International Society for Beer Label Collectors

We have neglected the international side of label collecting. As the year draws to a close, we have added a small selection of labels from the USA. Collectors of labels from Great Britain look down upon American examples, probably influenced largely by the quality of the beer produced in the 1970s and 80s.

The first set of labels are from the Pre-Prohibition era, for beer produced before 1920, Most of the examples here are from the early part of the 20th Century and illustrate the wide range of Ales, Lager Beers, Stouts and Porters that were brewed. Note also the use of XXX to signify strength in the same way as we did here.

One or two of the labels give the contents and no messing about with thirds of a fluid ounce. The United states routinely gave the contents from the 1930s onwards, and no fractions.

Finally you wont find many beers advertised as having been produced in ‘Improved sanitary conditions by skilled union workmen’. More’s the pity.

There is a plan to extend this section into the Prohibition era and after repeal, when legal beer returned.

Go to Featured Brewery > Overseas > USA

Let us know what you think. Happy New Year everyone!!



  • Pete S

    Nice addition, some interesting names there. Were Bass any relation to the UK shoal?
    Perhaps this will generate some interest, ho hum!

  • Fascinated by beer labels

    I was one of those who thought US labels were about as interesting as synchronised swimming, but I am truly amazed by these. Interesting beers and great designs. I would love to know what ‘Heavy Dark Beer’ was like. The Burton Ale, English Ale, Scotch Ale, they all hark back to the UK. I would like to see some more of these.

  • Yorkshire Terrier

    I quite like synchronised swimming actually, but I agree with the sentiments. I would have thought as interesting as a Bud Lite might have been more appropriate. I have seen a lot of American labels, but very few as interesting as these. The statement” Pure and without drugs or poison” is brilliant. And what about Alpenweiss Beer, “It has a delicious distinctive taste seldom found in American beers”. Couldn’t have put it better myself.
    And all that German on the label from Allentown; “The Germans still drank one before they left” More of this please.

  • Alastair W

    Hi !! I’ve just been looking at the USA labels – absolutely fabulous! Especially the one guaranteeing lack of drugs and poisons.
    It just goes to show that some US beers were pretty dreadful even in pre-prohibition that a brewer had to point out that his beers didn’t contain noxious materials. Bud & Miller I think still do!

  • Peter D

    Really pleased with the response to these labels. We have added a number with more to come tomorrow. The statement “Pure and without drugs or poison” originates from the 1906 Food & Drugs Act which tried to clean up adulterated or mislabeled food and drugs. It was a requirement that ingredients were properly labeled.
    Even better is the statement on the Albany label that their beer is “recommended by medical men as a tonic food, flesh builder, bloodmaker and strengthener” (spelled wrongly) as well as guaranteed under the 1906 act.

  • Pete S

    Interesting posts resulting on this theme. Not wishing to Muddy (the) Waters, [my attempt at a joke], it might be interesting to see a comparison between US & UK labeling requirements. This could be by date & regulatory Acts etc.
    Afraid I don’t really have any US of A labels, so am unable to help, but I thought I would throw it out there for you guys to consider.
    And as to Alistair’s comment re Bud etc. If they do not contain noxious materials they certainly taste as if they do!

  • Fascinated by beer labels

    I would disagree that some of these beers taste of noxious materials, in fact I have failed to discern any taste at all.

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