Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


September 27, 2012

Dalton column: Mystery - and history - of 1930s bottle


This reminds me that 45 years ago I once, only once, made beer in my house; it was kind of an “in” thing to do. I bought bottles, caps, and a press that capped the bottles and then followed a recipe that was in a popular magazine. After capping, the beer was supposed to sit for a certain time, say three weeks, and was then ready to drink.

Almost three weeks after the bottling, I heard a loud pop, like a .22 caliber rifle, and the source of the noise was one of the three dozen bottles of beer I made. It blew its lid with such violence that I was afraid to touch the other bottles. Within hours, they blew as well, leaving the closet that contained them looking like a scene that deserved a CSI visit. I tasted some of the liquid that didn’t explode on the closet’s contents and thought it was something only a rummy might consume. Strangely, I kind of liked it.


Bill Dalton writes a weekly column for the Andover Townsman, and his email address is

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