How was beer transported before the advent of cars?


Posted by: Chris Odogwu

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Beer needs no introduction. How was this popular alcoholic drink transported before the advent of cars? Click to read the interesting modes of transportation!

Do you drink beer? Even if you do not, beer is not alien to you. It is a very common alcoholic drink across the world. Chances are that you know people who drink beer. This article is not about whether it is good to drink beer or not, but about the mediums used to transport it in the olden days, long before the advent of vehicles.

Before cars came on board, producers of beer took it to their customers in different locations for sale, and business was moving just fine. Undoubtedly, cars and other modern vehicles made the transportation of beer easier, but we should not be in a hurry to forget the mediums that helped us when they were non-existent.

Below are 8 ways beer was transported without cars, brought to you by!

1. Horse-drawn carts

Beer has always been very popular in Europe. As a matter of fact, it was consumed a lot more than water in some quarters. The people’s favorite drink was moved from one place to another via horse-drawn carts before cars graced the streets of Amsterdam. It was not until 1900 that Heineken factory purchased its very first vehicle used for transporting beer.


Horse-drawn-cart was the first beer transportation medium

2. Amstel car

You could count the number of people in the world who owned a vehicle in 1907. Drinks dealer, Chris Eijik, parked the first manufactured Amstel car in his Anton van Vuuren café located in the city center of Amsterdam. It enhanced the transportation of beer by the company and also served as proof of their elite status.


Chris Eijik had the first Amstel vehicle for transporting beer in 1907

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3. Daimler vehicles

Daimler vehicles were some of the earliest vehicles used for the transportation of beer. These vehicles were first spotted at the popular Guinness House – St. James's Gate Brewery. The factory name was boldly written in front of the vehicles as a form of advertisement to promote their brand.


Daimler vehicles were first used by St. James's Gate Brewery for transporting beer

4. Triangel

The Triangel can pass for the first “beautiful” vehicle used to transport beer in the 20th century in faraway Denmark, in the Danish city between 1918 to 1959. The Carlsberg factory had the pleasure of having the Triangel which had an engine of 55-horsepower Hercules in 1928.

Triangel-used-for transporting-beer

The Triangel was the first beer transport medium with a beautiful outlook

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5. Ford Model T

The beer industry was very creative with the use of vehicles for advertisement. It was common to see the names of brands clearly written on vehicles conveying the drink.


Ford model T used for transporting beer was produced in 1914

Cars taking the shape of bottles came on the scene in the 1920s, and they were really fancy. One of these cars was the Ford Model T – a product manufactured by F.Bülow & Co in 1914 for one of the top dealers Carlsberg.

6. Morris Commercial J-type

The 1930s were significant in the beer industry. It was at that period that the world got to see the very first four-wheel vehicle used for the transportation of beer. With cars like the Morris Commercial J-type, beers were being taken to far places for distribution. The 41-horspower car was manufactured by JC Bentzen.


JC Bentzen produced the 41-horsepower 

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7. Horses

The 1970s marked the social revolution era, and horses made a comeback to the beer transportation industry. Manufacturers of beer were keen on promoting a vintage means of transportation, and horses were a perfect fit.


Horses resurfaced as a means of transporting beer in the social revolution era

8. Clydesdale horses

One would think that after the revolution era of the 1970s, the use of horses for transportation of beer would fade away, but apparently, horses have come to stay.

Clydesdale horses are the most popular breed used in the beer industry for transportation. They have a height of 170cm, and their name was gotten from a Scottish region. Dating back to 1933 to this day, eight Clydesdale horses are still used for transporting beer in countries including the Unites States. With the presence of cars, it is obvious that the horses are used for their aesthetic appeal.


Clydesdale horses are still used to transport beer for their aesthetics

These various mediums used to transport beer in the past served a good purpose to lovers of the alcoholic drink. Thankfully, we now have different kinds of vehicles that are used with ease to move drinks from one point to another at the shortest time possible. In Nigeria, a party is hardly complete without cartons of beer to go round. The next time you grab a bottle of beer, make a toast to the interesting evolution of beer transportation.

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Chris Odogwu

Chris Odogwu

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Chris Odogwu is a Content Writer and Journalist. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from University of Jos and a master's degree in Mass Communication from University of Lagos. His works have been published in top local and international publications including Forbes, HuffPost, ThriveGlobal, TheNextScoop and Nigeria360 among others. A member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the thrill he gets from writing about exotic cars feels almost the same as riding in them.

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