Historic Beer Birthday: August A. Busch III

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Today is the birthday of August Anheuser Busch III (June 16, 1937- ) He is the great-grandson of Anheuser-Busch founder Adolphus Busch and was the company’s Chairman until November 30, 2006. August Busch III is informally known as “Auggie” and as “The Third” or “Three Sticks” by subordinates and employees at Anheuser-Busch. I’d actually heard “Triple Sticks” as a nickname.

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Here’s some biographical information from his Wikipedia page:

August Anheuser Busch III was born in St. Louis, Missouri on June 16, 1937. He attended the University of Arizona, but dropped out after failing. His father then gave him an ultimatum, and he began working in an entry-level position in Anheuser Busch.

August Busch III served as President of the Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. (ABC) from 1974 until June 2002, and Chief Executive Officer of ABC from 1975 until June 2002. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors of ABC from 1977 to 2006.

He was succeeded as the day-to-day operational head of Anheuser-Busch by Patrick Stokes. Stokes’ tenure marked the first time in the history of the company that a non-Busch family member ran the day-to-day operations. Busch also conferred the chairmanship to Stokes effective December 1, 2006. He retired from their executive functions at the company on November 30, 2006. He will continue to serve on Anheuser-Busch’s board.

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August A. Busch III, when he was President of Anheuser-Busch, February 1974.

He has been married twice. His first wife, Susan, is the mother of his two older children August Anheuser Busch IV and Susan Busch-Transou. His second wife, Virginia, who is a practicing attorney, is the mother of his younger two children, Steven Busch and Virginia “Ginny” Busch.

Unlike his father Gussie Busch, August III has been a lifelong supporter of the Republican Party, and a friend, ally, and financial supporter to Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and President George W. Bush. August III’s eldest son, August A. Busch IV, is a strong supporter of Democratic Party politics, just like his grandfather Gussie.

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Lou Rawls and Frank Sinatra sharing Budweisers with Triple Sticks in 1982.

Historic Beer Birthday: August Anheuser Busch, Jr. a.k.a. Gussie Busch

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Today is the birthday of August Anheuser Busch, Jr., better known as Gussie Busch (March 28, 1899–September 29, 1989). He was the grandson of Anheuser-Busch founder Adolphus Busch. His parents were August Anheuser Busch, Sr. “Starting at lower levels to learn the family business of Anheuser-Busch Company, Busch became superintendent of brewing operations in 1924 and head of the brewing division after his father’s death in 1934. After his older brother Adolphus Busch III’s death in 1946, August A. Jr. succeeded him as President and CEO.”

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Here’s a short biography from Find a Grave:

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, he was the President and CEO head of the Anheuser Busch Brewery the largest brewery in the world, (1946-75). He succeeded his older brother Adolphus bush III as President and CEO and began using the Bud Clydesdale Horse Team as a company logo. He was an avid sportsman and became owner of the National League St. Louis Cardinals Major League franchise in 1953, until his death. He died at age 90 in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1984, the Cardinals retired the number 85 in his honor, which was his age at the time and he was posthumously inducted into the Cardinals team Hall of Fame in 2014.

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Gussie at his desk at Grant’s Farm.

This is August Anheuser Busch Jr.’s obituary from the New York Times:

August Anheuser Busch Jr., the master showman and irrepressible salesman who turned a small family operation into the world’s largest brewing company, died yesterday at his home in suburban St. Louis County, Mo. He was 90 years old and had recently been hospitalized with pneumonia.

August Anheuser Busch Jr., the master showman and irrepressible salesman who turned a small family operation into the world’s largest brewing company, died yesterday at his home in suburban St. Louis County, Mo. He was 90 years old and had recently been hospitalized with pneumonia.

He had been honorary chairman of the Anheuser-Busch Companies since his retirement in 1975. But he had remained active as the president of the St. Louis Cardinals, the National League baseball club he persuaded the company’s board to buy in 1953.

Mr. Busch, known as Gussie to virtually everybody who did not know him and as Gus to those who knew him well enough not to call him Mr. Busch, was the grandson and great-grandson of the founders of the company that bore two of his names.

The company, founded in 1876, survived Prohibition by moving into widely diverse products like soft drinks and automobile bodies.

Born in St. Louis on March 28, 1899, Mr. Busch entered the family business as a young man and became general superintendent of brewing operations in 1924. He took over as head of the brewery division after the death of his father in 1934. Although he did not become president of the company until the death of his older brother, Adolphus Busch 3d, in 1946, Mr. Busch had already made his mark as a salesman-showman.

To celebrate the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, Mr. Busch recalled the draft horses that had once pulled beer wagons in Germany and pre-automotive America and obtained a team to haul the first case of Budweiser down Pennsylvania Avenue for delivery to President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House. Since then the famous eight-horse hitch of Clydesdales has become almost as famous as the brand they continue to promote.

What was undoubtedly Mr. Busch’s greatest promotional coup was disguised as a civic duty – the company’s purchase of the Cardinals for $7.8 million in 1953 after the previous owner was convicted of income tax invasion.

”My ambition,” Mr. Busch declared, ”is, whether hell or high water, to get a championship baseball team for St. Louis before I die.”

He had a long wait. But beginning in 1964, the team won six National League pennants, most recently in 1987, and the World Series in 1964, 1967 and 1982.

Savored Success

Mr. Busch savored success, and he became a familiar triumphant figure to baseball fans in league playoffs and World Series home games when he would ride into Busch Stadium on the Clydesdale wagon waving a red cowboy hat.

He attributed the team’s success and the company’s to his policy of noninterference. Even so, he was active in the club’s affairs long after he left the company to others, and in 1982 he led the campaign among major league owners not to retain the previous commissioner, Bowie Kuhn.

Through the Clydesdales and the Cardinals, other promotional gimmicks and a commitment to mass advertising, Mr. Busch turned a comparatively small and financially ailing company into the industry giant. In his 29 years as the company’s active head, sales of beer went from 3 million to 37 million barrels a year. Last year the company produced 78.5 million barrels, almost double the output of its nearest competitor, and recorded sales of $9.7 billion. Its flagship brand, Budweiser, is the most popular beer in the world.

Medium Stature, Loud Voice

Through direct ownership and various trusts, Mr. Busch owned 12.5 percent of the company, or more than 30 million shares of its common stock. At yesterday’s closing price of $43.375 on the New York Stock Exchange, the holdings were worth more than $1.3 billion. The day’s increase of $1.125 a share represented a gain of more than $30 million. Trading in the company’s stock was suspended for 20 minutes after the announcement of his death.

Mr. Busch, at 5 feet 10 inches tall and 165 pounds, was a man of medium stature, but he had a loud voice that was once likened to the roar of a hoarse lion.

Fortunately for his colleagues, he had a sense of humor about his own shortcomings, which included a hairtrigger temper. ”All right, you guys,” he once shouted at a raucous company meeting. ”Let me blow my stack first. Then you can blow yours.” He also had an outsized zest for life, and both the wealth and the inclination to indulge it.

Among other things, his 281-acre estate, Grant’s Farm, includes a cabin built by hand by President Ulysses S. Grant and has a 34-room French Renaissance chateau and a well-stocked private zoo, which reflect his abiding love of animals. Mr. Busch trained his own chimpanzees and elephants before donating them to the St. Louis Zoo.

A onetime rodeo rider who later served as master of the Bridlespur Hunt outside St. Louis, Mr. Busch stocked his air-conditioned stables with several breeds, including hackneys, hunters and jumpers.

He clattered his way into family legend one day when he rode one of his horses up the main staircase of the family residence to cheer up his bedridden father.

Mr. Busch was married four times. Two of the marriages ended in divorce. His last wife, the former Margaret Rohde, died last year.

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August A. Busch (center) and his sons, Adolphus III (left) and August Jr., seal the first case of beer off the Anheuser-Busch bottling plant line in St. Louis on April 7, 1933, when the sale of low-alcohol beers and wines was once again legal. Prohibition didn’t officially end until Dec. 5 of that year.

During World War II, Busch was very involved in the war effort through the Ordnance Corps, during which time he attained the rank of colonel.

Colonel August A. Busch, Jr. was born in 1899 in St. Louis, Missouri and was educated in the public schools there. He entered the family brewing business in 1924, and by 1931 was Second Vice President and a member of the board of directors. In June 1942, he was commissioned a major in the Ordnance Corps and was assigned to the Ammunition Division in the Office of the Chief of Ordnance.

He later became Deputy Chairman in charge of the Industry Integrating Committees of Ammunition (one of 82 committees set up to work with industry). Each Industry Integration Committee was made up of representatives from each participating contractor and set up to integrate Ordnance with industry. As Deputy Chairman, he was instrumental in expediting and improving production on several items. In January 1943, he was assigned to the Tank and Automotive Center at Detroit, Michigan. His task was to further the efforts of the committees on the production of tanks, the most critical item of Ordnance procurement. In March of 1943, he was reassigned to the Industry Committees of the Ammunition Division, as the Assistant Chief in Charge of Procurement for metal parts. In 1944, he became Chief of the Industry Production Branch while still retaining the title and duties of the Deputy Chairman of Industry Integrating Committees.

He established precedents and procedures that helped industry and Ordnance work together towards the war effort. His intimate knowledge of industry and his ability to gain the confidence of industrial leaders made him an invaluable asset to the Ordnance procurement process. During his later years, he served as Chairman of the board and Chief Executive Officer of Anheuser-Busch, Inc. and as Chairman of the board and President of the St. Louis Baseball Cardinals organization. Colonel Busch died in 1989.

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The St. Louis Cardinals, which Anhesuer-Busch bought in 1953, became an important part of Gussie Busch’s life.

In 1953, Cardinals owner Fred Saigh was convicted of tax evasion. Facing almost certain banishment from baseball, he put the Cardinals up for sale. When Busch got word that Saigh was seriously considering selling the team to interests who would move the team to Houston; he decided to have Anheuser-Busch get into the bidding in order to keep the Cardinals in St. Louis. Ultimately, Busch persuaded Saigh to take less money ($3.75 million) than what he was being offered by out-of-town interests in the name of civic pride, and also achieved a marketing tool.

As chairman, president or CEO of the Cardinals from the time the club was purchased by the brewery in 1953 until his death, Busch oversaw a team that won six National League pennants (1964, 1967, 1968, 1982, 1985, 1987) and three World Series (1964, 1967 and 1982). When his son, August Busch III, ousted him as president of Anheuser-Busch, the elder Busch remained as president of the Cardinals.

Although the Cardinals were the dominant baseball team in St. Louis, they did not own their own ballpark. Since 1920 they had rented Sportsman’s Park from the St. Louis Browns of the American League. Shortly after buying the Cardinals, Busch bought and extensively renovated the park, renaming it Busch Stadium (but only after a failed attempt to rename it as Budweiser Stadium). The team played there until Busch Memorial Stadium was built in the middle of the 1966 season.

In 1984, the Cardinals retired a number, 85, in Busch’s honor, which was his age at the time.

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Cardinal’s Owner and beer baron Gussie Busch threw a party at the Chase Hotel following the Cardinals 1964 World Series Championship. Here he congratulates Cardinal’s third baseman Ken Boyer, who hit two home runs and drove in six.

The Busch family also acquired Grant’s Farm, and made it the Busch Family Estate, opening it up to the public beginning in 1954. The estate website also has a timeline and there’s a short history of the farm from Wikipedia:

The property was at one time owned by Ulysses S. Grant and prior to that, by the Dent family. It is now owned by the Busch family, who owned the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company for many years until it was sold to InBev in 2008. Grant’s Farm has been an animal reserve for many years and is open to the public for free; however, there is a parking fee of $12 per vehicle. This fee helps to maintain the farm. The farm is home to such animals as buffalo, elephants, camels, kangaroos, donkeys, goats, peacocks, the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales and many more. Most of these animals can be seen by visitors on a tram tour of the deer park region of the park, while the Clydesdales are found in their nearby barn and pastures. The farm also contains a cabin called “Hardscrabble,” which was built by Ulysses S. Grant on another part of the property and later relocated to Grant’s Farm. It is the only remaining structure that was hand-built by a U.S. president prior to assuming office.

Also on the farm is the Busch family mansion, and a house in which Ulysses S. Grant resided between the Mexican and Civil Wars—White Haven. This had been his wife, Julia Grant’s, family home. Frederick Dent, Julia’s father, gave 80 acres of the farm to the couple as a wedding present. White Haven is now a national historic site: the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, and is located just across the road from Grant’s Farm.

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Here’s Gussie’s entry from the Encyclopedia Britannica:

August Anheuser Busch, Jr., byname Gussie Busch (born March 28, 1899, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. — died September 29, 1989, near St. Louis), American beer baron, president (1946–75) of Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., who built the company into the world’s largest brewery.

In 1922 Busch was put to work sweeping floors and cleaning vats at the brewery cofounded by his grandfather Adolphus Busch, but by 1924 he was general superintendent of brewing operations. After his father died (1934), Busch became head of the brewery department, and he was installed as president of the company following his older brother’s death (1946).

Busch was a civic leader who helped revive St. Louis in the 1950s by donating $5 million toward the construction of Busch Memorial Stadium and purchasing the St. Louis Cardinals professional baseball team for $7.8 million. A familiar figure during postseason play-off games, Busch often rode into the stadium in a wagon drawn by Clydesdales, the horses that were indelibly identified with the beer wagons of Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch’s main brand. Grant’s Farm, the Busch family estate near St. Louis, was converted into a 281-acre (114-hectare) historical site and wildlife preserve.

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And finally, here’s a video created for Gussie’s induction into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.

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To celebrate production of the ten millionth barrel of beer, August A. Busch Jr. (right) and his son August III share a toast with other officials of the company on December 15, 1964.

Historic Beer Birthday: M.K. Goetz

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Today is the birthday of Michael Karl Goetz (January 16, 1833-August 11, 1901), who was born in Ingenheim, Alsace, in what today is Germany. He founded the
M. K. Goetz & Co. in 1859, which was located at 603 Albemarle Street (at 6th Street), in St. Joseph, Missouri. It was later known as simply the M. K. Goetz Brewing Co. before prohibition closed it down. The brewery was granted permit L-15 allowing the production of de-alcoholized beer.

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They came out of prohibition intact and resumed brewing there until 1961, when they merged with and became a division of Pearl Brewing Co. of San Antonio, Texas. In 1936, the opened a second facility in Kansas City, which operated for twenty years before closing in 1956. In 1976, Pearl closed the St. Joseph brewery and shifted production to Texas.

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Find A Grave has a short biography of Michael K. Goetz:

Business owner of The M.K. Goetz Brewery, Michael Karl Goetz was a German immigrant who stopped in St. Joseph, Mo., on the way to the California gold fields and decided to stay. He established his own brewery in a small frame building after working a few months for another brewer. When he died in 1901 his four sons carried on. The company, organized in 1859, was 101 years under the management of the Goetz family.

The company started making plans for its Kansas City plant immediately after prohibition. Cost of the building was $750,000.

At its peak the brewery, specializing in draught beer, turned out over 150,000 barrels annually. When the demand for bottled, canned and packaged beer products increased, Goetz shifted its operations in KC in the 1960s.

Goetz merged with the Pearl Brewing Company of San Antonio, Tex., in the 1960s. Today the old Goetz building is gone. The site is now used as a parking facility for the Catalogue Distribution Center of Sears Roebuck & Company.

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Vintage Kansas City has a number of great views of both Goetz breweries.

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Unfortunately, I was unable to find any photographs or images of Goetz himself. The Genealogy History Trails, for Buchanan County, Missouri Biographies has a fuller biography of Goetz:

Michael Karl Goetz. A large and distinctive contribution to the manufacturing and business prosperity of St. Joseph was made by the late M. K. Goetz, founder and for many years president of M. K. Goetz Brewing Company, an enterprise which was built up from very small beginnings and which represented in its extent and in its standards of excellence for its productiveness the thoroughness and worthy character of its founder.

The late Michael Karl Goetz was born in Alsace-Lorraine, Germany, but then a province of France, January 16, 1833, a son of Michael K. and Mary C. (Koel) Goetz. The father died at the age of twenty-eight in the same year of the birth of the son. The mother also lived out her life in Germany, and she had two children, the daughter also spending her life in the old country.

The late St. Joseph brewer and citizen during his youth attended school steadily, and was well prepared for a career of usefulness. As his mother earnestly desired him not to join the army, as soon as he became of military age he left Germany, and on June 24, 1854, embarked on a sailing vessel, named the Connecticut, at Havre, France, and at the end of sixty days was landed in New York City. From there he proceeded to Buffalo, New York, where he had a cousin in the grocery business. Under his employ he not only learned the details of the grocery trade, but also acquired a familiarity with the customs and language of the new world, and remained in Buffalo until 1857.

When he started west in that year it was his intention to continue to the Pacific coast and seek his fortunes in the great mining section of California. By railroad and by steamboat he got as far as St. Joseph, which was then a small but flourishing frontier city, and its advantages appealed to him so strongly that he determined to stay, and that was the beginning of a continued residence of more than forty years. Henry Nunning was at that time proprietor of a small brewery in St. Joseph, and Mr. Goetz took a position in the plant and worked there ten months. He was industrious and observing and quickly learned the details of the business, and in 1859 was prepared for an independent venture along the same lines. With J. J. Max he erected a small frame building at the corner of Sixth and Albemarle streets, and there on a small scale, but with infinite care and with close supervision over the character and excellence of products, the first Goetz beer was brewed. While the business was started on a small scale, Mr. Goetz employed scientific principles and is said to have been one of the first really scientific brewers in the West.

He manufactured a beer which by its very excellence quickly became popular, and needed little exploitation to increase the trade. The plant now occupies several blocks of ground, and is equipped with all the most modern machinery and appliances. Mr. Max continued in partnership with Mr. Goetz until 1881, and the latter then became sole proprietor. In 1895 the business was incorporated under the name of M. K. Goetz Brewing Company, and the founder of the business became president of the corporation, and continued its active direction until his death on August 11, 1901. In 1885 an ice plant was installed, and the Goetz Brewing Company was one of the first in the West to undertake the manufacture of artificial ice. His success as a brewer was also extended to his investments and interests in other affairs, and he acquired a large amount of city real estate, including both business and residence property.

At St. Joseph the late Mr. Goetz married Caroline Wilhelmina Klink. She was born in Leutenbach, Wuertemberg, in March, 1844. Christian T. Klink, her father, also a native of Wuertemberg, in 1853 brought his family to America, coming by sail vessel and, after a voyage lasting several weeks, landing at New Orleans. Thence they came up the river to St. Joseph. At that time St. Joseph was without railroad communication, and comparatively speaking the country was still in the state of a wilderness. Christian Klink bought a tract of land in township 56, range 35, situated about ten miles south of the St. Joseph courthouse. The only improvements on the land when he bought it were a log house and a few acres of cleared ground. He established his family in that home, bent his efforts towards increasing the area of plowed fields, and remained one of the substantial and practical farmers of Buchanan County until his death. There were eleven children in the Klink family. Mrs. Goetz, who was nine years old when she came to America, had a good memory for scenes and events in the old country home, and also recalled many incidents concerning the struggles and hardships of the early settlers in Buchanan County. She died about six months after her husband, in March, 1902.

The valuable business interests built up and founded by the late Mr. Goetz are now continued and managed by his children. There are six children, namely: Emma, William L., Frank L., Albert R., Henry E., and Anna L. Emma is the wife of Theodore Benkendorf, and has one son, Theodore. William L., who is a graduate of the American Brewing Academy, is president of the M. K. Goetz Brewing Company, and by his marriage to Anna L. Pate has two sons, Wilfred L. and Horace Raymond. Frank L., who graduated from Ritner’s College, in St. Joseph, learned the trade of machinist at St. Louis, is now vice president of the company, and has charge of the mechanical department. He married Lena Meierhoefer, and their three children are Mildred, Michael K. and Ernestine Frances. The son Albert, also a graduate of Ritner’s College, in St. Joseph, is secretary and treasurer of the company, and married Flora Widmeier. Henry is assistant secretary and treasurer of the company, and married Inez Moore. Anna, the youngest, married E. A. Sunderlin, and they have four children—Caroline, Eugene, Robert and Van Roesler. The late Michael K. Goetz was an active member of the St. Joseph Turnverein, and both he and his wife worshiped in the German Evangelical church and reared their children in the same religious belief and practices.

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Goetz’s most famous beer, especially in the 1959s was Country Club, which was a malt liquor.

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Beer Birthday: Stan Hieronymus

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Today is fellow beer writer and blogger extraordinaire Stan Hieronymus’ 67th birthday. Stan’s most recent book is For the Love of Hops, followed closely by Brewing with Wheat, among many others. He recently moved to a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, where he continues to write the Real Beer blog, Beer Therapy, along with Appellation Beer, Beer Travelers, and Postcards from a Barstool, and Brew Like a Monk, the blog. Stan does not like being reminded of his birthday, so be sure to join me in wishing Stan a very happy birthday.

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Fearing I would run a ten-year old photo of him taken at the Seattle CBC, he sent me this one a couple of years ago. Here’s Stan at Cantillon in Brussels. Thanks, Stan, I like this one, too.

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Stan and his family, Daria and Sierra, with their motorhome in our driveway during a brief visit during their trip.

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Stan with CCBA director Tom McCormick at Great Divide during GABF week 2009.

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Me and Stan at the grueling World Beer Award judging session in Chicago a few years ago.

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Daniel Bradford, Stan and me on a panel discussion at GABF a couple of years ago.

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Four out of Five, the Cilurzos and a Stan. From Left: Natalie Cilurzo, Stan, Vinnie’s mother and father, and Vinnie Cilurzo at the World Beer Cup gala dinner in 2008.

Beer Birthday: Jeremy Danner

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Today is the 34th birthday of Jeremy Danner, who’s the ambassador brewer for Boulevard Brewing. Jeremy’s a Kansas City native who worked at several bars, restaurants and breweries, working his way up to his present job with Boulevard. Given that his love affair began on his 21st birthday, that means this is his 13th beer year anniversary, too. Plus Jeremy’s an unabashed goat lover and social media diva, making him an entertaining force to be reckoned with. Maybe this year will finally be year we run into one another in Denver. Join me wishing Jeremy a very happy birthday.

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Jeremy smiling on the roof.

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Apparently this is a screenshot from a commercial.

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A larger than life Jeremy posing with a life size Jeremy, or is that vice versa?

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Being served the wrong beer during a trip to Belgium. The expression says it all.

[Note: all four photos purloined from Facebook, because despite our best efforts to meet in person, our paths have still not crossed, or at least in to one another.]

Beer In Ads #1519: A Friend You Can Depend On


Wednesday’s ad is for Griesedieck Bros. Brewery, from 1939. It’s a bit of a dull ad, and that background is a sickly yellow color. Although I do love that the beer is not just mellow, but double-mellow. It’s “made mellow in the brewing, kept mellow by the removal of air in the bottle.” The ad copy just keeps getting better, which at least partly makes up for the lousy graphics. “It’s always first for thirst, always right for real refreshment.” Just saying the brewery’s name — if you can even pronounce it — is “the passport to pleasure.”

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Urban Chestnut To Buy German Brewery

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Here’s some interesting news, and a nice twist or role reversal of recent events. Florian Kuplent, the talented former Anheuser-Busch brewer, in 2011 opened the Urban Chestnut Brewery in St. Louis, after A-B was acquired by InBev. I first met Florian in Denver shortly after he’d brewed an excellent German-style hefeweizen at the Fort Collins A-B brewery. Kuplent was born in Bavaria, Germany, and also was trained as a brewer at Weihenstephan.

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According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Urban Chestnut “has acquired the Bürgerbräu Wolnzach brewery in Wolnzach, which is about 35 miles north of Munich.” That’s right, a small craft brewery has bought a German brewery. Apparently, Bürgerbräu Wolnzach closed down around six months ago, and Klupent saw an opportunity. The Post-Dispatch explains that the “St. Louis-based company plans to brew small batches of beer at the Bavarian facility in the second quarter of 2015. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.”

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Beer In Ads #833: Christian Staehlins Phoenix Brewery


Thursday’s ad is for the Christian Staehlins Phoenix Brewery, from 1850. The brewery was located in St. Louis, Missouri. I love these old posters of longshots showing the entire brewery complex. Don Russell was just telling he’d recently learned that a lot of these were created for insurance purposes since photography was expensive and hard to do from the vantage point you’d need to get the whole brewery in the shot.

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