Today in 1936, US Patent 2038939 A was issued, an invention of Eberhard A. Klepper, for his “Method of Making Prune Beer.” There’s no Abstract, but the description is below, giving the objects of the invention for making prune beer. The application was filed in October of 1933, just as prohibition was scheduled to end three months later, but not issued until 1936. It’s hard to understand why anyone would have thought prune beer was a good idea at the same time that legal beer was returning after a thirteen year drought.
A San Jose newspaper on November 14, 1936 reported that a man in Hollister, California was actually trying to build a brewery to make prune beer using “sub-standard prunes” using the method described in this patent.
I wonder if it ever opened? The last brewery in Hollister I knew about was Bill Millar’s San Andreas Brewing, which is also where Stone’s Mitch Steele got his start. They made a cranberry beer I really liked, Cranberry Noel, but not a prune beer as far I recall. Whatever the fate of prune beer, it doesn’t look like it ever really took off.