MY BERKSHIRE STONE GINGER BEER COLLECTION
Hello, and may I wish you a very warm welcome to my website dedicated to my Berkshire stone ginger beer collection. Ginger Beer bottles are often known just as gb's and I will often refer to just gb's on my website so apologies for that in advance.
At the time stone ginger beers were made (approximately between 1830 and 1930) the Berkshire county borders were different to what they are today. The only really significant changes happened in 1974 when a large part of North Berkshire was transferred to Oxfordshire. This included places like; Abingdon, Didcot, Faringdon, East and West Hagbourne, Littleworth, Wallingford and Wantage. So, because stone ginger beer bottles pre-date this, I include these places as part of my Berkshire ginger beer collection. I always refer to these as "old" Berkshire.
More normally of course Berkshire now includes; Ascot, Bracknell, Bradfield, Datchet, Earley, Hungerford, Inkpen, Maidenhead, Mortimer, Newbury, Pangbourne, Reading, Slough, Sonning, Thatcham, Theale, Twyford, Wargrave, Windsor and Wokingham. Also, of course, any other town or village that exists or used to exist (e.g. Chalvey which now forms part of Slough) within these "old" Berkshire county borders.
The actual oldest known incised stone ginger beer bottle from Berkshire is a J. Hodgson one from Reading and has been dated to 1825.
As you will see from the website, I collect different versions of each ginger beer. Sometimes even if they look identical they could have a different bottle makers mark, or have a very slightly different size text, or be a slightly different colour or size, etc. I am always therefore keen to see pictures of any ginger beers even if they look suspiciously similar to the ones I have currently in my Berkshire collection. Obviously, if they are different in some way then I am keen to buy them for my collection.
The website is essentially an index by place, of my collection, with all the details of each bottle recorded. I also include a page on the brief history of ginger beer and one on the various different types of stone ginger beer bottle that existed.
I have set this website up for several reasons:
1) To advertise the fact that I collect stone ginger beers from Berkshire (and "old" Berkshire).
2) To keep my fellow collectors up to date with any that I find and photograph and log the details of them for all to see.
3) As a research tool for others who are looking at brewing history in Berkshire during the Victorian period and thereafter because these bottles give clues, and help substantiate with physical evidence, any research that is done.
If you have any, or know the whereabouts of any, Berkshire and "old" Berkshire stone ginger beers then please do not hesitate to contact me. My details are on the "CONTACT ME" page of this website. If you have any history of breweries that may help in research, I am of course also interested. Also I have friends who collect other Berkshire bottles and so would be glad to help them out if you have anything from our county of interest.