Gilbert Brewery Soda Label Collection - Virginia City, Montana

SKU: SOD1054 $6.95 USD

Historic Overview

This rare collection of labels comes from The Gilbert Brewing Company of Virginia City, Montana. It includes 7 labels, Strawberry Soda, Champagne Cider, Lemon Soda, Ginger Ale, Sarsaparilla Soda, Orange Cider, and Bull Ginger Ale. Since the brewery started making these drinks in 1916, we think these labels date to around 1920. Five of the labels measure 4.6" Wide x 3.25" High. The Sarsaparilla Soda is 4.25" Wide x 3.15" High and the Bull Ginger Ale is 3.8" Wide x 2.75" High. You won't find this group of labels anywhere else.

The Gilbert Brewing Company is Montana's oldest brewery and began in 1863, less than a month after gold was discovered in Alder creek. It brewed beer with fresh spring water and aged at a cool temperature by routing the cool creek water through the aging room. The town grew rapidly and by the end of the year the brewery was in the heart of a booming town called Virginia City with 7,000 thirsty miners. The first ingredient used to brew beer was sage brush since supplies were hard to come by. They moved to traditional ingredients and Gilbert Beer was proclaimed by authorities to be among the best in the country. It was a profitable business until 1916 when Montana joined the prohibition movement. The brewery continued brewing but turned to non-alcoholic beverages such as Bromo Pop, Ironbrew, cream soda, root beer, strawberry soda, and ginger ale. The recipes, I guess were made in small batches before 1916, since we have a copy of the recipes dated 1899 (see photo). Unfortunately, these products did not generate enough revenue to survive the tumultuous times and the brewery ceased operations and closed its doors in 1934.


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Southern Plantation Georgia Cane Syrup Label
This Georgia Cane Syrup label went on a 1 pound 2 ounce can and measures 10.85” Wide x 3” High. It was grown, packed, and guaranteed by Cane Growers Co-Operative Association in Cairo, Georgia, who was really the W. B. Roddenbery Company.This was made from pure Georgia ribbon cane and “absolutely nothing else but the juice of Georgia ribbon cane.” The label is just gorgeous and the images don’t really do it justice. It features a Southern Mansion, workers harvesting the sugar cane, and a little log cabin in the woods with a black family making the syrup. I love their slogan, “When Better Syrup is Made. We Will Make It.”   We acquired these labels from a former employee who found them in the “Old Association Warehouse” in Cairo, Ga.   Dr. Seaborn Anderson Roddenbery started his medicine practice in 1862 in a horse-drawn buggy. In the same year he purchased a farm and sold open kettle sugar cane syrup from his medical buggy as he made his rounds. By 1867 he had an office and a general store that sold syrup from large cypress barrels, and people would bring their own jars and fill them with his cane syrup. Within five more years he had acquired 1000 acres and started to reduce his medicine practice, since he claimed 90% of his patients didn’t pay him anyway. In 1889 Roddenbery marketed the first pure Georgia cane syrup as "Roddenbery's Old Plantation Molasses." Around 1920 the business became known as the W. B. Roddenbery Company and he formed the Cane Growers Co-Operative Association. W. H. Roddenbery was a brother-in-law and owned a wholesale grocery store in Cairo. He had Roddenbery package syrup for him and later the W. B. Roddenbery Company packaged syrup for companies like A & P, Blue Plate, and Kraft. He changed the labels to read “packed for” instead of “packed by”.   WE GUARANTEE OUR LABELS TO BE AUTHENTIC AND AS DESCRIBED!

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