Vintage Beer Bottles


Steinie and Stubby Bottle History

The "stubbie" and "steinie" beer bottle styles are purely of 20th century origin and were the glass industry's successful response to the rise of beer being "bottled" in cans in the mid-1930s - a perceived major threat to an important segment of the glassmakers markets.  At least the stubbie continued to be  used for American beers up into at least the late 1970s (empirical observations) and are still used by some beer brewers in the world today, e.g., Red Stripe Beer® (Jamaica).  This class of bottles is typified by a relatively short body height (of the typical 11-12 oz. sizes) which is moderately wide, has a moderate shoulder pitch, and a short to moderate length neck depending which style.

History of the Stubby

The stubbie beer bottle originated about 1933.  The classic stubbie style has an almost non-existent neck, often an embossed ring on the mid-shoulder (indicating the bottle contained 11 oz of beer) and a rounded lower body to heel section (although the original stubbies were straight to the bottom of the bottle).  Though originating in the 1930s, its zenith of popularity in the U.S. appears to have been from the mid to late 1940s well into the 1960s, though it was used as least into the 1970s in the U.S. and the early 1980s in Canada according to the website  (In fact, it was THE official Canadian beer bottle from 1961 to 1984.

History of the Steinie

A competing style to the stubbie was the steinie, an 11-12 oz. example of which is pictured to the below.  It also has a short, proportionally wide body but with a longer, moderate length neck that has a distinct bulge or "step-up" and a fairly sharply angled body to heel area.  This style with the step-up neck was apparently designed by the Owens-Illinois Glass Company about 1936 to vaguely mimic the taller and more well known export style beer bottle.   It appears that the steinie style was most popular from 1933 into the early 1950s but several East Coast brewers continued to use the Steinie into the late 1970's.