Beer In Ads #2356: Straight From The Shoulder

Wednesday’s ad is from Pabst, from 1896. Many brewers made other related products besides beer, notably malt extract, to be used primarily in cooking as an ingredient in breads and desserts and even as a tonic. According to Briess, which still offers it today. “What is Malt Extract? Malt can be further processed to produce liquid or dried sweeteners called Malt Extracts.” They were essentially “the original starch- or grain-based sweetener.” Many brewers survived prohibition making malt extract, both for legal uses and for homebrewing, but Pabst was making and advertising decades before. In this ad, there’s a beautiful illustration of a knight holding a Pabst flag riding past a gothic cathedral. The text is poetic and all how their malt extract will make you as a strong as a knight.


Historic Beer Birthday: Armin Louis Neubert

minneapolis black-hills salinas
Today is the birthday of Armin Louis Neubert (August 2, 1864-July 3, 1946). He was born in Wolkenstein, Saxony, Germany. His father died when he was five, and he grew up with an uncle, who allowed him to train as a brewer while attending school. After a stint in the German-Saxon Army, he moved with his uncle to the United States. After helping his uncle set up his American business, he moved from city to city working for prominent breweries for several years before finally settling in Minnesota, spending twenty years as the head brewer of the Minneapolis Brewing Co., though his official title was “Production Superintendent.” The year after he took the job, he introduced the popular “Grain Belt Beer.”


In 1900, the Minneapolis Brewing Co. bought the Black Hills Brewing Co. in Central City, South Dakota. A new brewery was built, designed by Armin Neubert and he was also named vice-president when the business was reorganized.


When Neubert retired from the Minneapolis Brewing Co. in 1914, he moved his family to Central City, which he’d become fond of during his numerous visits there over the years, and continued to work at Black Hills. Unfortunately, the brewery closed at the beginning of 1917 when the state voted to start prohibition two years before the national prohibition, though it stayed in business by switching to soft drinks and near-beer. But it was a pain in the ass, and Armin apparently was disheartened by what had happened to the industry he loved and the brewery was closed in 1927, and sold the next year. “After that, he moved to a ranch he’d bought near Great Falls, Montana and became a wheat farmer. But aAfter a few years he turned the ranch over to his son and retired to Santa Cruz,” California.

Apparently, a new Black Hills Brewing Co. is in the works, though it gives the original founding date as 1878.


But after prohibition ended in 1933, Neubert was lured back into the brewery industry and was asked to get involved in reopening the old Salinas Brewery, in California.

Armin was to receive equity in the new company as payment for his engineering work, and his son, Armin K., who had an engineering degree, was included in the deal. The Salinas Brewing & Ice Company was opened and soon gaining recognition for its excellent “Monterey Beer.” Armin, Sr. was brewmaster, and Armin, Jr. was the treasurer of the firm.


Eventually, Neubert ended up owning the Salinas Brewery outright, with his son, who’d been involved since the beginning, as president.

Then in February of 1937, Rettenmayer met with an untimely death, followed in November by the death of a prime stockholder and director of the company, Dr. Wm. Fehliman. This resulted in the restructuring of the company in 1938, and the Neubert family gaining sole control. The company’s name was changed to the Monterey Brewing Co., with Armin, Jr., president.

There’s surprisingly very little information about Neubert, and no pictures I could find, and almost everything here is from the website Brewery Gems. They also have a much fuller biography of Armin Neubert.


Beer Birthday: Matt Van Wyk

Today is Matt Van Wyk’s 45th birthday. Matt was the brewmaster at Flossmoor Station but a number of years ago moved to Eugene, Oregon, where for a number of years he brewed at Oakshire Brewing. He also used to co-write one of the best brewer’s blogs, the Flossmoor Station Blog and again for Oakshire. Last year, he left Oakshire to start his own brewery, Alesong Brewing & Blending, which is open and brewing now for almost a year, I believe. Join me in wishing Matt a very happy birthday.

On the floor at GABF in 2007 with Andrew Mason (on left), Matt’s assistant at Flossmoor Station, and Wil Turner (on right) from Goose Island.

Jamie Floyd, from Ninkasi, and Matt Van Wyck, from Oakshire
Jamie Floyd, from Ninkasi Brewing, with Matt at GABF in 2009.

A self-portrait with Matt, from Oakshire Brewing, Jonathan Surrat, and me at the Goose Island cask event during CBC in Chicago.

Matt at the Boonville Beer Festival a few years ago.

Two years ago during a trip to Eugene at the Oakshire tasting room in Eugene, Matt and me.