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Ironside Ale Bottle and Advertisement

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In 1993, Olde Time Brewers Inc. in Boston began producing a specialty “Ironside Ale” that was brewed and bottled in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. According to a newspaper article about the ale, Jeanette and Rick Dugas decided to produce “Ironside Ale” as an “alternative” to imported beer.

The large label on the bottle and the bottle cap include depictions of the USS Constitution under sail. The label on the neck of the bottle reads: “When tall ships ruled the high seas, captains enjoyed a robust ale brewed just for their pleasure. These rich, hearty ales came from the First Runs of each batch brewed. ‘Old Ironsides’ stocked such a brew in the holds of her ironclad belly – amply protected for her captains. Olde Time Brewers, Inc. revives this noble tradition using the First Run process. A tribute to the ales of yesteryear. Hoist one.” A table card was produced alongside the specialty Ironside Ale.

During the War of 1812, U.S. Navy sailors received a half pint (8 ounces) of spirits daily, served to them in a controlled manner. Beer did not keep well on extended sea voyages, so alcohol rations for the crew typically included grog, a mixture of water and liquor (usually dark rum). Provisions of strong ale were reserved for the captain and commissioned officers, unless those provisions were intended for hospital stores.

Olde Time Brewers Inc.

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Paper, Glass, Metal

Bottle: [H]8 in. [D]2 3/4 in.; Advertisement: [H]3 in. [W]4 in. __[D]2 1/4 in.

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Credit Line
USS Constitution Museum Collection.

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