Wednesday’s ad is for Valley Forge Beer, because it was on this day, December 19, 1777 that George Washington set up camp for the winter in the small Pennsylvania town of Valley Forge. I went to the historical site a few times as a kid, including once as a Boy Scout where we followed some orienteering with maps and compass to earn some sort of ribbon, or something. I don’t usually do breweriana other than actual print advertising, but it made sense to break out the tray because of the date.
Valley Forge Beer was brewed by the Adam Scheidt Brewery in Norristown, Pennsylvania, which is just a few miles from Valley Forge. Here’s a short history of the brewery, from a breweriana collectors website.
The Adam Scheidt Brewing Company was founded in the late 1870s and was incorporated in 1884. After Prohibition, the brewery thrived, brewing Valley Forge Beer, Ram’s Head Ale, and Prior Beer. The brewery’s name was changed to the Valley Forge Brewing Company in 1963 and, five years later, it was sold to Philadelphia’s largest brewer at the time, C. Schmidt & Sons. It continued to operate as a branch of Schmidt’s until 1975, when the facility was closed. Schmidt’s continued to brew the Valley Forge and Ram’s Head brands until the early 1980s, when Schmidt’s itself finally ceased operations.
And here’s another one of the same tray, this one showing better color.
Frankly, I remember seeing these trays around when I was a kid, and cans of the beer, but it was never something I ever drank. I don’t ever remember even seeing it for sale where we lived. Below is a less common tray showing the same event, but by a different artist, obviously.