Today is also the 50th birthday — The Big 5-O — of John Tucci, who until it closed a few years ago, was the brewmaster for the San Francisco Gordon Biersch brewpub. John was one of Gordon Biersch’s best and most senior brewers, and especially with his one-offs that he brewed at that location. He’s also a great champion for beer in San Francisco and was very active with the local brewers guild and SF Beer Week. When the San Francisco location closed, he brewed at their Palo Alto brewpub, but after 16 years, left has opened his own brewery, 47 Hills Brewing, which is located at 137 South Linden Avenue in South San Francisco. Join me in wishing John a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of John Barbey (October 19, 1850-December 24, 1939). He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Peter Barbey, who founded what would become the Peter Barbey Brewery in 1857. His son John joined him at the brewery in 1880, and they called it Peter Barbey & Son after that, and he owned and ran the brewery after his father’s death in 1897 until it closed in 1920 because of Prohibition. But it did return in 1933 as Barbey’s Inc. In 1951, they completely rebranded it as the Sunshine Brewing Co. before closing for good in 1970.
This is his obituary from the Reading Eagle on December 25, 1939:
Prominent Businessman Dies on Christmas Eve
Funeral services were held today for John Barbey, prominent Reading businesss man, who died at his home 733 Centre Ave, on Christmas Eve following several months illness. He was 89.
The Rev. Dr. HeismannF. Miller, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, of which Mr. Barbey was a member, officiated at services held from the home. Entombment was made at Charles Evan Cemetery.
Mr. Barbey who was widely known in business circles, was chairman of the board of directors of the Vanity Fair Silk Mills and president and treasurer of Barbey’s Inc.
He was born in Philadelphia, a son of the late Peter and Rosina (Kuntz).
Barbey when he was 4 years old the family moved to Reading, where the father engaged in the manufacturing of malt liquors. He received his education in the local public schools and at a business college and then joined his father’s organization.
In 1800 he became a partner in the concern and the business became Barbey and Son. At the death of his father in 1897 he succeeded as head of the organization.For many years Mr. Barbey was actively identified with several local banking institutions and at the time of his death served on the directorate of a number of local industrial institutions.
Mrs. Barbey, the former Mary Ellen Garst, died many years ago. Surviving are these children: Mrs. Ida Lewis, NY. Mrs. Wiliam K Eckert, and Mrs. John H McCauley, both of Reading.
This biography of John is from “Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals,” by Morton Montgomery, published in 1909:
John Barbey, son of Peter and Rosina (Kuntz) Barbey, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., Oct. 19, 1850. When he was four years old his parents moved to Reading, where his father became engaged in the manufacture of malt liquors. He was educated in the local schools, taking an extra course in a business college, and was then placed in his father’s brewery for the purpose of learning all the details of the brewing business. In this he was very successful, and in 1880 the father admitted him into partnership, and they traded under the firm name of P. Barbey & Son. The father died in 1897, but the son has continued the business under the same name with increasing success up to the present. In 1906 the capacity of his large plant was the greatest of any at Reading, a fact which evinces the superior judgment of the son in conducting the complicated affairs of the brewery for the years it has been under his management.
Mr. Barbey has become largely interested in a number of the financial institutions of Reading, particularly the Keystone Bank, Farmers Bank, Colonial Trust Company, and several industrial institutions, in a number of which he is a director. He has been prominently identified with the Masonic fraternity at Reading since 1876, becoming a Mason in Chandler Lodge, No. 227, and a Knight Templar in the Reading Commandery, No. 42, of which be was Eminent Commander in 1886. He has reached the thirty-second degree.
Mr. Barbey married Mary Ellen Garst, daughter of George W. Garst, of Reading, a prominent building contractor for many years. They have seven children, six daughters and one son, John.
And this is from “100 Years of Brewing:”
Apparently, Peter Barbery was just a brewer, but John was more of a shrewd businessman, and apparently made a fortune in the textile industry, which was quite prominent in Reading, PA. Though most of its gone now, the Reading Factory Outlets are still a reminder of that time. This account of his other business interests is from Forbes:
The roots of this family fortune date back to 1899, when a banker named John Barbey and five partners started the Reading Glove and Mitten Manufacturing Company in Pennsylvania. Using profits from his father’s Sunshine Beer, Barbey bought out his partners and expanded into underwear (though he banned the term). In 1939, his son John Edward “J. E.” Barbey became vice president of the company, then known as Vanity Fair Silk Mills. After he took it public in 1951, the family was no longer involved in operations. Today, fewer than a dozen members of the Barbey family still own nearly 20% of VF Corporation (as it was renamed in 1969). It’s one of the world’s largest apparel firms, with $12 billion in revenues and brands such as Lee, Wrangler and North Face.
Today is the 61st birthday of Ron Pattinson, a brewing historian who writes online at Shut Up About Barclay Perkins. Ron lives in Amsterdam but is obsessed with the British brewery Barclay Perkins, which is what the title of his blog refers to. I have finally had the pleasure of meeting Ron in person, when we were both guests of Carlsberg for a press trip to Copenhagen earlier this year, and then again this year in Denmark, when he was there with his lovely wife. A few years ago, Lew Bryson had a chance to go drinking with Ron, too. Join me in wishing Ron a very happy birthday.
Today is the 53rd birthday of Chris Swersey, who’s on the staff of the Brewers Association as the Competition Manager for both the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. He coordinates all the judges, volunteers and the thousands of beers needed for each festival. It’s a big job and Chris seems to do it effortlessly. Plus, the last two years, Chris and I both judged in Belgium at the Brussels Beer Challenge, which has been great fun. Join me in wishing Chris a very happy birthday.
Today is the 69th birthday of George Wendt, who “is an American actor and comedian, best known for the role of Norm Peterson on the television show Cheers. He’s originally from Chicago and was an alumnus of The Second City in the mid-1970s. He began acting on television and movies, mostly in small roles, before landing the role of Norm Peterson in Cheers. “From 1982 to 1993, Wendt appeared as Norm Peterson in all 275 episodes of Cheers. For his work on Cheers, Wendt earned six Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.” Years later he wrote, with some help, Drinking with George: A Barstool Professional’s Guide to Beer, a quasi-memior, beer book and biography of his character.
One of my favorite running gags in Cheers was the “Normisms” and I’ve been collecting them off and on for some time now. By no means complete, here are the ones I’ve uncovered, with the season and/or episode it’s from, if known.
Cheers to Norm(isms)
The NBC sitcom “Cheers” was one of the most popular shows on television, and ran for eleven seasons from 1982 until 1993. Set in a Boston bar, it was replete with beer and drinking references, most notably a running gag between the bartenders and one of their regulars, Norm Peterson, played by George Wendt. In many of the episodes, as Norm would first enter the bar each evening, everyone would yell Norm! and whoever was behind the bar would greet him, setting him up for a memorable comeback line. These became known as Normisms and they seem to have started in the first season, possibly episode 10. Over 275 episodes, at least 100 Normisms were delivered.
Season 1 (1982-83)
Endless Slumper [1.10]
Coach: What’s the story, Norm?
Norm: A thirsty guy walks into a bar. You finish it.
Let Me Count the Ways [1.14]
Coach: What’s going on, Norm?
Norm: Science is seeking a cure for thirst and I happen to be the guinea pig.
Diane’s Perfect Date [1.17]
Coach: Beer, Norm?
Norm: That’s that sudzy amber stuff, right? Been hearing good things about it.
No Contest [1.18]
Coach: What can I do for you, Norm?
Norm: I am going to need something to kill time before my second beer. How about a first one?
Someone Single, Someone Blue [1.20]
Coach: What’ll it be Norm?
Norm: Fame, fortune, fast women.
Coach: How about a beer?
Norm: Even better.
Season 2 (1983-84)
Personal Business [2.3]
Coach: Would you like a beer, Norm?
Norm: I’d like to see something in a size 54 sudzy.
Coach: Can I draw you a beer, Norm?
Norm: No, I know what they look like. Just pour me one.
No Help Wanted [2.14]
Coach: How about a beer, Norm?
Norm: Hey I’m high on life, Coach. Of course, beer is my life.
Fortune and Men’s Weight [2.17]
Coach: What’s your most troublesome problem, Norm?
Norm: Well that’s tough to say, Coach. Let’s see I’m overweight, unemployed, separated, depressed, starting to drink too much. My problem is I’ve never been happier.
Snow Job [2.18]
Coach: Beer, Normy?
Norm: Coach, I don’t know. I’ll have one next week… what the heck I’m young.
Coach: How’s a beer sound, Norm?
Norm: I dunno. I usually finish them before they get a word in.
Coach: What’s up, Norm?
Norm: Corners of my mouth, Coach.
Coach: What’s shaking, Norm?
Norm: All four cheeks and a couple of chins, Coach.
Coach: Beer, Normie?
Norm: Uh, Coach, I dunno, I had one this week. Eh, why not, I’m still young.
[Norm comes in with an attractive woman.]
Coach: Normie, Normie, could this be Vera?
Norm: With a lot of expensive surgery, maybe.
Coach: What can I do for you, Norm?
Norm: Well, I am going to need something to kill time before my second beer. Uh, how about a first one?
Coach: Beer, Norm?
Norm: Naah, I’d probably just drink it.
Coach: What’s up, Normie?
Norm: The temperature under my collar, Coach.
Season 3 (1984-85)
Rebound – Part 1 [3.1]
Coach: What will it be, Normy?
Norm: A transfusion with a head on it.
Diane Meets Mom [3.8]
Coach: What would you say to a nice beer, Normie?
Norm: Going down?
[Norm returns from the hospital.]
Coach: What’s up, Norm?
Norm: Everything that’s supposed to be.
[Norm comes in, depressed. He just stands by the door with a sullen face.]
Norm: [mutters] Afternoon, everybody.
All: Norm? (Norman?)
Sam: What’s new, Normie?
Norm: Terrorists, Sam. They’ve taken over my stomach.
They’re demanding beer.
Coach: What’ll it be, Normie?
Norm: Just the usual, Coach. I’ll have a froth of beer and a snorkel.
Coach: What would you say to a beer, Normie?
Norm: Daddy wuvs you.
Sam: What’d you like, Normie?
Norm: A reason to live. Gimme another beer.
Norm: Afternoon, everybody.
Cliff: Afternoon, everybody.
The Executive’s Executioner [3.21]
Sam: What will you have, Norm?
Norm: Well, I’m in a gambling mood, Sammy. I’ll take a glass of whatever
comes out of that tap.
Sam: Oh, looks like beer, Norm.
Norm: Call me Mister Lucky.
Coach: How’s it going, Norm?
Norm: Daddy’s rich and Momma’s good lookin’.
Coach: What’s doing, Norm?
Norm: Well, science is seeking a cure for thirst. I happen to be the guinea pig.
Coach: How’s life, Norm?
Norm: Not for the squeamish, Coach
Coach: Beer, Norm?
Norm: I heard of that stuff. Better give me a tall one in case I like it.
Coach: Beer, Norm?
Norm: Does a rag doll have cloth knobs?
Coach: How are you doing, Norm?
Norm: Cut the small talk and get me a beer.
Coach: What’s going down, Normie?
Norm: My butt cheeks on that bar stool.
Season 4 (1985-86)
Birth, Death, Love and Rice [4.1]
Sam: What do you say, Norm?
Norm: Any cheap, tawdry thing that’ll get me a beer.
Sam: What do you say to a beer, Normie?
Norm: Hi ya, sailor. New in town?
Norm: [coming in from the rain] Evening, everybody.
All: Norm! (Norman!)
Sam: Still pouring, Norm?
Norm: That’s funny, I was about to ask you the same thing.
Sam: What’s the good word, Norm?
Norm: Plop, plop, fizz, fizz.
Sam: Oh no, not the Hungry Heifer…
Norm: Yeah, yeah, yeah…
Sam: One heartburn cocktail coming up.
Sam: Whaddya say, Norm?
Norm: Well, I never met a beer I didn’t drink. And down it goes.
Woody: What’s your pleasure, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: Boxer shorts and loose shoes. But I’ll settle for a beer.
Woody: What can I do for you, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: Elope with my wife.
[Norm is angry.]
Woody: What can I get you, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: Clifford Clavin’s head.
Woody: How’s life, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: Oh, I’m waiting for the movie.
The Peterson Principle [4.18]
Sam: Hey, what’s happening, Norm?
Norm: Well, it’s a dog-eat-dog world, and I’m wearing Milk-Bone underwear.
Strange Bedfellows: Part 2 [4.25]
Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, can I pour you a beer?
Norm: Okay Woody, but be sure to stop me at 1. Ah, make that 1:30.
Strange Bedfellows: Part 3 [4.26]
Woody: How you feeling today, Mr. Peterson?
Woody: I’m so sorry to hear that.
Norm: [pointing to the beer tap] No, I meant pour.
Season 5 (1986-87)
Knights of the Scimitar [5.8]
Woody: What’s the latest, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: Zsa Zsa marries a millionaire. Peterson drinks a beer. Film at 11.
Paul: Hey Norm, how’s the world been treating you?
Norm: Like a baby treats a diaper.
Norm: Hey, everybody.
All: [silence; everybody is mad at Norm for being rich]
Norm: [carries on both sides of the conversation himself]
How are you feeling today, Mr. Peterson?
Rich and thirsty. Pour me a beer.
Season 6 (1987-88)
Norm: Hey, everybody.
Woody: Norm! [nobody else in the bar says anything]
Norm: That’s it, I’m leaving.
Norm: [comes in, pretending to be Joe Average customer, as part of operation Wayne Down the Dwain]
Norm: [quietly] Not now!
Woody: Would you like a beer, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: No, I’d like a dead cat in a glass.
A Kiss Is Still a Kiss [6.10]
Sam: How’s life treating you?
Norm: It’s not, Sammy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t.
Let Sleeping Drakes Lie [6.18]
Woody: Can I pour you a draft, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: A little early, isn’t it Woody?
Woody: For a beer?
Norm: No, for stupid questions.
Woody: What’s the story, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: The Bobbsey twins go to the brewery. Let’s cut to the happy ending.
Season 7 (1988-89)
One Happy Chappy in a Snappy Serape [7.4]
Norm: I hate to change the subject but I don’t know if anyone recognizes, we seem to have a little problem here.
Woody: Oh you need another beer, Mr. Peterson.
Norm: Okay we have two problems here.
Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, there’s a cold one waiting for you.
Norm: I know, and if she calls, I’m not here.
Sam: Beer, Norm?
Norm: Have I gotten that predictable? Good.
Call Me, Irresponsible [7.20]
Woody: What’s going on, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: A flashing sign in my gut that says, Insert beer here.
Season 8 (1989-90)
Sam: What can I get you, Norm?
Norm: [scratching his beard] Got any flea powder?
Ah, just kidding. Gimme a beer; I think I’ll just drown the little suckers.
Feeble Attraction [8.11]
Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, Jack Frost nipping at your nose?
Norm: Yep, now let’s get Joe Beer nipping at my liver, huh?
Bar Wars III: The Return of Tecumseh [8.21]
Sam: What are you up to Norm?
Norm: My ideal weight if I were eleven feet tall.
Woody: Nice cold beer coming up, Mr. Peterson.
Norm: You mean, Nice cold beer going down Mr. Peterson.
Sam: What do you know there, Norm?
Norm: How to sit. How to drink. Want to quiz me?
Season 9 (1990-91)
Woody: How would a beer feel, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: Pretty nervous if I was in the room.
Sam: What can I do for you, Norm?
Norm: Open up those beer taps and, oh, take the day off, Sam.
Woody: What’s going on, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: Another layer for the winter, Wood.
Sam: How’s life treating you, Norm?
Norm: Like it caught me sleeping with its’ wife.
[Gang yells Norm!]
Norm: Women. Can’t live with ’em, pass the beer nuts.
Season 10 (1991-92)
Where Have All the Floorboards Gone? [10.8]
Sam: Hey what’s going on, Normie?
Norm: It’s my birthday Sammy. Give me a beer, stick a candle in it, and I’ll blow out my liver.
Woody: How’s it going, Mr. Peterson?
Woody: I’m sorry to hear that.
Norm: No, I mean pour.
Sam: How’s life in the fast lane?
Norm: Dunno, can’t get on the on-ramp.
Woody: Pour you a beer, Mr. Peterson.
Norm: Alright, but stop me at one…. make that one-thirty.
Season 11 (1992-93)
Sam: What’s the story, Norm?
Norm: Boy meets beer. Boy drinks beer. Boy meets another beer.
Sam: How about a beer, Norm?
Norm: That’s that amber sudsy stuff, right? I’ve heard good things about it!
Woody: What’s going on, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: The question is what’s going in Mr. Peterson? A beer please, Woody.
Sam: What’s up, Normie?
Norm: My nipples, it’s freezing out there.
From Unknown Seasons
Woody: How would a beer feel, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: Pretty nervous if I was in the room.
Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, what’s up?
Norm: The warranty on my liver.
Sam: Well, look at you. You look like the cat the swallowed the canary.
Norm: And I need a beer to wash him down.
Sam: What’ll you have, Norm?
Norm: Fame, fortune, and fast women.
Sam: How ’bout a beer?
Norm: Even better.
Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, you got room for a beer?
Norm: Nope, but I am willing to add on.
Sam: Little early in the day for a beer, isn’t it Norm?
Norm: So float a corn flake in it.
Sam: What’s going on, Normie?
Norm: My birthday, Sammy. Give me a beer, stick a candle in it, and I’ll blow out my liver.
Woody: How’s it hanging, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: Better when my butt is hanging off this bar stool with a beer in my hand.
Woody: What’s the latest, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: Zha-Zha marries a millionaire, Peterson drinks a beer. Film at eleven.
Sam: Hey, how’s life treating you there, Norm?
Norm: Beats me. … Then it kicks me and leaves me for dead.
Sam: What’s up Norm?
Norm: God’s in His Heaven, [pause] something, something, something.
Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, what do you say to a cold one?
Norm: See you later, Vera, I’ll be at Cheers.
Woody: How are you today, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: Never been better, Woody. … Just once I’d like to be better.
Woody: How’s it hanging Norm?
Norm: Oh, little to the left.
Sam: What’s new, Norm?
Norm: Most of my wife.
Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, how’s life?
Norm: Well, the plot’s okay, Woody, but it kind of falls apart at the end.
Woody: Hey, Mr. P. How goes the search for Mr. Clavin?
Norm: Not as well as the search for Mr. Donut. Found him every couple of blocks.
Woody: How are you Mr. Peterson?
Norm: Yeah…as if you care.
Woody: What’s shaking Mr. Peterson?
Norm: What isn’t?
Sam: How’s life Norm?
Norm: Ask a man who’s got one.
Sam: How’s the world treating you, Norm?
Norm: Like I just ran over its dog.
Sam: How are you today, Norm?
Norm: I’m on top of the world…It’s a dismal spot in Greenland.
Elderly Sam: What’s up, Norm?
Elderly Norm: Me, about thirty times a night.
Today is the birthday of William Penn (October 14, 1644-July 30, 1718). He “was the son of Sir William Penn, and was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, early Quaker, and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early advocate of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful treaties with the Lenape Native Americans. Under his direction, the city of Philadelphia was planned and developed.
In 1681, King Charles II handed over a large piece of his American land holdings to Penn to appease the debts the king owed to Penn’s father. This land included present-day Pennsylvania and Delaware. Penn immediately set sail and took his first step on American soil in New Castle in 1682 after his trans-Atlantic journey. On this occasion, the colonists pledged allegiance to Penn as their new proprietor, and the first general assembly was held in the colony. Afterwards, Penn journeyed up the Delaware River and founded Philadelphia. However, Penn’s Quaker government was not viewed favourably by the Dutch, Swedish, and English settlers in what is now Delaware. They had no “historical” allegiance to Pennsylvania, so they almost immediately began petitioning for their own assembly. In 1704 they achieved their goal when the three southernmost counties of Pennsylvania were permitted to split off and become the new semi-autonomous colony of Lower Delaware. As the most prominent, prosperous and influential “city” in the new colony, New Castle became the capital.
As one of the earlier supporters of colonial unification, Penn wrote and urged for a union of all the English colonies in what was to become the United States of America. The democratic principles that he set forth in the Pennsylvania Frame of Government served as an inspiration for the United States Constitution. As a pacifist Quaker, Penn considered the problems of war and peace deeply. He developed a forward-looking project for a United States of Europe through the creation of a European Assembly made of deputies that could discuss and adjudicate controversies peacefully. He is therefore considered the very first thinker to suggest the creation of a European Parliament.
A man of extreme religious convictions, Penn wrote numerous works in which he exhorted believers to adhere to the spirit of Primitive Christianity. He was imprisoned several times in the Tower of London due to his faith, and his book No Cross, No Crown (1669), which he wrote while in prison, has become a Christian classic.”
Of course, that’s his mainstream history, he also made contributions to America’s nascent brewing history. For example, here’s an account, “William Penn And Beermaking in Colonial Pennsylvania,” excerpted from Stanley Baron’s “Brewed in America,” published in 1962:
Pennsylvania and New Jersey were latecomers among the American colonies. True enough, there had been in their development a Swedish period and a Dutch period, but the real establishment of the two colonies had to wait for the time of the English “proprietors.” It was in 1680 that William Penn received his famous grant of land from Charles II, as payment of a debt owed to Penn’s father, the celebrated admiral. By this means Penn became sole proprietor of a colony which he foresaw as a place of refuge for his fellow Quakers — the nonconformist sect whose faith earned them nothing but contempt and persecution in England (as well as in most of the established American colonies). Before he set out in 1682 he sent ahead a government plan of his own devising, and also a number of representatives to map out a city to be called Philadelphia. Penn’s concept of government was extraordinarily liberal, in many respects tantamount to a genuinely democratic scheme; moreover, he guaranteed complete freedom of worship, and delegated much more administrative authority than any other of the colonial governors saw fit to allow.
Penn understood the wisdom of securing friendly relations with the Indians from the start. In 1683, he established a “Great Treaty” with them. In exchange for property rights which they were willing to grant him, he made a practice of giving them a variety of goods — in at least one instance, a barrel of beer.
Shortly after Penn’s arrival, an Assembly was held in Chester, the former Swedish settlement of Upland. At this meeting his Frame of Government was adopted; and there were also laid down certain laws regulating the licensing of taverns, taxing of beer, sale of alcoholic beverages to Indians, etc. Such laws were sooner or later passed in every one of the American colonies and differ only in the merest details.
Penn himself was enough of a beer-drinker to have a brewhouse constructed at the estate he built in Pennsbury, Bucks County, twenty miles upriver from Philadelphia. At a cost of about £7000 and over a period of many years, the manor-house was erected under Penn’s supervision, although he was most of that time back in England. He made a start on the project soon after his arrival in 1682, but he had to return to England in 1684. He commissioned his trusted friend James Harrison as “Steward of the Household at Pennsbury,” and from that date until his return, he wrote frequent letters, filled with details about the house’s specifications, the gardens, the servants, slaves, etc. “I would have a Kitchen,” he wrote from London after he returned there in 1684, “two larders, a wash house & room to iron in, a brew house & in it an oven for bakeing.” During the following two years he felt the need to repeat these instructions, which in time were fulfilled.
Penn was not able to see the results at Pennsbury until 1699. At that time, as things turned out, he remained only a year; thus he spent in all only three years in America. Nonetheless, he made good use of Pennsbury while he was there; “Indians almost every morning were waiting in the hall, seated on their haunches.” Penn also entertained in that house the governors of Maryland and Virginia, as well as what are usually referred to as “visiting dignitaries.” None of Penn’s descendants cared for the house as the proprietor himself had, and it was permitted by sheer neglect to go to ruin. It was finally torn down at the time of the Revolution, but somehow the brewhouse structure managed to survive until 1864. It is described as being 20 by 35 feet, “with solid brick chimney and foundations, 10-inch sills and posts, and weatherboarded with dressed cedar.”
That there was beer in the earliest stages of Philadelphia’s settlement is attested to by the immigrant Thomas Paschall in 1683: “Here is very good Rye . . . also Barly of 2 sorts, as Winter and Summer, . . . also Oats, and 3 sorts of Indian Corne, (two of which sorts they can Malt and make good beer as Barley).”
In a 1685 account of progress in his colony, Penn wrote:
“Our DRINK has been Beer and Punch, made of Rum and Water: Our Beer was mostly made of Molasses, which well boyld, with Sassafras or Pine infused into it, makes very tolerable drink; but now they make Mault, and Mault Drink begins to be common, especially at the Ordinaries and the Houses of the more substantial People. In our great Town there is an able Man, that has set up a large Brew House, in order to furnish the People with good Drink, both there and up and down the River.”
Farther along in the same document, he identified this “able man” as William Frampton, and to demonstrate the first Philadelphia brewer’s prosperity, he added that Frampton had recently built “a good Brick house, by his Brew House and Bake House, and let the other for an Ordinary.” Frampton — Quaker, merchant, provincial councillor and landowner — originally emigrated to New York and did not arrive in Philadelphia until 1683. If he was as prosperous as Penn makes out, he did not enjoy this state for long: he died in 1686.
In those early days of Philadelphia, many inhabitants are said to have owned their own malt-houses in order to make strong beer at home, and Gabriel Thomas stated in his account of the town (as of 1696) that there were three or four “spacious malt-houses, as many large brew-houses.” Thomas, a Welsh pioneer who lived in the colony for fifteen years, also described Philadelphia beer as “equal in strength to that in London,” selling for 15s. the barrel — cheaper than in England. In addition, he speaks of Philadelphia beer as having a “better Name, that is, is in more esteem than English Beer in Barbadoes and is sold for a higher Price there.” This would be an extremely early, if not the first, instance of American beer being exported outside of the mainland, though there is no indication of the regularity or volume of business thus entailed. In the course of the eighteenth century, Philadelphia beer began to make a resounding reputation for itself: the origins of that fame may lie right here, in this remark of Thomas’s comparing the beer favorably with the English product. On the other hand, Thomas’s unbridled enthusiasm must not be discounted — he may very well have been trying to paint the prettiest possible picture of conditions in America, and particularly Pennsylvania.
Another brewer of this earliest Philadelphia period was Joshua Carpenter, whose brother, Samuel, had come over from England several years before Penn’s arrival. Samuel Carpenter, a Quaker, was responsible for building Philadelphia’s first wharf, between Walnut Street and Dock Creek. Joshua, who had followed his brother to Philadelphia some years later and who was himself not a Quaker, did so well out of his brewing enterprise that he was rated as the second richest inhabitant of the town in 1693; his brother was first.
The brewery established by Anthony Morris in 1687, south of Walnut Street, on the riverbank side of Front, was a longer-lasting establishment. Morris (the second of his name) was another Quaker, provincial councillor and second mayor of Philadelphia. He had sailed for America in 1682, and settled first in Burlington, New Jersey. Three years later, however, he went to Philadelphia, and soon set up his brewery there. His son, Anthony, Jr., prepared himself for the business by becoming in 1696 an indentured apprentice to another brewer operating in Philadelphia at that time, Henry Babcock. It was stated in the indenture that he was to spend seven years learning “the art or trade of a Brewer.” He undertook to keep the brewing “secrets” of Babcock and his wife Mary, “& from their service he shall not absent himself, nor the art & mystery of brewing he shall not disclose or discover to any person or persons during ye sd term.” His father paid the Babcocks the sum of twenty pounds, and they undertook not only to teach him for seven years, but also to lodge and board him, and “mending of his linen & woolen cloaths.” They on their side promised not to put him to “slavish work,” such as grinding at the handmill and the like.
It must have been this younger Anthony Morris who signed his name, “Morris junr,” at the bottom of a receipt that read: “Reed of Hannah Ring Eighteen Shillings for barrel Ale delivered for funeral of her husband 7mo 4th 1731.”
The Morris brewery was conducted as a family business, handed down from generation to generation, until 1836, when ownership of the concern was taken over by outsiders. Through marriage with the Perot family of French Huguenot background, however, the Morrises have maintained an unbroken connection with the brewing industry. In 1823 Francis Perot married the daughter of Thomas Morris, in whose brewery he had spent six years as apprentice. With brothers, sons and then grandsons in charge, the Perot family have been malting in Philadelphia ever since.
Pennsylvania had made an encouraging, even a spectacular, beginning. It had grown like a balloon; within twenty years, by the end of the century, its main city had a population equal to that of New York (4000). And yet, after about twenty-five years, it began to bog down. Penn died in 1718, but a good many years before that he had relinquished personal control of the province, while remaining proprietor. Relations with the Indians deteriorated; boundary conflicts, like sores, kept irritating the relations between Pennsylvania and her neighbors; and the fine promise of commercial prosperity had been disappointed. The bold Philadelphia printer, Andrew Bradford, was hauled before the Council in 1721 for publishing a pamphlet called “Some Remedies proposed for the restoring of the Sunk Credit of the Province of Pennsylvania.” He was reprimanded for so-called libelous statements.
Yet at the same time, the Council, under Governor Sir William Keith, passed laws designed to improve just those conditions which it had called untrue in Bradford’s case. Among those was an act “for laying a Duty on Wine, Rum, Brandy and Spirits, Molassoes, Cyder, Hops and Flax, imported, landed or brought into this Province.” The self-evident purpose of an act like this was to give aid to home manufactures and, by placing a duty on imported hops, of course, the Council encouraged Pennsylvania farmers to cultivate them locally. Another reason for this act was undoubtedly the wish to cut down supplies of beverages with high alcoholic content, in favor of beer (which did not appear among the list of dutiable items) — but the barn door may have been closed too late, for by the eighteenth century rum was universally available in America, and increasingly popular. Acts of the same kind were passed at intervals by the Provincial Council — in 1738, 1744, etc. — but they appear to have been less than wholly effectual.
And this short history is from the online Museum of Beer and Brewing:
The William Penn Brewery — the staid Quaker build one of the earliest breweries in America near what is now Philadelphia. Part of his lands were colonized by immigrants from the German Palatinate who found Penn’s Product, prepared under the supervision of a Master Brewer from Europe, highly palatable. The first brewery in America was built in New Amsterdam (now New York) in the 17th century about 30 years before Penn’s.
And this is the labels from a beer created to honor William Penn by the now-defunct (I believe) William Penn Brewing Co., which appears to have been a contract beer.
Today is the birthday of Theodore Hamm (October 14, 1825-July 31, 1903). He was born in Emmendingen, Emmendingener Landkreis, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Hamm emigrated in 1856 with his wife Louise to the United States and settled in St. Paul. In the 1860s, Hamm assisted brewer Andrew F. Keller, so that he could expand his business. The brewery was taken as a security deposit. When the Keller brewery went bankrupt, it became the property of Hamm, and he founded the Hamm Brewing Company in 1865.
Here’s another early history of the brewery, from Minneapolis Urban Adventures:
Theodore and Louise Hamm, a young German immigrant couple, found a home in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1856. In 1864, entrepreneur Andrew F. Keller, the owner of a small brewery called the Excelsior Brewery (then producing 500 barrels a year) needed money for expansion. Theodore lent the money with the brewery as collateral. When Keller defaulted on the loan, Theodore Hamm was the owner of a brewery. The size of the work force grew, as did the total number of barrels brewed. In 1865 there were 5 employees that brewed 500 barrels a year, which grew to 75 employees brewing 40,000 barrels a year in 1885. In 1894 the brewery expanded to include a bottling works, followed by artificial refrigeration in 1895. In 1894 an open house was held and free samples of beer were handed out, beginning the long tradition of brewery tours. The brewery was incorporated in 1896, giving Theodore the title of president and William the titles of vice-president and secretary. The line to succession of the brewery was thus established, as the brewery remained in domain of the Hamm’s family for 100 years.
The brewery continued to expand from 8,000 barrels in 1879, to 26,000 barrels in 1882, to 600,000 barrels in 1915. This growth was stymied from 1919-1933 during prohibition. During prohibition, the plant was kept open and an array of products including near beer, industrial alcohol syrups and soft drinks were produced. Soon after the death of his father, William Hamm Jr. started the greatest expansion effort in the tenure of the brewery. The capacity was doubled and the plant was modernized. EC Nippolt, vice president and general manager of the company, estimated that an increase of at least double the number of employees from 150 to 300 or 400. An estimate from newspaper accounts reveals an expenditure of $300,000 in immediate improvements to be made to the plant.
Here’s another brief history from the brewery’s Wikipedia page:
The Theodore Hamm Brewing Company was established in 1865 when, a German immigrant Theodore Hamm (1825-1903) inherited the Excelsior Brewery from his friend and business associate A. F. Keller, who had perished in California seeking his fortune in the gold fields. Unable to finance the venture himself, Keller had entered into a partnership with Hamm to secure funding. Upon Keller’s death, Hamm inherited the small brewery and flour mill in the east side wilderness of St. Paul, Minnesota. Keller had constructed his brewery in 1860 over artesian wells in a section of the Phalen Creek valley in St. Paul known as Swede Hollow. Hamm, a butcher by trade and local salon owner, first hired Jacob Schmidt as a brew master. Jacob Schmidt remained with the company until the early 1880s, becoming a close family friend of the Hamms. Jacob Schmidt left the company after an argument ensued over Louise Hamm’s disciplinary actions to Schmidt’s daughter, Marie. By 1884, Schmidt was a partner at the North Star Brewery not far from Hamm’s brewery. By 1899 he had established his own brewery on the site of the former Stalhmann Brewery site. In need of a new brewmaster, Hamm hired Christopher Figge who would start a tradition of three generations of Hamm’s Brewmasters, with his son William and grandson William II taking the position. By the 1880s, the Theodore Hamm Brewing Company was reportedly the second largest in Minnesota.
Theodore’s obituary was published in the American Brewer’s Review:
Hamm’s Brewery c. 1900.
Today is the birthday of Kim Jordan, co-founder of New Belgium Brewing. Kim went to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, then stayed in town to start New Belgium in 1991. She recently stepped down as CEO of the company and is currently Executive Chair of the Brewery’s Board of Directors. While not exactly retired, just slowed down a bit for the day-to-day, she’s still very active in both the company’s affairs and the brewing industry more generally through the Brewer’s Association. Join me in wishing Kim a very happy birthday.
At the 2008 NBWA welcome reception in San Francisco. From left, Jamie Jurado (then with Gambrinus), Lucy Saunders (the Beer Cook), Charlie Papazian (President of the Brewers Association), Kim and Tom Dalldorf (from the Celebrator Beer News).
Kim in costume with Dick Cantwell at Elysian’s annual pumpkin festival in 2013. [Note: This photo purloined from Facebook.]
Today is the birthday of John Molson Jr. (October 14, 1787-July 12, 1860). He was the son of John Molson, who founded the Molson Brewery in 1986, the year before he was born. Although he became a partner in his father’s brewery, he was primarily “a Canadian politician and entrepreneur. Former Director of Molson Bank, President of the Champlain and St. Lawrence Railroad (Canada’s first railway), and President of Montreal General Hospital.”
Here’s his biography from Wikipedia:
Born October 14th, 1787, son of John Molson (1763-1836) & Sarah Vaughn (1751-1829), at Montreal, Quebec. Though he was apprenticed to the brewing trade and became a partner in the family brewery in 1816, Molson was primarily a financier. The family monopoly of river transport enabled him, as owner of the Swiftsure, to engage in profitable banking operations during the War of 1812, buying bills of exchange at heavy discount in Montreal and disposing of them at a profit in Quebec. He became a director of the Bank of Montreal shortly after its foundation and was vice-president of Molson’s Bank from its incorporation in 1855. He was a promoter of the Champlain and St. Lawrence Railroad, Canada’s first railway, and became its president in 1837. His other interests included the first Montreal water works and gas company, fire insurance and various industrial enterprises. He succeeded his father as a life governor, vice-president and president of the Montreal General Hospital. As chairman of the Constitutional Association he fought on the government side in the Rebellions of 1837 and was wounded; he was given the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel of the militia. In 1838-41 he was a member of the Special Council of Lower Canada.
In 1816 he was wed to his first cousin, Mary Anne Molson (1791-1862), daughter of Thomas Molson (1768-1803) and Anne Atkinson (1765-1813). John and Mary Ann had five sons and a daughter. John died on July 12, 1860 at Montreal.
And here’s another from Find-a-Grave:
John Molson (1787-1860) was the son of John Molson (1763-1836) & Sarah Vaughn (1751-1829). In 1816 he was wed to his first cousin, Mary Anne Molson (1791-1862), daughter of Thomas Molson (1768-1803) & Anne Atkinson (1765-1813). John & Mary Ann had five sons and a daughter.
Though he was apprenticed to the brewing trade and became a partner in the family brewery in 1816, Molson was primarily a financier. The family monopoly of river transport enabled him, as owner of the Swiftsure, to engage in profitable banking operations during the War of 1812-14, buying bills of exchange at heavy discount in Montreal and disposing of them at a profit in Quebec. He became a director of the Bank of Montreal shortly after its foundation and was vice-president of Molson’s Bank from its incorporation in 1855. He was a promoter of the Champlain and St. Lawrence Railroad, Canada’s first railway, and became its president in 1837. His other interests included the first Montreal water works and gas company, fire insurance and various industrial enterprises. He succeeded his father as a life governor, vice-president and president of the Montreal General Hospital. As chairman of the Constitutional Association he fought on the government side in the Rebellion of 1837 and was wounded; he was given the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel of the militia. In 1838-41 he was a member of the Special Council of Lower Canada.
Today is the 46th birthday of Jason Alström, co-founder of Beer Advocate headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, but found worldwide over that series of tubes known as the interwebs. Though started as a hobby, Beer Advocate has gone on to be one of the internet’s killer apps of beer, which has successfully branched out into publishing and putting on beer festivals. Join me in wishing Jason a very happy birthday.
After judging the finals for the 2009 Longshot Homebrew Competition in Boston. From left: Jason, Tony Forder (from Ale Street News), Bob Townsend, Jim Koch (founder of the Boston Beer Co.), yours truly, Julie Johnson (from All About Beer magazine), and Jason’s brother Todd Alström.
During a trip to Bavaria in 2007, the gang of twelve plus three at the Faust Brauerei in Miltenberg, Germany. From left: Cornelius Faust, me, Lisa Morrison, Johannes Faust, Julie Bradford, Andy Crouch, Peter Reid, Horst Dornbusch, Jeannine Marois, Harry Schumacher, Tony Forder, Candice Alström, Don Russell, Jason and Todd Alström.