Historic Beer Birthday: Philip Zang

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Today is the birthday of Philip Zang (February 15, 1826-February 18, 1899) who’s most remembered for his brewery in Denver, Colorado, although he also founded a brewery in Louisville, Kentucky, before moving west in 1869. He was born in Bavaria, Germany, but came to the U.S. in 1853.

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Here’s a short biography from Find a Grave:

Brewing Magnate in Denver. Owner of first brewery in Denver, Rocky Mountain Brewery, which was also the largest west of the Mississippi from 1880 to the start of prohibition. Arrived in the USA in 1853; initially settled in Louisville, Kentucky where he owned Phoenix Brewery (later Zang Brewing Co.), the largest in Kentucky, for 16 years; relocated to Denver in September 1869; acquired Rocky Mountain Brewery in 1871 and changed its name to Philip Zang Brewing Co.; increased production over the years to achieve over 65,000 barrels per year while surviving a couple of destructive fires; sold Philip Zang Brewing Co. in 1888 to British investors; retired from brewing in 1889 and listed the same year as one of 33 millionaires living in Denver. Was involved in mining holding interests in a number of gold and silver mines in Silverton, Cripple Creek and Eagle County. A prominent Denver citizen, he was also elected as a democrat to a term as city alderman.

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And here’s a fuller biography, from the Zang Mansion website:

PHILIP ZANG, founder of the Ph. Zang Brewing Company, of Denver, was a native of Bavaria, Germany, immigrated to United States in by ship in 1853. Married Elizabeth Hurlebaus, who died in Chicago, leaving an only child, Adolph J. Zang.

  • Founded Phoenix brewery in Louisville (1859-1869) then moved to Denver
  • Bought Rocky Mountain Brewing Co. from John Good (1871)
  • Changed name to Philip Zang & Co. (7/1880)
  • Sold to UK syndicate-chg. name to PH. Zang Brewing Co. (1889)
  • Son; Adolf J. Zang took over management (General Manager)
  • Second Marriage (10/1870) to Mrs. Anna Barbara Buck, nee Kalberer, (b.1836)(d.4/1896)
  • Previously widowed from marriage to Jacob Buck (b.1832) m(1857-xxxx)
  • The family residence, built in 1887, was at 2342 Seventh street, Denver, CO

ROOTS

Philip Zang, founder of the PH. Zang Brewing Company, of Denver, was a native of Bavaria, Germany, and next to the oldest among the six sons and two daughters of John and Fredericka (Kaufman) Zang. His father, who was a member of an old Bavarian family, engaged in farming and the milling business, and took part in the Napoleonic wars, accompanying the illustrious general on his march to Moscow. He (John) died in 1849, at the age of sixty-two. Two of John and Fredericka’s sons, Alexander and Philip, immigrated to America. During the Civil War Alexander served in the Thirty-ninth New York Infantry; he died in Denver in 1892.

BOUND FOR AMERICA

Philip was a brewer’s apprentice for two and one-half years, after which he traveled around Germany, working at his trade. In 1853 he came to America, going from Rotterdam to Hull, then to Liverpool, and from there on the “City of Glasgow,” which landed him in Philadelphia after a voyage of eighteen days.

LEAPING FORWARD

Ignorant of the English language, his first endeavor was to gain sufficient knowledge to converse with the people here, and during the first six months in this country, while working as a railroad hand, he was storing in his mind a knowledge of our customs and language. In Philadelphia Mr. P. Zang married Miss Elizabeth Hurlebaus, who died in Chicago, leaving an only child, Adolph J. Zang. In January 1854, he went to Louisville, Ky., where he worked at his trade for one year. Later, desiring to learn engineering, he secured employment in a woolen mill, and remained there until January 1859, meantime becoming familiar with the engineer’s occupation.

THE BREWERY BUSINESS

Mr. P. Zang built a brewery in Louisville and this he conducted alone until 1865, when he erected a large brewery, which was carried on under the firm name of Zang & Co. Selling this in February 1869; he decided to locate in the growing town of Denver.

Here he was engaged as superintendent of the brewery owned by John Good until July 1871, when he bought out his employer and continued the business alone. Mr. Good had started the business in 1859 on the same spot, under the title of the Rocky Mountain Brewery, which continued to be its name for some years. In July 1871, Mr. Zang enlarged the brewery, which then had a capacity of one hundred and fifty thousand barrels per annum, and is the largest between St. Louis and San Francisco. There was also a malt house, with modern equipments; an ice plant, lager beer vaults, boiler house, brewery stables, and a switch from the railroad connecting with the main lines, in order to facilitate the work of shipment. In 1880 the name was changed to Philip Zang & Co., and in July 1889, the business was sold to an English syndicate, who changed the name to the Ph. Zang Brewing Company.

LOCAL AFFAIRS

In Denver, October 18, 1870, he was united in marriage with Mrs. Anna B. Buck, nee Kalberer, an estimable lady and one who has many friends in this city. The family residence, built in 1887, stood at 2342 Seventh street. For one term Mr. Zang served as an alderman of the sixth ward, to which position he was elected on the Democratic ticket, but he himself is independent in politics. While in Louisville he was made a Mason and an Odd Fellow, and he belonged to Schiller Lodge No. 41, A. F. & A. M., and Germania Lodge No. 14, I. O.O. F., of Denver, of both of which he was a charter member. He was also connected with the Turn Verein, Krieger Verein and Bavarian Verein, and took a prominent part in all local affairs.

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And in this short account, it is suggested it was gold fever that enticed Zang west, and when that didn’t pan out, he returned to what he knew: brewing beer.

“Zang came to Denver in 1870 – a few years after the Civil War – having run the Phoenix Brewery in Louisville Kentucky for 16 years. Even though his brewery had thrived through the turmoil of the war, he caught gold fever, sold that brewery and headed west. His gold mining career in Leadville lasted about a month. Soon he found himself back in the more palatable environment of Denver, running the Rocky Mountain Brewery for a “Capitalist” (his official title) called John Good. Within a couple years, Zang bought the brewery from Good and soon increased its capacity ten-fold. From then until the complication of Prohibition in 1920, Zang Brewing Company was the largest beer producer west of the Missouri.”

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The wonderful book 100 Years of Brewing, published in 1901, also has a short account of Zang’s brewery:

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Zang

Historic Beer Birthday: John Weidenfeller

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Today is the birthday of John Weidenfeller (February 11, 1867-1929). He was born in Germany, but came to America with his family, who settled in Michigan and owned a farm. Weidenfeller though, defying his father’s wishes, became a brewer, working first with “Frey Bros. and Kusterer Brewing Companies. In 1892, these two breweries joined three others to form the Grand Rapids Brewing Co.” He later worked in Montana for the Centennial Brewery, before accepting a position as brewmaster of Olympia Brewing in Washington.

John-Weidenfeller

There’s less about brewmasters, as opposed to brewers who were also brewery founders or owners, when you go back this far, but there’s a pretty thorough biography of Weidenfeller by Gary Flynn at his wonderful Brewery Gems.

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Weidenfeller around 1901, with his workers in Montana.

Historic Beer Birthday: Daniel Jung

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Today is the birthday of Daniel Jung (February 11, 1822-December 2, 1877). A member of one of several Jung families in brewing, Daniel was born in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, but settled in the Cincinnati area of Ohio, where he founded a brewery that eventually would bear his name.

Daniel-Jung-portrait

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.

Jung-letterhead

But I’ve been unable to find much about Jung personally, about his life. The only obituary I uncovered was in German, and was a scan, meaning I couldn’t just copy it into Google Translate. I know he came to New York from Germany in his early 20s, but returned home for a number of years, before returning via New Orleans and making his way to Cincinnati, where he stayed for the rest of his life.

I do really love their branding, though. They marketed their beers under the name “Red Brand Beer,” with a bright red heart. So many labels of this time period are dull and similar, while this one really seems to stand out. I’d love to see more of their labels and artwork, but unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much out there lurking on the interwebs. Even their slogan is pretty awesome. “Creates & Sustains Life.”

Jung-tray

Here’s yet another account of his brewery history.

In 1857, Peter Weyand and Daniel Jung established the Western Brewery on Freeman and Bank Streets in Cincinnati, Ohio. 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.

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A Jung Brewery glass from 1895.

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A label from their Old Lager.

Historic Beer Birthday: Joseph Bosch

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Today is the birthday of Joseph Bosch (February 11, 1850-January 9, 1937). He was born in Achim, Lower Saxony, Germany, the son of a brewer, but came to America in 1854. They started in New York, but moved to Lake Linden, Michigan in 1862, and a few years later began training as a brewer. In 1874, he came back to Michigan, and started his own brewery, the Torch Lake Brewery, which eventually became known as the Bosch Brewing Co. It survived prohibition, but Bosch died in 1937. His two grandsons took over management of the company, and it stayed in business until 1973, when their labels were soon to the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company.

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Here’s some biographical information from Wikipedia:

Joseph Bosch was born in Baden, Germany in 1850. He emigrated to New York with his family when he was four, then moved to Wisconsin at the age of twelve, where his father was a brewer. In 1867, the family moved to Lake Linden; there, Bosch worked as a miner of the Calumet & Hecla company. However, he harbored the desire to become a brewmaster, and travelled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to work at the Schlitz Brewery, then on to Cleveland, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky before returning to Lake Linden in 1874 to found the Torch Lake Brewery. Two years later he admitted business partners and changed the name to Joseph Bosch & Company. In 1894 he again changed the name, this time to Bosch Brewing Company, and in 1899 the brewery was the largest in the Upper Peninsula, with a capacity of 60,000 barrels annually.

Bosch was also the president of Lake Linden’s First National Bank, organized in 1888, and participated in various mercantile enterprises, including those carried on in the Joseph Bosch Building.

Bosch-brewing-co

And there was this at the Van Pelt and Opie Library at Michigan Tech:

Joseph Bosch, founder of the Bosch Brewing Company, had always yearned to enter the brewing industry. He had learned much from his father, a brewer in his native country of Germany, who had brought the family to Lake Linden, Michigan in 1867. A desire for more knowledge and experience led the young Bosch to Cleveland, Fort Wayne and finally Milwaukee, where he worked for the Schlitz brewery. He returned to Lake Linden in 1874, erected a small wooden building and began brewing operations as the Torch Lake Brewery, Joseph Bosch & Company. Bosch operated the brewery on his own for the first two years, but in 1876 admitted several men on a partnership basis. The company continued as a partnership until around 1894, when the reorganized firm issued stock under its new name, the Bosch Brewing Company. The company continued in operation for nearly a century, closing the last of its facilities in 1973.

In the early years of brewing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, little if any beer was sold in bottles. Bosch saw the potential of this packaging, however, and the company began bottling on a small scale before 1880. By 1883, the original wooden building in Lake Linden had been enlarged and the company was producing 4,000 barrels of beer annually, one quarter of which was bottled. The brewery was completely destroyed in a great fire that swept through Lake Linden in 1887, but the demand for its product fired quick construction of new facilities. By the turn of the century the Bosch Brewing Company had brewing facilities in Lake Linden and Houghton, as well as branches and storehouses in Calumet/Laurium, Hancock, Eagle Harbor and Ishpeming. Having survived the difficult years of prohibition, the company finally closed the Lake Linden facility in favor of the better-situated facilities in Houghton.

Stressing the relationship of its product and the community, the Bosch Brewing Company featured many local themes in its advertising. Promotional phrases such as the “Refreshing as the Sportman’s Paradise” kept the small brewery close to the hearts of Copper Country natives and visitors from farther afield. The company found itself increasingly unable to compete locally with the larger breweries of Milwaukee and St. Louis, however, and the last keg of beer was ceremoniously loaded onto a wagon for delivery to a local tavern on Friday, September 28, 1973.

Bosch-wagon

This is from the “History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,” published in 1883:

JOSEPH BOSCH & CO., proprietors of Torch Lake Brewery. This business was organized in 1874, and is owned one-half by Joseph Bosch, the other by Joseph Wertin & Sons, of Hancock; 4,000 barrels of beer. are manufactured annually, 1,000 of which is bottled. Joseph Bosch was born in Baden, Germany, February 13, 1850, and came to America with his parents in 1854; he spent nine years in New York City, and then removed to Port Washington, Wis., where he learned the brewing business with his father. In 1867, in company with his father, he came to Torch Lake, and erected the first house in what is Lake Linden; he worked four years at the Hecla Stamp Mill. In 1874, he built the brewery; he was married at Hancock in January, 1875, to Miss Mary, daughter of Joseph Wertin. Mrs. Bosch was born in Austria. They have a daughter — Mary.

Ulmer-Style-Beer--Labels-Bosch-Brewing-Company

And finally, here’s a longer biography of Bosch from “Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of Houghton, Baraga and Marquette Counties, Michigan,” published in 1903:

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Historic Beer Birthday: John Kauffman

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Today is the birthday of John Kauffman (February 10, 1839-January 15, 1886). Kauffman was born in Lorraine, France. He was part of the group that bought the Franklin Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1856. By 1859, it was called the John Kaufman & Co. Brewery, and it became the fourth largest brewery in Cincinnati. Eventually, he remained as the sole owner, and in 1882 renamed it the John Kauffman Brewing Co. It was closed by prohibition, and never reopened, although it was used as the Husman Potato Chip factory, so at least it was put to good use.

BBHOF_John_Kauffman

There’s an entry for the John Kauffman Brewery in the “History of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio,” published in 1894:

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John-Kauffman-photo

Cincinnati Brewing History has this account of the brewery’s history, taken from Cincinnati Breweries, by Robert J. Wimberg, from 1989:

“In 1856 John Kauffman, George F. Eichenlaub, and Rudolf Rheinbold purchased the Franklin Brewery on Lebanon Road near the Deer Creek from Kauffman’s aunt. Her husband, John Kauffman, estabished the brewery in 1844. He died in 1845. In 1859 under the name Kauffman and Company, they began to build a new brewery on Vine Street and soon left the Deer Creek location. The first structure on Vine was completed in 1860.

In 1871 the Kauffman Brewery was the city’s fourth largest with sales amounting to $30,930. It was located on both the west and east sides of Vine north of Liberty and south of Green Street.

In 1860 Kauffman also bought the Schneider grist mill on Walnut Street near Hamilton Road (McMicken Avenue), but leased it out before long to another company.

In its first year on Vine Street, the brewery produced only about 1000 barrels. By 1877 the number grew to 50,000 barrels of beer. Kauffman’s beer was sold in Nashville, Montgomery, Atlanta, Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans.

In 1865 Eichenlaub retired from the business and he was followed by Rheinbold in 1877. John Kauffman then took over the leadership by himself. After his oldest son Johnn studied brewing in Augsburg, Germany, he went to work at the family brewery. Emil Schmidt, Kauffman’s son-in-law, was superintendent by 1877.

In 1882 the brewery was incorporated as the John Kauffman Brewing Company with a paid-in capital stock of $700,000. In 1888 the brewery building at 1622 Vine was enlarged. Note it is occupied by the Schuerman Company today. The office and family residence was at 1625-27 Vine, which was razed and replaced about 75 years ago.

John Kauffman died in 1892 and his wife Marianne Eichenlaub Kauffman took over. She was president of the corporation; Emil Schmidt, vice-president; and treasurer; Charles Rheinbold, secretary; Charles J. Kauffman, superintendent; and John R. Kauffman, brewmaster. By 1894 the brewery produced 70,000 barrels of beer. The malt house had a capacity of 150,000 bushels of barley and the brewery plant covered five acres of ground.

By 1913 John R. Kauffman was president of the company. The brewery produced ‘Gilt Edge’, ‘Columbia’ and ‘Old Lager’ beers. It closed in 1919 when Prohibition became law and never reopened.”

John-Kauffman-Brewery-poster

The brewery is also mentioned briefly in a History of the Brewery District for Cincinnati:

Industry continued to be an important factor in Over-the-Rhine’s development. The canal area was still the location of many diversified industries, including lumberyards, foundries, pork packers, tanneries, and glycerin works. The brewing industry tended to concentrate along McMicken Avenue and the Miami and Erie canal (what is now the Brewery District). By 1866 the Jackson Brewery, J. G. John & Sons Brewery, Christian Moerlein Brewing Company, and John Kauffman Brewing Company dominated the industrial use of the area. In close association on the west side of the canal were the John Hauck and Windisch-Mulhauser Brewing Companies. Between 1875 and 1900 seventeen breweries were located in Over-the-Rhine and West End.

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Historic Beer Birthday: David C. Kuntz

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Today is the birthday of David C. Kuntz (February 9, 1877-October 22, 1915). He was born in Waterloo, Ontario, in Canada, and was the grandson of David Kuntz, who established the first brewery in Ontario. He was also the son of Louis Kuntz, David’s son. After the first David Kuntz died, his son Louis Kuntz took over, renaming the the business Louis Kuntz’s Park Brewery, and David C. succeeded his father. Shortly after his passing, in 1930, Canadian Breweries Limited, which had originally been “named Brewing Corporation of Ontario,” was created “by merging The Brading Breweries Limited, an Ottawa company Taylor had inherited from his grandfather, Capital Brewing of Ottawa, and Kuntz Brewery of Waterloo, Ontario.” In 1977 Carling Brewery was purchased by Labatt Breweries of London, but the Waterloo plant was closed by 1993 and all the buildings on the site had been demolished.

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This is his obituary, from the Brewers Journal in 1915:

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Kuntz brewery works around 1910.

Here’s a brief mention of David C. Kuntz from Flash from the Past: What remains of the Kuntz Brewery legacy?

Louis Kuntz died, aged 39, following an appendectomy in 1891. His children were still young so brother-in-law Frank Bauer, also a brewer, took over. Then David Kuntz died in 1892. Bauer’s own 1895 passing began an almost unbelievable sequence of deaths in the brewery’s management. However, business success continued and in 1910 David Kuntz Jr., Louis’ son, took over. He also died young, 38, in 1915 so his two brothers, Herbert and William stepped in.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Morton Coutts

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Today is the birthday of Morton W. Coutts (February 7, 1904-June 25, 2004) who was a “New Zealand inventor who revolutionized the science of brewing beer,” and “is best known for the continuous fermentation method.”

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Here’s a basic biography from the DB Breweries website:

Morton Coutts (1904-2004) was the inheritor of a rich brewing tradition dating back to the 19th century. Like his father, W. Joseph Coutts and grandfather, Joseph Friedrich Kühtze, Morton Coutts was more an innovator and scientific brewer than a businessman. He was foundation head brewer of Dominion Breweries Ltd under (Sir) Henry Kelliher and became a director of the company after his father’s death in 1946. He and Kelliher formed a formidable team-Coutts, the boffin-like heir to a rich brewing heritage, obsessed with quality control and production innovation, and Kelliher, a confident, entrepreneurial businessman, able to hold his own with politicians and competitors.

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Morton Coutts’ most important contribution was the development in the 1950s of the system of continuous fermentation, patented in 1956, to give greater beer consistency and product control. The continuous fermentation process was so named because it allows a continuous flow of ingredients in the brewing, eliminating variables to produce the ideal beer continuously. The system achieved this by scrapping open vats-the weak link in the old system-and replacing them with enclosed sealed tanks. Continuous fermentation allows the brew to flow from tank to tank, fermenting under pressure, and never coming into contact with the atmosphere, even when bottled. Coutts’ research showed that his process could produce consistent, more palatable beer with a longer shelf life than under batch brewing. A London newspaper described it as a “brewer’s dream and yours too”. Coutts patented the process, and subsequently the patent rights were sold worldwide as other brewers recognised the inherent benefits of continuous processes. Although many attempted to implement the technology, most failed due to their inability to apply the rigorous hygiene techniques developed and applied by Coutts. Eventually, in 1983, Coutts’ contribution to the industry was honoured in New Zealand.

And DB Breweries also has a timeline with key events in the brewery’s history, including dates from Coutts’ life.

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The Waitemata Brewery in 1933, after it became part of DB Breweries.

As for his most influential invention, continuous fermentation, here are some resources, one from New Zealand’s Science Trust Roadshow with Morton Coutts — Continuous Fermentation System. And after I visited New Zealand, I wrote a sidebar on it for an article I did for All About Beer, and also later when a German university announced something very similar a few years ago in Everything Old Is New Again: Non-Stop Fermentation.

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Coutts later in life.

Also, here’s the story of him creating DB Export The Untold Story, featuring this fun video.

Historic Beer Birthday: Adolph Coors

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Today is the birthday of Adolph Coors (February 4, 1847-June 5, 1929) whose full name was Adolph Hermann Josef Coors, although it’s probable that the Coors surname was originally spelled Kuhrs, or something like that. Coors was born in what today is Germany, in the town of Barmen, part of Rhenish Prussia, or Rhineland. After being orphaned as a fifteen-year old boy, he continued the apprenticeship he’d begun earlier at the Wenker Brewery in Dortmund, and later on was a paid employee. When he was 21, he stowed aboard a ship in Hamburg and made his way to New York City, where he changed the family name to its present spelling. By spring he’d moved to Chicago, and shortly thereafter became a foreman of John Stenger’s brewery in nearby Napierville, where he worked for the next four years.

At the beginning of 1872, he resigned and headed west, to Denver, Colorado. Coors took a few odd jobs, and then he purchased a partnership in the bottling firm of John Staderman, buying out his partner later the same year, assuming control of the entire business. But it was the following year, on November 14, 1873, that the Coors empire really began. On that day, Adolph Coors, along with Denver confectioner Jacob Schueler, bought the Golden City Tannery, which had been abandoned, in Golden, Colorado, and transformed it into the Golden Brewery. “By February 1874 they were producing beer for sale. In 1880 Coors purchased Schueler’s interest, and the brewery was renamed Adolph Coors Golden Brewery.”

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And here’s a short biography from the Colorado Encyclopedia:

Adolph Coors (1847–1929) immigrated to the United States in 1868 after serving as a brewery apprentice in western Germany and then in the Kingdom of Prussia. After working in Chicago breweries, he moved to Colorado in 1872 and purchased a bottling company. He transformed it into the Coors Brewing Company and became one of Colorado’s wealthiest and most influential men during the early twentieth century.

After moving to Denver, Coors promptly bought into a bottling company and became the sole owner by the end of the year. In 1873 he started looking for a place to build a brewery with access to clean mountain water and found one at the abandoned Golden Tannery. He partnered with candy store owner and fellow German Jacob Scheuler to purchase the tannery and turned it into the Scheuler and Coors Brewing Company, one of the first breweries in the area. By 1874, even in the midst of economic crisis, the company was making 800 gallons of beer a day. Their beer was valued for its taste, consistency, and crispness.

Coors hired many German immigrants to run his beer factory, bottling plant, malt house, and icehouse. He invested heavily in new technology, such as metal bottle caps and increased automation. In 1879 he married Louisa Weber. The couple had six children – three daughters and three sons. That same year, he bought out Scheuler and became the sole owner of Coors Brewing. He allowed his workers to join the United Brewery Workmen of the United States and paid them well. The brewery famously provided free beer to its workers during breaks. By 1890, Coors was a millionaire, a US citizen, and a medal winner at the Chicago World’s Fair.

The movement to abolish alcohol began to gather momentum in the late nineteenth century. Coors correctly diversified his investments; beer may be recession-proof, but it would not weather Prohibition. In 1916, when Prohibition began in Colorado, Coors shifted his manufacturing from beer to milk products and porcelain. In 1933, with the repeal of Prohibition, Coors returned to his preferred product but continued to manufacture other goods.

Coors generally remained aloof from Denver high society, but he felt great kinship with his employees and identified with them as a craftsman. He instituted more breaks, better working conditions, and higher wages for his workers than did almost all other brewers. But Coors became disillusioned with his product in the early twentieth century, after pasteurization (the heating of beer to kill microbes) and mass marketing transformed the beer industry. Coors took his life in 1929 by jumping from his hotel balcony in Virginia Beach. In his will, he stipulated that his hotel bill be paid in its entirety; otherwise, he left no note and no reason for his action. Coors is remembered for his entrepreneurial spirit, his rags-to-riches immigrant story, and his dedication to the craft of brewing beer.

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A portrait of Adolph Coors by artist Bill Moomey

Coors was elected to the Colorado Business Hall of Fame in 1990, who produced a short film of his life for the induction ceremony:

And here’s an early postcard depicting the Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado. It’s a remarkable place and you should definitely take the tour if you ever get near that part of the world.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Henry Uihlein II

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Today is the birthday of Henry Uihlein II (February 3, 1896-June 8, 1997). He was the grandson of Henry Uihlein, who for many years was the president of the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company early in the 20th century. Henry II was also a director of the family business for several decades until its sale in 1982.

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This paid death notice was printed in the New York Times in 1997:

UIHLEIN-Henry II. Of Lake Placid, NY. Died June 8, 1997, at his winter home in Indian Wells, CA, at the age of 101. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne M. Uihlein, and by his nephews, Robert and August Rohe. Mr. Uihlein was preceded in death by his first wife, Mildred Anthony Uihlein, who died on July 9, 1990. He was a grandson of Henry Uihlein who was a longtime president of the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company early in this century, and was himself a director of the company for several decades until its sale in 1982 to the Stroh Brewing Company. Mr. Uihlein was born in New York City on February 3, 1896, and attended public and private schools there. A promising collegiate career was cut short by tuberculosis and resulted in his spending several years in Lake Placid, NY, where he was restored to health by the altitude and climate. He married Mildred Anthony of South Orange, NJ, on June 10, 1927, and after an extended European honeymoon, they settled in Montclair, NJ, where he founded a real estate corporation. Summers were spent in Lake Placid. In 1933, the Uihleins moved to New York City where Mr. Uihlein attended to his father’s affairs until he died in 1939. In 1941, the Uihleins made Lake Placid their permanent residence, purchasing farm land from the Lake Placid Club which became known as Heaven Hill Farm. Over the succeeding decades, Mr. Uihlein developed a blue ribbon pure-breed Jersey cattle herd, a prize maple syrup operation, and a first class seed potato farm. Stock from his Jersey herd consistently took top prizes at American Jersey Club Shows. Several years ago, the Jersey herd was donated to the Miner Institute of Chazy, NY, where they continue breeding under the Heaven Hill name. Also several years ago, the maple syrup and potato operations were donated to the College of Agriculture of Cornell University under which auspices they continue to be operated as demonstration and research facilities (and in the case of the potato operation, as a disease-free source of seed potatos.) In addition to his interests in fishing, hunting, stamp collecting, and skeet shooting, Mr. Uihlein supported the sport of speed skating in Lake Placid by sponsoring a number of contestants and events, thus contributing to to Lake Placid’s reputation as a winter sports resort. He was an official timer at the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid and an active supporter of the 1980 Winter Olympics for which he was made an honorary member. In 1983, he was named to the Lake Placid Hall of Fame. Henry Uihlein also liked classic automobiles and undertook the restoration of 2 1939 DeLage automobiles. These automobiles, one a coupe and the other a convertible, are one of a kind and were the stars of the French Pavillion at the 1939 World’s Fair. More recently, they have taken top honors at the Concourse D’Legance at Pebble Beach, CA, and other national competitions. Mr. Uihlein has also been actively involved in philanthropy. In addition to funding the Cornell College of Agriculture gifts noted above, he played a major role in the creation of the Uihlein Mercy Center, a geriatric hospital and home located not far from Heaven Hill Farm in Lake Placid. He also has an administration building named after him at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Desert and has served as an honorary Trustee of the Center. He has also actively supported the work of the Mayo Clinic. He will be missed by his many relatives, friends and all those whose lives he touched during his many years. Services will be held on Saturday, June 14th at 11:00 a.m. at the Uihlein Mercy Center Chapel in Lake Placid, interment to follow at North Elba Cemetery, Lake Placid, NY. Memorials may be made to Cornell University College of Agriculture, Uihlein Mercy Center, Lake Placid, NY, Eisenhower Medical Center, Palm Desert, CA, and the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. For information, call the Clark Funeral Home in Lake Placid, NY.

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This biography was written in 1982, when Uihlein was inducted into The Potato Association of America:

Henry Uihlein II, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 3, 1896, is a member of the family that owned and operated the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company for over 100 years.

Soon after Henry was born, his family moved to New York City, where his father continued the family tradition of engaging in the brewery business. He attended public schools and then the Horace Mann Preparatory School in New York City, a part of Teachers College, which was affiliated with Columbia University. As a youth he was active in athletics, participating in baseball, ice hockey and track.

Henry aspired to a career in medicine and with that in mind enrolled at Cornell University. However, misfortune struck. He became seriously ill with tuberculosis and his father was advised that it was unlikely that Henry would live more than six months. So in 1916, in an effort to regain his health, Henry went to Lake Placid, New York, which was famous for its health sanatoria. There he gradually regained his health and as soon as he was able, resumed his interest in amateur athletics. He focused his energies and support behind speed skating, bringing national and international meets to the tiny Adirondack village. His efforts to promote winter sports in Lake Placid continued through the ’20′s, in spite of being involved in a very serious auto accident. Mr. Uihlein played a significant role in bringing the winter Olympics to Lake Placid in 1932.

In 1927, Mr. Uihlein married Mildred Anthony, whom he had met two years earlier at the Lake Placid Club. They recently celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary. After a number of years actively engaged in business in New York City, the Uihleins returned to Lake Placid in 1940, bought Heaven Hill Farm and directed their energies toward farming. Their first Jersey cattle were acquired in 1942, the beginning of a champion show herd which eventually numbered 250 head. Their sire, Brownys Masterman Jester, bred at Heaven Hill Farm, set an unprecedented record by winning five Grand Championships at the National Jersey Show. Seven head of their cattle achieved “Hall of Fame” records. Their love of Jersey cattle continues today and Heaven Hill enjoys an international reputation for their premier breeding stock.

Concurrently with the development of their Jersey herd, the Uihtein’s entered the seed potato business in order to help the war effort. Their annual production eventually reached 30,000 bushels of top quality certified seed. In 1961 Cornell University approached the Uihleins seeking to lease or purchase their Tableland Farm to establish an official seed potato farm for New York State. The Uihleins countered with an extraordinary offer–they had decided to give Cornell approximately 300 acres of prime potato land. This, along with subsequent gifts of land, became known as the Uihlein Farm of Cornell University.

In 1975 Cornell again approached Mr. Uihlein seeking his support for building a laboratory and greenhouse on the Cornell-Uihlein Farm for the specific purpose of producing pathogen-free potato seed stocks by meristem and shoot tip culture. Having always maintained a keen interest in all aspects of the research program and the production of disease-free seed stocks, Mr. Uihlein very generously agreed to fund this facility. Ground was broken in 1977; the Henry Uihlein II Laboratory was dedicated in June of 1979. Maple syrup production on Heaven Hill was an annual affair since the 1940′s, Heaven Hill having many thousands of mature sugar maples. In 1964 Henry Uihlein conceived the idea of starting a demonstration and research project under the direction of Cornell’s Department of Natural Resources for the production of maple syrup. In addition to funding the construction of the sugar house, equipment and deeding 165 acres of maple forest to Cornell, he has continued to subsidize this project.

The Uihlein’s, in a further demonstration of community spirit, donated 35 acres of land and partial funding for a $4,500,000 nursing home for the aged and chronically ill. This facility, known as the Uihlein Mercy Center, is widely known for its beauty and excellent care. Among his many other activities and interests, Mr. Uihlein served as a Director of the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. for 32 years, then as Director Emeritus and Lifetime Honorary Director. He has also served as Director of the Jos. Schlitz Foundation and as a trustee and president of the Lake Placid Educational Foundation. Mr. Uihlein was honored by the American Jersey Cattle Club in 1968 and was designated “Master Breeder of the Year.” He was on the Lake Placid Olympic Organizing Committee for the 1980 Winter Olympics and has been active in numerous other organizations.

Very few individuals outside the research community have contributed so much to support the development of a basic aspect of the potato industry. Mr. Uihlein’s contributions of land and buildings have made possible a foundation seed farm of unique quality. For over twenty years, scientists, farmers, and consumers in New York State and beyond have benefitted from his personal interest in and active support for research to produce disease-free potatoes.

For his vision and enthusiasm, his high level of interest and unstinting generosity to seed potato research, it is most appropriate that we honor Mr. Henry Uihlein II with an Honorary Life Membership in The Potato Association of America.

And thanks to his contribution of bringing the Olympics to Lake Placid, he was inducted into the Lack Placid Hall of Fame.

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Historic Beer Birthday: John Thomas

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Today is the birthday of John Thomas (February 1, 1847-January 4, 1899). In 1884, his later business parter founded a brewery in Philadelphia, the following year Thomas joined the business, and they called in Welde & Thomas, later adding “Brewing Company” to the name. In 1904, it was consolidated with several other breweries into the Consumers Brewers Co., which remained in business until closed by prohibition in 1920. The brewery reopened after repeal in 1933 as the Trainer Brewing Co., but only lasted one year.

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Here’s Thomas’ obituary from the American Brewers Review in 1899:

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In a biography of his partner John Welde, Thomas naturally gets more than a mention:

In 1884, John Welde, a German immigrant, established a brewery in Philadelphia on the corner of Broad and Christian Streets. A year later, he formed a partnership with John Thomas, a Philadelphia native, who had been a partner in another brewery. Together they created Welde and Thomas, a brewing firm that was later reorganized into the Welde and Thomas Brewing Company. They moved to a new location and modernized the facility with innovative equipment, growing the brewing capacity of the plant to 50,000 barrels per year. In March 1897, Welde and Thomas, along with five other breweries were consolidated under the title of the Consumer’s Brewing Company. The combined breweries were able to produce approximately 300,000 barrels a year.

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This description is from an Advertising Print for Welde and Thomas Brewing Co., created around 1895, and now in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

This colorful framed print, an ad for the Welde and Thomas Brewing Company, of Philadelphia, also commemorates the 1895 America’s Cup race between the American yacht Defender and the British Valkyrie III. Imagery of the yacht race dominates the print and the American vessel, the ultimate victor in the match, holds primacy of place. Defender’s full sails provide a dramatic canvas for the names of two of the company’s products: Penn and Sanitas Beers. These brands, along with Quaker, were among those brewed by Welde and Thomas.

Three detailed insets border the print. One shows “Penn’s Brewery of 1682” in Pennsbury, Buck’s County; another shows the Welde and Thomas buildings at Juniper and Fitzwater Streets in Philadelphia; and the third is an image of William Penn holding a bottle of beer. The ad deftly aligns Welde and Thomas beer to icons of American success: the very founding of Philadelphia and its early embrace of brewing as well as an American yacht’s triumphant defense of the America’s Cup.

German immigrant John Welde established a brewery in Philadelphia in 1884, forming a partnership with Philadelphia businessman John Thomas the following year. In 1886, they moved to the Juniper and Fitzwater Streets location and invested in new equipment, increasing their capacity dramatically. In 1897, Welde and Thomas consolidated operations with five other breweries, organizing under the name Consumer’s Brewing Company. Thomas died in 1899 and Welde in 1901.

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