Beer Birthday: Sabine Weyermann

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Today is the 59th 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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Historic Beer Birthday: Christian Moerlein

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Today is the birthday of Christian Moerlein (May 13, 1818-May 14, 1897). Moerlein was born in Bavaria, and came to America around 1840, establishing the Christian Moerlein Brewery in 1853.

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Here’s a short biography from Find a Grave:

Brewer. Born in Truppach, Bayreuth, Oberfranken, Bayern, Germany. He immigrated to the United States in 1841 settling in Cincinnati, Ohio a year later. Christian married his first wife Sophia Adam in 1843 and had three children with her. After losing Sophia and 2 of those children to the cholera epidemics of the time, he married his second wife Barbara Oeh in 1849 and had another 9 children. In 1853 Moerlein established a brewery bearing his name in Cincinnati and became the most prominent brewer in that city. The brewery became one of the largest in the country and remained in operation until Prohibition. Today a line of beer is again being marketed under his name.

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Here’s what the early 20th century book “One Hundred Years of Brewing” wrote about Christian Moerlein:

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Digging Cincinnati History has a nice post about where all the Moerlein buildings are today, along with some history of the brewery. In 2004, local resident Greg Hardman bought the Christian Moerlein brand and continues to operate it as Christian Moerlein lagers & Ales, and also opened the Moerlein Lager House, where they serve food and house beers.

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Jean Verdenal’s Letter To T.S. Eliot

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This will probably only be of interest to the most hardcore literati among you, but if you like poetry, literature or weird history, read on McDuff. According to Wikipedia, Jean Jules Verdenal “(May 11, 1890–May 2, 1915) was a French medical officer who served, and was killed, during the First World War. Verdenal and his life remain cloaked in obscurity; the little we do know comes mainly from interviews with family members and several surviving letters.”

Verdenal was born in Pau, France, the son of Paul Verdenal, a medical doctor. He had a talent for foreign languages. He was athletically inclined. Verdenal as a student was interested in literature and poetry and possessed copies of Stéphane Mallarmé’s Poésies and of Jules Laforgue’s Poésies and Moralités Légendaires. It was perhaps Verdenal’s literary inclinations that led him to become friends with American poet T.S. Eliot, whom he met in 1910 at the Sorbonne. After they parted ways, Verdenal and Eliot corresponded through letters. Verdenal was killed on May 2, 1915, while treating a wounded man on the battlefield. This was just a week into the Gallipoli Campaign and a few days shy of his twenty-fifth birthday.”

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T.S. Eliot, of course, was an American-born poet, who most people know of because his 1939 collection of poems, “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” was later adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber into the popular musical, “Cats,” which debuted in 1981. But here’s the basics, again from Wikipedia:

Thomas Stearns Eliot (September 26, 1888–January 4, 1965) was a British essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic, and “one of the twentieth century’s major poets”. He moved from his native United States to England in 1914 at the age of 25, settling, working, and marrying there. He eventually became a British subject in 1927 at the age of 39, renouncing his American citizenship.

Eliot attracted widespread attention for his poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915), which was seen as a masterpiece of the Modernist movement. It was followed by some of the best-known poems in the English language, including The Waste Land (1922), “The Hollow Men” (1925), “Ash Wednesday” (1930), and Four Quartets (1943). He was also known for his seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and The Cocktail Party (1949). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, “for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry.”

There is also speculation that Verdenal was the inspiration for the character “Phlebas the Phoenician” in Eliot’s long-form poem “The Wasteland,” which he published in 1922. Eliot certainly dedicated some of his works to Verdenal, including “his first volume of poetry, ‘Prufrock and Other Observations,’ which was published two years after Verdenal’s death, in 1917.

Here’s another account of their meeting and friendship:

In 1910 T.S. Eliot, then a graduate student studying philosophy at Harvard University, went to Paris to study a year at the Sorbonne. He took a room at a pension where he met and befriended Jean Verdenal, a French medical student who had another room there.

Eliot returned to Harvard in the autumn of 1911 to continue his work toward a doctorate.

Eliot and Verdenal carried on a correspondence at least through 1912. Seven letters from Verdenal to Eliot (written in French) are archived at Harvard University’s Houghton Library. The Verdenal letters have also been published in The Letters of T.S. Eliot: 1898-1922 (Vol 1). Apparently no copies of Eliot’s letters to Verdenal survive.

So why I bring this is up is the following passage, from a letter that Verdenal wrote to T.S. Eliot in July of 1911.

“My dear friend, I am waiting impatiently to hear that you have found some notepaper in Bavaria, and to receive an example of it covered with your beautiful handwriting, before German beer has dulled your wits. As a matter of fact, it would have some difficulty in doing so, and we see that even few natives of the country escaped its effects; history tells us that the formidable Schopenhauer was a great beer-lover. He also played the clarinet, but perhaps that was just to annoy his neighbours. Such things are quite enough to make us cling to life. The will to live is evil, a source of desires and sufferings, but beer is not to be despised — and so we carry on. O Reason!”

Verdenal has an interesting take on German beer. ANd the clarinet, which I used to play, too.

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And this is passage from “The Wasteland,” about which some scholars believe Verdenal was the inspiration for Phlebas the Phoenician. You can read more about why at this page about T.S. Eliot and Jean Verdenal.

          IV. Death by Water

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
And the profit and loss.
                                 A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
                               Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

Historic Beer Birthday: Jacob Best

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Today is the birthday of Jacob Best (May 1, 1786-February 26, 1861). Best founded the brewery that eventually became Pabst Brewing Co., with his four sons in 1844. The Best family’s business was originally called “The Empire Brewery,” and then as the “Jacob Best & Sons Brewery” until 1859 when Phillip Best took over the firm and renamed it the “Phillip Best Brewing Company.” Upon Phillip’s retirement Frederick Pabst and Emil Schandein became the company’s president and vice-president in the mid-1860s and the brewery’s name was amended to Phillip Best & Company. After Schandein died, the company was renamed the Pabst Brewing Company in 1889.

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Here’s a short biography from Find a Grave:

Business Magnate. Jacob Best learned the brewer’s trade in his hometown of Hesse Darnstadt, Germany, and then moved on to operate a small brewery in Mattenheim. In 1840, two of Best’s four sons immigrated to America, settling in the Kilbourntown section of Milwaukee. They were joined by Jacob Best, his two younger sons and other family members in 1844. With his sons, Jacob Best opened the Empire Brewery producing lager beer, whiskey and vinegar. As demand increased of light lager beer, the firm changed its name to Best & Company. Retiring in 1853, Jacob Best transferred ownership to Lorenz and Phillip. After 1860, Phillip assumed sole control of the brewery which became the Pabst Brewing Company. While retired, Jacob Best held local political offices, first as a ward assessor and the school commissioner. He remained active until his death.

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Immigrant Entrepreneurship has a lengthy article about the Bests, centered around Frederick Pabst, but with background that includes Jacob Best:

In 1844, Phillip Best (born September 26, 1814, in Mettenheim, Grand Duchy of Hesse; died July 17, 1869, in Altenglan, Kingdom of Bavaria), together with his father and three brothers, opened the Jacob Best & Sons Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Twenty years later, Phillip’s son-in-law Frederick Pabst (born March 28, 1836, in Nikolausrieth, Kingdom of Prussia; died January 1, 1904, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) joined the company and helped to transform it into the nation’s leading beer producer – first in 1874 and then again in 1879, a position that was maintained until the turn of the twentieth century. As the company’s president, the former ship captain led the firm through a remarkable period of growth and the Pabst Brewing Company (as it came to be called from 1889 onwards) became the epitome of a successful national shipping brewery. Pabst not only contributed to the firm’s (and Milwaukee’s) economic growth, he also left a permanent cultural and social mark both on the German-American community and on the public at large. A decade after the height of his success, Pabst died on New Year’s Eve of 1904, passing on his commercial and cultural legacy to his sons.

The Best family’s relocation from Mettenheim to Milwaukee went relatively smoothly. After spending a few weeks in the summer of 1844 looking for a suitable location, Jacob Sr. purchased two lots on Chestnut Street (today West Juneau Avenue) on September 10 and founded the Empire Brewery. Jacob Sr.’s sons, Charles and Lorenz, soon went on to establish independent brewing ventures, so Jacob Sr. formed a new partnership with his other two sons, Phillip and Jacob Jr., in 1851, which stayed in place until Jacob Sr. retired two years later. After several arguments about the expansion of the firm, Jacob Jr. sold out to Phillip on October 1, 1859, who continued the business as its sole proprietor under the name of the Phillip Best Brewing Company.

In its inaugural year, the Best brewery produced 300 barrels (one barrel equaling 31 US gallons). The firm initially produced ale and porter, but added German-style lager on February 22, 1845. In 1847, Phillip reported in a letter to his wife’s family that the business was developing well and selling 28-30 barrels of beer weekly for $4.50 per barrel ($5 if delivered). The brewery owned three horses for the malt grinding mill, as well as for deliveries in the city and county, and planned to buy another. By 1850, the company’s 2,500-barrel annual production classified it as a medium-sized producer, ranking fourth out of the twelve largest reported breweries in Wisconsin.

As production increased, the company acquired and built new facilities. In 1850, the family purchased a lot on Market Street between Biddle and Martin Streets (today East Kilbourn Avenue and East State Street). Five years later, the company built a new brick house on Market Street with a beer hall on the ground floor, and in 1857 it erected a new main brewery on the north side of Chestnut Street between Ninth and Tenth Streets with large storage cellars. The Milwaukee Sentinel reported on October 9, 1857, that the brewery had the “deepest cellars in the city” and it may be seen from almost any part of the city. The building is a fine looking one, and were it not for a life-sized figure of a sturdy Teuton which is perched on top, in the act of sipping a glass of lager, one would never suspect its being a brewery. It has much more the appearance of a public building of some sort.

The article went on to explain that demand for Best beer was not only “constantly increasing” locally but also across the whole nation: “Everybody has tasted Best’s beer, and it’s very generally acknowledged to be the best in the country.” Although the article certainly exaggerated the national impact of Best’s beer at mid-century, the company had begun to sell their brands outside Wisconsin in the early 1850s when it established a sales office in Chicago, Illinois. While Milwaukee and the surrounding region provided the main market for Best products throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, this early effort to serve the national and – beginning in the 1860s – international market was a distinctive feature of the company’s development.

Best’s production and profits increased during the nationwide economic boom of the 1850s, but the panic of 1857 and the economic disruption of the Civil War slowed the firm’s growth rate. At the height of its early prosperity in 1857, the brewery employed steam power to produce nearly 40,000 barrels a year and was valued at $50,000 (approximately $1.4 million in 2014$). It employed eight men and used ten horses for delivery. Not until after the Civil War would these production levels be reached again. But as the expansion of the family business began to stall, Phillip made his two sons-in-law, Frederick Pabst and Emil Schandein, equal partners in 1864 and 1866 – a decision which turned out to have a lasting impact on the future development of the company.

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The Best’s brewery in 1880, a few years after Jacob died and it became the Philip Best Brewing Co.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Gustav Hodel

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Today is the birthday of Gustav Hodel (April 30, 1875-July 3, 1966). Hodel was born in Emmendingen, Baden, Germany, the youngest of seven. His father, Christian Hodel, owned the local Hodel Brewery. One of his brother’s emigrated to America and became a maltser in Nebraska, then another brother came and became a brewer, and eventually so did Gustav, who everybody called “Gus.” He started in one brother’s brewery in Galena, Illinois but struck out on his own and either owned or worked for a number of different breweries over the course of a 56-year career in beer. He retired in 1946 to Santa Cruz, California to be closer to his daughters, where he remained until his death in 1966.

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Brewery Gems has a great account of Hodel’s life, apparently with considerable help from Gus Hodel’s grandson, William “Bill” Whetton. And given that it’s the only source I could find, your best bet it to just go read it there.

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Billings Brewing Co. in Montana, just one of many where Hodel worked.

Historic Beer Birthday: Louis F. Neuweiler

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Today is the birthday of Louis F. Neuweiler (April 28, 1848-1929). He was born in Württemberg, Germany, and his family was in the brewing business. He came to the U.S., first to Philadelphia, where he worked at local breweries there and also met his wife. In 1891, he moved to Allentown, where he formed a partnership with Benedict Nuding, who had started the Germania Brewery there in 1875 or 78 (sources differ). When they started their partnership, the brewery name was changed to the Nuding Brewing Co, but after Neuweiler bought out Nuding in 1900, it became the Louis F. Neuweiler & Son Brewery, which it remained until finally closing for good in 1968.

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Here’s a short biography from Find-a-Grave:

Born into a family of brewers, he immigrated to America and settled for a time in the Philadelphia area. While in Philadelphia he met his wife Sophia. They had 16 children. They relocated to Allentown, PA in 1891. He formed a brewing partnership with longtime brewer Benedict Nuding but bought him out in 1900. In 1906 his son Charles joined the brewery and the business became known as L.F. Neuweiler & Son. The “new” Neuweiler Brewery was opened on April 28, 1913 at the corner of Front and Gordon Streets in Allentown. His son Louis joined the family business and the company became known as Louis F. Neuweiler & Sons. Their slogan was “Nix Besser” meaning “none better”. After Louis died in 1929 the business was run by Charles Neuweiler. Neuweiler beers were regional best sellers until they went out of business in 1968.

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This story of the brewery is from a local Allentown newspaper, The Morning Call, from 2004:

Louis Neuweiler came to Allentown in 1891. Beermaking then was more than 100 years old in the Valley, its roots going back to the Moravian brewers in Bethlehem. Neuweiler hooked up with longtime brewer Benedict Nuding, whose business was at Seventh and Union streets. In 1900, Neuweiler bought out Nuding. In 1906, he took his oldest son, Charles, into the business that became L.F. Neuweiler & Son.

The Seventh Street location was too small for expansion, so in 1911 the Neuweilers purchased 4.5 acres at Front and Gordon streets and hired Philadelphia architects Peukert and Wunder to build the brewery. It got its water from an underground lake 900 feet below. Neuweiler ordered his own generators for electric power and had separate wells drilled.

Neuweiler opened at this location on April 28, 1913. That day, son Louis P. entered the business and its name became Louis F. Neuweiler & Sons, a name it would retain until 1965. (Louis P. Neuweiler later left the family business and became a local banking executive at Merchants National Bank.)

Neuweiler’s truly was a family operation. Charles Neuweiler sometimes drove the horse-drawn wagon to Bethlehem loaded with barrels. The women in the family kept the books.

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Neuweiler’s also was something of an absolute monarchy. Generous to his family, Louis F. Neuweiler had a temper and little patience with those he regarded as lesser mortals. He once ripped the telephone out of the wall in frustration and told the operator she could go to hell when she couldn’t understand the phone number he was asking for.

Louis F. died in 1929. It was during Prohibition and Neuweiler’s was brewing only near beer with 3.2 percent alcohol and making mixers under the names Purity and Frontenac Pale. In the early 1930s, Charles Neuweiler turned down an offer to buy the brewery for $500,000 from gangster/bootlegger Arthur Flegenheimer, aka Dutch Schultz. According to son Theodore Neuweiler, his father said, “We have always made honest beer,” and ordered Schultz off the property.

At first, the post-Prohibition years were good for Neuweiler’s. Its slogan “nix besser,” none better, was shared across the community. But by the early 1960s it found itself trapped between the growing market share of the beer giants of the Midwest and the growing preference for its lighter product.

On May 31, 1968, Neuweiler’s closed its doors for the last time, $800,000 in debt.

Over the years, some of the equipment was sold. One of the stainless steel brewing tanks ended up at the Milford Park campmeeting grounds in Old Zionsville to be used for water storage.

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This is a translation of his German Wikipedia page:

Neuweiler was born as the son of a family of beer brewers. He emigrated to the United States and began to work as a brewer in Philadelphia . Within a few years he obtained the title of a Braumeister. In 1891 he met the businessman and hotelier Benedict Nuding, who had founded the Germania Brewery in Allentown in 1878.

Neuweiler became Nuding’s business partner. Together, they managed the brewery with success – until 1900 they already reached an annual output of 20,000 barrels . When Nuding retired in the same year, Neuweiler took over his shares and moved his sons into the company’s business during the following years. In 1925 the name Louis F. Neuweiler’s Sons, valid until the brewery was closed, was chosen for the brewery.

The brewery continued to be successful. In 1913 Neuweiler had a new, larger brewery complex built. The new brewery employed forty employees and reached an annual output of 50,000 barrels. A subterranean lake under the property was opened and a separate power plant was built – the brewery was thus independent of the electricity and water supply through the city.

During the period of prohibition, the Neuweiler brewery produced alcohol-reduced light beer and lemonade. At the height of its success, the Neuweiler brewery produced about 400,000 barrels a year and had 15 beer brands in its assortment. On May 31, 1968, she was closed.

Neuweiler died in 1929, his sons took over the management of the company. He is buried at the Fairview Cemetery in Allentown.

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And this history of the brewery is from the English Wikipedia page:

Neuweiler Brewery was founded by Louis Neuwiler, who bought out longtime local brewer Benedict Nuding in 1900. Nuding’s operation was limited by its location, and in 1911 Neuweiler and his son, Charles, eager to expand, hired Philadelphia architects Peukert and Wunder to build a new complex some distance away, at Front and Gordon streets.

The brewery, featuring its own generators for electric power, opened in 1913. By 1932, the brewery buildings and the warehouse building were joined as one structure, and the former machine warehouse became an independent electric plant with an ammonia tank and ice machine. A pump warehouse had been added onto the northwest corner of the former stock warehouse, and a two-story bottling plant with a basement was located to the north of the other buildings. Neuweiler produced several brands of beer: Light Lager, Cream Ale, Stock Ale, Premium Ale, Bock (seasonal), Half & Half, Porter, Stout and Hochberg. Most were available in the 12 oz. “Steinies” or Export bottles, quarts, cans or kegs. When in full operation, Neuweiler’s was one of Allentown’s largest employers.

By 1950, the bottling plant was extended to the corner of North Front Street and Liberty Street, the stock warehouse was extended toward North Front Street, and a tile ash hopper was located behind the boiler house.

Brewery operations ceased in 1968 due to competition from national breweries. However, the Neuweiler recipes and brand names were purchased by the Ortlieb Brewery of Philadelphia, who also purchased the Fuhrmann and Schmidt (Shamokin) breweries in 1966. After the brewery’s closure, the F&S Brewery produced several of the Neuweiler beers (Porter, Light Lager and Cream Ale) from around 1970 until closing in 1975. After F&S closed, the Ortlieb brewery continued Neuweiler Cream Ale at the Philadelphia plant until the late 1970s.

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“This photo from 1915 shows the laboratory at the Neuweiler Brewery that created the various brews made and sold by the company.”

These pages are from “American Breweries of the Past,” by David G. Moyer:

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And this lively history is from a local Allentown television station:

Arthur Flegenheimer, aka “Dutch Schultz,” is not remembered as one of your major league 1930s gangster headline-grabbers like Al Capone or Jack “Legs” Diamond. But such a view badly underestimates the man and his ruthlessness. And when he strode into the offices of Louis F. Neuweiler and Sons Brewery on Front Street in Allentown in 1932 he must have seemed formidable enough.

Cutting to the chase, the dapper dressing “Dutch” had some words for brewery owner Charles Neuweiler, son of the brewery’s founder and then the company’s president. He wanted to buy out the Neuweiler family operation which, since the start of Prohibition in 1920, had been reduced to turning out ice cream, “near beer” and carbonated soda water. He was offering $500,000 in cold cash.

Schultz may have thought he had made Neuweiler an offer he couldn’t refuse. It’s not known if the Dutchman’s “boys” were hanging around with itchy trigger fingers on their “gats” during the conversation.

But according to Charles’s son, Theodore Neuweiler, who recounted this tale to the press in the 1950s, his father was not biting. “We have always made honest beer,” he recalled his father saying before ordering Schultz off his property. And apparently the gangster went quietly.
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Shortly thereafter FDR would be elected, Prohibition banished, and happy days here again. And “Dutch” would die in 1935 on a hospital operating room table in Newark, New Jersey, following a hit by rival gangsters.

Today Neuweiler’s, which closed in 1968 and was left in a state that could only be called abandonment, is once more in the local news. Plans about its possible future as apartments, lofts or shops as part of the Neighborhood Improvement Zone- aka “the NIZ”- have caused much speculation. Could Neuweiler’s — at least the building if not the brewery — come back to life?

All of this activity would have undoubtedly impressed old Louis F. Neuweiler, the brewery’s founder, although he might be disappointed that nobody is talking about making beer there. As a native of Wurttemberg, Germany he knew what beer was to all good Germans of his time and place- a thick hardy brew that was both food and drink and had been as long as there had been Germans.

For a time, Neuweiler worked in a Philadelphia brewery and rose within the ranks of the company. In 1891 he came to Allentown and teamed up with longtime local brewer Benedict Nuding. A Civil War veteran and several years Louis Neuweiler’s senior, Nuding’s brewery was located at 7th St. near Union.

Beer making had been going on in the Lehigh Valley probably since the first German settlers arrived. Commercial operations in Allentown are usually traced to the Eagle Brewery that opened at Lehigh and Union Streets in the 1850s. By the start of the 20th century there would be a number of breweries dotting the Lehigh Valley in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton.

By 1900 Nuding was ready to retire and Neuweiler brought him out. But even then Neuweiler had bigger ambitions. He had just admitted his son Charles into the business and began to look around for a space that was much larger than the site on 7th Street and also closer to a railroad line that would make shipment easier.

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What the new brewery also needed was a supply of pure water.

Neuweiler found all that he was hoping for- even a lake of pure water 900 feet underground- on a 4.5 acre site at the corner of Front and Gordon Streets. To build the brewery he hired Peukert & Wunder, Philadelphia architects with a national reputation for brewery design.

Work began on Neuweiler’s in 1911. It was completed two years later and opened for production on April 28, 1913. The Lehigh Valley had seen many brewery openings before but Neuweiler’s was something special. With its red brick tower that could be seen for many miles it dominated the horizon along the banks of the Lehigh River. In an extra architectural flourish a huge N, similar to those on a Paris bridge that honored Napoleon, framed and mounted in a colossal cartouche, was placed on the side of the building. The era didn’t nickname brewers “beer barons” for nothing.

Despite its size Neuweiler’s was a family business. Charles had been required to learn the business from the ground up, including driving a wagon load of beer barrels when called on to do so. Even the female members of the family played a role by keeping the brewery’s books.

Neuweiler’s was not a democracy. Patriarch Louis F., while a generous father to his family, expected obedience from them, even as adults. Although there is nothing on the record this may explain why one of his sons, Louis P., left the family business and got into local banking.

One of the longtime family stories that was recorded dealt with a confrontation between Louis F. and a telephone operator. When she could not understand the number Neuweiler was asking for he became so enraged he suggested there was a warm place she should go and ripped the phone’s cord out of the wall. His sons, fearing local reaction and gossip, told their father he had to call her back and apologize. According to the surviving sources the exchange went something like this:

Neuweiler: “Is this the woman who I told to go to hell?”
Operator: (timidly) “Yes”
Neuweiler: “Well you don’t have to go now!”

Louis F. died in 1929 and with the end of Prohibition in 1933 Neuweiler’s flourished. But the rise of national brewers and the post World War II preference for lighter beers doomed Neuweiler’s and other local ethnic brewers. But, who knows. Thanks to the NIZ the big N may rise again.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Emil Schandein

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Today is the birthday of Emil Schandein (April 15, 1840-July 22, 1888). He was born in Bavaria, Germany, but emigrated to America when he was sixteen, in 1856. Arriving first in New York, he moved shortly thereafter to Philadelphia, and moved around quite a bit, until finally settling in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1866 where he joined the Philip Best & Co. brewery staff. That same year he married Best’s daughter Lisette, and her father sold the remaining half of the business to her husband, making Frederick Pabst president, and Schandein vice-president. Schandein was a director of the brewery from 1873-1888. When he passed away in 1888, Lisette was elected vice-president.

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This is the Google translation of Emil’s German Wikipedia page:

Schandein was born in 1840 in Obermoschel . His parents were the royal tax and community beneficiary Joseph Wilhelm Schandein (1800-1862) and Louisa Schandein (b. Barth). His uncle was the historian Ludwig Schandein.

At the age of 16 he emigrated to the USA and settled in Philadelphia . After working in different cities, he moved to Watertown, Wisconsin, in 1863. There he married Elizabetha “Lisette” Best, a daughter of the breeder owner Phillip Best.

Together with his brother-in-law Frederick Pabst, he bought shares in his Philip Best Brewing Company and from 1873 until his death took the post of vice-president.

In addition to his work for the brewery, Schandein was one of the founders and first president of the German Society of Milwaukee. He was also director of the Northwestern Life Insurance Company, the Second Ward Savings Bank and President of the Milwaukee Brewers Association.

Emil Schandein died in 1888 during a stay in Germany. He is buried at the Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee.

Only after his death was in 1889, the Saddle Your Mansion, a villa in the German Renaissance style, on the 24th and Grand Avenue (now Wisconsin Avenue) in Milwaukee completed. The Milwaukee County Emergency Hospital was built in 1929 on the site of the building.

His widow, Lisette Schandein, assumed his post as vice president after his death until 1894. She died in 1905 during a stay in Germany.

Shandein bequeathed part of his estate to the Kaiserslauter Kreisrealschule and to the Pfälzisches Gewerbemuseum. The Schandeinstrasse in Kaiserslautern is named after him. The Schandeinstrasse in Speyer, however, is named after his uncle Ludwig.

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This Phillip Best Brewing Co. stock certificate, from 1873, is signed by then-president Emil Schandein.

This is from the “National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. III,” published in 1891:

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Historic Beer Birthday: August Krug

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Today is the birthday of August Krug (April 15, 1815-December 30, 1856). Krug was born in Miltenberg, Bavaria, Germany, but when he was 33, in 1848, emigrated to the U.S. and settle in central Wisconsin. He opened a restaurant and the following year, 1849, added a brewery, which was known then as the August Krug Brewery. When he died young, in 1856, his bookkeeper, Joseph Schlitz took over management on behalf of Krug’s widow, Anna Marie. In 1858, Schlitz married Krug’s widow and renamed the brewery after himself.

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Here’s a biography of him from Find-a-Grave:

Brewer. His August Krug Brewery was the foundation that became the giant Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Born Georg August Krug in Miltenberg, Bavaria, Germany, he came to the USA about 1848, established a restaurant in Kilbourntown (now central Milwaukee), Wisconsin and added a small brewery in 1849 which, limited by lack of refrigeration to brewing in cooler months, produced about 150 barrels the first year. In 1850, his father, Georg Krug, came to visit, surviving a shipwreck on the way. The father managed to save himself, Krug’s eight-year-old nephew August Uihlein and $800 in gold. The gold was used to expand the brewery and hire four people, including Joseph Schlitz as bookkeeper. Krug, who is credited with building Kilawukee’s first underground brewer’s vault tunneled into the hill to provide the consistent cool temperatures essential to brewing and storage, died seven years after his brewery produced its first barrel of beer. The bookkeeper, Schlitz, acquired both his brewery and then his widow after Krug died in 1856. The brewery’s market share increased steadily, and sales doubled when Schlitz entered the Chicago market immediately after the Chicago Fire in 1871. Schlitz was lost at sea in 1875, after which Krug’s four nephews began the Uihlein dynasty that was to run the company during its long history. In the 1960s, Schlitz was the second-largest brewer in the world; during the 1970s it was troubled by indictments for improper marketing, by insufficient advertising and by public resentment over a change in the brewing recipe; finally a 1981 strike lead to the closure of their Milwaukee plant although it was still the USA’s third-largest brewer when purchased by the Stroh Brewery Company of Detroit (now part of Pabst Brewing Co.) in 1982.

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The August Krug Brewery, c. 1850s.

This portion of the brewery’s history from Immigrant Entrepreneurship is entitled “Political Revolution, Emigration, and Establishing a Regional Player in Brewing: August Krug and Joseph Schlitz” and is the early section that includes Krug’s contributions:

At the beginning was the German revolution of 1848. Georg August Krug (born April 15, 1815 in Miltenberg, grand duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt; died: December 30, 1856 in Milwaukee, WI) was born the son of Georg Anton Krug (1785–1860) and Anna Marie Ludwig (1784–1864), who owned the brewery “Zum Weißen Löwen,” the predecessor of today’s Faust brewery, in Miltenberg. This was a small and contested town at the River Main, which belonged until 1803 to the Electorate of Mayence (Mainz), became part of the grand duchy of Baden in 1806, was transferred to the grand duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1810, and finally became part of the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1816. Georg August Krug worked in the family business but also became a member of a group of revolutionists surrounding a local doctor and farmer, Jakob Nöthig, who later emigrated to the U.S. after he was accused of being a ringleader (Rädelsführerei) of a local band of political agitators and other offenses against the Bavarian authorities. Krug and his father were among the petitioners in Miltenberg on March 8, 1848 who demanded liberal reforms. On the following day Miltenberg was shaken by protests and turmoil, and Bavarian armed forces reestablished order. Facing official prosecution, the younger Krug became part of the first wave of politically-motivated emigration. He arrived in the United States in May 1848, where he used only his second name and where he was naturalized on December 15, 1854.

In Milwaukee, at that time a preferred destination for the 48ers, August Krug established, probably with his savings, a saloon and restaurant on 4th and Chestnut Streets. Far from Bavaria, he still managed to receive additional support from his family. First, his fiancée Anna Maria Wiesmann Hartig arrived from Miltenberg (Oct. 9, 1819–Jan. 20, 1887) and they eventually married—likely in 1849. She was the daughter of Michael Wiesmann and Christina Schlohr, both from Miltenberg. Her presence allowed an expansion of his business activities. While Anna Maria Krug managed the restaurant, August Krug started a small brewing business at a nearby building at 420 Chestnut Street in 1849. Second, his father Georg Anton Krug arrived in the United States on October 25, 1850, accompanied by his grandson, 8-year-old August Uihlein. Such visits were not without risk: the visitors travelled on the Helena Sloman, the first German steamship on the transatlantic route. It encountered distress at sea on November 28, 1850 and sunk. Nine people were killed, but the vast majority of the crew and the passengers, in total 175 persons, were rescued by the American ship Devonshire. Georg Anton Krug lost a Bavarian beer pump, which went down with the wreckage, but he rescued $800 in gold (or $23,000 in 2010 dollars). This capital was invested into the brewery of his son and used to hire three additional employees, including a bookkeeper named Joseph Schlitz.

August Krug became a respected citizen. In 1850, his real estate property was valued at $1,600 ($46,100 in 2010 dollars). His household consisted of five people: himself and his wife Anna Maria, two brewery workers (both from Bavaria), and a young 18-year-old women, probably a servant. Krug was apparently a respected voice in his neighborhood, as his name was invoked in a newspaper advertisement for a local fireproof tile maker. He could afford to visit Germany in 1855, where he was able to meet with his relatives again.

By the mid-1850s, Krug already saw himself as a competitor for preeminence with other German immigrant brewers in Milwaukee in particular the Best family and Miltenberg-born Valentin Blatz (1826–1894). However, he was injured in an accident late in 1856, when he tumbled down a hatchway, and passed away several days later. The value of the eleven lots of real estate he owned was estimated at $20,050 ($532,000 in 2010 dollars). There were a total of $15,296.76 in claims and demands against the estate, including $276.50 owed to bookkeeper Joseph Schlitz (in 2010 dollars, equivalent to roughly $406,000 and $7,330, respectively).

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Historic Beer Birthday: Johann Sedlmayr

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Today is the birthday of Johann Sedlmayr (April 9, 1846-November 24, 1900). Johann was the grandson of Gabriel Sedlmayr and the third son of Gabriel Sedlmayr II. Johann’s father inherited the Spaten Brewery, along with his brother, when his father died, but Gabriel became sole owner after his brother Joseph left to start his own brewery, Franziskaner. Two of Joahnn’s older brother dies before their father, so when Gabriel II passed away, he and his younger brothers Carl and Anton inherited the family brewery.

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The caption of this photo, from German Wikipedia, translates to “Delivery of the Spade brewery to the sons Johann, Carl and Anton Sedlmayr 1874,” although I can’t say which one is Johann. I don’t know much more about his time running the brewery. “From 1884 to 1890 he was a member of the German Reichstag for the electoral district of Oberbayern 1 Munich I and the Nationalliberal Party.”

SPATEN-Geschichte