From the Bottle Collection: Carling Dark Beer


 Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice: tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s; OR, cover them with… The Bottle Collection.

 I’m sure this came from the 60s, at best the very early 70s. Back then, on the east coast, “exotic” qualified mostly as beer like this. Forget anything that would eventually qualify as craft. The closest was probably Anchor, but that was west coast. When we got Coors a lot of folks thought it a “special treat.” In upstate NY you had to go far west or Canada. We chose Canada in 74 and had Guinness Foreign Extra: the one they just brought into the country a few years ago. Then there was Prior Double Dark out of Pennsylvania which, from what I remember, was probably closest to a London Brown, though it may have been a lager.
 Of course I have no way of reviewing something I had almost 50 years ago. I would think it probably would qualify as an International Dark these days: adjunct lager with some food coloring, a few more complex malts at best and not highly hopped. Similar to Shaeffer Dark, Miller Dark, Pabst Dark, Utica Club Dark. It probably wasn’t the best one, either that or all that available. I think we used to drink a lot of Pabst and Shaeffer.
Carling O’Keefe is listed as the brewer, out of Vancouver. However there’s an odd note on the side of the bottle…

 FOR CONSUMER INJURIES 1-800-MOLSON-1

Former Peerless Motor Company turned into a brewery by Carling in the 60s.
 Really? Were those common back then? If this were one of the very early pop top cans I might understand: many people cut themselves on them, mostly on the lip or fingers,. Mostly by being drunk, stupid or both.
 The bottle also has ‘Union Made’ on it, something we see far less of these days. According to Wiki Carling brands are distributed by Miller in some countries, not surprising since consolidation has led to all this being one company. (Better beer? Maybe NOT so much!)
The Canadian brewery

 From the Bottle collection is a column by Ken Carman: homebrewer since 1979, collector of bottles and such, Certified beer judge and columnist. Ken Lives in Nashville, Tennessee, Eagle Bay and Beaver River, NY.
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