Beer Birthday: Fergus Carey

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Today is the 53rd birthday of Fergus Carey, better known simply as Fergie. Fergie owns Fergie’s Pub in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is co-owner of Monk’s Cafe with Tom Peters and is also a partner in Nodding Head Brewery. Fergie’s always a fun person to have around and he’s as kind as soul as ever I’ve met in the beer world. Join me in wishing Fergie a very happy birthday.

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Fergie huddling up with Tom Dalldorf and his Monk’s Cafe partner Tom Peters at 2st Amendment in San Francisco.

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Tom Peters, Frank Boon, Jean Van Roy, Fergie and Armand Debelder at a Lambic Beer Dinner last month at Mon’s Cafe during Philly Beer Week.

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Outside Monk’s cafe: Shaun O’Sullivan from 21st Amendment, Fergie, Lucy Saunders, the beer cook, and Tom Peters, after the Canned Beer Dinner in 2007.

Beer Birthday: Carol Stoudt

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Today is Carol Stoudt’s birthday. She and her husband Ed started the first microbrewery in Pennsylvania, Stoudt’s Brewing, not far from where I grew up. After my grandfather retired, he worked part time there helping out with maintenance. He was married to Ed’s aunt so I’m distantly related to the Stoudts’ by marriage. I grew up going to their restaurant, Stoudt’s Black Angus, but had already moved to California by the time they opened the brewery. But it’s been great seeing them at the various craft beer industry functions from year to year. Plus they make terrific beer and have created an amazing destination in Adamstown. If you haven’t been to Stoudtberg, you should definitely plan a visit. Join me in wishing Carol a very happy birthday.

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Me and Carol behind Stoudt’s bar during a Christmastime visit several years ago.

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Ed and Carol Stoudt, with Brian Dunn of Great Divide Brewing Co. in Denver, Colorado.

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Dave Alexander, former owner of the Brickskeller in D.C., with Carol at GABF.

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Carol and me at Fergie’s Place during Philly Beer Week several years ago.

Historic Beer Birthday: Richard L. Yuengling, Sr.

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Today is the birthday of Richard L. Yuengling, Sr. (July 16, 1915-March 25, 1999). He was the great-grandson of David Yuengling, who founded America’s Oldest Brewery, Yuengling Brewing, which was founded in 1829 (as the Eagle Brewery) in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

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Here’s his obituary from the Pottsville Register:

Richard L. Yuengling Sr., 83, whose great-grandfather, David G., founded America’s Oldest Brewery in 1829, died Thursday evening at ManorCare Health Services, Pottsville, after an extended illness.

He was the fourth-generation owner of D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. Brewery.

“He was a great person to work for,” said James P. Buehler, a 27-year employee recently elevated to brewmaster. “It’s a shame. He was a good man,” with a lot of friends, he added.

“On behalf of a mournful city, we extend our condolences to the Yuengling family,” Mayor Terence P. Reiley said.

Dick Sr. and brother F. Dohrman who preceded him in death took over management of the brewery when their father, Frank D., died at age 86.

Carol B. Johnson, whose husband, the Rev. Theodore T., was pastor of Trinity Episcopal Church in Pottsville from 1952 to 1975, has fond memories of Dick Sr., who used to attend church there.

“The Yuenglings were all a part of our life in Pottsville,” she said.

Dick Sr. and his brothers- and sisters-in-law were active and interested church members, she said from their home in a Northumberland retirement community.

He ran a good business, and was very kind and thoughtful to his mother, the late Augusta Roseberry Yuengling, she said. His father was the late Frank D.

Dick Sr. was more reticent than his son and daughter, Patricia H. Yuengling, who lives in LaMesa, Calif., she said.

During Dick Sr.’s tenure, in 1976, the brewery was recognized as “America’s Oldest,” and placed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a state historic site; and in 1979, its 150th anniversary was celebrated.

In 1985, Dick Jr. bought the company from his father.

Dick Sr. was an asset to the city, Reiley said. “Mr. Yuengling clearly kept the strong family tradition going that the brewery currently enjoys.”

That success was built upon Dick Jr.’s predecessors, including his father, Reiley said.

Thinking back to his childhood, Reiley recalled Yuengling as pleasant and accommodating when St. Patrick’s Church set up its parish block party between Fourth and Fifth streets near the brewery.

Buehler said Yuengling was always ready for a party, and the first to tend the Rathskeller bar to share a beer, he said.

Born in Pottsville, July 16, 1915, he was formerly of 1322 Howard Ave., Pottsville.

He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a staff sergeant with 1060th AAF Base Unit.

In addition to F. Dohrman, he was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, the former Marjorie Hood, in 1997; two other brothers, David G. and Frederick G. Yuengling Sr.; a sister, Augusta Y. Ulmer.

In addition to Dick Jr. and Patricia, surviving are five grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; grandnieces and grandnephews.

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Here’s what the Yuengling Wikipedia page has about Richard Sr.:

Richard L. Yuengling Sr. and F. Dohrman Yuengling succeeded Frank Yuengling after their father’s death in 1963.

Yuengling experienced an increase of sales after a renewed interest in history owing to the United States Bicentennial in 1976. Yuengling bought the rights to use the Mount Carbon (Bavarian Premium Beer) name and label when Mount Carbon Brewery went out of business in 1977. Yuengling initially brewed beer at Mount Carbon but eventually abandoned it. The dairy remained in business until 1985.

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And this is his yearbook photo and entry from the Hill School from 1935. One curious fact is that some sources give his birth year as 1914 while others say 1915. But even his Find a Grave has photos of two separate gravestones showing differing birth years. One appears to be a military marker.

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Historic Beer Birthday: John Gardiner

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Today is the birthday of John Gardiner (July 11, 1825-July 5, 1903). Gardiner was born in upstate New York, in Albany, where he learned brewing from his father. He moved to Philadelphia when he was 24, in 1849, and worked for Massey’s Brewery before buying the James Smyth Brewery in 1874, renaming it John Gardiner & Co. Brewery. In 1883, Gardiner renamed it again, this time the Continental Brewing Co., which remained its name until it closed at the start of prohibition in 1920.

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In 1866, he married one of brewery owner Christian Schmidt’s daughters, Caroline, and according to a history of Schmidt’s Brewery, he began working for his father-in-law’s brewery at that time. But it’s unclear if he left when he bought what would become the Continental Brewery.

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Here’s how Gardiner and his family are mentioned in the history of Schmidt’s Brewery:

For generations the name of Gardiner had been well known in brewing circles. The family owned the Continental Brewing Co. in Philadelphia. John Gardiner married a daughter of Christian Schmidt. John Gardiner Jr., and Edward A. Gardiner, sons of John Gardiner, joined Schmidt’s to add new luster, in, respectively, sales and finance., to the family management team.

During the entire period of relegalization- including the peak year of 1955- and through to 1958, John Gardiner Jr., a grandson of the founder, was sales and advertising manager for the brewery. Mr. Gardiner, now a vice president, saw sales rise under his management from 106,000 in 1934 to almost 2 million in 1955.

Edward A. Gardiner, his brother, now chairman of the board, was responsible for the financial arrangements which made possible the various expansions of the brewery in the 1930’s, 40’s and early 50’s. It was Mr. Gardiner’s raising of the funds to accommodate the expansion of the company in 1947 and 1948 which kept the brewery abreast of modern changes and in a position to meet the difficult competitive challenge of the postwar years.

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Beer Birthday: Sebbie Buhler

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Today is Sebbie Buhler’s 60th birthday. Sebbie had been a rep. for Rogue for as long as anyone could remember, though she no longer works for Rogue. Her face still graces the label of Rogue’s Chocolate Stout. She could be found at beer festivals and other events throughout the country and throughout the year. She’s without a doubt one of the best people in the industry and sets the standard that brewery reps should adopt and emulate. She left the beer industry to help out with her parents’ business P-Stat, but continues to advocate for better beer. Join me in wishing Sebbie a very happy birthday.

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Sebbie, her chocolate stout and Phil’s rubber chicken.

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Me and Sebbie at the Falling Rock during GABF week in 2006.

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Pouring Rogue’s distilled spirits at Slow Food Nation at Fort Mason, San Francisco.

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Picking up two World beer Cup awards for Rogue in 2008.

Beer Birthday: Colin Presby

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Today is the 32nd birthday of Colin Presby, head brewer at Golden Avalanche Brewing in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. He grew up in nearby Reading, like me (although for me it was nearby Shillington) but I was very familiar with Kutztown (my first wife went to the University there and so did my great-grandfather). Colin and I haven’t met in person but were introduced online through a mutual friend — Maureen Ogle if memory serves — and have corresponded quite a few times since, and I suspect we’d be fast friends if I still lived in the area I affectionately refer to as Dutch Wonderland. Join me in wishing Colin a very happy birthday.

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Colin at the Philly Beer Geek competition in Philly in 2013.

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Colin and Peggy at the 2012 Sly Fox Goat Races.

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The wedding couple last year when Colin married Fatman Jake (presumably not the name her parents gave her).

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Colin (a.k.a. Bockman) and his wife at the Philly Beer Geek finals in 2013.

[NOTE: All photos purloined from Facebook.]

Beer Birthday: Tom Kehoe

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Today is the 52nd birthday of Tom Keohe, founder of Yards Brewing, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Tom’s been a fixture of the Philly beer scene as long as I can remember, at at least since 1996. He’s one of those people that you feel like you’ve known for years, even when you first meet him. And he’s a terrifically talented brewer, too. Join me in wishing Tom a very happy birthday.

Toasting the Class of '96: Greg Koch, Mark Edelson, Bill Covaleski, Tom Kehoe, Gene Muller & Sam Calagione
Toasting the Class of ’96: Greg Koch, Mark Edelson, Bill Covaleski, Tom Kehoe, Gene Muller & Sam Calagione.

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With Philadelphia Mayor Nutter and Tom Kehoe handing out glasses of the ceremonial beer to the assembled crowd at the opening ceremonies of the first Philly Beer Week in 2008.

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Tom explaining the beers he created for the colonial themed City Tavern.

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Tom clowning around with the Hammer of Glory during Philly Beer Week a couple of years ago.

Historic Beer Birthday: James Anderton

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Today is the birthday of James Anderton (June 26, 1830-December 28, 1905). Anderton was born in Lancashire, England (some accounts say Streetbridge, Royston, while others say Haslingden), but came to America with his parents when he was 26 and made his way to Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. He worked as a miner for several years, before shifting to the hotel business. In 1869, he started the Spring Water Brewery. After modest success, he built a larger brewery, renaming it the Anderton Brewery, which continued in business until closed by prohibition.

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Here’s a summary of James and his Anderton Brewery from Lawrence County Memoirs:

James Anderton (1830-1905), born in England, came to the United States in 1856 and eventually made his way to Beaver Falls. Along with his brother Jonathan Anderton he founded the Spring Water Brewery Company in 1869. The company, located next to the railroad station at 24th Street (and Ninth Avenue), was reorganized and modernized in about 1891 as the Anderton Brewery Company. James Anderton’s son William H. Anderton later took over management of the firm and it was merged in 1905 to become part of the Pittsburgh-based Independent Brewery Company (1905-1933). The local facility was closed in 1920 (like many other breweries) with the enactment of nationwide prohibition.

While I could not find any photographs of Anderton himself, and only a couple of the brewery, there are a number of biographies detailing his life. For example, here’s another one from “Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of Beaver County, Pennsylvania,” published in 1899.

James Anderton, the father of William Henry, was born in Streetbridge, Royston, Lancastershire, England, June 26, 1830. He worked for eighteen years in the mines in his native place, beginning at the early age of eight years. In his youth he had no educational advantages whatever, his only mental training being a night school organized by himself and his fellow miners, known as the “Youth’s Seminary.” There the boys taught each other, being too poor to afford an experienced teacher. The school organized by these lads has grown into a famous institution of learning, and is now known as the Literary Institute of Oldham, England.

James Anderton accompanied his parents to America when twenty-six years of age, worked in the mines at Fallston, until 1866, and then removed to New Brighton, Pennsylvania. He continued to follow this occupation at the latter place until March, 1868, when he removed to Beaver Falls, purchased his present residence, and engaged in the hotel business. The following year (1869), he went into the brewing business in a small frame building, situated quite near the elegant structure in which he at present officiates. The first brewing was made November 30, of the same year, and consisted of only nine barrels. In 1875, Mr. Anderton built the old part of the present structure, and with a much increased capacity, he continued to brew ale and porter until 1895, when he built a large brick addition, with all the modern improvements, and began brewing beer. The Anderton Brewery is now one of the most complete up-to-date breweries in Pennsylvania, and has a capacity of 30,000 barrels per year. There are many larger breweries in the Keystone State, but none more complete.
While, still in his native land, James Anderton was united in marriage with Betty Green-wood, a daughter of Joseph and Mary Greenwood. This event took place in 1852, and their union is blessed with five children, viz.: Jonathan; Mary G.; William H.; William H., second ; and Sarah A. Jonathan was born June 2, 1853; he is vice president of the Anderton Brewing Company. He wedded Margaret Hart, a daughter of Hilton and Ann Hart, and their home is made happy by the presence of four sons: James, Hilton, Jonathan, Jr., and William H. Mary G. was born February 1, 1858. She became the wife of C. W. Rohrkaste, who is now superintendent of the Anderton Brewery. They have three children: James A.; Mary A.; and Florence E. William H., the third child, died at the tender age of five years, and the same name was given to the next child. William H., the fourth child, is the subject of this brief sketch. Sarah A., the fifth child, was born October 14, 1869, and died in early childhood, aged three years.

James Anderton is a fine illustration of a self-made man, which in a great measure is due to his progressiveness, reliability and integrity. He ranks among the most esteemed citizens of Beaver Falls, and takes an active interest in fraternal organizations, being a member of Lone Rock Lodge, K. of P.; Valley Echo Lodge, I. O. O. F.; Mechanics Lodge, A. O. U. W.; and Beaver Valley Lodge, F. & A. M., of which he has been treasurer for the past nineteen years. He was one of the organizers and original stockholders of the Union Drawn Steel Co., and is one of the stockholders of the People’s Water Co., of Beaver Falls. In his religious convictions, the elder Mr. Anderton is an Episcopalian, of which denomination he and his family are members. Politically, he is a stanch Democrat, but could never be persuaded to seek or accept public office.

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The Anderton Brewing Co. was located in Beaver Falls, between 23rd and 24th streets near the railroad tracks. The local owners would sell their company in 1905, but the brewery remained in Beaver Falls producing beer until 1922.

Here’s another biography from the “Book of Biographies.”

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The year Anderton died, the brewery merged into the Pittsburgh entity known as Independent Brewing Co., a conglomerate of breweries formed by the merger of fifteen Pittsburgh and the surrounding area breweries in 1905. But James’ son William continued in a management role with the brewery until it was closed by prohibition.

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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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Beer Birthday: Ed Stoudt

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Today is the 76th birthday of Ed Stoudt, co-founder along with his wife Carol of Stoudt’s Brewing in Adamstown, Pennsylvania. Growing up near there, in Shillington, Ed operated the Black Angus Steakhouse for as long as I can remember (1962 in reality, but I was three then), and we ate there from time to time growing up, in part because Ed’s aunt was married to my grandfather Harry, who after he retired worked part time doing maintenance at the brewery. The brewery opened in 1987, one of the earliest new microbreweries in the state. Because of Pennsylvania’s famously arcane alcohol laws, the brewery was owned by Ed’s wife Carol (who was also its first brewmaster) who then sold it to the Black Angus Restaurant, delivering it next door. After high school I’d lost touch with the Stoudt’s until the early Nineties, shortly after I published by first beer book, when during a trip to GABF I discovered that we were both in the beer world. Since then, of course, I see the Stoudts more frequently at beer events throughout the calendar. Join me in wishing Ed a very happy birthday.

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Ed and me at GABF around 1992, after not having seen one another in quite a few years.

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Carol and Ed bookending Mark Edelson from Iron Hill at the opening of the first Philly Beer Week.

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Carol and Ed with Greg Koch from Stone Brewing at the opening brewer’s reception at Wynkoop for GABF in 2009.

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Ed, Carol and Brian Dunn from Great Divide Brewing.