View Full Version : Jug-and-bottle

20-12-2010, 08:18
Any one know what a jug-and-bottle is?

From The Prince Albert in Camden:

Like others, I was disappointed that the interior has been ripped out at some time in the past, leaving one large room with central bar where there would clearly have been three bars and a jug-and-bottle, judging by the number of doors.Will Larter

20-12-2010, 08:49
It is effectively an off licence. Years ago people could call in to the specific Jug & Bottle part of the pub (usually a small isolated counter with its own entrance) and grab some beer takeaways. Since you were expected to return any bottles, people would often bring their own containers to be filled up with beer and then take them home (hence bottle & jug). These days many pub interiors have been knocked about so very few remain although you will often see the names depicted in the glass of old doors and windows.

20-12-2010, 09:05
There's a good picture of a jug and bottle counter on the link below - third picture from the top.


20-12-2010, 10:41

Just spent about an hour trying and failing to find a good photo I have of the Jug and Bottle sign on the outside of the Golden Ball in York, and cannot find it. The wording is across the top of the pub where the name is, but cannot be seen on the photos already on the pub page. Great pub though and still has its many rooms and the hatch in a small room where presumably the jugs would be filled.

20-12-2010, 14:05
Interesting bit of history, thanks for that.

I am now wondering about whether that explains the design of a few of the bars I have been in.

20-12-2010, 14:22
Interesting bit of history, thanks for that.

I am now wondering about whether that explains the design of a few of the bars I have been in.

Yeah a couple of pubs spring to mind.

Cheers for the info guys, I'll be on the look out in future.

20-12-2010, 14:31
The trick is to look out for superfluous pub doors and old ceiling lines. A pub with 3 doors at the front would more than likely have originally had a Public Bar on one side, a Saloon Bar on the other and a Bottle & Jug in the middle.

20-12-2010, 21:26
A lot of the pubs round here used to have a seperate door - usually called "off - sales " or the " outdoor sales ". I am guessing these would have been the "bottle & jug" from years ago. When i was a kid I used to fetch beer for my great grandad. I used to take empty Whisky bottles to the outdoor at the Saltwells and they would put a pint of Mild in each one.

22-12-2010, 11:41
Brings back memories, Bottle & Jug was also the place us nippers could return empty beer bottles for 3d and get a bag of crisps or a 1d biscuit

We found we could increase our income by crawling under the chain link fence at the rear of the pub and helping ourselves to some empty previously returned bottles, just had to watch out for pub dog though

23-12-2010, 11:03
Because kids were not allowed in the bars they were places of mystery to me. I remember trying to peer into these magical places whenever I visited the jug and bottle. Some offsales were simply a hatch in the entrance to the pub.

23-12-2010, 14:20
Because kids were not allowed in the bars they were places of mystery to me..

Ah yes, left outside in the cold with a bottle of ginger beer and if lucky a bag of crisps, I remember it well

10-01-2011, 14:29
I am currently reading a book recommended to me Rex_Rattus called Back To The Local by Maurice Gorham written originally just before the war but updated shortly afterwards. It is basically a guide to drinking in London pubs and in it he describes the functions and purposes of the various sections that pubs were divided up into in those days including a small chapter on the Jug & Bottle bar.

One element of the J&B that I hadn't thought about was the secrecy factor. In those days pubs were more class driven and it was almost a social disgrace for some of the higher echelons of society to be seen stooping so low as to visit a pub. As the B&J bar was separately partitioned, it allowed people to sneak in unnoticed and top up with bottles of beer (that would often be wrapped in plain paper) and depart without being seen by the rest of the pub's clientelle.

11-01-2011, 08:57
I remember the Pubs in Ponders End my dad used too drink in during the early 60s One was called the Grapes and the other The Railway Tavern both had separate off licences and both had outside Toilets.
The Off licence on the Railway was in a small landing on the right hand side with just a hatch leading into the Public bar behind the Bar. Too the left of this hatch was a womans only Room with No bar and too get a drink they would have used the same hatch.:D
The one in the Grapes was a small Passage between the Public & Saloon Bars.
Sadly both Pubs were Demolished in the late sixty's when they built the Flats Maisonettes and redevelop the area a new Pub was built called the Hand & Hind a Ind Coope house which was absolute crap even back then that since has also long gone.

11-01-2011, 09:23