Beer Birthday: Alexandra Nowell

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Today is the birthday of Alexandra Nowell, brewmaster of the recently opened Three Weavers Brewing in Inglewood, southwest of L.A. She’s brewed previously at a variety of Bay Area breweries, including Moylan’s and Drakes, before moving south to Kinetic Brewing a few years ago. More recently, she joined Three Weavers, located in Inglewood. Join me in wishing Alexandra a very happy birthday.

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The Drake’s/Stone Quarter Century of Issues Celebrator 25th Anniversary Pale Ale brew crew (from left to right): Drake’s owner John Martin, Stone Northern California regional brewery rep. Dave Hopwood, Stone brewmaster Mitch Steele, Stone San Francisco regional brewery rep Michael “Zippo” Parzick and, obviously the only one doing any real work, then-Drake’s brewmaster Alexandra (on the brew deck).

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Alexandra scooping out spent grain at Drake’s.

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With Jesse Houck, who also worked at Drake’s, and for a time brewed at Golden Road. in L.A., but more recently moved to Hawaii to brew on Maui with Maui Brewing.

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Alexandra with Mike “Tasty” McDole (purloined, er … borrowed from the Weekly Pint)

Historic Beer Birthday: William Ebling

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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.

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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.

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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.

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An Ebling beer truck on 61st Street in New York in 1938.

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A 1908 calendar from the brewery.

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Beer In Ads #2218: Defeat And Victory


Friday’s ad is a trade ad, by the United States Brewing Industry Foundation, from 1941. After prohibition ended, the industry started doing PSA-type ads in an attempt to create goodwill for beer and brewers. They would later go on to do a fairly sophisticated series of ads between 1946 and 1956, known unofficially as Beer Belongs. Officially, they were “The Home Life in America” series, consisting of 120 ads, with a new ad running in major periodicals each month. Last year, for my Beer in Ads series, I featured every one of them. But in the years before that, the U.S. Brewing Industry Foundation (a precursor to the original Brewer’s Association) dabbled with a variety of similar ads promoting the industry as a whole. These were especially popular during World War 2, and in fact they even won an award from the government for some of these ads. Most of the ads were black and white, although a few were in color, though usually in a minimal way, with a few colors accented rather than being in full color.

In this ad, two elderly gentleman are wearing suits, complete with vests and pocket watches, holding glasses of beer. They’re watching a football game on television, and it appears one of their fortunes has just changed. One of them is sunk low in his char, while the other smiling with his fist raised in cheer. “Defeat and victory … both grow sweeter with a glass of kindly beer or ale.” Ah, a “kindly” glass of beer. What exactly makes a beer kindly?

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Beer In Ads #2217: The Moderation Hour


Thursday’s ad is a trade ad, by the United States Brewing Industry Foundation, from 1940. After prohibition ended, the industry started doing PSA-type ads in an attempt to create goodwill for beer and brewers. They would later go on to do a fairly sophisticated series of ads between 1946 and 1956, known unofficially as Beer Belongs. Officially, they were “The Home Life in America” series, consisting of 120 ads, with a new ad running in major periodicals each month. Last year, for my Beer in Ads series, I featured every one of them. But in the years before that, the U.S. Brewing Industry Foundation (a precursor to the original Brewer’s Association) dabbled with a variety of similar ads promoting the industry as a whole. These were especially popular during World War 2, and in fact they even won an award from the government for some of these ads. Most of the ads were black and white, although a few were in color, though usually in a minimal way, with a few colors accented rather than being in full color.

In this ad, two men sit at a table, having a beer. The headline is great. “Good beer and ale in wholesome , modern taverns, offer Americans pleasant, inexpensive relaxation.” Also worth noting, they described the range of available beers as “sweet or dry, dark or light … take your choice.”

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Historic Beer Birthday: John Land

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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.

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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;

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Mitch Steele’s New Atlanta Brewery Has A Name: New Realm Brewing

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As you probably knew, former Stone Brewing’s head brewer, and one-time AB brewer, Mitch Steele, is opening a new brewery, which will be located in Atlanta. The official business name from the beginning has been the purposely generic American Beerworks LLC, a placeholder while they worked on the actual name the business will operate under. Today they made it official. The new brewery will be called “New Realm Brewing.”

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Here’s more information from the press release that was issued this morning:

Combining a collective passion for craft beer, partners Mitch Steele, Carey Falcone and Bob Powers will bring a “New Realm” to Atlanta’s brewing community later this year. The trio announced their new venture in the Atlanta Beltline area in the fall of last year and has spent many hours coming up with the appropriate name to suit it.

“We could not be more thrilled to announce our name, New Realm,” said Carey Falcone Co-Founder and CEO. “It has taken us quite a bit of time (over many beers, of course) to create our vision and land on the right name for our future brewery and restaurant. New Realm speaks to our desire to create a new realm in brewing and dining experiences, and to support an outstanding and dynamic local craft beer community.”

At the core of New Realm Brewing is Co-Founder, Brewmaster and COO, Mitch Steele formerly Brewmaster for 10 years at Stone Brewing. Steele, referred by many as an authority on brewing IPA’s, has decades of experience developing and brewing innovative and delicious beers. Steele authored a book in 2012 titled, “IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale.” Currently Steele is busy developing recipes and has shared that craft fans can “count on IPAs being poured at New Realm as well as barrel-aged beers and traditional lagers”.

New Realm Brewing will break ground soon in preparation to open the 20,000 square foot space located at 820 Ralph McGill Avenue in the growing Beltline area. “Plans are underway to bring Atlanta and its visitors a distinctive venue to enjoy craft beer and great artisanal foods in an inviting, unique and fun atmosphere,” said Bob Powers Co-Founder and CCO. “In addition to our production brewery, we will have a restaurant, as well as both a rooftop bar and an outdoor beer garden at New Realm and we look forward to unveiling design plans in the near future.”

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New Realm Owners Mitch Steele, Carey Falcone and Bob Powers in front of the Atlanta skyline.

Historic Beer Birthday: Axel Heiberg

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Beer Birthday: Steve Hindy

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Today is the 68th birthday of Steve Hindy, one of the co-founders of Brooklyn Brewery, and the man responsible for running things day-to-day. Hindy was a journalist for many years before opening the brewery, reporting from numerous war-torn spots around the globe, and as a result has a different perspective on the world that makes him a fascinating person to share a beer with. If you haven’t already, check out his book Beer School, written with Brooklyn Brewery business partner Tom Potter, and also his newer book The Craft Beer Revolution: How a Band of Microbrewers Is Transforming the World’s Favorite Drink. He’s also very active with the Brewers Association and in his local community,too, making it easier for small brewers that follow him. Join me in wishing Steve a very happy birthday.

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Me and Steve during GABF in 2006.

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Just before taking the stage during GABF 2007, from left, Glenn Payne (of Meantime Brewing), Charlie Papazian (of the Brewers Association), Mark Dorber (formerly of the White Horse on Parson’s Green but now at the Anchor Pub), Garrett Oliver, and Steve Hindy (both from Brooklyn Brewing), Dave Alexander (from the Brickskeller), and Tom Dalldorf (from the Celebrator Beer News).

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Steve, Kim Jordan (New Belgium), Dave Keene (The Toronado in SF), Eddie Friedland (former owner of Philadelphia’s Friedland Distributing) and Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River) in Austin, Texas for the 2007 Craft Brewers Conference.

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This is from Steve’s acceptance speech after receiving the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award from Brewers Association in 2010, which you watch in its entirety below.

Historic Beer Birthday: William Peter Sr.

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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.

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

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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).

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Beer In Ads #2216: There’s Serenity In Beer & Ale


Wednesday’s ad is a trade ad, by the United States Brewing Industry Foundation, from 1941. After prohibition ended, the industry started doing PSA-type ads in an attempt to create goodwill for beer and brewers. They would later go on to do a fairly sophisticated series of ads between 1946 and 1956, known unofficially as Beer Belongs. Officially, they were “The Home Life in America” series, consisting of 120 ads, with a new ad running in major periodicals each month. Last year, for my Beer in Ads series, I featured every one of them. But in the years before that, the U.S. Brewing Industry Foundation (a precursor to the original Brewer’s Association) dabbled with a variety of similar ads promoting the industry as a whole. These were especially popular during World War 2, and in fact they even won an award from the government for some of these ads. Most of the ads were black and white, although a few were in color, though usually in a minimal way, with a few colors accented rather than being in full color.

In this ad, two couples are having a picnic in the woods, with this great headline. “In a hurrying, scurrying world there’s serenity in beer and ale.” And I love how the pitch the need for “serenity” with this text. “YES! It’s a busy, dizzy world in which we live! And every man and woman in it needs now and then to get away from it all. Needs to sit down quietly and shut out the din and noise for a peaceful hour or so.” And naturally, they suggest drinking a beer during your time off. And I suppose every generation thinks their time is the busiest in human history, but I have to believe things were fairly slow in 1941 compared to now. And this ad was about four months before we entered World War 2. I have a hard time believing it was as hurrying and scurrying as they seemed to think.

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