The practice of sending out barrels of beer to third parties for bottling was quite common in the 19th century. And it wasn't just the obvious candidates like Bass and Guinness who were up to it. I've seen Barclay Perkins labels that indicate bottling in Scotland. Third-party bottling continued in the 20th century, though it mostly withered away as brewers took up bottling themselves. Guinness still do it, I think.
"According to Wright, ale for bottling should be allowed to go through all its cask changes, spontaneous brilliancy (unaided by finings) at the end of them being the simplest criterion of ripeness for bottling.
The temperature of the bottling cellar should not exceed 55° F. (10° R.), and may well be lower, and a fair amount of ventilation, if it can be managed, with a uniform temperature is desirable. When bottled, however, a higher temperature is required to insure, proper condition, say from 58° to 6o° F. (11.5° to 12.5° R.) ; but note that too speedy maturity is not to be wished for. pointing, as il does, to faulty brewing or incomplete secondary fermentation.
Messrs. Bass & Co. used to issue the following instructions to their agents:
'The proper season for bottling pale ale commences in November and ends in June."American handy-book of the brewing, malting and auxiliary trades" by Robert Wahl and Max Henius, 1902, pages 811 - 812.
Pale ale should not be bottled during the summer months, nor after hot weather has set in, even though the temperature should afterward become cool.
The ale should be placed bung upward in a cool, ventilated store, about 50° to 55° F. temperature.
If the ale should get into a brisk state of fermentation, a porous cane or porous oak spile should he inserted in the hung until the excessive fermentation has subsided, when a tight, close peg should be substituted.
Ale should never be allowed to become flat.
It should be bright and sparkling when bottled, but not fermenting. The bottles to lie corked directly they are filled.
In bottling, a tap with a tube reaching toward the bottom of the bottles should be used.
When corked, the bottles to be piled standing upright and not lying on their sides.
When the ale becomes ripe, a sediment will be deposited in the bottles. In uncorking be careful not to disturb it, but empty the contents of the bottle into a jug, keeping back the sediment.'"
I love the idea of bottling, just like football or cricket, having a season.