The strongest argument for a second pottery beer in Eau Claire Wisconsin is of course the existence of the first one! These bottles were a capital investment for their owners and they wanted to get them back. If you were the only game in town it was less of an issue. But to have your competitor get your bottle and use it would be horrible. Besides, unlike glass bottles where an expensive mold would have to be made to customize your bottles, with clay it was a simple stamp that could not have added materially to the cost.
So to get us started, here's a picture of the E.R. Hantzsch pottery beer. Did he have competitors?
Our first clue comes from Chippewa Falls, where during my research into possible pottery beer users in that adjacent burg I ran across this from 1874:
I note that it does not say that the product is being made in Eau Claire, only that he intends to begin production. Alas for our story there is basically nothing more about Mr. Tolevar in any local sources. I've even run various spellings of his last name. Nada.
Our next candidate is also elusive but not quite a ghost. In the first week of June 1878 this ad ran a few times:
But for an even earlier mention of a possible pottery beer from Eau Claire a brief side trip is necessary. The enigmatic Mr. Tolevar claimed to be selling as one of his wares something called Cronk Beer. The nice alliteration with crock notwithstanding, the name actually comes from its supposed inventor a certain Warren Cronk. Circa 1840 he is said to have invented a Temperance Drink with minimal alcohol content. It was flavored with sarsaparilla, sassafras, ginger and whatnot. It attained a modicum of popularity in the decades that followed. Not everyone cared for it I guess, as evidenced by this rather roundabout passage from an 1873 Eau Claire paper:
With so little to go on it's hard to say if this was what Tolevar was selling or perhaps a reference to the product of the Hantzsch brewery, which per their ads did include various "small beers" such as Cream Ale. It could even be an unknown third company.
So there you have it. In the correct time period there seem to have been two other enterprises putting up products that should have been in pottery bottles. Were they marked? Well that would make good sense. Should we be discouraged that none have turned up yet? Nah, in the 35 years I've lived in the area not a single specimen - nor even a shard - of the known to exist Hantzsh bottle has come out of the ground despite diligent efforts by local enthusiasts. There are still interesting things hiding underfoot.