Stoneware bottle from the Gipfel Union Brewery
Before the widespread availability of inexpensive glass bottles, brewers distributed their products in reusable wooden barrels and ceramic jugs and bottles. David Gipfel and his son Charles, both of Wurttemberg, Germany, started the Gipfel Union Brewery in the 1840s. The brewery, located on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, produced beer into the 1890s. Charles Gipfel built a Federal-style stone building for the brewery in 1853, which was considered the oldest surviving brewery building in the city until it was demolished in 2009.
via: Milwaukee Public Museum by way of Wisconsin Decorative Arts Database
read more: Tom Daykin, “Closing Time for Gipfel,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 5, 2009