Historic Beer Birthday: Leo Ebert

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Today is the birthday of Leo Ebert (June 28, 1837-February 22, 1908). Ebert was born in Bavaria into a family of brewers, and emigrated to the U.S. and opened the Leo Ebert Brewing Co. in 1863, which also traded under the name the Eagle Brewery, at least until prohibition, when it closed for good.

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Here’s a biography from Ohio Breweriana;

Leo Ebert, of Ironton, Ohio, founder and still president of the company of that name, was born in Klingenbergon-the-Main, Bavaria, June 28, 1837. The descendant of a family of brewers, he learned his trade at his father’s establishment, and began his career as a journeyman brewer in September, 1854. He worked at his trade in different places in Bavaria, Baden and Hanover, returning home in 1857, to accept a position as brewmaster in the plant of Jos. Amreihn, at Lohr, Bavaria. He remained there until May, 1859, and then left for the United States, arriving in New York July 16, of that year. He secured employment at Gillig’s brewery, remaining there until May, 1860, and then left for Cincinnati, Ohio. Unable to find work in a brewery, he labored in a brickyard at $1 per day. In the fall of 1860 he went to work at Joseph Schaller’s brewery, Cincinnati, being advanced in a short time to the position of cellarman. The foremanship of F. Beck’s brewery, in that city, being offered him, he accepted it and managed the plant until the Christmas of 1861, at which time a brewery at Ironton, Ohio, was offered for rent. Of this opportunity Mr. Ebert took advantage, and with the assistance promised and freely given by the big-hearted and generous Michael Goepper (the well-remembered father of Herman and Edward Goepper) he rented the little common-beer brewery at Ironton and started with a capital of $20; malt and hops, on credit, of Mr. Goepper.

Ironton being on the border of Kentucky and near the State of Virginia, became a very lively place during the war, and the brewery prospered. Beer was brewed Sunday and every day and sold when often not over three days old. The brewery not being well located, however, was abandoned and Mr. Ebert erected a new plant at the present site, in 1863, and began to brew lager beer. From time to time he enlarged his plant according to the wants of the trade in Ironton. He never meddled with the shipping trade, and to-day is glad that he did not, doing a nice business at home and fully enjoying the fruits of an active life.

Mr. Ebert has taken an active part in all questions pertaining to the welfare and protection of the brewing trade of the country. He joined the United States Brewers Association at the convention held in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1863, and has been acquainted with all the old veterans of the trade. He was elected the first president of the Ohio State Brewers Association, serving from 1883 to 1887, and again after the reorganization in 1894. There has not been a legislature in session for the past thirty years in Ohio which has not found Mr. Ebert on hand whenever the trade was endangered or some relief wanted from obnoxious laws. In view of this record the United States Brewers Association did him the honor of electing him its president at the Milwaukee convention of 1895.

Mr. Ebert can say that he has been an active force in the development of the brewing industry of this country, from the so-called small or common beer for quick consumption, to the present export beers which are shipped all over the world. He remembers the time when the output of all the breweries in the United States did not equal the present output of some of our cities. He made beer in this country when there was no tax on it, while the 1900 tax on beer was three and one-half times the amount the United States paid Spain for the Philippine islands.

Mr. Ebert was married in Germany, in 1858, to Mathilde Uihlein, of Trennfurt, Bavaria. His family consists of six children five daughters, and one son (Otto) who is now manager of the brewery and is highly respected by the trade and community.

Mr. Ebert has always taken an active part in the development of the city of Ironton and has served in the capacity of president of the city council, member of the school board and board of health, his activities in this direction covering a period of seventeen years.

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Here’s Ebert’s obituary from “A Standing History of the Hanging Rock Iron Region of Ohio” by Eugene B. Willard, Daniel W. Williams, George O. Newman and Charles B. Taylor, published in 1916

The late Leo Ebert, who died at his home in the City of Ironton, Lawrence County, on the 22d of February, 1908, was a man of strong and upright character and marked business ability, his influence having long been potent in connection with civic and material progress in Ironton and his prominence and enterprise in the business activities involved in the operation of the extensive and modern brewery that perpetuates his name having made him one of the leading business men of this section of the Buckeye State, even as he was a loyal and progressive citizen who held inviolable place in popular confidence and esteem.

Leo Ebert was born at Kingenberg, Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany, near the City of Frankfort, and the date of his nativity was June 28, 1837, so that he was nearly seventy-one years of age at the time of his death. He was a son of Theodore and Barbara (Krutzman) Ebert, and the family name has been identified with the representative brewing enterprise of Bavaria for many generations, Theodore Ebert, father of the subject of this memoir, having fully upheld the prestige of the patronymic in this field of industry, and both he and his wife having remained in Bavaria until their death. Leo Ebert, the eldest in a family of four children, attended the excellent schools of his home town until he had attained to the age of twelve years, when he was placed by his father in the latter’s brewery, to be initiated into the mysteries of the business. For several years he was acquiring scientific and practical experience in the brewing business,—at Mannheim, Bremen and other places,—and he finally returned to the parental home and stood his chances in the conscription for the army. He was successful, however, in drawing a high number and thus was relieved of the military service.

At the age of twenty-one years Mr. Ebert wedded Miss Mathilda Urhlein, and in 1859, shortly after this important event, he immigrated with his young wife to the United States. Landing in the port of New York City, he there worked at his trade of brewer for nine months, and at the expiration of this period he came to Ohio and established his residence in the City of Cincinnati. Not being able to find immediate employment at his trade, he was compelled to work one summer in a brick yard, and finally he obtained a position as laborer in a Cincinnati brewery, his ability and fine technical knowledge leading to his promotion from his humble capacity to that of foreman within the ensuing two months. After serving for foreman of the brewery for sixteen months Mr. Ebert came to Ironton, Lawrence County, in 1861. Here he established a brewery on a modest scale, and from that time forward his success became cumulative and substantial. He continued as the executive head of the Ebert Brewing Company until his death and was one of the thoroughly loyal and liberal citizens of the Lawrence County metropolis, to the development and upbuilding of which he contributed in generous measure. He became financially interested in various other local enterprises and was known and honored as one of the prominent and influential citizens of this section of the state.

In politics Mr. Ebert originally was aligned with the republican party, but in 1872 he followed his sincere convictions and transferred his allegiance to the democratic party, with which he continued to In actively allied during the residue of his long and useful life. He was influential in the councils of his party and, as a convincing and effective public speaker, he “took the stump” in numerous campaigns. For more than seventeen years Mr. Ebert held official preferment in Ironton, where he served as a member of the city council, the board of education and the board of health. The fine intellectual ken and practical ability of Mr. Ebert marked him as eligible for office of distinguished order, and twice he received the democratic nomination for representative of his district in the United States Congress. While he was unable to overcome the large and normal republican majorities in the district, he brought out the full vote of his party and greatly reduced the natural majority of his opponents.

In the most significant and worthy interpretation of the expression, Mr. Ebert was essentially a self-made man, and he had the sagacity and judgment to make the best of the opportunities afforded in the land of his adoption, with the result that he won large and substantial success, the while he so ordered his course as to merit and receive the high esteem of all who knew him. He was a man of commanding presence, brilliant intellect and broad human tolerance and sympathy. His kindliness and generosity were unfailing, but he never permitted his benevolences to come into publicity if this could be avoided, having been one of those who “do good by stealth and blush to find it fame.” Genial and companionable, Mr. Ebert was not only an interesting conversationalist but also had remarkable gifts as an orator. For eight years Mr. Ebert served as president of the Ohio Brewers’ Association, and for two years was president of the national organization of brewers. He was affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Knights of Pythias. The death of Mr. Ebert caused deep and sincere sorrow in his home city, and both business and social circles manifested their sense of irreparable loss. The noble character of Mr. Ebert found its most perfect exemplification in the relations of his ideal home life, and his widow and children find their greatest measure of consolation and compensation in the memory of his devotion and abiding love and tenderness,—the gentleness of a strong and loyal nature.

Of the six children of Leo and Mathilda (Urhlein) Ebert the eldest is Fannie, who is now the wife of Henry Geiger, identified with the brewing business in Ironton, and they have seven children,—Mathilda, Leo, Henry. Frederick, Charles, Otto, and Bertha. Gretchen, the second daughter, first wedded Michael Rauch, who is survived by two children, Otto and Walter. After the death of her first husband Mr. Rauch became the wife of August Ebert, a brewer by vocation, and they now reside in the City of St. Louis, Missouri, no children having been born of this union. Tillie is the wife of Charles Jones, engaged in the undertaking business in Ironton; Otto N., the only son, is more specifically mentioned on other pages of this publication. Emma is the wife of Frederick Wagner, a representative farmer near Pedro, Lawrence County, and they have eight children,—Leona, Frederick, Walter, Henrietta, Harold, Ironton, Roy, and Franklin. Bertha is the wife of Dr. William C. Miller, engaged in the practice of dentistry in Ironton, and they have one son, William C, Jr.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Charles von Buddenbrock

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Today is the birthday of Charles von Buddenbrock (June 27, 1878-1948). He was born in Marianwewrder, Germany and served in the Germany army during World War I. He was taken prisoner and brought to an interment camp in Colorado. After his release when the war ended, he decided to stay in Colorado and worked for the Schneider Brewery in Trinidad, Colorado for over 35 years. In 1920 he was listed as the Chief Engineer, but that would have been only shortly after he started working there. I’m not sure about the math, since he died in 1948 and the war ended in 1918. Also known as the Ph. Schneider Brewing Co., it survived prohibition by obtaining a license to brew non-alcoholic beverages, and later received brewery permit COL-U-1001 in 1933, the first in the state to get back to making beer. After prohibition ended, it went through a few owners, and name changes, before closing for good in 1957 as the Bohemian Brewery of Colorado.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Peter Ganser

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Today is the birthday of Peter Ganser (June 24, 1836-August 5, 1915). He was born in Germany, but settled in Steele County, Minnesota, buying the Knobloch & Mannheim brewery and founding the Peter Ganser brewery in Owatonna, along with his brother Adam. It was generally known as the Peter Ganser, City Brewery, off and on from 1865, before it finally closed a few years into prohibition.

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Here’s his obituary, from the American Brewers Review:

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Local brewer Peter Ganser sits on an ornate chair, holding two of his daughters. On the left is Adeline, who later became Mrs. William Zamboni; on the right is his daughter, Catherine, who later married Harry Brown (from the Steele County Historical Society).

And here’s another account from the “History of Rice & Steele Counties, Minnesota, Illustrated, Vol. II,” and published in 1910:

Peter Ganser, proprietor of the Owatonna City Brewery, is one of those substantial citizens, who, in building the foundations for their own fortunes, find the time to take an interest in all worthy causes that tend toward the development of the community. He combines liberality with shrewd common sense and business ability and from his first settlement here he has had an unbounded faith in Owatonna’s future. Mr. Ganser was born in Prussia, Germany, June 24, 1836. He received his early education in the public schools and remained in his native country until 1854, when he came to America and located in Dane county, Wisconsin, where he lived for a time and then went to California. In 1863 he returned to Wisconsin and there remained until 1865 when he came to Owatonna and, together with his brother, Adam, purchased the city brewery, which they continued together until 1872, at which time the brother died. The subject of this sketch then became the sole owner and proprietor. In 1878 the brewery was destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of about $12,000. Undaunted by this loss, Mr. Ganser rebuilt, but in 1884 again suffered a similar disaster. The present building, to which additions and improvements have been made from time to time, was erected in 1884. In 1879, Mr. Ganser, in company with Jacob Glaeser, erected the building then known as the Germania Hall. Mr. Glaeser has carried on a large and increasing business from year to year. In 1894 he sold out his business for six years lived a retired life. In 1900 he again came into possession of the brewery, which he has since conducted. Mr. Ganser was married in 1867 to Mary Knight, who was born in Indiana. The fruit of this union was three children, viz: Margaret, now the wife of William Fleckenstein of the Fleckenstein Brewery at Faribault; Adeline, now Mrs. W. C. Zamboni; Kate, now Mrs. H. D. Brown, of Owatonna. Mr. Ganser is a Democrat in political faith. He takes an active interest in public affairs, and served as a mayor of Owatonna one term, and alderman of the fourth ward for two years. Mr. Ganser is a self-made man, enterprising in business, and has won his position by persevering efforts. He lives in a very find residence at 508 South Oak street.

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Ganser Brau Near Beer.

And this is from Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota:

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Historic Beer Birthday: Christian Schmidt

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Today is the birthday of Christian Schmidt (June 24, 1833-September 6, 1894). Schmidt was born in Magstadt, Wurtemberg, Germany but moved to Philadelphia as a young man. In 1859, he became a partner with the Robert Coutrennay Brewery but bought him out the following year, renaming the brewery the Christian Schmidt Brewing Company until his sons joined the brewery in 1892, when it became known as C. Schmidt & Sons.

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Here’s a biography of both Schmidt and his brewery from Workshop of the World — Philadelphia:

Christian Schmidt, an immigrant from Wurtemberg, Germany, purchased the Robert Courtenay brewery which primarily produced ale at this site in 1860. The acquisition of other breweries, such as Peter Schemm, in addition to the production of lager beer, boosted output to 100,000 barrels by 1892. A marked expansion of the physical plant kept pace with the brewery’s growth.

The last quarter of the nineteenth century was Philadelphia’s shining era for large and small breweries. Bergner and Engel (120,000 barrels), and William Massey and Company (75,000 barrels), were the third largest and eleventh largest breweries respectively in the U. S. in 1877. By 1895, Bergner and Engel with 250,000-300,000 barrels had fallen to 15th place; the largest local brewery. Other major companies were Engels and Wolf, Betz and Bergdoll. Christian Schmidt was succeeded by his son Edward who headed the company from 1895 until 1944. There were 421 employees at Schmidt’s in 1943. It had survived and thrived through new technologies—refrigeration, and political impediments, even Prohibition, which decimated other breweries both locally and nationally. Only 26 breweries operated in Pennsylvania in 1960. Philadelphia lost brands such as Esslinger, Poth, Gretz and Class and Nachod.

Schmidt family ownership ceased in 1976 with the sale of the brewery to William H. Pflaumer. By the late 1970s Schmidt’s was the tenth-largest American brewery. It operated a plant in Cleveland, Ohio which facilitated mid-west regional sales. Valley Forge Brewing Company was acquired in the 1960s, Duquesne Brewing Company (Pittsburgh) in 1972, and label and brewing rights to Reading and Bergheim were purchased in 1976, Rheingold in 1977, Erie Brewing Company, with its Koehler brands in 1978. In 1981, Ortlieb, the only other Philadelphia brewery, was purchased by Pflaumer. Schmidt’s, unable to cope with the marketing muscle of the giant national brewers even though it employed 1,400 and produced three million barrels of beer as recently as 1984, sold its brands to G. Heileman Brewing Company of La Crosse, Wisconsin, in April 1987. Production of the Schmidt’s labels slumped to about $1.6 million barrels in 1986, less than one percent of the total U. S. Market. The demise of Schmidt’s marked the end of the large brewery in Philadelphia.

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In Rich Wagner’s Philadelphia Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Cradle of Liberty, he has this to say about Christian Schmidt:

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The Schmidt’s brewery in the 1930s.

And in One Hundred Years of Brewing, published in 1903, this was the entry for C. Schmidt & Sons.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Henry Foss

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Today is the birthday of Henry Foss, a.k.a. John Henry Foss (June 23, 1817-August 13, 1879). Foss was born in Hanover, Germany but emigrated to Ohio. In 1842, he married Elizabeth Rumpeing, but she passed away in 1854 after twelve years of marriage. He then married Adelaide Foss later the same year, and they had 13 children together. In 1867, he became involved with the Louis Schneider Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio, becoming a partner and it eventually became known as the Foss-Schneider Brewing Co. It closed during prohibition, but reopened when it was repealed in 1933, though closed for good in 1939.

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Here’s a biography of Foss, from the “History of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio: Their Past and Present Including Early Development, Antiquarian Researches, Their Aboriginal History, Pioneer History, Political Organization, Agricultural, Mining and Manufacturing Interests, A History of the City, Villages and Townships, Religious, Educational, Biographies, and Portraits of Pioneers and Representative Citizens, Etc.,” which was published in 1894.

Henry Foss was born in Germany, June 23, 1817, and died in Cincinnati August 13, 1879. After attending the common schools until he was between thirteen and fourteen years of age he was given to understand that from that time he would be expected to “paddle his own canoe,” so he at once commenced the life of a farm laborer, and, to the credit of his industrious habits, it is said that he followed this kind of work faithfully until he was nearly twenty years old. But at that time he somehow or other began to get dissatisfied with the result of his six years’ hard work, so he thought he would “take stock” to see how much he had made, and calculated how much he would be worth in forty years, if he continued at the same business at the same wages — about twelve or fourteen dollars a year. He had nothing at the start; he had wasted no money; had only kept himself clothed, and still he had nothing to show for all his labor but a few dollars, barely sufficient to take him over the sea to the New World. Yet, nevertheless, he was determined to go with a party that was about to leave the village for America. Leaving home on the tenth day of May 1837, the party, consisting of himself and three others, traveled by wagon to Bremen, where they took passage on the ship “Richmond” bound for Richmond, Va. After paying his passage money he had but five cents left, so that it was no trouble for him to conclude to rely solely upon his efforts in the New World of the West — in fact, there was no choice in the matter. After being at sea for several days they encountered a storm of great severity, during which they lost their mainmast and much of their rigging, and were driven back so far that the distance lost was not regained for fourteen days. Besides the above disasters the cook’s galley, with all the cooking apparatus, was swept clean overboard, so that it was three days after before they had a particle of anything warm to eat or drink. At last, however, after twenty-two days. they landed safely at Richmond, Va., our subject having, we suspect, had enough of “life on the ocean wave” to satisfy him, as he never re-crossed it.

After looking around for a day or two, Mr. Foss went to work on the James River canal, at seventeen dollars per month and board. At this he continued for about seven months, when, having saved something like one hundred dollars, he thought he was rich at once, and would soon buy all the land he wanted. Like thousands of his countrymen he judged that the West was the place for him; so he joined a party of twenty-two possessed of the same idea. Clubbing together, the party procured a large team, and started over the mountains to the Kanawha canal, by which they arrived at Wheeling, where they took steamer for Pittsburgh, and at once proceeded down the river to Cincinnati. On landing here Mr. Foss found things so dull that he determined to proceed to St. Louis. Finding matters much the same there, he began to think he had made a mistake in coming west; but he passed over into Illinois with the expectation of going to work on a turnpike at Belleville. It was so swampy there, however, that almost every one who worked there was seized with fever and ague. In this emergency he returned to St. Louis, and from there again came to Cincinnati, where he was advised by his friends to go to work on the Whitewater canal, at Brookville, some forty miles from the city. He walked this distance with his knapsack on his back, and at once began to work at seventeen dollars per month and board. At the end of three months he went to Cincinnati. and sent fifty dollars home to his parents to help smooth the path of life for them. After working on the canal two months longer he was made foreman of a squad of quarry men; while at this work he conceived the idea of learning the stone-cutting trade, and after instructing another in his duties, he went to the yard to learn the trade. In nine mouths the locks of the canal were completed, at the end of which time Mr. Foss came to the city, and was employed at dressing stone until he saw an opening at the locks of the Licking canal, Kentucky. After working there about six mouths he commenced as a stone mason, and having a good eye for mechanics he soon proved an efficient workman, and thereafter could either cut or lay stone. After continuing in this way two years, during which he had sent $500 home to bring out the whole family, and saved $500 besides, on the arrival of his parents and his brothers and sisters they found that Henrv had rented and furnished a house complete for them to go into.

With the $500 in hand he commenced business for himself on a small scale, which he gradually increased from year to year until he employed from fifty to sixty journeymen, and nearly as many laborers. In 1848-49, in connection with Henry Atlemeier, he built the House of Refuge; and while thus engaged the cholera was raging so fearfully that the funerals moving from the city to the cemetery formed a constant procession. The architect of their job. Henry Walters, and many of their workmen fell victims to the epidemic. In 1851 he built the foundations of the Hamilton and Dayton depot, which consumed some 5,000 perches of stone, and completed the job in about three months. He built the church on the corner of Mound and Barr, and adjoining gymnasium in 1857-58, also the foundations of St. Philomena church on Congress and Butler streets; St. Joseph’s, on Linn; Holy Trinity, on Fifth; likewise that of the large block on the corner of Ninth and Walnut; and the church of the Holy Angels (all of stone), Fulton; and the south wing of Bishop Purcell’s seminary, besides a vast number of dwelling houses. He continued this business until 1856, when he sold off his teams and building apparatus generally, and built a distillery on the Plank road, now Gest street, for himself and his partner, with a capacity of 900 bushels per day. After its completion his partner was somewhat alarmed at their great undertaking, so, to make the matter lighter, sold a quarter interest to two other gentlemen, retaining a quarter himself. After conducting the business together for about three months, hard times came upon them, and Mr. Foss’ original partner again became alarmed for fear all would be lost; but not so Mr. Foss, who at once bought the interest of that gentleman, and continued the business with the owner of the fourth interest. The scale soon turned in their favor, and, after eight years of success, having considerable surplus money, Mr. Foss bought the interest of his partners, and carried on the business alone for about two years, then sold out to Mr. John Pfeffer, concluding that he would work a little in his garden, and take things easy the rest of his life. But to his surprise he did not know what to do with himself, and, after laying off about two months, he came to the conclusion that doing nothing was the hardest work in the world. He then formed a partnership with Adam Heitbrink for the purpose of building the foundation of the city Work House. After this was finished he formed a partnership with William P. Snyder and John Brenner, and went into the manufacture of. lager beer, ‘ the capacity of their works at the commencement being about sixty-five barrels per day. This was in December, 1867; in the spring of 1868 it became necessary to enlarge their works, and their business continued to increase. The further connection of Mr. Foss with the great brewing establishment, now known as the Foss-Schneider Brewing Company, is contained in the personal history of his son and successor, John H. Foss, president of that company, and which is contained in this volume.

Mr. Henry Foss was married in 1842, to Miss Elizabeth Rumpeing, a German lady, who was every way worthy to be his wife. Of this union five children were born, all of whom, together with their mother, have died, the latter in 1854. Mr. Foss was married again, during the same year, to Miss Adelaide TeVeluwe, of Zutfen Lechtenforde, Holland, and by her eight children were born to him, seven of whom—John H., William, Edward, Philomena, Lizzy, Rosey and Bernidena—are still living, as is also Mrs. Foss.

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Here’s a short history of the brewery, from “100 Years of Brewing:”

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Historic Beer Birthday: Frank Shlaudeman

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Today is the birthday of Frank Shlaudeman (June 17, 1862-after 1934). His father founded what would become the Decatur Brewing Co., in Decatur, Illinois, which is where he was born and raised.

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Frank’s father Henry Shlaudeman joined the Edward Harpstrite Brewery (which was originally the John Koehler & Adam Keck Brewery when it opened in 1855). Within a few years, he’d made enough of an impact that it became the Harpstrite & Shlaudeman Brewery, and two years after that, in 1884, he bought out his partner and it became the Henry Shlaudeman Brewery. In 1888, it was again renamed, this time the Decatur Brewing Co. It reopened after prohibition in 1934 under the name Macon County Beverage Co., but closed for good the same year.

Surprising, I was unable to turn up even one photograph of him, and very little at all about him. He took over the brewery after his father retired in 1903. I found a record of him taking a trip in 1934 to California, but no other biographical information.

Historic Beer Birthday: Max Delbrück

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Today is the birthday of Max Emil Julius Delbrück (June 16, 1850-May 4, 1919). He was a German chemist who spent most of his career exploring the fermentation sciences.

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His Wikipedia entry is short:

Delbrück was born in Bergen auf Rügen. He studied chemistry in Berlin and in Greifswald. In 1872 he was made assistant at the Academy of Trades in Berlin; in 1887 he was appointed instructor at the Agricultural College, and in 1899 was given a full professorship. The researches, carried out in part by Delbrück himself, in part under his guidance, resulted in technical contributions of the highest value to the fermentation industries. He was one of the editors of the Zeitschrift für Spiritusindustrie (1867), and of the Wochenschrift für Brauerei. He died in Berlin, aged 68.

And here’s his entry from Today in Science:

Max Emil Julius Delbrück was a German chemist who spent a forty-five year career leading development in the fermentation industry. He established a school for distillation workers, a glass factory for the manufacture of reliable apparatus and instruments, and an experimental distillery. Giving attention to the raw resources, he founded teaching and experimental institutions to improve cultivation of potatoes and hops. He researched physiology of yeast and application in the process of fermentation, production of pure cultures, and the action of enzymes. He started the journals Zeitschrift fur Spiritus-Industrie (1867) and Wochenschrift für Brauerei, for the alcohol and brewery industries, which he co-edited.

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Over the years, I’ve found a few great Delbrück quotes:

Yeast is a machine.

          — Max Delbrück, from an 1884 lecture

With the sword of science and the armor of Practice, German beer will encircle the world.

          — Max Delbrück, from an address about yeast and fermentation in the
               brewery, to the German Brewing Congress as Director of the Experimental
               and Teaching Institute for Brewing in Berlin, June 1884

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Historic Beer Birthday: Eduard Buchner

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Today is the birthday of Eduard Buchner (May 20, 1860-August 13, 1917). Buchner was a German chemist and zymologist, and was awarded with Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1907 for his work on fermentation.

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This is a short biography from The Famous People:

Born into an educationally distinguished family, Buchner lost his father when he was barely eleven years old. His elder brother, Hans Buchner, helped him to get good education. However, financial crisis forced Eduard to give up his studies for a temporary phase and he spent this period working in preserving and canning factory. Later, he resumed his education under well-known scientists and very soon received his doctorate degree. He then began working on chemical fermentation. However, his experience at the canning factory did not really go waste. Many years later while working with his brother at the Hygiene Institute at Munich he remembered how juices were preserved by adding sugar to it and so to preserve the protein extract from the yeast cells, he added a concentrated doze of sucrose to it. What followed is history. Sugar in the presence of enzymes in the yeast broke into carbon dioxide and alcohol. Later he identified the enzyme as zymase. This chance discovery not only brought him Nobel Prize in Chemistry, but also brought about a revolution in the field of biochemistry.

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Eduard Buchner is best remembered for his discovery of zymase, an enzyme mixture that promotes cell free fermentation. However, it was a chance discovery. He was then working in his brother’s laboratory in Munich trying to produce yeast cell free extracts, which the latter wanted to use in an application for immunology.

To preserve the protein in the yeast cells, Eduard Buchner added concentrated sucrose to it. Bubbles began to form soon enough. He realized that presence of enzymes in the yeast has broken down sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Later, he identified this enzyme as zymase and showed that it can be extracted from yeast cells. This single discovery laid the foundation of modern biochemistry.

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One of the most important aspects of his discovery proving that extracts from yeast cells could elicit fermentation is that it “contradicted a claim by Louis Pasteur that fermentation was an ‘expression of life’ and could occur only in living cells. Pasteur’s claim had put a decades-long brake on progress in fermentation research, according to an introductory speech at Buchner’s Nobel presentation. With Buchner’s results, “hitherto inaccessible territories have now been brought into the field of chemical research, and vast new prospects have been opened up to chemical science.”

In his studies, Buchner gathered liquid from crushed yeast cells. Then he demonstrated that components of the liquid, which he referred to as “zymases,” could independently produce alcohol in the presence of sugar. “Careful investigations have shown that the formation of carbon dioxide is accompanied by that of alcohol, and indeed in just the same proportions as in fermentation with live yeast,” Buchner noted in his Nobel speech.

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This is a fuller biography from the Nobel Prize organization:

Eduard Buchner was born in Munich on May 20, 1860, the son of Dr. Ernst Buchner, Professor Extraordinary of Forensic Medicine and physician at the University, and Friederike née Martin.

He was originally destined for a commercial career but, after the early death of his father in 1872, his older brother Hans, ten years his senior, made it possible for him to take a more general education. He matriculated at the Grammar School in his birth-place and after a short period of study at the Munich Polytechnic in the chemical laboratory of E. Erlenmeyer senior, he started work in a preserve and canning factory, with which he later moved to Mombach on Mainz.

The problems of chemistry had greatly attracted him at the Polytechnic and in 1884 he turned afresh to new studies in pure science, mainly in chemistry with Adolf von Baeyer and in botany with Professor C. von Naegeli at the Botanic Institute, Munich.

It was at the latter, where he studied under the special supervision of his brother Hans (who later became well-known as a bacteriologist), that his first publication, Der Einfluss des Sauerstoffs auf Gärungen (The influence of oxygen on fermentations) saw the light in 1885. In the course of his research in organic chemistry he received special assistance and stimulation from T. Curtius and H. von Pechmann, who were assistants in the laboratory in those days.

The Lamont Scholarship awarded by the Philosophical Faculty for three years made it possible for him to continue his studies.

After one term in Erlangen in the laboratory of Otto Fischer, where meanwhile Curtius had been appointed director of the analytical department, he took his doctor’s degree in the University of Munich in 1888. The following year saw his appointment as Assistant Lecturer in the organic laboratory of A. von Baeyer, and in 1891 Lecturer at the University.

By means of a special monetary grant from von Baeyer, it was possible for Buchner to establish a small laboratory for the chemistry of fermentation and to give lectures and perform experiments on chemical fermentations. In 1893 the first experiments were made on the rupture of yeast cells; but because the Board of the Laboratory was of the opinion that “nothing will be achieved by this” – the grinding of the yeast cells had already been described during the past 40 years, which latter statement was confirmed by accurate study of the literature – the studies on the contents of yeast cells were set aside for three years.

In the autumn of 1893 Buchner took over the supervision of the analytical department in T. Curtius’ laboratory in the University of Kiel and established himself there, being granted the title of Professor in 1895.

In 1896 he was called as Professor Extraordinary for Analytical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry in the chemical laboratory of H. von Pechmann at the University of Tübingen.

During the autumn vacation in the same year his researches into the contents of the yeast cell were successfully recommenced in the Hygienic Institute in Munich, where his brother was on the Board of Directors. He was now able to work on a larger scale as the necessary facilities and funds were available.

On January 9, 1897, it was possible to send his first paper, Über alkoholische Gärung ohne Hefezellen (On alcoholic fermentation without yeast cells), to the editors of the Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft.

In October, 1898, he was appointed to the Chair of General Chemistry in the Agricultural College in Berlin and he also held lectureships on agricultural chemistry and agricultural chemical experiments as well as on the fermentation questions of the sugar industry. In order to obtain adequate assistance for scientific research, and to be able to fully train his assistants himself, he became habilitated at the University of Berlin in 1900.

In 1909 he was transferred to the University of Breslau and from there, in 1911, to Würzburg. The results of Buchner’s discoveries on the alcoholic fermentation of sugar were set forth in the book Die Zymasegärung (Zymosis), 1903, in collaboration with his brother Professor Hans Buchner and Martin Hahn. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1907 for his biochemical investigations and his discovery of non-cellular fermentation.

Buchner married Lotte Stahl in 1900. When serving as a major in a field hospital at Folkschani in Roumania, he was wounded on August 3, 1917. Of these wounds received in action at the front, he died on the 13th of the same month.

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Beer Birthday: Sabine Weyermann

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Today is the 58th birthday of Sabine Weyermann, co-owner of Weyermann Malting in Bamberg, Germany. If you’ve visited any of the Craft Brewers Conferences, you’ve no doubt seen the bright yellow and red of the specialty malting company, which is sold in the U.S. by the Brewers Supply Group. Sabine’s family began the Weyermann Malt company in 1879, although she can trace her family back at least as far as 1510. She’s an amazing person, and her malt has helped fuel many a small and large brewery. Join me in wishing Sabine a very happy birthday.

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Sabine giving a presentation at their offices in Bamberg when I visited there in 2007.

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Sabine and her husband Thomas Kraus-Weyermann at CBC in San Diego, 2012.

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You can see the Weyermann Malting Brewer’s Star that Weyermann’s starting making at the top of my home office/guest house, which we call “The Brewhouse.”

Historic Beer Birthday: John Schneider

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Today is the birthday of John Schneider (May 16, 1833-February 28, 1907). Schneider was born in Bavaria, and made his way to America in 1852. He settled initially in Cleveland, and worked all of his life as a journeyman brewer around Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Late in life he became “a stockholder in the Standard Brewing Co.” of Cleveland, and was named director and 2nd president.

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Brewery History has reprinted an autobiography Schneider wrote around 1904 and it’s an interesting read.

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The Standard Brewing Co. of Cleveland, Ohio

Peared Creation also has a nice history of the Standard Brewing Co., which was founded in 1904, when Schnedier began his association with the brewery.

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