle," but by Union Brewing Co. BC Breweries was some kind of conglomerate, but how did it work in practice? I know Vancouver Breweries itself was a conglomerate, so their origin story is also confusing to me. Any clarifications would be appreciated. If not, check out my cool bottle! I don't care if it's busted, I'm keeping it, and kind of like the battle scars.
VBL bottle.jpg
 

CanadianBottles

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Welcome to the forum! I used to live out in BC as well so I'm somewhat familiar with the bottles from out there. I think yours would have been a beer rather than a soda, from what I can see it looks like the glass is thinner than soda bottles typically would have been. It was pretty common for breweries in the early 20th century in BC to have bottles in clear, brown, or green which I think would vary depending on the beer. This photo shows Vancouver Breweries using all three for different brands of beer:
1652062323818.png



The Silver Top soda bottles had their own unique embossing, though they likely used generic bottles as well some of the time.
1652062485125.png
 

Mudlani

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Nice! I did look at Vancouver Archives photos (from the same photo shoot), and looked up when Dutch Girl, Gilt Edge, and Pilsener debuted, and they were all late 20s/early 30s. But I missed that one for some reason. That's the first clear Cascade I've seen. I guess they changed them up from time to time, just because. I knew there were some knowledgeable BC collectors on here. Thanks for this.
 

Mudlani

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An interesting bit of context I noticed when looking up Silver Top in the papers is that the first advertisement was published 3 weeks after prohibition in BC started.
 

CanadianBottles

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Nice! I did look at Vancouver Archives photos (from the same photo shoot), and looked up when Dutch Girl, Gilt Edge, and Pilsener debuted, and they were all late 20s/early 30s. But I missed that one for some reason. That's the first clear Cascade I've seen. I guess they changed them up from time to time, just because. I knew there were some knowledgeable BC collectors on here. Thanks for this.
Interestingly there's a clear embossed Cascade bottle out there that was apparently dug at the Vancouver Breweries site. Not sure why that one brand of beer would warrant its own bottle, or if it even is a beer bottle at all. I've never seen it show up elsewhere. https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/early-1910s-cascade-beer-bottle-dug-253477332
 

Mudlani

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Huh. The sloped shoulders are different too. If it's from the factory site, maybe it was a prototype bottle? Cascade was their flagship brand and they put a lot of resources into it, at least in marketing, so maybe they did some experimenting. Also, 1915 is when Coke came out with their hobbleskirt bottle, and other companies started to think of distinctive bottles a form of marketing. But it would have been more cost effective to have one VBL bottle that could be used and re-used across brands. All speculation though.

I'm surfing through Cascade ads, trying to narrow the date range of my bottle if possible. I got the late date of 1918, the last year they advertised quart sized bottles, and about the time manganese was falling out of favour. For the early date, as late as Dec. 1914 they were advertising the brown bottle as a way to protect it from the light, so 1915-1918 for now. I'll have to do a trip to the library and try to learn more about the company, like when they adopted that logo, etc.
 

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