Today is the 38th birthday of Peter Hoey, who used to be the brewmaster at Sacramento Brewing, then left to launch a new brewery, Odonata Beer Co., with Rick Sellers, which sadly ran into some hurdles that had nothing to do with how good the beer was that Peter was making. He’s also brewed at Sierra Nevada and Bison Brewing, too. Then Peter was working at Brewers Supply Group, having taken over Mark Worona’s old job (since he’s been promoted). More recently, he’s left BSG to start his own brewery in downtown Sacramento, Urban Roots Brewing. Their Facebook is live this morning, too. Peter’s partnering in the venture with Rob Archie, who also owns the Pangaea Bier Cafe. Peter’s a great brewer and has become a good friend over the years. Join me in wishing Peter a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of Charles Buxton (November 18, 1823-August 10, 1871). He “was an English brewer, philanthropist, writer and member of Parliament. Buxton was born in Cobham, Surrey, the third son of Sir Thomas Buxton, 1st Baronet, a notable brewer, MP and social reformer, and followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a partner in the brewery of Truman, Hanbury, Buxton, & Co in Brick Lane, Spitalfields, London, and then an MP. He served as Liberal MP for Newport, Isle of Wight (1857–1859), Maidstone (1859–1865) and East Surrey (1865–1871). His son Sydney Buxton was also an MP and governor of South Africa.”
The original brewery was probably established by the Bucknall family, who leased the site in the seventeenth century. The site’s first associations with brewing can be traced back to 1666 when a Joseph Truman is recorded as joining William Bucknall’s Brewhouse in Brick Lane. Part of the site was located on Black Eagle Street, hence the brewery’s name. Truman appears to have acquired the lease of the brewery in 1679, upon the death of William Bucknell. Through the Truman family’s efforts – not least those of Sir Benjamin Truman (who joined the firm in 1722) – the business expanded rapidly over the following 200 years. By 1748 the Black Eagle Brewery was the third largest brewery in London, and likely the world, with 40,000 barrels produced annually.
In the mid-18th century Huguenot immigrants introduced a new beverage flavoured with hops, which proved very popular. Initially, Truman’s imported hops from Belgium, but Kent farmers were soon encouraged to grow hops to help the brewery meet growing demand.
Sir Benjamin died in March 1780 and, without a son to take on the business, it passed to his grandsons. In 1789, the brewery was taken over by Sampson Hanbury (Hanbury had been a partner since 1780; the Truman family became ‘sleeping partners’). Hanbury’s nephew, Thomas Fowell Buxton, joined the company in 1808, improved the brewing process, converted the works to steam power and, with the rapid expansion and improvement of Britain’s road and rail transport networks, the Black Eagle label soon became famous across Britain (by 1835, when Buxton took over the business upon Hanbury’s death, the brewery was producing some 200,000 barrels (32,000 m3) of porter a year).
The Brick Lane brewery – now known as Truman, Hanbury, Buxton & Co – took on new partners in 1816, the Pryor brothers (the company’s owners were renowned for their good treatment of their workers – providing free schooling – and for their support of abolitionism). By 1853 the brewery was the largest in the world, producing 400,000 barrels of beer each year, with a site covering six acres.
However, the company also faced competition from breweries based outside London – notably in Burton upon Trent, where the water was particularly suitable for brewing – and in 1873 the company acquired a brewery (Phillips) in Burton and began to build a major new brewery, named the Black Eagle after the original London site.
In 1888, Truman, Hanbury, Buxton & Co became a public company with shareholders, but the balance of production was now shifting to Burton. The Brick Lane facility remained active through a take-over by the Grand Metropolitan Group in 1971 and a merger with Watney Mann in 1972, but it was in terminal decline. It eventually closed in 1989.
Glenn Payne wrote the Truman, Hanbury, Buxton & Co. entry for the Oxford Companion to Beer:
Truman, Hanbury, Buxton & Co. was a venerable British brewery that operated for more than 3 centuries before it closed its doors in 1988. The original brewery was built on Lolsworth Field, Spitalhope, London, by Thomas Bucknall in 1669. He was soon joined by Joseph Truman, who became brewery manager in 1694. Joseph Truman brought Joseph Truman Jr into the company in 1716 and his executor, Sir Benjamin Truman, who took ownership of the business in 1722. Two years later a new brewery, The Black Eagle, was built on nearby Brick Lane, which grew to become Britain’s second largest brewery, employing some 1,000 people. Sir Benjamin died in 1780 without a direct male heir and left the brewery to his grandsons. In the same year, Sampson Hanbury became a partner and took over control in 1789. His nephew, Thomas Fowler Buxton, joined in 1808. He improved the brewing process by adopting innovations in brewing technology brought about by the Industrial Revolution. Outside his activities in the brewery, Buxton was a renowned philanthropist, and he was elected a member of Parliament in 1818. He was associated with William Wilberforce, a leader in the fight to end the British slave trade. By the time of his death in 1845, the brewery produced about 305,000 hl of porter annually. The brewery is even mentioned in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield (1850). Seizing upon the growing influence of Burton as a brewing center in the 19th century, the company acquired the Phillips brewery there in 1887 and 2 years later became a public company. But its fortunes declined with the shift in popular taste away from porter toward pale ale near the end of the 19th century. In 1971, the brewery was acquired by the Grand Metropolitan Group, which, in turn, was merged into Watney Mann 1 year later. Thomas, Hanbury, and Buxton ceased production in 1988 but its brewery still stands on its site in Brick Lane, London, where it has been redeveloped into a complex of residential housing, offices, restaurants, galleries, and shops.
They also later built a Black Eagle Brewery in Burton. As you’d expect, Martyn Cornell has an amazingly thorough account of Trumans, which he refers to as When Brick Lane was home to the biggest brewery in the world.
Friday’s ad is for Guinness, from 1951. While the best known Guinness ads were undoubtedly the ones created by John Gilroy, Guinness had other creative ads throughout the same period and afterward, too, which are often overlooked. In this ad, the “Guinness Guide to Cheese,” ten different types of cheese are illustrated, each with a short description of how they taste, and what other foods to pair with them, not to mention how good a glass of Guinness will pair with each cheese.
For a few years now, the City of Leipzig in Germany, has been celebrating today as International Happy Gose Day, or at least the Gosenschenke, or Gose-tavern, known as “Ohne Bedenken” (which translates as “Without Concern”), who started the holiday.
Here’s their history from the Gosenschenke website:
In 1899 the innkeeper family Cajeri relocated to Gohlis (which was a little village just outside Leipzig back then) and founded the Gose-tavern “Ohne Bedenken” / “Without Concern” together with the huge beer garden. In 1905 the construction of the house and the Biedermeier-like Gose-bar-parlour followed. The name “Without Concern” traces back to Cajeri’s waiter Karl Schmidt. He always answered the question of the guests whether this pigswill was drinkable or not “…without concern!”
And this is from the Leipzig Pub Guide online:
At the end of the 19th century, when Gose was at the peak of its popularity, there were dozens of Gosenschenke in Leipzig. Ohne Bedenken belongs to this period, being built in 1899 in the suburb of Gohlis at a time when Leipzig was expanding rapidly in size. It was for a decade the only pub in the world selling this legendary beer.
The building was damaged in wartime air-raids, but struggled along until as a pub until1958. After lying empty for a while, it became a Kulturzentrum for DDR soldiers in 1960. In 1968 a nearby polyclinic took it over for use by its X-ray department. When they left in the 1970’s, the historic pub again remained unused for many years.
An article, published in the local Leipziger Blätter newspaper in 1983, evoking memories of Gose and Ohne Bedenken caught the attention of Lothar Goldhahn. He visited the premises, saw their potential and decided Leipzig deserved to have at least one remnant of its Gose culture preserved. Somehow persuaded the DDR authorities to let him restore and re-open Ohne Bedenken in the mid -1980’s.
It seemed logical that a Gosenschänke should offer its customers a Gose. This caused him two big problems: what did Gose taste like and who could brew it for him? His first Gose, perfected after much research amongst older drinkers, was brewed in Berlin at the Schultheiss Berliner Weisse brewery.
Hanisch Gose signObtaining a supply of Gose has never been an easy matter. Between 1988 and 1991 he had to make do with Berliner Weisse. From 1991 to 1995 Goldhahn ran his own small brewery, but the limited demand for Gose made this economically unviable. The pub currently sells both of the Goses made in Leipzig (and the world, for that matter).
The interior has been restored to something akin to its original state and is stuffed full with Gose memorabilia in the form of old advertisements and bottles. The style is similar to that of traditional beerhalls throughout Germany in its comfortable, uncomplicated design. For those intimidated by the sourness of straight Gose, a selection of Gose cocktails are available.
The combination of a traditional, cosy atmosphere and friendly, enthusiastic staff, make it by far the best pub I’ve found in Leipzig or, for that matter, anywhere in the old DDR. The only drawback is its inconvenient location, in a northern suburb about a kilometre and a half away from the city centre. If you don’t fancy the walk, you can take a number 11 tram from the Hauptbahnhof.
For their 100th anniversary in 1999, they published a booklet entitled “Gose Häppchen: 100 Jahre Gosenschenke Ohne Bedenken,” which is less than 80 pages. Here are some of the illustrations from that book showing early imagery of gose.
Thursday’s ad is for Guinness, from 1951. While the best known Guinness ads were undoubtedly the ones created by John Gilroy, Guinness had other creative ads throughout the same period and afterward, too, which are often overlooked. In this ad, the “Guinness Guide to Oysters,” nine different types of oysters are illustrated, each with a short description of how they taste, although I take the overriding assumption to be that they should be enjoyed with a Guinness.
Today is the birthday of Charles Liebmann (November 16, 1837-June 23, 1928). He was born in Schmiedelfeld, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. His father owned the Castle Schmiedelfeld, but when Charles was two, the family moved to Ludwigsburg and operated the Zum Stern Inn there, which also included a brewery. For political reasons, some of the family moved to America around 1850 to build a home, and the rest followed in 1854. Initially he ran the old Maasche Brewery, but later built a new brewery in Bushwick. Originally, it was called the Samuel Liebmann Brewery, but when his sons joined the brewery, it was called the S. Liebmann’s Sons Brewery. When Joseph’s father died in 1872, Charles and his brothers took over the family brewery. After prohibition ended, the brothers’ six sons re-opened the brewery as the simpler Liebmann Breweries, but in 1964 they changed the name again to Rheingold Breweries, after their most popular beer. The brewery closed in 1976.
This biography of Liebmann is translated from his German Wikipedia page:
Charles Liebmann was born in 1837. His father Samuel Liebmann was at that time owner of the estate Schloss Schmiedelfeld. In 1840, the family moved to Ludwigsburg and operated there the inn “Zum Stern” with attached brewery. There Liebmann attended the secondary school.
After the father decided for political reasons to emigrate to America, Liebmann’s brother Joseph was sent ahead in 1850 to build a new home. This settled in Williamsburg. Four years later, the rest of the family followed.
In the new home Liebmanns first operated the old Maasche Brewery. For a short time Liebmann was employed by the F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company as Küfer. Later, the family built a new brewery in Bushwick – the S. Liebmann Brewery.
After the death of his father Samuel Liebmann in 1872, his sons took over the management of the brewery and renamed it S. Liebmann’s Sons Brewery. The Liebmann brothers alternated with each other as Chief Executive Officer each year. Charles Liebmann was considered the technical director of the company. In 1903, the Liebmann brothers retired and handed over the management of the company to six of their sons.
Liebmann died in 1928 in New York.
This short biography of Charles is from his Ancestory.com page:
When Charles Liebmann was born on November 16, 1837, in Schwäbisch Hall, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, his father, Samuel, was 38 and his mother, Sara, was 36. He married Sophia Bendix on October 22, 1865. They had six children during their marriage. He died on June 23, 1928, in Manhattan, New York, at the age of 90, and was buried in Queens, New York.
This is from “The Originators of Rheingold Beer: From Ludwigsburg to Brooklyn – A Dynasty of German-Jewish Brewers,” by Rolf Hofmann, originally published in Aufbau, June 21, 2001:
New Yorkers over the age of fifty will remember the brand name Rheingold Beer and the company’s brilliant publicity stunt in which a bevy of attractive young women competed annually for the privilege of being elected that year’s Miss Rheingold and appearing in ads on billboards and in the subways throughout the New York area.
The beer’s evocative name with its allusion to Germany’s great river, was the culmination of a German-Jewish family enterprise that had its beginnings in 1840 in the town of Ludwigsburg, north of Stuttgart, in what was then the Kingdom of Württemberg. One Samuel Liebmann, a member of a prominent Jewish family in the region, settled there and bought the inn and brewery “Zum Stern.” A liberal and staunch supporter of Republican ideals, Liebmann encouraged other like-minded citizens, including some soldiers from the garrison, to meet in his hospitable surroundings. The ideas fomented there contributed to the local revolution of 1848. It brought the opprobrium of the King down upon Liebmann’s enterprise, and “Zum Stern” was declared off limits to the soldiers. Soon thereafter, in 1850, Samuel Liebmann emigrated to the U.S.
The family settled in Brooklyn and Samuel, together with his three sons, Joseph, Henry, and Charles, opened a brewery once again at the corner of Forest and Bremen Streets. With the responsibilities divided among the family – Henry became the brewing expert, Charles. the engineer and architect, Joseph, finance manager – the company was already flourishing by the time of Samuel’s death in 1872. Success also led to a concern for the company’s Brooklyn surroundings, and the Liebmanns became involved in local welfare – focusing on housing and drainage systems.
Each of the three brothers had two sons, and when the older Liebmanns retired in 1903, the six members of the third generation took over. Other members of the family also contributed to the gradual expansion of the company. In 1895 Sadie Liebmann (Joseph’s daughter), married Samuel Simon Steiner, a trader in high quality hop, an essential ingredient for good beer. Steiner’s father had begun merchandising hop in Laupheim in 1845 and still today, S.S. Steiner, with its headquarters in New York, is one of the leading hop merchants. Under these fortuitous family circumstances, beer production grew constantly. In the early years, the brewery had produced 1000 barrels per year, by 1914 its output stood at 700,000 barrels.
The Liebmann family.
Unfortunately, political developments in the U.S. between 1914 and 1933 were extremely disadvantageous for the Liebmann brewery. The resentment against Germany and anything German during World War I led to an informal boycott of German beers. Following close upon the lean wartime years, was the implementation of Prohibition in 1920 forbidding the manufacturing and trading of alcohol. The Liebmann enterprise managed to survive by producing lemonade and a product they called “Near Beer.”
With the reinstatement of legal alcohol production under President Roosevelt in 1933, opportunities for the brewery opened up, abetted by the anti-Semitic policies of Hitler’s Germany. The pressures on Jewish businessmen there, brought Dr. Hermann Schülein, general manager of the world-renowned LšwenbrŠu brewery, to America. Schulein’s father, Joseph, had acquired two of Munich’s leading breweries at the end of the nineteenth century–Union and Münchner Kindl–and his son had managed the 1920 merger with Löwenbrau. Arriving in New York with this experience behind him, Hermann Schülein became one of the top managers of the Liebmann brewery and was instrumental in its spectacular growth after World War II.
Working with Philip Liebmann (great-grandson of Samuel), Schülein developed a dry lager beer with a European character to be marketed under the brand name “Rheingold.” According to company legend, the name was created in 1883 at a brewery dinner following a performance at the Metropolitan Opera. When the conductor took up his glass, he was so taken with the shade of the beer, that he declared it to be the color of “Rheingold.” For New Yorkers, however, the name Rheingold did not bring to mind the Nibelungen fables, but the pretty young ladies who participated in Schülein’s most brilliant marketing strategy – the selection of each year’s Miss Rheingold by the beer-drinking public of greater New York
At the height of the campaign’s success in the 1950’s and 60’s, the Liebmann Brewery had an output of beer ten times that of Löwenbrau at the same time in Munich.
For thirty years, Rheingold Beer reigned supreme in the New York area, but by 1976, as a local brewery, it could no longer compete with nationwide companies such as Anheuser & Busch, Miller, and Schlitz, and its doors were closed. Only recently, using the same brewmaster, Rheingold is once again being sold in the tri-state area.
Here’s an “Origin of Liebmann Brewery” posted by a relative on Ancestry.com:
On May 12, 1833 (Sulzbach-Laufen Archive) Samuel and his older brother Heinrich bought a castle/inn Schmiedelfeld, Sulzbach-Laufen, Schwaebisch Hall District that dated from 1739. They renovated the place and created a prosperous farm/estate and in 1837 began a brewery in the cellar. In 1840, he moved to Ludwigsburg, near Stuttgart and purchased the gasthaus [guest house or inn] “Zum Stern” on Seestrasse 9 (later Zum Rebstock) which included a brewery. (source: Translation extract from Dr. Joacim Hahn’s book, History of the Jewish Community of Ludwigsburg)
After supporting a movement to oust King William I of Wurttemberg, and sensing the wavering tolerance of Jewish businessmen, Samuel sent his eldest son Joseph to the US in 1854 to scout out a location to establish a brewery.
Samuel retired in 1868 and turned the family business over to his sons Joseph, Charles, and Henry under the name S. Liebmann’s Sons Brewery.
Today is the 33rd birthday of Mark Dredge, who writes the beer blog Pencil and Spoon from his home in Kent, England. I’ve had the pleasure of drinking with Mark on a few of his trips across the pond. The first time, at the opening gala for SF Beer Week, and several years ago at the Beer Bloggers Conference in Boulder, Colorado, and more recently judging at GABF. By day, he works in digital marketing and social media, most recently for Pilsner Urquell, and by night, he’s “a beer writer and blogger.” The last two times I saw him, a few months ago in Belgium, and last week in San Francisco, it was working for Pilsner Urquell. In December 2009, he won the British Guild of Beer Writers New Media Writer of the Year for Pencil and Spoon. If you don’t read his stuff, you should. Join me in wishing Mark a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of Peter Ballantine (November 16, 1791–January 23, 1883). He “was the founder of Patterson & Ballantine Brewing Company in 1840 in Newark, New Jersey,” which is better known by its later name, the P. Ballantine and Sons Brewing Company.
He was born on November 16, 1791 in Dundee, Scotland. He emigrated to Albany, New York in 1820 and learned brewing. By 1830 he had established his own brewery there. In 1840 he moved to Newark, New Jersey and partnered with Erastus Patterson and leased the old High Street Brewery that had been built in 1805 by John R. Cumming. In 1845 Ballantine pulled out of the partnership. In 1850 Ballantine built his own brewery on the Passaic River and in 1857 took on his sons as partners.
Here’s a short bio of Ballantine from Find-a-Grave:
Businessman. He founded the Ballantine Brewing Company in 1840 in Newark, New Jersey. Born in Scotland, he emigrated to the United States in 1820, and learned the beer brewing craft in New York City, New York. He acquired a brewery with a partner and moved its operations to New Jersey. He became the sole proprietor in 1847, and the P. Ballantine and Sons Brewery would produce beer under that name until 1972. At the height of its operations it would be the 3rd largest brewer in the United States. Today the Ballantine Beer brand is owned and produced by the Pabst Brewing Company.
This is from “America’s Successful Men of Affairs: The United States at Large,” published in 1896
And here’s a history of the Ballantine brewery from “A History of American Manufactures from 1608 to 1860,” by John Leander Bishop, Edwin Troxell Freedley, Edward Young, published in 1868:
Wednesday’s ad is for Guinness, from 1953. While the best known Guinness ads were undoubtedly the ones created by John Gilroy, Guinness had other creative ads throughout the same period and afterward, too, which are often overlooked. In this ad, the “Guinness Guide to Game Birds,” seven birds are illustrated, each with a short description of the bird itself and, of course, how tasty it is, especially washed down with a glass of Guinness.
For our 130th Session, our host will be Bryan Yeager, who writes on his eponymous Bryan Yeager website. For his topic, he’s asking what would the perfect beer festival look like to you, and has called his topic Create Your Own Beerfest. Surely, you’ve been to a beer festival and thought, “I could do better.” Here’s your chance.
Here’s Bryan’s full explanation:
There are actually so many regional, local, and niche beer fests these days, we’re hearing a bit about “beerfest fatigue.” And I get that. Can you really hit 52 of ’em a year if you live somewhere near Portland, San Diego, Denver, Chicago, Philly, NYC, etc? As someone who attends more than my fair share, sadly not all are created equal, but one I may not care for is probably someone else’s annual favorite. Things to ponder:
- Size matters: When building your own fest, are you striving for a crowd of Oktoberfest proportions in the millions, an epic party of many thousands, or more intimate few hundred?
- Styles matter: From GABF where over 7,900 beers across every imaginable style (and mash-up) were available for sampling to themed events such as barrel-aged beers or holiday ales, to the plethora of IPA fests and some other single-style fests, would the event of your design be a grab-bag or exhibit razor-sharp focus?
- Locavore vs Globe Trotter: After deciding what kind of beers to feature, or even before, think about if you’re inviting your local breweries or ones from your Brewery Fantasy League. Are attendees going to be more tempted to support local or to get a taste of beers from breweries they don’t already have access to? Let’s put aside for a second how hard it can be to bring in a brewery that’s not already licensed to distribute in your home town if that’s where this event is.
- Location, location, and timing: The most important element of a successful event is its location. Followed by location. Followed by timing. When and where is this fantasy beerfest of yours? Is it in a city rife with events (meaning they’ve proven to be popular) or one starved for such a fest (but who’s to say if the locals will support)? And does it take place in the summer at the height of beer drinking season or a less-crowded date where it can shine on its own?
- Etcetera. There’s a lot more that goes into organizing a beer fest. (I know from experience in producing some that have turned into annual events and some I’ve let slip away as a one- or two-off.) So if you want to opine about your favorite kind of glassware (or hated glasses you always see), ticket prices, food vendors, or anything else that you hate witnessing or wonder why we don’t see something like we should, add that, too. Finally, end with a note about why you can see trying to make this fantasy fest a reality or why you’ll never advance this idea of yours beyond the Session post!
So how would you create a beer festival? What elements would you like to see, or what would you get rid of? Where would it be held? How many people would you allow? Food? Music? Glass or plastic? Tokens or all-you-can-sample for one price? How long would it last? Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Simply leave a comment at the original announcement and leave the URL to your post there, or tag him @yaeger when you post your perfect beer festival on Twitter.