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Pabst Bottle.

Big Beer Bottle Budges Grudgingly

What is perhaps the World's Largest Bottle -- 60 feet tall, with a capacity of 55,000 gallons -- is gradually being pried loose from its 100+-foot-tall tower in Newark, New Jersey. The bottle, a water tank originally built in 1930 to promote Hoffman Pale Dry Ginger Ale, was slated to be torn down in 2004, and again in 2005, but each time it proved more sturdy than the machinery sent to destroy it.

Now a third attempt has begun to remove the bottle -- this time with the goal of preserving it. But the bottle is still putting up a fight.

The bottle achieved fame when the Hoffman plant was taken over by Pabst, which turned the tank into a glossy blue Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer bottle. Six men could stand on its glittering gold stopper, and the bottle was even featured in episodes of The Sopranos. But the plant closed in 1986, and in recent years the bottle, untended, has rusted to a uniform red. Now the old facility is being demolished, and the bottle is in the crosshairs.

The man in charge of the bottle's removal has vowed to restore it to its Pabst glory, and then to move it to another location in New Jersey, possibly in Newark, possibly someplace on the Jersey Shore. First, however, he has to overcome its inertia. Perhaps someone should tell the bottle that better days for it lie ahead, and that it is time to let go.

Gone, dismantled.

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