Beer In Ads #2323: Carling’s Nine Pints Of The Law


Friday’s ad is for Carling, from sometime between the early 1900s and the 1950s, sources vary. The ad, or ads, use an illustration entitled “Nine Pints of the Law,” by English artist Lawson Wood. It’s an obvious play on the legal term “nine points of the law,” or more fully “possession is nine points in the Law,” which was apparently a common saying, forst appearing in 1616 by Thomas Draxe, in Adages 163.

One print from the 1940s has text on the back that claims it was “Based On An Original Photograph Taken At Carlings Brewery, London, Ontario – 1881,” although the artist would have been only three at the time. Of course, he could have painted this from the photograph when he was olders. Another sources claims it was created in the early 1900s, and Wood started working as a commercial illustrator at last by 1896, so the timeing works. Other sources give various decades, such as the 1930s, 1940s or 1950s, although it seems likely that Carling continued to use the painting in ads for many decades. Below are several different uses of the artwork in Carling advertising, though I’m uncertain of the exact date of any of them, apart from most likely the first half of the 20th century.

Here’s a simple poster framing the art, with just the brewery name, “Carling’s” below the picture.

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This green poster is for Carling’s Red Cap Ale.

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And so is this one, but with a white background.

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And this tray appears to be from a little later.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Louis J. Hauck

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Today is the birthday of Louis J. Hauck (June 30, 1866-April 30, 1942). His father, John Hauck, founded the John Hauck Brewing Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1863. In 1879, Hauck bought out his partner and a few years later changed the name of the brewery. Louis became president in 1893, when his father retired. It continued as the John Hauck Brewery or the Dayton Street Brewery until prohibition. After it ended, it reopened as the Red Top Brewing Co. and continued until closing in 1956.

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Here’s a short history of the brewery Louis’ dad founded, from Emily Brickler at Cincinnati Historic Destinations:

John Hauck and John Ulrich Windisch teamed up to start their brewery back in 1863 located on Dayton Street near Central Avenue. They ended up purchasing five acres located close to the Miami-Erie Canal which the water was used to fill the steam boilers and provide the power for the machinery. Both guys at one point called their business the Dayton Street Brewery which was producing 10,000 barrels of beer in their first year. By 1877, they were producing 32,000 barrels and two years later he bought Windsch’s shares of the brewery.

In 1881, the brewery was producing 160,000 barrels of beer. By 1882 the brewery was officially the John Hauck Brewing Company. There was also a John Hauck Beer Bottling Company that was established that same year. John Hauck was against bottling his beer though saying that it changed the flavor of the beer but in order for him to do business with more distant markets he had to agree with the bottling of his beer. By 1884 the brewery was covering the block which was bounded by Central, Dayton, York Streets and Kewitt Alley. The only remaining building from this brewery is the bottling works which stands on Central Avenue bear Dayton Street. The Hauck and Windisch farm actually still stands as well located near Crescentville Road. Louis Hauck then had the original Hauck farm house replaced in 1904 with a mansion located at 12171 Mosteller Road.

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The John Hauck Brewery, a.k.a. the Dayton Street Brewery.

A caricature of Louis J. Hauck done around 1903.

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Beer Birthday: Hildegard Van Ostaden

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Today is the 42nd birthday of Hildegard Van Ostaden, brewmaster at Urthel, one of only a handful of female brewers working in Belgium. Inspired by a trip to Alaska’s barleywine festival, she also brewed the first American-style Imperial IPA in Belgium. Her beers are all great, and I love the illustrations on the labels that her husband Bas does. Join me in wishing Hildegard a very happy birthday.

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Hildegard with Brian Hunt of Moonlight Brewing at the Beer Chef’s Urthel dinner.

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Outside the Falling Rock, fellow GABF judges Carl Kins, from the EBCU (on left), and Hildegard (on right) along with her husband Bas (in the middle) during GABF in 2007.

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Bas van Ostaden, Bruce Paton and Hildegard after their dinner in 2007.

Historic Beer Birthday: Pablo Díez Fernández

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Today is the birthday of Pablo Díez Fernández (June 29, 1884-November 17, 1972). He was born in Vegaquemada, León, Spain. His mother died when he was three, and was raised by his grandparents. “He studied Classical Literature and Philosophy at the Instituto Municipal de Boñar, and when he turned 16 he joined the Dominican Monastery of Cangas de Narcea. Soon after his 20th birthday, when he was about to be ordained, Pablo Díez decided that the priesthood was not his true calling in life and moved to Madrid. In 1905, with the help he got from the Dominican Friars themselves, he sailed out to Mexico.” In Mexico, he became a successful businessman and in 19292 helped to start the brewery, Cervecería Modelo, which would later become Grupo Modelo.

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Here’s his biography from his Wikipedia page:

Pablo Díez Fernández was the son of Ceferino Díez and Gregoria Fernández, Pablo Diez was born in Vegaquemada, León, Spain, on June 29, 1884. After the death of his mother when he was only three years old, he was raised by his paternal grandparents in the town of Palazuelo de Boñar. He studied Classical Literature and Philosophy at the Instituto Municipal de Boñar, and when he turned 16 he joined the Dominican Monastery of Cangas de Narcea. Soon after his 20th birthday, when he was about to be ordained, Pablo Díez decided that the priesthood was not his true calling in life and moved to Madrid. In 1905, with the help he got from the Dominican Friars themselves, he sailed out to Mexico.

Once in Mexico, he took on a job as book keeper at the Venegas bakery. In 1911 he became the manager of another bakery called La Primavera. As a result of his hard work, he was able to save enough money to first partner with and then, in 1912, buy that business from its previous owners. The following year, Diez Fernández became one of the founding shareholders of Leviatán y Flor, a company which has been recognized as the first compressed yeast factory in Mexico.

In 1918, he married Rosario Guerrero Herrero, whom he had met during one of his many visits to Spain.

Four years later he became part of the community of distinguished businessmen, industry experts, and bankers that would put up the capital to start the business which was later to become Grupo Modelo: Cervecería Modelo. A shareholder since the very beginning and member of its Board of Directors since 1926, the businessman from the region of León in Spain continued to care for his bread and yeast production businesses while also promoting other new adventures. One of them, Pan Ideal, is famous for having been the first mechanical bread producing plant in Mexico.

In 1928, Pablo Diez was appointed to the Board of Directors of El Crédito Español de México, SA and of other important businesses of the Spanish community in Mexico. That same year, Braulio Iriarte entrusted him with the responsibility of being the legal representative of Cervecería Modelo. He was 44 years old at the time.

Diez Fernández founded seminars, sanctuaries, and hospitals in his country of origin, for which he was highly recognized. The latter is also true for Mexico, where his philanthropic work left a profound mark on the development of nursing homes and hospitals. Among them the most recognized are the Sanatorio Español, the Red Cross’s central hospital in Mexico City and the Instituto Nacional de Cancerología; he made important donations to help build all these institutions.

In 1955, don Pablo Diez crowned the Virgin of Guadalupe as the Queen of Work, sharing in the devotion shown for the Virgin by the workers in the largest of his companies: Cervecería Modelo.

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In recognition of this philanthropic work and his entrepreneurial accomplishments, in 1969 Don Pablo Diez received the highest honor granted by the Mexican government: the Orden del Águila Azteca.

He was also a relevant shareholder in other companies in Mexico including IEM, Condumex, Fundidora Monterrey, Celanese Mexicana and Banco Nacional de México, and he served as the first Vice-president for this bank. In Spain, Cervecería Cruz Campo and Banco Central Hispano held his most relevant investments.

Just before he retired from public life, although he remained as Honorary Chairman of Grupo Modelo, Diez Fernández turned over the business to the people close to him who had managed it for several years. The main shareholders of the new company that controlled Cervecería Modelo, a company whose sales in 1970 were estimated somewhere between 850 and 900 million pesos, were Juan Sánchez Navarro, Manuel Álvarez Loyo, Nemesio Diez, Secundino García, Antonino Fernández, Pablo Aramburuzabala and other employees of the brewery which would later on become Grupo Modelo, the seventh largest beer group in the world, when it was headed first by Don Antonino Fernandez and, then, by Carlos Fernandez Gonzalez.

Don Pablo Diez Fernández died on November 17, 1972 in Mexico City.

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Here’s a Company History of the first fifty years from Funding Universe:

Grupo Modelo, S.A. de C.V. is the largest beermaker in Mexico, holding 55 percent of the national market in 1998, when it was the 12th-largest beer producer in the world and the most profitable brewer in Latin America. Its best known brand is Corona Extra, a light brew that ranked first in sales among beers imported to the United States in 1997 and fifth in the world in total production. The company also produces nine other brands of beer. A holding company, it is vertically integrated, beginning with its overseeing of the selection of seeds and germination of hops, and including brewing and bottling plants and distribution by trucks and ships. Grupo Modelo was, in the late 1990s, 50.2 percent owned by Anheuser-Busch Cos., the world’s largest beer-producing company, and it was the exclusive importer of Anheuser-Busch’s products in Mexico, including Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser-Busch did not, however, hold a majority of Grupo Modelo’s voting shares.

The First Fifty Years

Beer was the basis for the holdings of the Sada and Garza extended families, whose Monterrey Group became the most powerful business combine in Mexico. Cervecería Cuauhtemoc was founded in Monterrey in 1890. Its chief rival was Cervecería Moctezuma, founded in 1894. Cervecería Modelo, which eventually outstripped the other two in production and sales, was founded in 1925 in Mexico City by Braulio Iriarte, with the help of President Plutarco Elias Calles.

Cervecería Modelo soon came under the control of Pablo Díez Fernández, who became its director general in 1930 and its majority stockholder in 1936. Born in Spain in 1884, Díez Fernández emigrated to Mexico at the age of 21 with money he borrowed from the Dominican fathers under whom he studied. He first worked as an accountant for a bakery, established the first mechanized bakery in Mexico, and then became part-owner of the first yeast factory for bread in Mexico. He went on to become co-founder and major stockholder of Celanese Mexicana in 1944 and a director of Banamex, one of Mexico’s largest banks,

Diez Fernandez kept Modelo a private company that financed its expansion into producing malt, bottles, bottle caps and corks, and cartons through earnings rather than borrowing. He also acquired the regional breweries producing Victoria (1935), Estrella (1954), and Pacífico (1954). Modelo spent heavily on advertising during the late 1940s and early 1950s, much more so than its rivals. By 1956 it was the leading brewer, passing Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc and Moctezuma, with 31.6 percent of total beer production in Mexico. Modelo established plants in Ciudad Obregón (1960), Guadalajara (1964), and Torreón (1966) and created a national distribution network. Antonio Fernández Rodríguez, also Spanish-born, succeeded Díez Fernández as director general of the firm in 1971. Under his leadership, Modelo’s share of the Mexican market grew from 39 percent in 1977 to 45 percent in 1985.

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A statue of Pablo Díez Fernández in his hometown of Vegaquemada in Spain.

Historic Beer Birthday: Jacob Paul Rettenmayer

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Today is the birthday of Jacob Paul Rettenmayer (June 29, 1881-February 24, 1927). He was born in Ellwanger, Württenberg, Germany, and came to the U.S. when he was 20, in 1901. He settled on the West Coast, and bounced back and forth between California and Washington, working at various breweries. He eventually settled in San Francisco, helping to start Acme Brewery, becoming its first brewmaster and president. His little brother Franz, or Frank, Rettenmayer became brewmaster a few years later, and JP opened a second Acme brewery in Los Angeles. Just before, and during, prohibition he diversified into several other businesses.

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This biography was written by Rettenmayer himself later in his life:

“Served apprenticeship as Brewer and Maltster at the plants of Minneapolis Brewing Company, Minneapolis Minnesota, under Mr. Armin L. Neubert who was then Master Brewer and superintendent of that company. Upon the completion of my apprenticeship I worked in that plant for six months as a journeyman, and then went to Los Angeles where I found employment with the Los Angeles Brewing Company. I worked in various departments of that plant for six months and then secured employment at the plant of Maier and Zobelein. I was employed by that firm from 1903 to 1905 when I left to attend Wahl-Henius Institute in Chicago. The course I took was the first six months duration and the first course given in the new Institute building. I was the honor graduate with a record of 99 in thirteen studies. Upon the completion of my course I returned to Maier and Zobelein in Los Angeles, remaining there until July 1, 1906.

Upon obtaining my citizen papers in Los Angeles I went to Tacoma, Washington where I was employed by the Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. for a period of six weeks. Mr. Peter G. Schmidt, now President of the Olympia Brewing Company, invited me to go to Salem and I was affiliated with Salem Brewery Association for a period of four months. In the meantime the late Leopold M. Schmidt returned from Europe and he asked me to go to San Francisco to become associated with him in the Acme Brewing Company. Upon the organization of that company I became vice-president and a year later was elected to the presidency. I served in that capacity, as well as Master Brewer, from 1907 to 1917, when the Acme Brewing Company merged with five other breweries under the name California Brewing Association. I was elected President and General Manager of the consolidated enterprise and served until the advent of prohibition. Before the formation of California Brewing Association I was instrumental in organizing the Cereal Products Refining Corporation and planned and developed the syrup and compressed yeast business to the manufacture of which a part of the plant of California Brewing Association was converted.

In the latter part of 1924 I turned in my resignation as president and General Manager of California Brewing Association and its affiliated enterprises to engage in other activities. In the Fall of 1934 Mr. Armin K. Neubert prevailed upon me to become associated with Salinas Brewing & Ice Company and on the first of December, 1934 I assumed the position of General Manager of the enterprise. In October of 1935, in cooperation with Armin K. Neubert, Mr. Wm. Voss, and others associated with us, we acquired the interests of Mr. Armin L. Neubert. Upon the consummation of the deal Mr. Armin L. Neubert resigned as president of Salinas Brewing and I succeeded him in that capacity.”

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At Brewery Gems, Gary Flynn has a fuller account of the life of Jacob Paul Rettenmayer, and it’s worth reading in its entirety.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Peter Weyand

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Today is the birthday of Peter Weyand (June 29, 1821-July 17, 1875). Along with Daniel Jung, he founded the Western Brewery on Freeman and Bank Streets in Cincinnati, Ohio. I was unable to find any photos of Weyand, and very few of the brewery when it used his name, too, but then only appears to be for a few years, from 1854-1857 according to some sources.

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Here’s Weyand obituary from “Early Nineteenth-Century German Settlers in Ohio.”

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When it was first opened in 1857, along with partner Peter Weyand, it was called the Western Brewery (some sources say 1854). In 1879, they added a third investor, and it became the Weyand, Jung & Heilman Brewery. It 1885, with Jung apparently sole owner, it is renamed the Jung Brewing Co., which it remained until 1908, when it went back to being the Western Brewery, before closing due to prohibition in 1919.

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In 1879, Weyand and Jung partnered with Max Hellman and operated the brewery until 1885. In 1885, following the deaths of Peter Weyand and Daniel Jung, the brewery was renamed the Jung Brewing Company. The Jung Brewing Company operated from 1885 to 1890. In 1890, the brewery was sold and merged with Cincinnati Breweries Company.

Beer In Ads #2321: We Tip Our Red Cap To America’s Taverns …


Wednesday’s ad is for Carling’s Red Cap Ale, from 1959. In this ad, showing an icy outdoor scene with a red cap, along with a mug of beer and a bottle of Red Cap Ale. But it’s again the tagline that stands out: “We Tip Our Red Cap To America’s Taverns….” Although they actually have a red crown, or bottle cap, with Red Cap pronted on it. At least I understand what they’re getting at in this ad, panderng to American bars and asking people to order their beer when they visit one.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Peter Straub

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Today is the birthday of Peter P. Straub (June 28, 1850-December 17, 1913). He was born in Felldorf Starzach, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and founded the Straub Brewery in St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania in 1872. The brewery is still owned and operated today by the Straub family.

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Here’s his biography from his Wikipedia page:

Born to Anton Straub and his wife, Anna Maria Eger. The Straub family had been brewing a local beer for generations. As expected Peter learned a trade important to the brewing art. He became a Cooper, a craftsman who makes wooden barrels. Peter aspired to be a brewer and at the age of 19 in 1869 immigrated to the United States for a better and more prosperous life. Upon his arrival in the United States he found employment at the Eberhardt and Ober Brewing Company in Pennsylvania. Peter admired his employers’ pledge to forfeit $1,000 if any adulteration was found in their beer, and as he honed his brewing skills to a sharp edge, he adhered faithfully to this promise. Eventually he tired of city life and moved north to Brookville, where he perfected his brewing process while working in the Christ and Algeir Brewery.

Peter later moved to Benzinger (St. Marys), where he met and married Sabina Sorg of Benzinger. The couple settled in Benzinger and had ten children: Francis X., Joseph A., Anthony A., Anna M., Jacob M., Peter M. (who died at two years of age), Peter P., Gerald B., Mary C., and Alphons J.

Peter’s employment in Benzinger was with the Joseph Windfelder Brewery and he worked there until he purchased the Benzinger Spring Brewery (founded by Captain Charles C. Volk in 1855) from his father-in-law, Francis Xavier Sorg. It was then that Straub Beer and the Straub Brewery was born.

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The Straub Family in 1904.

This early account of Straub’s life is from the brewery website:

Peter Straub was born on June 28, 1850 in Felldorf, Wuerttemburg, Germany, to Anton and Anna M. Eger Straub.

As a teenager, Peter was educated and worked as a cooper, which is a craftsman skilled in making and repairing wooden barrels and casks. He also became well versed in the allied trade of Brewing.

Peter honed his trade in Germany, France and Switzerland. At age 19 (in 1869), Peter Straub traveled to the United States and settled in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, working at the Eberhardt and Ober Brewing Company. He next moved to Brookville and worked at the Christ and Allegeier Brewery. He again moved to Allegheny City and then to McKeesport and Centerville (later renamed Kersey). In 1872, Peter settled in St. Marys.

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In St. Marys, Peter first worked at the Windfelder Brewery, which later became the Luhr Brewery, on Center Street. In the early 1870s, Peter was hired by Francis Sorg as brewmaster and manager for his brewery. The standard Straub Brewery founding date of 1872 reflects when Peter first moved to St. Marys and began brewing. He did not own the brewery until 1878.

Peter Straub began courting Francis Sorg’s eldest daughter, Sabina, marrying her on November 23, 1875. A few years later, Peter and Sabina, along with their eldest son Francis (one year old at the time) traveled back to Germany and then on to France, where they attended the Exposition Universelle in Paris. Peter and Sabina had 10 children: Gerard Benedict (Gerry), Peter (Sr.), Mary Crescentia (Marian, later Mrs. Daniel Curran), Alfonse James (Ponce), Peter Paul (Pete), Jacob Melchior (Fr. Gilbert), Joseph Anthony (Joe), Anna Angela (later Mrs. Frederick Luhr), Francis Xavier (Frank), Anthony Albert (Tony) and Peter Mathaeus (died at age two).

Straub Beer HistoryEarly on, Peter introduced his sons to the world of brewing. Straub used wooden kegs for his beer. He always placed a red band around his barrels to ensure that people would know they were drinking his beer and so that he would get them back. As a lasting trademark tribute to Peter, the brewery continues to place a bright red band around each of its barrels. Red has become a trademark color for the brewery.

Following Peter’s death on December 17, 1913, his sons assumed control of the brewery, renaming it the Peter Straub Sons Brewery. During this time, the brewery produced Straub Beer as well as other beer, such as the pilsner-style Straub Fine Beer and Straub Bock Beer. In 1920, the Straub Brothers Brewery purchased one half of the St. Marys Beverage Company, also called the St. Marys Brewery, where St. Marys Beer was produced. During Prohibition, which lasted from January 29, 1920, until December 5, 1933, the brewery produced nonalcoholic near-beer. On July 19, 1940 they purchased the remaining common stock and outstanding bonds of the St. Marys Beverage Company.

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The Benzinger Spring Brewery in 1895.

And this account is by Erin L. Gavlock, from 2009, at the Pennsylvania Center for the Book at Penn State:

High in the Allegheny Mountains of Elk County, a tradition has been brewing for nearly a hundred and forty years. Straub (pronounced Strawb, not Strowb) Beer, the local brewery on Sorg Street in St. Marys, has not tampered with its recipe since Peter Straub crafted the lager’s signature taste in 1872. This sixth generation brewery is dedicated to preserving the original German formula and sticking in its original location, a difficult task for an old-time establishment in the modern era. For the descendents of Peter Straub, keeping the Straub custom is what makes the company a “brewery, not a beer factory.”

The tradition of Straub Beer began in the small village of Felldorf, Germany where Peter Straub was born into an lager-making family on June 28, 1850. He grew up in Germany learning the brewing business and eventually becoming a cooper, a maker of the wooden barrels used to hold beer. Like many other artisans of the time, Straub was unhappy with life as a cooper and dreamed of greater success. He wanted to participate in the family trade, to become a brewer of his own beer. Unable to rise above his economic status in Germany, Peter Straub took his vision and immigrated to the United States at the age of 19, arriving in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania in 1869.

In Allegheny City (now Pittsburgh’s north side), Straub went to work for Eberhardt and Ober, (the current Penn Brewery). At Eberhardt and Ober, Peter Straub became a student of his employer, John N. Straub (no relation) and quickly took to John’s administrative principles. The company promised to serve completely pure beer, untainted by additives such as salt or sugar, to its customers and backed that promise with a $1,000 refund to any contaminated sale. This code of law conduct rang true to Peter Straub and it became a principle he swore to brew by.

While perfecting his brewing technique in the city, Straub grew homesick for his quaint, German village. He decided to escape the loud, crowded streets of Allegheny City and retreated to the quietude of Elk County. He settled in St. Marys, marrying Sabina Sorg and working for various local breweries until Sabina’s father, Francis Xavier Sorg, sold his Benzinger Spring Brewery to him in 1872. Peter Straub finally got his long-awaited start as a brewer. Straub owned and operated the Benzinger Spring Brewery until he died in 1912 and left the company to his son, Anthony. Anthony Straub changed the name of the brewery to “Peter Straub Sons’ Brewery,” the only alteration he would make to his father’s business. From there, Peter Straub’s beer would become a Pennsylvania legend.

The Bavarian Man, a long-time image of the Straub Brewery that recalls its German roots.
Fast-forward over a hundred years from Straub’s humble beginnings to today and one will find the Straub Brewing pledge remains unchanged. The company still serves only unadulterated beer to its customers, proclaiming to be “The Natural Choice.” “Our all grain beer is brewed from Pennsylvania Mountain Spring water and we don’t add any sugar, salt, or preservatives to our recipes,” brew master Tom Straub told St. Marys’ Daily Press. “You can say our beer is a fresher, healthier choice than many of the selections in the marketplace.” Although time and technology have forced a transformation in brewing techniques and standards, the taste, ingredients, and the location of Straub have remained constant. Still located in St. Marys, the brewery depends upon the same mountain water from the Laurel Run Reservoir to blend with all-natural ingredients of cornflakes (used to produce fermentable sugars), barley and hops. “Our brewing process is virtually unchanged since our great, great, grandfather, Peter Straub, perfected it in 1872,” Straub’s promises. The reason behind sticking to the fresh taste of the original recipe is simple: people like it. Through the century, Straub has grown a dedicated patronage in western Pennsylvania with its traditional flavor. “Our style of brewing has pretty much stayed the same over the years, but what is interesting is that our popularity has grown and the reputation of our hand-crafted beer has increased,” Straub CEO Bill Brock said. “It is nice to know that we are becoming increasingly popular not for something we’ve changed, but rather for something we’ve always done well.”

The choice to protect and maintain the brewing customs has kept Straub a small, family owned brewery. “We’ve always thought small. We’re more about quality than quantity,” Dan Straub, former CEO, told Fredericksburg, Virginia’s Free-Lance Star. Until June 2009, Straub Beer was only distributed in glass bottles throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio. Now Straub is being brewed and distributed in aluminum cans in Rochester, New York at the High Falls Brewery. The recipe and method have not changed in the new setting and are under the careful watch of brew master Tom Straub. Despite the recent company growth, Straub still only produces about 45,000 barrels of beer per year. “We are unique; we are much larger than a micro brewery yet far, far smaller than some of the leading national brands,” said Bill Brock. In the middle ground, the brewery has managed to survive beer tycoons, economic depression, and cultural trends—a tough maneuver for a company exporting from Pennsylvania’s least populated region. “I believe the brewery has survived because of the fact that it is family owned; it is steeped in tradition and we have an absolute passion for making beer and our products,” said Brock. “From my perspective, the company and our traditions are a huge legacy and there is a clear obligation to continue these traditions.” Keeping to the family legacy has allowed Straub to persevere through the years to become the second oldest brewery in Pennsylvania after Yuengling.

Staying small and faithful to the company’s founding principles has enabled Straub to keep traditions that other larger breweries have been forced to abandon. The returnable bottle, an eco-friendly service that allows customers to send glass bottles back to the brewery for recycling, is still offered at Straub. “We stayed with the returnable bottles first of all, and I think this is really important, because we have a really strong customer base and they like the returnables,” Bill Brock said during a 2009 radio broadcast. “Over the years we maintained it while other breweries slowly fazed them out.” For Straub, a successful regional brewery, shipping bottles back to the factory is feasible, where it would create more pollution for national brands to do the same. In the future, Straub hopes to go greener and offer more returnables to customers. “We’d love for it to grow,” Brock said. “We think it is the right thing to do and if we can blend the right thing to do with making our customers happy that’s almost a perfect world.”

Another Peter Straub tradition kept to make customers happy is the Eternal Tap, an oasis for Elk County beer drinkers. The Eternal Tap, established long before any of the brewery’s current chief operators were born, is a “thank you” gesture for patrons, daily providing two mugs of complimentary, fresh cold beer to anyone of legal drinking age. “The roots of it go as far back as the brewery itself and I am sure that my great, great, grandfather, his workers and their friends would spend time at the end of the week enjoying a few pints of freshly brewed beer,” Brock said. According to Bloomington, Illinois’ Pantagraph, the Eternal Tap sprang up shortly after Peter Straub received the Benzinger Spring Brewery from his father-in-law as a way to draw beer enthusiasts to the taste of Straub. Since the marketing gimmick started in 1872, the Eternal Tap has not been turned off, giving free beer to customers in good times and bad.

Although Straub has been in operation for more than a century since its founder’s death, if Peter Straub were able to return to his brewery today, he might feel as if he still ran it. The original recipe, the customer appreciation, and the environmental concerns he founded his business upon are still principal brewing laws at Straub today. For the descendents of Peter Straub, keeping the tradition was second nature. “For me, being President/CEO, my job is to be faithful to the traditions and it is really not that difficult,” Brock said. “I have one of the best jobs in the world and I have been given the opportunity to continue an important tradition and legacy.”

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Beer Birthday: Cornelia Corey

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If you’re on the national beer festival circuit, you’ve no doubt seen Cornelia Corey, who turns 61 today. In 2001, Cornelia became the first female “Beer Drinker of the Year” in the contest sponsored by Wynkoop. She and her husband, Ray McCoy (himself a 2003 BDOTY, making them the only couple to have won) travel from their native North Carolina to attend many of the big beer festivals and events around the country, and the parties are always a bit more fun when they’re around. Join me in wishing Cornelia a very happy birthday.

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At the Great Divide Brewery in Denver, Cornelia and Ray, during GABF week in 2007.

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Cornelia and Ray at the 19th Anniversary Party for the Celebrator Beer News.