Historic Beer Birthday: Frederick Kirschner

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Today is the birthday of Frederick Kirschner (May 21, 1856-June 29, 1897). Kirschner Frederick Kirschner, Jr., son of Frederick Kirschner and Maria Wick, joined his father-in-law, Andrew Hemrich in Seattle, Washington to work at the Hemrich brewery. He continued working for family, and later himself, in several brewing enterprises in the Seattle area throughout his life.

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According to “An Illustrated History of the State of Washington,” by Rev. H.K. Hines, published in 1893, and taken from Brewery Gems page on Frederick Kirschner:

FRED KIRSCHNER, treasurer of the Seattle Brewing & Malting Company, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 21, 1856. His parents, Frederick and Mary (Weicke) Kirschner, were natives of Germany, but emigrated to America in the early ’50s and located in Cincinnati, where Mr. Kirschner followed his trade of molder in an iron foundry. In 1856 he removed to Buffalo City, Wisconsin, and engaged in the draying business up to 1888, then in farming until 1888, when he removed to Seattle, where he now resides. Our subject was educated in the schools of Wisconsin, and remaining at home followed the avocations of the farm until April, 1878, when he was married at Alma, Wisconsin, to Miss Emma Hemrich.

He then located in Alma and was connected with the brewery of Mr. Hemrich for one year, then for three years was proprietor of the Union House. He then purchased a plant and engaged in the manufacture of soda water, which enterprise be continued until 1885, when he came to Seattle and purchased an interest in the Bay View brewery, assuming the duties of secretary and continuing in such capacity until April, 1892, when, upon the incorporation of the Bay View Brewing Company, he was made secretary and treasure, and so continued up to the spring of 1893, when the Bay View consolidated with the Albert Braun Brewing Company and the Claussen-Sweeney Brewing Company, under the incorporate name of the Seattle Brewing & Malting Company, and Mr. Kirschner was elected treasurer of the new organization. He is also interested in valuable mining interests in the Cascade mountains, and now owns real estate in the city of Seattle.

Mr. and Mrs. Kirschner have three children: William, Andrew and Emily. Socially, Mr. Kirschner affiliates with the social and benevolent German societies of Seattle.

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Brewery Gems continues with additional information obtained from Frederick’s great-grandson, Bradley W. Kirschner. In addition, in “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of the City of Seattle and County of King, Washington,” in a biography of Andrew Hemrich, there is also mention of Frederick’s role in the brewery businesses.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Lord Benjamin Iveagh

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Today is the birthday of Lord Benjamin “Benjie” Iveagh (May 20, 1937-June 18, 1992). His full name was The Rt. Hon. (Arthur Francis) Benjamin Guinness, 3rd Earl of Iveagh. “Lord Iveagh (often popularly known as Benjamin Iveagh) was born into the Anglo-Irish Guinness family, being the son of Arthur Onslow Edward Guinness, Viscount Elveden, and Elizabeth Cecilia Hare. He was educated at Eton College, Trinity College, Cambridge, and the University of Grenoble. He inherited the title from his grandfather, The 2nd Earl of Iveagh, in September 1967. He lived at Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park in Dublin and was chairman of Guinness 1961–1992. He was a trustee of two charitable housing associations, the Iveagh Trust in Dublin and the Guinness Trust in London.”

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Here’s Guinness’ obituary from The Independent:

Arthur Francis Benjamin Guinness, businessman, born 20 May 1937, styled Viscount Elveden 1945-67, Director Guinness 1958-92, Assistant Managing Director 1960-62, Chairman 1962-86, President Guinness plc 1986-92, succeeded 1967 as 3rd Earl of Iveagh, Member Seanad Eireann 1973-77, married 1936 Miranda Smiley (two sons, two daughters; marriage dissolved 1984), died London 18 June 1992.

As far as the business world is concerned, the Earl of Iveagh will be remembered chiefly as the man who recruited Ernest Saunders to Guinness.

His own business career was at best undistinguished and at times positively disastrous. By the early 1980s, Guinness’s need for a dynamic new chief executive was desperate. With every day that passed, the Guinness family fortune seemed to slip further into the sea as the company’s stock price plummeted new depths. The City was clamouring for management changes.

It was in these circumstances that Saunders, head-hunted from a top marketing job with Nestle in Switzerland, went to Ireland to be interviewed at Iveagh’s house, Farmleigh, in Phoenix Park on the outskirts of Dublin.

Iveagh’s undoing was probably in being appointed chairman of Guinness at too young an age – a mere 25. His reign was marked first by a phase of unbridled diversification away from the core brewing business and then a prolonged period of debilitating decline. By the time Saunders had his first meeting with him, Guinness was engaged in, among other things, snake-farming, orchid-growing, and the manufacture of babies’ plastic potties.

Saunders remembers Farmleigh as a cold, empty, lonely sort of place with ‘an enormous entrance hall lined with dozens and dozens of wellington boots’. In his son’s book Nightmare, Saunders paints a picture of aristocratic decay – lunch at a tiny table in the middle of a huge draughty dining- room punctuated by the sound of a butler padding down forgotten corridors. At one point a cat jumps up on the table and tiptoes through the butter.

Saunders believed that he was seen by Iveagh and the rest of the Guinness family as a kind of gamekeeper. He still tells the story of how at a family wedding he was put below the salt on the servants’ table during the reception. He believes that the Guinnesses, as much as anyone else, made him into a scapegoat for what later occurred.

In truth Iveagh was the perfect chairman for a thrusting, dynamic and unscrupulous chief executive such as Saunders. From the beginning Iveagh abdicated all responsibility and power to Saunders. Often away from London at his home in Dublin, he became like an absentee landlord. At the same time he became a highly useful foil to Saunders, who would use Iveagh to bolster his management decisions. ‘I have spoken to Lord Iveagh and he is entirely in agreement,’ Saunders would say, often falsely.

Indeed, when Saunders was put on trial over the Distillers takeover, there were some famous and bitter recriminations between the two. Time and again, what Saunders said happened was at odds with Iveagh’s account. The sadness of it all was that by the time Iveagh gave evidence, Saunders’s claim that what was being heard was the rambling, confused and muddled account of a befuddled alcoholic suffering from some form of amnesia was all too believable. It was plain to all who witnessed Iveagh on the stand, that by giving Saunders and his henchmen such a free hand, Iveagh had failed in his duties as chairman, and indeed to that extent could be held accountable for the financial scandal that followed.

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And here is his obituary from the New York Times:

The third Earl of Iveagh, who served as chairman of Guinness P.L.C. during a period of change and turmoil for the British brewing and spirits giant, died here on Thursday. He was 55 years old.

Company officials said he had died of a throat ailment but declined to provide further details.

Lord Iveagh was a descendant of the Arthur Guinness, the brewer who founded the company in Dublin in 1759. Lord Iveagh served as chairman from 1962 until 1986 and as president from 1986 until last month, when he left the company.

By the late 1970’s, the company, whose name is still most widely associated with the stout that bears its name, was stagnating and appeared to be in danger of becoming a takeover target. A program undertaken by Lord Iveagh to diversify out of alcoholic beverages did not do much to improve the company’s performance. Consumption Increased

To breathe new life into Guinness, Lord Iveagh recruited Ernest W. Saunders from Nestle, the Swiss food giant, to be chief executive in 1981. Mr. Saunders began the marketing effort that increased consumption of Guinness stout, whose sales are among the fastest growing of major beers in the world.

Mr. Saunders also began to pursue the acquisition strategy that helped to transform Guinness into a world powerhouse in spirits, especially Scotch and gin. Under Mr. Saunders, Guinness bought Arthur Bell & Son, a Scotch producer, for $574 million in 1985 and the Distillers Company, a leading British spirits company, for $4 billion in 1986.

It later emerged that Mr. Saunders had taken part in an illegal scheme to prop up Guinness’s share price during the takeover fight for Distillers to give Guinness’s stock-and-cash offer a better chance of prevailing.

When the scandal broke, Lord Iveagh at first backed Mr. Saunders but then changed his mind. Guinness’s board, including Lord Iveagh, voted to dismiss him in January 1987. Mr. Saunders later went to jail.

Under Anthony J. Tenant, who succeeded Mr. Saunders as chief executive and is now chairman, Guinness has become one of the world’s most successful and profitable drinks companies. But the scandal tarnished the Guinness name. Over the centuries, the family had earned a reputation as philanthropists and enlightened employers.

The Saunders era also brought about the end of the Guinness family’s dominance over the company. As a result of the issuing of new shares by the company to pay for acquisitions, the family’s stake in Guinness fell from about 25 percent in the late 1970’s to less than 2 percent today. Lord Iveagh’s decision not to seek re-election to the company’s board in May left it without a Guinness director for the first time.

Arthur Francis Benjamin Guinness, who was known as Ben to friends, was born on May 20, 1937, to Viscount Elveden and the former Lady Elizabeth Hare. His father died in action in World War II in 1945, and he became Viscount Elveden and heir to his grandfather, the second Earl of Iveagh.

He was educated at Eton, at Trinity College, Cambridge, and the University of Grenoble.

A shy man and bibliophile who once dreamed of becoming a farmer, he found himself drawn into the family business instead. He was elected to the board of the company in 1958, became assistant managing director in charge of the Park Royal brewery in London in 1959 and succeeded his grandfather as chairman three years later. Married in 1963

He married Miranda Daphne Jane Smiley in 1963 and became the third Earl of Iveagh when his grandfather died in 1967.

Lord Iveagh, who had a home in London and estates in Suffolk, England, and Castleknock in County Dublin in Ireland, loved horses and racing. He also served four years as an appointed member of the Irish Senate in the 1970’s.

Lord Iveagh’s marriage ended in divorce in 1984. A newspaper obituary today in The Daily Mail by his cousin Jonathan Guinness, said the divorce was amicable and Lord Iveagh had been cared for in his former wife’s home in London during the illness that caused his death.

He is survived by their two sons and two daughters. The earldom now goes to his eldest son, Arthur Edward Guinness.

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Benjamin Guinness and his wife Miranda Smiley, from their wedding in 1963

Historic Beer Birthday: Louis de Luze Simonds

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Today is the birthday of Louis de Luze Simonds (May 20, 1852-1916). Though he was born in New York, at 19 his father, Frederick William Simonds, and his uncle, Henry Adolphus Simonds (who was a partner in the family brewery H & G Simonds) decided he would be groomed to take over the UK brewery since Uncle Louis had no heirs. He moved to England and began working for the brewery in 1872, and later became chairman, a post he held until his death from the flu epidemic in 1916.

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The Simonds family maintains a website chronicling their brewery and members of the family through history, which includes a biography of Louis de Luze Simonds.

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“The Simonds brewery was founded in Broad Street in Reading by William Blackall Simonds in 1785 (although his father had a brewing arm of his malting business as early as 1760). The company moved to Bridge Street, where it remained until 1978. The site is now occupied by The Oracle shopping centre. Simonds became a very early limited company in 1885, taking the name of H & G Simonds from William’s two sons, Henry and George. The latter was the father of a later director, George Blackall Simonds, a sculptor.”

“The company amalgamated with Courage & Barclay in 1960 and dropped the Simonds name after ten years. Eventually the firm became part of Scottish & Newcastle who sold the brands to Wells & Young’s Brewery in 2007 and closed the Reading brewery three years later.”

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Patent No. 2420708A: Beer Meter

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Today in 1947, US Patent 2420708 A was issued, an invention of Clifford S. Hutsell, for his “Beer Meter.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

To carry out the principles of my invention, the liquid is passed through a cooling coil which is immersed in some suitable cooling medium, the length of such cell can be varied so that the beer or other liquid can be passed through one loop or many loops of the coil; in this way the beer is brought under constriction in which its velocity is dissipated by frictional losses without the liquid itself being agitated. The liquid is then led through a discharge opening from which it may be drawn into a glass or other receptacle. This whole dispensing action is controlled, except for the adjustment of the length of coil used, by a single operating lever. My device will control the delivery of beer so that its included gas will be properly handled. The volume of the liquid is accurately measured. Each portion dispensed is accurately counted. The control and serving of beer on draught has always presented a difficult problem due to the beers susceptibility to the influence of three ever-present, variable factors; pressure, balance. Beer in its making is charged with carbon dioxide, the retention of such charge is essential to maintain its quality. When the beer is quiescent, at a sufficiently low temperature, the carbon dioxide is inert. This temperature is below the desirable serving temperatures and as the temperature is raised for serving there is a area sufficiently small to form a restriction to the temperature and agitation or tendency to discharge the carbon dioxide from the beer. To offset this tendency to dissipate its included gas and also to raise the beer to the discharge faucet, gas or air pressure is applied to the beer in the keg. The amount of pressure necessary to hold the carbon dioxide charge in the beer is in direct proportion to the tempera considerable degree, destroys the essential quality of the beer and in addition frequently causes excessive foaming at the faucet and a consequent wastage of beer.

A certain degree of refrigeration together with some form of constriction between the beer keg and the discharge tap would effect adequate control of the beer if the composition and condition of the beer were constant. However, no constant amount of restriction of the line is equally effective at all times because the beer may vary in its gaseous content, in its temperature, or it may have been recently agitated.

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Patent No. 2348797A: Crown Cap Selecting Machine

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Today in 1944, US Patent 2348797 A was issued, an invention of Louis A. Fischer, assigned to the Schaefer Brewing Co., for his “Crown Cap Selecting Machine.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to crown cap selecting machines, and has for its object to provide means for inspecting the interior of such machines while the same are running, and also provide means for preventing the caps from clogging during the operation of the machine.

In the use of such cap selecting machines, it frequently happens that inspection of the interior of the same becomes necessary and also that certain caps which have become clogged be removed. Also certain foreign matters must be dislodged.

This requires a shutting down of the machine and a re-starting, this requiring several hours of non-use of the machine.

The invention consists of a door closed opening which permits the caps to be ejected from the machine, capable of being opened and closed during the operation of the machine, and the invention also consists in the means for preventing clogging of caps.

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Patent No. 257977A: Beer Chip

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Today in 1882, US Patent 257977 A was issued, an invention of Bernard Rice, for his “Beer Chip.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My said invention relates to the chips or shavings employed by brewers for clarifying the beer in vats or thus previous to kegging it. These chips consist of beechwood, by preference, and have heretofore been used in the form of thick shavings, or of sawed lath-like chips, straight and flat, or of a mixture of the two. Grave objections lie to either form, which it is the design of my invention to obviate. The shavings invariably break in numerous places on the convex side, form ing interstices into which the particles of yeast and impurities settle, rendering it impossible to properly cleanse the shavings in the usual revolving washers. The sawed chips, while not open to this objection, are deficient in superficies, are liable to pack and stick together, and on the whole are inferior to the shavings. The desideratum is a shaving or chip having a large superficies, curved so as not to pack nor adhere to other chips, tough enough to withstand the agitation in the washer without breaking, and one which will not mildew when kept in stock. Such a chip I have succeeded in preparing, and that at a cost less than that of the chips as heretofore made. In practice I cut a sheet of veneer from a revolving login the usual way, choosing by preference the inner portion of the log, which is free from knots, and comparatively free from resin, and thoroughly dry the sheet. Either before or after drying I cut it into chips about eighteen inches long by one and a quarter inch wide, and pass them between heated calender rolls. This process has the effect to compact the fiber and prevent the chips from becoming soggy and sinking in the vats, to toughen them and prevent them from breaking in the cask or washer, and it gives them a. permanent curvature, so that they never straighten out. It also increases the density of the wood, rendering it of substantially the same specific gravity as the beer, whereby the chips do not tend to float exclusively at the surface, but remain suspended in the beer. The calendering, furthermore, dries out the sap and resin.

In order to insure a proper bending of the chips, an extra roller or bender may be attached to the calendering machine; but that is not essential. The rolls may also have embossed figures or lines, so as to indent the chips and increase their superficies.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Jacob Adams

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Today is the birthday of Jacob Adams (May 13, 1837-July 21, 1909). Born Jacob Adami, in Germany, he moved with his family to San Francisco in 1860. He bought the San Francisco Brewery in 1874, renaming it the Broadway Brewery.

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Here’s a short biography from Find a Grave:

Johanas Adami [Adams] and family emigrated from Germany in 1860 to San Francisco and formed a brewery partnership. Johanas’ son, Jacob Adams, formally established the Broadway Brewery at 637 Broadway and Stockton St. in 1874. The brewery burned down in 1885, but was rebuilt at a new location on the corner of Treat Ave. & 19th St. Jacob died in 1909 and his son George C. Adams became president of the brewery. In 1916 another son, William F. Adams, became one of the directors of the newly formed California Brewing Association. During Prohibition William was working at Acme’s Fulton plant, (dba) the Cereal Products Refining Corporation, with JP Rettenmayer and Karl Schuster. In the 30’s & 40’s William held the position of Secretary for Acme Breweries in both SF and LA. He and his brother Edward J. Adams were Acme shareholders and also ran Acme’s Oakland distribution depot.

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The wonderful brewery gems also has a more thorough history of both Jacob Adams and the Broadway Brewery in San Francisco from 1862 to 1917, when it closed.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Stephen Weber

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Today is the birthday of Stephen Weber (May 11, 1822-September 2, 1901). He was born in Bavaria, but settled in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where he founded the Weber Brewing Co. in 1862. There’s not much I could fund about Weber, and also I could not find a portrait of him.

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Here’s a short biography of Stephen Weber from “The History of Waukesha County, Wisconsin.”

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Here’s Weber’s obituary from the Waukesha Freeman, Thursday, September 12, 1901.

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Historic Beer Birthday: John Moffat

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Today is the birthday of John Moffat (May 11, 1766-July 13, 1845). Moffat was born near the town of Moffat, Scotland, in 1766, coming to America in his late twenties, in 1793. He founded one of the earliest breweries in Buffalo, New York, along with his son James, in 1833. I was unable to find a portrait of John Moffat, or much about him personally.

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According to John & Dave’s Buffalo Brewing History, John Moffat, along with his son James, acquired what was Buffalo’s second brewery and named it the Moffat Brewery.

Kane, Peacock and Relay brewery was short lived however and a 1909 article in the Buffalo Evening Times indicates John Moffat and his son James purchased the brewing operation around 1833. Also, the 1836 Buffalo City Directory lists Moffat as a brewer at that location. The 1839 Directory lists James Moffat & Co. as a “Brewery, Soap and Candle Factory”. The Moffat Brewery continued in operation until son James died and it was sold to Arthur Fox and became the Fox and Williams Brewery. In 1876 it was sold back to the Moffat family and continued in operation at the same location until the advent of Prohibition forced their closure in 1920. After Prohibition the Phoenix Brewery continued brewing “Moffats Pale Ale” through an agreement with the Moffat family.

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And here’s an account from “Buffalo Beer: The History of Brewing in the Nickel City,” by Michael F. Rizzo and Ethan Cox.

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And “History of the City of Buffalo and Erie County, Volume 2,” published in 1884, has this to say about Buffalo’s earliest brewers, including Moffat:

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Jackson Family Wines To Build Sonoma County Brewery

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You know the brewing industry must be doing something right if one of America’s largest producers of wine has decided to jump in with a new brewery. Brewbound has the scoop, with Jackson Family Wines Proprietor Launching Sonoma County Craft Brewery.

It’s certainly not the first time. Does anybody else remember Sonoma Mountain Brewing? And more recently, Carneros Brewing built a brewery on the grounds of their Ceja Vineyards. And don’t forget that Korbel Winery once launched their own small brewery, hiring a young brewer to make the beer. After a short time, they decided to get out of the beer business, and brewer Vinnie Cilurzo obtained the name and moved Russian River Brewing to downtown Santa Rosa, and with his wife Natalie Cilurzo, built it into a destination brewery that’s undoubtedly helped put Sonoma County on the map for beer, as well as wine. So some have worked great, others not so much.

This one at least seems off to a big start. It’s not officially a project of the Jackson Family Wines, but Christopher Jackson, who is the son of winery founder Jess Jackson. Of course, most start-ups don’t have the resources to start by “constructing a 25,000-barrel craft brewery” with “an initial brewing capacity of 8,000 barrels.” Most start-ups don’t have $8 million as their initial capital, even though Jackson states that “[i]t is a passion play” and I “am the sole proprietor and it is my project going forth, but we are employing a lot of similar philosophies from my wine background.”

The new brewery will apparently be called Seismic Brewing Company, which name Jackson bought from San Diego’s Rough Draft Brewing. The new brewery will be located at 2870 Duke Court, Santa Rosa and plans to open in late summer.

It sure seems like Sonoma County is indeed becoming a “craft beer Mecca,” as Jackson called Santa Rosa. I think that’s truer of the whole county, but certainly between Santa Rosa and Petaluma the county’s doing pretty well. Sonoma County currently has 31 licensed breweries, at least according to the latest number from the CCBA, which means we’re nowhere near the 100+ that are now open in San Diego County. Still, I think Sonoma probably has more than most counties.

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