Historic Beer Birthday: Joseph Schaller

schaller
Today is the birthday of Joseph Schaller (March 19, 1812-June 25, 1888), Schaller was born in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, but appears to have emigrated to Cincinnti, Ohio in 1837. He was a co-owner on the Eagle Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio, which was known by various names names, such as the Schaller & Schiff Brewery and later the Schaller-Gerke Brewery. In addition, before he retired from brewing, he helped his three sons start the Schaller Brothers Main Street Brewery.

Joseph-Schaller

Accounts seem to vary about his involvement, and especially with the names of the brewery as they changed, but here’s the timeline from the Queen City Chapter’s page, entitled Cincinnati Brewing History-Preprohibition 1811-1919:

1829: William Lofthouse and William Attee operate THE EAGLE BREWERY located on Fourth Street from 1829 until 1843. William Lofthouse becomes the sole proprietor of the brewery after William Attee dies in 1843 and he operates the brewery until his own death in 1850. His widow leases the brewery to Joseph Schaller and Johann Schiff who continue to use the EAGLE BREWERY name and operate the facility from 1850 to 1857.

1854: Joseph Schaller and Johann Schiff purchased land on the Miami-Erie Canal near Plum Street and construct a new brewery which they operate from 1854 to 1866. They continued to use the EAGLE BREWERY name. In 1866 Schaller buys out Schiff and he becomes a partner with John Gerke. The brewery name becomes SCHALLER & GERKE, EAGLE BREWERY. They continue in business together until 1882.

1861: Joseph Schaller buys out his partner, Johann Schiff, and continues to operate THE EAGLE BREWERY. In 1866, John Gerke becomes a partner in the business and the brewery operates until 1882.

1882: After John Gerke‘s death, his son, George, takes his place in the brewery and the business is incorporated as THE GERKE BREWING CO. In 1904, a new building is erected but is soon sold to the French-Bauer Dairy and the Gerke Brewing Co. is out of business by 1912.

Schaller-and-Gerke

For example, Lagering Cellar 1861 has some Gerke Brewery History that includes Schaller.

Joseph Schaller came to America as a young man. Working as a laborer in Cincinnati and on the Erie Canal, he saved his money to start a vinegar works. He purchased the old Lofthouse Brewery (located on 4th Street) with Johann Schiff in 1850. While not trained as a brewer, he hired well. They quickly grew the business and built the Eagle Brewery at the corner of Plum and Canal in 1854.

The brewery was located at the Plum Street bend of the Miami & Erie Canal, and had large arched windows unique to Cincinnati breweries. These windows are duplicated in the doors to the elevator room you came through. Partnering with John Gerke, he grew the brewery to be one of the largest and most modern in the city, producing about 140,000 barrels of beer a year. Before retiring, he helped his three sons start the Schaller Brothers Main Street Brewery. Gerke continued brewing until 1912. Brewery was replaced with the French Bauer Ice Cream Factory in 1917, which still exists as the Court Street Center building today.

Gerke continued brewing until 1912.

Schaller & Schiff, Eagle Brewery (4th Street) 1850 – 1857
Schaller & Schiff, Eagle Brewery 1854 – 1866
Schaller & Gerke, Eagle Brewery 1866 – 1882
Gerke Brewing Company 1882 – 1912

Gerke-bc

The first brewery on this corner was the Eagle Brewery from 1854 to 1866, owned by Joseph Schaller and Johann Schiff. In 1866, Schiff left the company and John Gerke joined in. The name was changed to Schaller & Gerke, Eagle Brewery and they continued together until 1882. The Schallers left the business then to purchase the Main Street Brewery and after the death of his father John, George Gerke continued the business at Canal and Plum Streets.

gerkebrewery_1

Founded in 1854 as the Eagle Brewery closer to the Ohio River, Joseph Schaller and John Gerke built a new brewery at the bend of the Miami and Erie Canal in 1866. Beer was brewed there until 1910. The brewery equipment was sold at auction October 15, 1913.

gerkebrewery_4

But the Schaller Brothers Main Street Brewery continued long after Joseph passed away, and they kept the Main Street Brewery name until 1896, after which time it was called the Schaller Brewing Co. After closing for prohibition, it reopened in 1933 and remained in business until 1941.

Schaller-eclipse-tray

Schaller-tray

schaller-beer

Historic Beer Birthday: James Toohey

tooheys
Today is the birthday of James Toohey (March 18, 1850-September 25, 1895). He and his brother John bought the Darling Brewery in Melbourne, Australia, and eventually it became known as Tooheys Brewery.

TooheyJames

This brief biography is from his Wikipedia page:

He was born in Melbourne to businessman Matthew Toohey and Honora Hall. He was a brewer, opening a business with his brother John in 1870 that eventually became Tooheys Brewery. On 5 June 1873 he married Catherine Magdalene Ferris, with whom he had twelve children. In 1885 he was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for South Sydney. He held the seat until he resigned in 1893. Toohey died at Pisa in Italy in 1895.

tooheys-brewery-hall

And here’s part of their early history from the brewery’s Wikipedia page:

Tooheys dates from 1869, when John Thomas Toohey (an Irish immigrant to Melbourne) obtained his brewing licence. Toohey and his brother James Matthew ran pubs in Melbourne (The Limerick Arms and The Great Britain) before moving to Sydney in the 1860s. They commenced brewing Tooheys Black Old Ale in a brewery in the area of present-day Darling Harbour. By 1875, demand for their beer had soared and they established The Standard Brewery in inner-city Surry Hills. In 1902, the company went public as Tooheys Limited, and commenced brewing lager (the present-day Tooheys New) in 1930. In 1955, the brewery moved west to Lidcombe. In 1967, Tooheys bought competitor Miller’s Brewers located in Taverner’s Hill, closing that brewery in 1975.

james-toohey-older

This is a shared entry, with his brother John, of James Toohey from the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6, 1976:

John Thomas Toohey (1839-1903) and James Matthew Toohey (1850-1895), brewers, were the sons of Matthew Toohey (d.1892), businessman, and his wife Honora (d.1878), née Hall. John Thomas was born on 26 April 1839 at Limerick, Ireland, and was taken to Melbourne by his parents in 1841. His father bought town lots and settled many Irish families in Victoria. One of the founders of the St Patrick’s Society in Melbourne, he was a political ally of (Sir) John O’Shanassy and (Sir) Charles Gavan Duffy. In the 1860s he was forced to sell at a loss; in 1866 he went to New South Wales and lived in virtual retirement. James Matthew was born on 18 March 1850 in Melbourne: he is said to have been named after Fr Matthew, the Irish apostle of temperance.

After unsuccessful business ventures in Victoria, New Zealand and Queensland, John settled near Lismore: later James had a property near Coonamble. About 1869 with W. G. Henfrey John set up an auctioneering agency and cordial manufacturing business in Castlereagh Street, Sydney; the next year the brothers began brewing at the Metropolitan Brewery and in 1873 they bought the Darling Brewery in Harbour Street. In 1876 they moved to new premises on the site of the old Albion Brewery in Elizabeth Street and began the Standard Brewery, employing twenty-six hands. Before 1880 imported beer was preferred to the local product, but in the 1880s Toohey’s and Tooth’s beers quickly became popular.

Vice-president of the Licensed Victuallers’ Association, in 1886 James was appointed to the royal commission on the excessive use of intoxicating drink, but withdrew when he felt the balance between local and anti-local optionists was upset. In evidence to the commission he said that ‘the system of shouting’ was the cause of all the excessive drinking in the colony and that beer was less injurious to health than ‘the ardent spirits’. He approved of the tied-house system and maintained that the 830 public houses in the Sydney metropolitan licensing district were not an excessive number, though there were a few too many in certain areas of the city.

Campaigning in 1885 for the Legislative Assembly seat of South Sydney, James claimed that the government’s action in sending troops to the Sudan ‘had resulted in a huge advertisement for the colony’. Favouring an elected Upper House, payment of members and the eight-hour system, he said he opposed local option and the abstinence party, as no Act of parliament could make a man sober. He represented the seat in 1885-93. A firm protectionist by 1887, he saw most free traders as ‘the curled darlings of the [Potts] Point and the merchants of Sydney’. He was a good speaker, if a little impetuous at times. According to the Sydney Morning Herald’s political correspondent in 1887, he ‘rolls the letter “r” beautifully, he drops his voice down to sweet whisper, lifts it up to a palpitating splendour, and then rolls it over the solemn path of prophetic parlance’. Dissatisfied with Sir George Dibbs’s administration, he opposed him for Tamworth in July 1894, but polled poorly. Next year he visited Ireland, England and Europe. James died at Pisa, Italy, on 25 September 1895 and was buried in the Catholic section of Rookwood cemetery, Sydney. He was survived by his wife Catherine (Kate) Magdalene (d.1913), née Ferris, whom he had married at Parramatta on 5 June 1873; they had four sons and eight daughters. Probate of his estate was sworn at £133,623.

On James’s death, John and James’s eldest son, also named John Thomas, took over the brewery. John was a leading Catholic layman, benefactor to numerous Catholic charitable institutions and a financial supporter of the Irish nationalist movement. On Christmas Day 1888 Cardinal Patrick Moran invested him as a knight of the Order of St Gregory. A leader in the Home Rule movement, he was prominent in the erection of the monument over the grave of Michael Dwyer in Waverley cemetery in 1898. Well known in business circles, he was a director of several companies including the City Mutual Fire Insurance Co. Ltd. He lived first at Moira, Burwood, and later at Innisfail, Wahroonga, and assisted in the development of both suburbs. He stood for Monaro in the Legislative Assembly in 1880 but was defeated by Henry Septimus Badgery and (Sir) Robert Lucas Tooth. In April 1892 he was nominated to the Legislative Council, but he very rarely spoke. In September 1901 he gave evidence to an assembly select committee on tied houses. Next year the brewery became a public company, Toohey’s Ltd, with John as chairman; the vendors received 375,000 fully paid shares and £175,000 cash. The well-known advertising slogan and symbol ‘Here’s to ‘ee’ originated in 1894.

For health reasons John went on a world tour with his family in 1902. He died suddenly in Chicago on 5 May 1903 and was buried in the Catholic section of Rookwood cemetery, Sydney. On 26 August 1871 at St Mary’s Cathedral he had married Sarah Doheny who died in 1891 survived by two sons and three daughters. Toohey was survived by his second wife, a widow Annie Mary Murphy, née Egan, whom he had married in Auckland, New Zealand. His estate was sworn for probate at £275,215.

tooheys-brewery

And this is a commercial that Tooheys produced that tells some of the history of the brewery.

Historic Beer Birthday: John Smith

john-smiths
Today is the birthday of John Smith (March 18, 1824-September 9, 1879). He was born in Leeds, and founded John Smith’s Brewery in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England in 1852, when “purchased the Backhouse & Hartley brewery” with a “loan” from his wealthy father.

John-smith

Here’s a short history of how the brewery got started and became John Smith’s.

Stephen Hartley began brewing in Tadcaster in 1758. In 1845 Jane Hartley mortgaged the brewery to David Backhouse and John Hartley. In 1847, Samuel Smith of Leeds arranged for his son John to enter the business. Jane Hartley died in 1852, and John Smith acquired the business, enlisting his brother William to help him. The timing was to prove fortuitous; pale ales were displacing porter as the beer of choice, and Tadcaster’s hard water proved to be well-suited for brewing the new style. The prosperity of the 1850s and 1860s, together with the arrival of the railways, realised greater opportunities for brewers, and by 1861 John Smith employed eight men in his brewing and malting enterprise.

John_Smith's_Brewery,_Tadcaster

And the Town of Tadcaster, where the brewery is located, includes this:

John Smith’s Ltd. brings together some of the greatest names in British brewing. John Smith’s, Wm. Younger, Matthew Brown….. we draw on a rich heritage and brewing expertise that stretches back over 250 years. As part of Scottish Courage, the UK’s foremost brewing company, we also represent some of the world’s most famous beer brands. ‘Only the best is good enough.’ Our company bears the name of a remarkable man. Born the son of a tanner, John Smith built a brewing business based on his entrepreneurial skills and personal commitment to quality. His Tadcaster brewery, acquired in 1847, responded to the new market opportunities generated by rapid population growth in northern towns during the Industrial Revolution.The excellence of his ales paved the way for what has become Britain’s most popular ale brand. The success story continues: a recent major expansion program at Tadcaster has doubled capacity to keep in pace with growing demand. An alliance of proud traditions.John Smith’s Ltd. represents a coming together of many proud brewing traditions like an ex-girlfriend blog. Matthew Brown began his brewing career in Lancashire in 1830. Wm. Younger’s traces it’s roots right back to 1749 and William McEwan founded his brewery in 1856. The Younger’s and McEwan’s companies joined forces in 1931 to form Scottish Brewers, arguably Scotland’s most famous beer company. These traditions are now combined with the prestigious brands owned by Scottish Courage. Times have changed, but the guiding principles of service and quality adopted by John Smith over 150 years ago are still at the core of our business today.

john-smith-and-pint

John Updike’s Paean To The Beer Can

beer-can-beer
Today is one of my favorite author’s birthdays, John Updike. He grew up in the same small Pennsylvania town that I did — Shillington — and we both escaped to a life of writing. Though I think you’ll agree he did rather better than I did with the writing thing, not that I’m complaining. I once wrote to him about a harebrained idea I had about writing updated Olinger stories from the perspective of the next generation (his Olinger Stories were a series of short tales set in Olinger, which was essentially his fictional name for Shillington). He wrote me back a nice note of encouragement on a hand-typed postcard that he signed, which today hangs in my office as a reminder and for inspiration. Anyway, this little gem he wrote for the The New Yorker in 1964 is a favorite of mine and I now post it each year in his honor. Enjoy.

Beer Can by John Updike

This seems to be an era of gratuitous inventions and negative improvements. Consider the beer can. It was beautiful — as beautiful as the clothespin, as inevitable as the wine bottle, as dignified and reassuring as the fire hydrant. A tranquil cylinder of delightfully resonant metal, it could be opened in an instant, requiring only the application of a handy gadget freely dispensed by every grocer. Who can forget the small, symmetrical thrill of those two triangular punctures, the dainty pfff, the little crest of suds that foamed eagerly in the exultation of release? Now we are given, instead, a top beetling with an ugly, shmoo-shaped tab, which, after fiercely resisting the tugging, bleeding fingers of the thirsty man, threatens his lips with a dangerous and hideous hole. However, we have discovered a way to thwart Progress, usually so unthwartable. Turn the beer can upside down and open the bottom. The bottom is still the way the top used to be. True, this operation gives the beer an unsettling jolt, and the sight of a consistently inverted beer can might make people edgy, not to say queasy. But the latter difficulty could be eliminated if manufacturers would design cans that looked the same whichever end was up, like playing cards. What we need is Progress with an escape hatch.

Now that’s writing. I especially like his allusion to the beauty of the clothespin as I am an unabashed lover of clothespins.

In case you’re not as old and curmudgeonly as me — and who is? — he’s talking about the transition to the pull-tab beer can (introduced between 1962-64) to replace the flat punch-top can that required you to punch two triangular holes in the top of the can in order to drink the beer and pour it in a glass.
pull-top-can punch-top-can
The pull-tab (at left) replaced the punch top (right).

Originally known as the Zip Top, Rusty Cans has an informative and entertaining history of them. Now you know why a lot of bottle openers still have that triangle-shaped punch on one end.
church-key

So essentially, he’s lamenting the death of the old style beer can which most people considered a pain to open and downright impossible should you be without the necessary church key opener. He is correct, however, that the newfangled suckers were sharp and did cut fingers and lips on occasion, even snapping off without opening from time to time. But you still have to laugh at the unwillingness to embrace change (and possibly progress) even though he was only 32 at the time; hardly a normally curmudgeonly age.

Historic Beer Birthday: William Ebling

ebling
Today is the birthday of William Ebling (March 18, 1828-January 25, 1922). Along with his brother Phillip, he founded and owned the Ebling Brewing Co., which was known by several different names during its life from 1868 to 1950, including the Philip Ebling & Bro. Wm., Aurora Park Brewery, Ph. & Wm. Ebling Brewing Co. and Ebling Brewing Co., which was its name almost the entirety of the 20th century, both before and after prohibition.

ebling-brewery-postcard

There’s not much I could find specifically about William Ebling, and no photos or portraits. From what I can piece together, he was born in Hessen, Germany and emigrated to the U.S. in 1855, arriving December 19 of that year. Initially he worked as a vinegar merchant and married his wife, Phoebe, around 1863, but by 1868 was brewing lager beer with his brother.

eblings-keg-branding
Two Ebling brewery workers posing with a keg branding device, from an unknown date.

The brewery apparently aged some of their beer in Bronx caves, and for some of their beers, like Special Brew, whose label boasts that the beer was “aged in natural rock caves.” Which sounds crazy, but in 2009, road construction crews in the Melrose section of the Bronx found the old caves, which was detailed by Edible Geography in Bronx Beer Caves.

1938-New-York-city-61st-street-4-Ebling-Brewery
An Ebling beer truck on 61st Street in New York in 1938.

Ebling-Brewing-Co-1908-Calendar-Signs-Pre-Pro-Ebling-Brewing-Co--Pre-Prohibition-_83627-1
A 1908 calendar from the brewery.

Eblings-Extra-Beer--Labels-Ebling-Brewing

Eblings-Bock-Beer-Labels-Ebling-Brewing

Historic Beer Birthday: John Land

weber-land
Today is the birthday of John C. Land (March 16, 1853-January 15, 1943). He was born in Grand Island, New York, but somehow made his way to Wisconsin. There he apparently married Barbara Weber, the daughter of Stephen Weber, who owned the Weber Brewery in Waukesha, Wisconsin. On Thanksgiving Day in 1883, Stephen Weber gave his son William A. Weber and his son-in-law John Land ownership of the Weber Brewery. They renamed it the Weber & Land Brewery, and also traded under the name Bethseda Brewery. Land’s name was later removed it was more often known as the Weber Brewing Co., though the Bethseda named continued as well. It survived prohibition, and was known then as the Weber Waukesha Brewing Co. until closing for good in 1958.

weber-land-bottles

How long Land was involved in the business is unknown, and I could not find a specific biographical information beyond the tidbits I uncovered, and of course no photographs of him either. Most of what I did find was mentioned in the context of the Weber family and the brewery.

This account of the Weber brewery is from “Breweries of Wisconsin,” by Jerold W. Apps;

weber-waushaka-BoW

Weber-Waukesha-Beer-Labels-Weber-Waukesha-Brewing-Co--1934-1938-_8544-1

Historic Beer Birthday: Axel Heiberg

ringnes
Today is the birthday of Axel Heiberg (March 16, 1848-September 4, 1932). He was born in Kristiania, Norway. Throughout his life, he “was a Norwegian diplomat, financier and patron.” And most importantly, he “financed the creation of the Ringnes brewery in 1876 together with the brothers Amund Ringnes (brewer) and Ellef Ringnes (administrator and salesman).” The Ringes remained family owned until 1978, and today is part of the Carlsberg Group, and remains the largest brewery in Norway.

AxelHeiberg

Here’s his biography from Wikipedia:

He was married to Ragnhild Meyer, daughter of Thorvald Meyer. They had one child, Ingeborg, who married N. O. Young Fearnley.

Heiberg studied abroad and, after a period as Norwegian consul in China, returned to Norway, where he financed the creation of the Ringnes brewery in 1876 together with the brothers Amund Ringnes (brewer) and Ellef Ringnes (administrator and salesman).

Together with the shipowner Thomas Fearnley, the brewery sponsored the polar expeditions of Fridtjof Nansen and Otto Sverdrup, and funded the construction of the exploration vessel Fram. This led to Heiberg’s name being given to Axel Heiberg Island in Canada, the Axel Heiberg Glacier in Antarctica, and the Geiberg Islands in Siberia.

In 1878 Heiberg was one of the founders of the rowing club Christiania RK. Later he founded the “Consul Axel Heiberg and Manufacturer Hans B. Fasmer Fund” (in 1915 transferred to the Fridtjof Nansen Fund). In 1898 he was one of the founders of the Norwegian Forestry Society, and was chairman until 1923. He also funded the statues of Henrik Ibsen and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson outside the National Theater in Oslo.

Ringnes-Brewery

This longer biography is from the Norwegian Biographical Encyclopedia, translated into English using Google Translate:

Axel Heiberg was one of the great patrons and supported as well sportsliv as science and art. He is especially known for its support of Nansen, Sverdrup and Amundsen’s polar expeditions. He was also a pioneer in forest management.

Heiberg grew up in Christiania and took school graduation 1867. He immediately started his business career in the US cotton company Wm. M. Tunne & Co. in Savannah, Georgia. Experience The foundation was then extended by two years in the East, as the correspondent of Russell & Co. in Hong Kong and Norwegian-Swedish vice-consul and consular secretary in Shanghai from 1870 to 1872.

Back in Christiania autumn 1872 Heiberg co-owner of several industrial enterprises, including Ringnes brewery, which he founded in 1877 together with his brothers Amund and Ellef Ringnes. He gave Norwegian sports funding, and he himself was active as a rower, sailor, skier and hunter; he was chairman of Christiania Roklub 1882-84 and founded the first Norwegian Kennel Club (Christiania molars). He was also one of the initiators of Huseby gutters, the predecessor to Holmenkollen.

The Fridtjof Nansen’s expedition across Greenland from 1888 to 1889 started Heiberg’s great interest in the polar regions. Along with Thomas Fearnley and Ellef Ringnes he formed the “corresponding line” that enabled Nansen first Fram 1893-96, and he supported the expedition with large amounts. In connection with the Nansen and Fram’s return to Norway in August 1896, he was with the founding of Fridtjof Nansen Foundation for Science Fund Promoting with a contribution of 50,000 crowns. From 1899 he was parliamentary elected member of the board of the Fund. Together with Amund and Ellef Ringnes he bore all the expenses of Otto Sverdrup’s second Fram 1898-1902 to the islands north of Canada, and he also gave financial support to Roald Amundsen’s expeditions with Gjøa in the Northwest from 1903 to 1906 and to the South Pole from 1910 to 1912. Axel Heiberg islands off Siberia, Axel Heiberg Island in Canada and Axel Heiberg Glacier in Antarctica was named after him by the grateful polar farers.

Also Norwegian art and intellectual life benefited consul Heiberg give generous support. He bought many works of art, and in 1899 he poured National statues of Ibsen and Bjornson, which currently stands in front of the entrance. 1906-1910 he was a member of the board of the Museum of Applied Arts.

It can today be discussed on Axel Heiberg is best known for its polar interest or for his great commitment to the Norwegian forests. The latter did enough biggest impression at the time, when he made forest case to a folkesak. He bought the farm Strand in Lyngdal in Numedal to hunting farm and ran it until a model with ia trenching and reforestation from 1888. Norwegian Forestry Society was founded in 1898 on his initiative, and he was the company’s chairman for 25 years. Under mindset “a forest-rich Norway is a mægtig Norway” organized Skogselskapet in his formannstid county forestry companies, courses, nurseries, etc., and put in place measures for children and young people to encourage interest in silviculture. A basic principle was that no generation should reap without also saw and planting. He rendered great financial contribution also to this case. He was a member of Videnskabps-Society in Christiania (now Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters) from 1897 and was an honorary member of both this and the Forestry Company.

Axel Heiberg was appointed a Knight of the Order of St. Olav in 1896, Commander 1900 and was awarded the Grand Cross 1908. 1923 he received Norway’s highest civilian honor, Borgerdådsmedaljen in gold. Christian Gierløff described him as “a Gloger, bold and generous figure, saa Norwegian as some of Snorre”. He was buried in the Grove of Honor at Our Savior’s cemetery in Oslo.

axel-heiberg

And here’s a short history of the brewery, from the tourism site, Go Norway:

Ringnes is Norway´s largest brewery company with approximately 1,200 employees. The company is owned by “Carlsberg Group”, the world´s fourth largest brewery group. We deliver beer, soda and water to the entire Norwegian beverage market and we are proud of our many strong brands!

Ringnes brewery was established in 1876 by brothers Amund Ringnes and Ellef, who came from Ringnes Gard. Amund was brewer, Ellef administrator and salesman, and Axel Heiberg was the financier behind now. 28 November 1877 could Amund Ringnes put the first brewed, thus starting what has now been 130 years of brewing history. Ringnes-brothers stood centrally among those who did Fridtjof Nansen and Otto Sverdrup “Fram” – Finished possible. A lasting memory of this is the three islands in the northernmost Canada (west of Greenland), as Sverdrup named after the brewery´s founders, Axel Heiberg Island, Amund Ringnes Island and Ellef Ringnes Island.

rignes-brewery-photo

Historic Beer Birthday: William Peter Sr.

william-peter
Today is the birthday of William Peter Sr. (March 16, 1832-June 10, 1918) who was born Wilhelm Jacob Peter in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, but anglicized his first name after coming to America in 1850. He worked at other breweries in both New York and Cincinnati before opening his own brewery in 1859, in what was then Union Hill, New Jersey, but today is Union City.

william-peter-sr

Here’s his obituary from the Western Brewer from January 1918:

william-peter-obit

wpeter-sr

And here’s another obituary from Find-a-Grave:

William Peter, founder of the great beer brewing plant of The William Peter Brewing Company Incorporated, of Union Hill now Union City, New Jersey, fled from Achern, Baden, Germany, where he was born, March 16, 1832, to escape the persecution he would have been subjected to as the son of one of the leaders of the Revolution of 1848-1849, against Prussian domination. He fled from Germany while serving his apprenticeship in the brewing trade. He then set sail to America with his mother Maria Antonia (Hof)Peter, four sisters and brother-in-law Max Frech, on the sailing vessel Gallia and arrived in New York on September 14, 1850. He then started a brewery in 1859 in West New York, New Jersey then moved to Union Hill, New Jersey. He developed his business rapidly and became the “best by test” beer in the country. He also had talent for painting, hundreds of landscapes and pictures in still life adorned his studio and the picture gallery of his home. The artist Max Eglau was his master, he had seen sketches and urged Mr. Peter to take up the brush in place of the pencil. William Peter died in 1918 and at that time had the largest funeral in New Jersey history, every famous brewer attended. William Peter married three times, his third wife having been Mrs. Sophia (Vogel) Bertram. Her daughter by her first husband married August Peter his son, his second wife was Mrs. Caroline (Appeli) Ohlenschlager and his first wife was Magdalena (Jaeger).

wm-peter-lager-biew
The brewery workers with William Peter in the center of the first row, with possible his son to the right (his left).

wmpeter-beerlabels

And here are some labels from the brewery.

Outside the library in Weehawken, New Jersey there’s a historical marker for William Peter that was put up in 2010.

William_Peter_historical_marker-Hudson_Ave_&_Peter_Street-Union_City

will-peter-and-family

This is presumably Peter with his son, William Peter Jr., though I don’t which of his three wives this might be. It was taken in 1910.

And this clipping is from a book on New Jersey from around the turn of the last century.

peter-clipping

And lastly, William Peter was also apparently a prolific fine artist who painted numerous oil paintings. This one he did in 1898 of his brewery.

william-peter-painting

Historic Beer Birthday: George Ehret Ruppert

Jacob-Ruppert
Today is the birthday of George Ehret Ruppert (March 15, 1875-November 5, 1948). He was the grandson of Jacob Ruppert Sr. and the brother of Jacob Ruppert Jr.. They both ran the family brewery, although his brother was the one in the spotlight and devoted more of his time to their ownership of the New York Yankees. George was more focused on the brewery business, and even when his brother died, appointed the GM to run the Yankees and continued to manage the Ruppert brewery.

George-Ehret-Ruppert

Find-a-Grave:

George Ehret Ruppert, 3rd generation American brewer, was the son of Jacob & Anna Gillig-Ruppert and the grandson of Franz & Wilhelmina Zindel-Ruppert. His Bavarian-born grandparents established New York’s Turtle Bay Brewery and his father founded the Jacob Ruppert Brewing Co. His famous brother, Congressman Col. Jacob Ruppert Jr., was founder, president & owner of the NY Yankees. George graduated Columbia Law School in 1899 whereupon he quickly joined his father and brother at the brewery. While working in the family business he attended the Wallerstein Brewing Academy. He became brewery secretary in 1910, VP in 1915 and executive secretary & director in 1921. In 1939 he succeeded his brother as president and in 1945 became CEO. George was active in many Catholic charities and once had an audience with Pope Pius XI in 1936. The paradox of George Ruppert’s life was that the more important he became the further he slipped into the media background. As his elder brother, Jacob Jr., devoted more of his time to his NY Yankee baseball team, the burden of directing the Ruppert Brewery became more George’s personal responsibility. Yet George seemed to prefer to labor in obscurity. At his brother’s death in 1939, George could have obtained for himself the headlines that often carried the name of his brother. Yet, he declined the post in favor of Gen. Mgr. Ed Barrow, explaining that he was doing so in the best interests of the Yankees and the brewery. George married twice: Emma Josephine Schwartz (1877-1919) and Pearl B. Jackson (1889-1957).

George-ruppert

And here’s his obituary, from The Sporting News:

geo-e-ruppert-obit

U206217ACME
The Jacob Ruppert Brewery around 1932.

Special-Knickerbocker-Export-Brew-Labels-Jacob-Ruppert--pre-Prohibition-

Top 50 Craft Breweries For 2016

ba
The Brewers Association just announced the top 50 craft breweries in the U.S. based on sales, by volume, for 2016, which is listed below here. I should also mention that this represents “craft breweries” according to the BA’s membership definition, and not necessarily how most of us would define them, as there’s no universally agreed upon way to differentiate the two. For the ninth year, they’ve also released a list of the top 50 breweries, which includes all breweries. Here is this year’s craft brewery list:


Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies

Rank Brewing Company City State
1 D. G. Yuengling & Son, Inc Pottsville PA
2 Boston Beer Co Boston MA
3 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co Chico CA
4 New Belgium Brewing Co Fort Collins CO
5 Gambrinus San Antonio TX
6 Duvel Moortgat Paso Robles/Kansas City/Cooperstown CA/MO/NY
7 Bell’s Brewery, Inc Comstock MI
8 Deschutes Brewery Bend OR
9 Stone Brewing Co Escondido CA
10 Oskar Blues Brewing Holding Co Longmont CO
11 Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn NY
12 Minhas Craft Brewery Monroe WI
13 Artisanal Brewing Ventures Downington/Lakewood PA/NY
14 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Milton DE
15 SweetWater Brewing Co Atlanta GA
16 New Glarus Brewing Co New Glarus WI
17 Matt Brewing Co Utica NY
18 Harpoon Brewery Boston MA
19 Alaskan Brewing Juneau AK
20 Abita Brewing Co Abita Springs LA
21 Great Lakes Brewing Co Cleveland OH
22 Anchor Brewing Co San Francisco CA
23 Stevens Point Brewery Stevens Point WI
24 August Schell Brewing Co New Ulm MN
24 Long Trail Brewing Co Bridgewater Corners VT
26 Summit Brewing Co Saint Paul MN
27 Odell Brewing Co Fort Collins CO
28 Shipyard Brewing Co Portland ME
29 Full Sail Brewing Co Hood River OR
30 Rogue Ales Newport OR
31 21st Amendment Brewery Bay Area CA
32 Flying Dog Brewery Frederick MD
33 Ninkasi Brewing Co Eugene OR
34 Gordon Biersch Brewing Co San Jose CA
35 Allagash Brewing Co Portland ME
36 Narragansett Brewing Co Providence RI
37 Green Flash Brewing Co San Diego CA
38 Tröegs Brewing Co Hershey PA
39 Uinta Brewing Co Salt Lake City UT
40 Bear Republic Brewing Co Cloverdale CA
41 Karl Strauss Brewing Co San Diego CA
42 Surly Brewing Co Minneapolis MN
43 Sixpoint Brewery Brooklyn NY
44 Left Hand Brewing Co Longmont CO
45 Lost Coast Brewery Eureka CA
46 Revolution Brewing Chicago IL
47 North Coast Brewing Co Fort Bragg CA
48 Avery Brewing Co Boulder CO
49 Real Ale Brewing Co Blanco TX
50 BJ’s Brewery Huntington Beach CA

Here is this year’s press release. The last couple of years, the BA has helpfully annotated the list, saving me lots of time, since I’ve been annotating the list for the last nine years, but they’ve abandoned that practice for a second year. So for the ninth consecutive year, I’ll also posted an annotated list, showing the changes in each brewery’s rank from year to year, but it will take me some time to put together so I’ll have that again later tonight or tomorrow.

And similar to last year, the BA created a map showing the relative location of each of the breweries that made the list.

Top_50_Craft_Breweries_2016