Today is the 44th birthday of Matt Bonney, formerly of Brouwer’s and Bottleworks, both in Seattle, Washington, and now proprietor of Toronado Seattle. Bonney’s one of my favorite people in the industry. You’d be hard-pressed to find a person more passionate about good beer. He also knows how to throw a party and is always a gracious host. He does still need some work on his Washoe playing, but I’ll let that slide. Join me in wishing Bonney a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of Hans Johann Claussen (November 13, 1861-March 20, 1940). He was born in Germany, but moved to California to work at the Fredericksburg Brewery in San Jose. In 1888, he moved to Seattle, Washington to take a job as the brewmaster of the Rule & Sweeney Brewing Co., but the brewery was in danger of going out of business and late the same year, Claussen and Edward Francis Sweeney re-incorporated it as the Claussen-Sweeney Brewing Co. Just a few years later, in 1891, Claussen sold his interest in the brewery. In 1901 he opened a new brewery in Seattle, the Claussen Brewing Association. It was in business until closed by prohibition, and by the time it was repealed, Claussen decided he was old enough to stay retired.
Here’s a biography of Claussen is from “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of the City of Seattle and County of King, Washington,” published in 1903:
Mr. Claussen holds prestige as one of the essentially representative business men of Seattle, being prominently concerned in industrial enterprises of marked scope and importance and having shown that inflexible integrity and honorable business policy which invariably be- get objective confidence and esteem. Progressive, wide-awake and discriminating in his methods, he has achieved a notable success through normal channels of industry and today is president, treasurer and manager of the Claussen Brewing Association at Interbay, a suburban district of Seattle, and also vice-president of the Diamond Ice & Storage Company, whose business has likewise extensive ramifications.
Mr. Claussen is a native of the province of Holstein, Germany, where he was born on the 13th of November, 1861, being son of Caecilia M. and Peter Jacob Claussen, representative of staunch old German stock. Our subject prosecuted his studies in the schools of his native province until he had attained the age of ten years, when he accompanied his parents on their emigration to America, the family locating in the city of San Francisco, California, where he continued his educational work , as did he later in Dixon, that state, the family home having been on a farm for the greater portion of his youth. After completing the curriculum of the high school he entered a business college where be finished a thorough commercial course and thus amply fortified himself for taking up the active duties of life. In 1882 Mr. Claussen took a position as bookkeeper for the Fredericksburg Brewing Company in San Jose California. In 1884 he began learning the details of the brewing business, and later he passed about two years in the employ of the National Brewing Company of San Francisco, gaining a thorough experience in all branches of the industry and thus equipping himself in an admirable way for the management of the important enterprise in which he is now an interested principal. In 1888, in company with E. F. Sweeney, Mr. Claussen effected the organization of the Claussen, Sweeney Brewing Company in Seattle, and the business was conducted under that title until 1893, when the company disposed of the plant and business. In 1892 Mr. Claussen associated himself with Messrs. Charles E. Crane and George E. Sackett in the organization of the Diamond Ice & Storage Company, of which our subject became vice-president at the time of its inception and in that office he has since served, the enterprise having grown to be one of importance and extensive operations. In March, 1901, was formed a stock company which was incorporated under the title the Claussen Brewing Association, with a capital of fifty thousand dollars, which was later increased to two hundred and fifty thousand, and the company erected a fine brewing plant at Interbay and have here engaged in the manufacture of a very superior lager beer, the excellence of the product and the effective methods of introduction having gained to the concern high reputation and a most gratifying supporting patronage, which extends throughout Washington and contiguous states. The equipment of the plant is of the most modern and approved type and in every process and detail of manufacture the most scrupulous care is given, insuring absolute purity, requisite age and proper flavor, so that the popularity of the brands of beer manufactured is certain to increase. The annual capacity of the brewery is sixty thousand barrels, and the plant is one of the best in the northwest, the enterprise being a credit to the executive ability and progressive ideas of the gentlemen who inaugurated the same.
Mr. Claussen has been a resident of Seattle since 1888, and from the start he has maintained a lively interest in all that concerns the progress and material prosperity of the city, being known as an alert and public spirited citizen and able business man, and holding unqualified confidence and esteem in the community. He has been an active factor in the councils of the Democratic party, but in local affairs maintains a somewhat independent attitude, rather then manifesting a pronounced partisan spirit. In 1901, he was the Democratic nominee for member of the lower house of the state legislature, but as the district in which he was thus placed in nomination is overwhelmingly Republican in its political complexion he met defeat, together with the other candidates on the ticket. Fraternally he is prominently identified with the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Seattle Turnverein society and the German Benevolent society, in each of which he has held office. He was also one of the organizers of the Mutual Heat & Light Company in 1902, and is ever stood ready to lend his influence and definite co-operation in support of legitimate business undertakings and worthy projects for the general good. In 1892 he erected his fine residence on Boren Avenue, and this he still owns, though he now makes his home in at Interbay, in order that he may be more accessible to the brewery, over which he maintains a general supervision. He is a young man of forceful individuality and the success which has been his indicates most clearly his facility in the practical application of the talents and power which are his. In the city of Seattle, on October 10, 1891, Mr. Claussen was united in marriage to Miss Emma Meyer, who was born in Hamburg, Germany.
To learn more about Claussen’s first brewery, the Claussen-Sweeney Brewing Co., there’s a thorough history of is at Gary Flynn’s Brewery Gems.
Likewise, Brewery Gems has a longer history of the Claussen Brewing Association.
Today is the birthday of Jacob Betz (November 10, 1843-November 16, 1912). Betz was born in Bavaria, but moved to America when he five years old. When he was 32, he bought a brewery in Walla Walla, Washington, renaming it the Star Brewery (though some sources say 1874, when he would have been 31). It was also known as the Jacob Betz Brewing Co. From 1904, when a “syndicate of local saloonkeepers and capitalists” bought the brewery, with Betz retaining an interest in it, it was then called the Jacob Betz Brewing and Malting Co. In 1910, it merged with another Walla Walla brewery, the Stahl Brewing Co., and was then known as the Walla Walla Brewing Co. until closing for good in 1910.
Here’s a profile of Betz published in “Washington, West of the Cascades” from 1917:
Jacob Betz, ever a good citizen, active in support and furtherance of Tacoma’s best interests, was born on the l0th of November, 1843, in the Rhine province of Bavaria, Germany, and his life record spanned the intervening years to the 10th of November, 1912. He was educated in the schools of Germany and America, having been brought to this country in 1848 when a little lad of but five summers. He arrived in California before the Civil war and there engaged in mining until 1870, when he removed to Walla Walla, Washington, where he erected a brewery which he operated for a long period. During his residence in eastern Washington his interests became extensive but at length he disposed of all of his holdings in that part of the state and in 1904 established his home in Tacoma. Here he purchased the Sprague block on Pacific avenue and at once began to remodel the building, which he improved in every way. He converted it into two hotels and also changed the store buildings and he installed therein the largest heating plant in the city. He also purchased the Hosmer residence at 610 Broadway and remodeled it into a most beautiful and attractive home. Since his death his family have carried out his plans and have erected an addition to the Sprague block on Fifteenth street. This property affords an excellent income to his heirs.
Mr. Betz was married in Walla Walla to Miss Augusta Wilson, who removed from California to Washington in 1866. To them were born five children, namely: Katherine; Jacob, Jr., who is deceased; Eleanor; Harry; and Augustus.
Mr. Betz was appreciative of the social amenities of life and found pleasant companionship in the Union and Country Clubs, of both of which he was a member. He also belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he filled all of the chairs. In politics he was a republican, ever active in support of the party, working earnestly for its interests. Five times he was honored with election to the mayoralty of Walla Walla and five times to the city council and it was during his administration that the waterworks fight in Walla Walla was on. He won the case for the city in the United States supreme court and thus gave to the city one of its most important public utilities. In business and in public affairs his judgment was keen and penetrating and his opinions sound and logical. What he accomplished represented the fit utilization of his innate powers and talents.
Gary Flynn, in his always terrific Brewery Gems, points out that the profile above concerns itself primarily with his time in Tacoma, rather then Walla Walla, and adds the following:
[A]t the age of sixteen, Jacob returned to Germany to learn the brewing trade. Seven years later, Jacob departed Hamburg on the “Germanic” arriving back in the U.S. on August 6, 1866. It is unclear what he did next. The above account suggests that he tried his hand at mining, but another, more plausible account has him working in a couple of eastern breweries in the late 1860’s.
The above account also leaves out the period of 1870 to 1874, since he didn’t arrive in Walla Walla in 1870. He was in San Francisco for the 1870 Census, and his occupation was given as a maltster. The 1871 S.F. city directory also lists him as a maltster with the Lyon Brewery, and according to a later census, Jacob stated that he was naturalized in S.F. in 1871. Then the S.F. city directory for 1872 has Jacob employed as a brewer with the Jackson Brewery, and that is the last reference to him prior to arriving in Walla Walla.
We next find Betz in 1875 when he purchases the Star Brewery. It is commonly reported that Betz arrived in Walla Walla in ’74, so if that’s accurate, it’s safe to assume that a person with his experience was immediately placed in charge of the struggling brewery, and then sold to him by Seisser the following year.
The brewery prospered and in 1882 Betz purchased a wooden, frame building that had been the county court house, and added a new two-story, brick building adjacent to it. Then seven years later, an additional structure was built. This was a four-story, brick building erected on the other side of their corner saloon.
This served well until 1902, when additional plant capacity was needed, and Betz razed the frame structure, erecting a five-story, brick and stone building in its place.
In November 1903, Jacob’s 19 year old son (Jacob, jr.) died suddenly of pneumonia. The previous year Jacob was quoted as saying that the erection of his new, five story structure for his Star Brewery was to provide a legacy for his son. He was so distraught over his son’s death that within months the brewery was sold to a syndicate of Walla Walla saloon owners and capitalists.
In memory of his son he purchased a huge block of granite from Vermont and at tremendous cost had it shipped to Scotland to he shaped into an obelisk, hand polished, and returned to Walla Walla where it would mark the Betz family plot in the Mountain View Cemetery. He also established a scholarship in his sons name at Whitman College where his son was studying.
He then left Walla Wall for Tacoma where he remained until his death from heart failure on November 16, 1912.
And this was the brewery in 1909.
Today is the birthday of Henry Schupp (November 1, 1868-September 27, 1936). Schupp was born in Germany, and helped found the Bellingham Bay Brewery, which was owned by Leopold F. Schmidt, who’s best known for owning the Olympia Brewery. After its completion in 1902, Schupp was the secretary, manager and brewmaster of the brewery. He had worked for Schmidt in several other capacities prior to that, including at Olympia Brewery and in the hotel business.
This account of Schupp is from the “History of Whatcom County,” by Lottie Roeder Roth, published in 1926:
Depending upon his own resources for advancement, Henry Schupp has achieved noteworthy success as a hotel operator and belongs to that select company of aggressive, farsighted business men who have made Bellingham what it is today, one of the most enterprising and prosperous cities in the state. He is a native of Germany but has lived in the United States since young manhood and is thoroughly American in thought, spirit and interest. He was educated in the public schools of his native country and in the night schools of Cincinnati, Ohio, and in 1889 he sought his fortune in the mines of Montana. He was also connected with the hotel business in that state. In 1900 he came to Washington. He spent two years in Olympia, associated with Leopold F. Schmidt, and in 1902 arrived in Bellingham. He at once entered prominently into the business life of the city, and with Mr. L. F. Schmidt built the Bellingham Brewery, which proved a successful venture. He is now secretary, treasurer and manager of Hotel Leopold, of which F. M. Kenny is vice president. It was opened May 25, 1913, and was named in honor of Leopold F. Schmidt, president of the company controlling the business. The building was erected in 1912 and 1913 by the Byron Hotel Company and the business was founded by Captain Byron, who constructed the Byron Hotel in 1906.
Hotel Leopold is centrally located and its furnishings, accommodations and service are modern and up-to-date in every respect. It is the largest hotel in northwestern Washington, containing two hundred rooms, one hundred of which are provided with private baths, and there are twenty-five sample rooms. The hotel is noted for the excellence of its cuisine and the main dining room has accommodations for two hundred guests. The tulip room will seat two hundred and fifty persons, and the hotel is thus able to accommodate some five hundred diners. Hotel Henry, under the same management, was established by Mr. Schupp at Bellingham in 1923 and has also found favor with the traveling public. It contains one hundred rooms and fifty baths and is the newest and most progressive hotel on Puget Sound. It reflects an atmosphere of refinement but not exclusiveness, for here “you can come as you are.” The hostelry is comfortable, homelike and unequaled in many ways. This is the only hotel known to serve its guests in their rooms with a complimentary breakfast, consisting of a pot of coffee, toast, marmalade, butter and cream, the the polite request: “Don’t tip the boy.” That Mr. schupp has thoroughly grasped the art of modern hotel keeping is indicated by the high degree of efficiency maintained in the operation of the business, which reflects his foresight, capacity for detail and administrative power. He puts forth every effort to promote the comfort and well being of those who are his guests, and an ever increasing clientele is evidence of the prestige enjoyed by Hotel Leopold and Henry.
In 1888 Mr. Schupp married Miss Katherine Sengenberger, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and they have three adopted children: Katherine, who is the wife of Briggs Burpee, of Bellingham; Henry, a student in the State College, where he is taking a course in civil engineering; and Margaret, a high school student. Mr. Schupp is a stanch republican and a citizen who loses no opportunity to exploit the many resources and attractions of his community and state. He is a director of the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce and served for several years on the board of park commissioners. He is a member of the Rotary and Country Clubs and the Washington Hotel Men’s Association. He is also connected with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the United Commercial Travelers. Mr. Schupp has a wife acquaintance among the tourists who visit this region each season in large numbers, attracted by its scenic grandeur. He is a gentleman of courteous bearing, genial nature and much personal magnetism, exceptionally well fitted for the business in which he is engaged, and numbers his friends by the thousands. His success is the merited reward of a life of well directed industry and his labors have been of signal service to Bellingham, in which he is highly esteemed.
And here’s his obituary, published in The Bellingham Herald, September 28, 1936:
Henry Schupp, one of Bellingham’s most civic-minded citizens, whom many regarded as an ideal hotel host, died early Monday morning at his home, 6 Garden Terrace. He had been in ill health several years, suffering from heart disease. Recently he had been taking short walks almost daily and he was seen by friends Sunday strolling along High street. For many years, and until his retirement a few years ago from active participation in the hotel business. Mr. Schupp was one of Washington’s most widely known and popular hotel men. He was 67 years of age and had lived at Bellingham thirty-four years. His business and other affiliations were numerous and probably no one has been more active in behalf of Bellingham than Mr. Schupp. He was a charter member of the Rotary club and at his death held membership in Elks lodge No. 194 and the Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Schupp is survived by his widow, Mrs. Katherine Schupp; two daughters, Katherine McIntee, Waldport, Oregon, and Margaret K. Rogers, Bellingham; one son, Henry E. Schupp; one half-sister, Mrs. Julius Kappel, and a cousin, Henry Meissner, all of Bellingham.
A man who always had a smile, and at heart a community booster, Mr. Schupp’s interests, business and social, were diversified. He for years managed the Hotel Leopold and was one of the moving spirits behind the erection of the $500,000 New Leopold, which was opened in November, 1929. He was one of the most active members of the Chamber of Commerce. In 1924 he headed the Tulip Festival association. He represented the Chamber as director of the Puget Sounders, which he was instrumental, with others, in organizing. Among other positions he held was director of the Pacific Highway association; director of the Mount Baker Development company, which built the Mount Baker lodge, and he was president of the Puget Sound Hotels. At his death he held part interest in the Henry hotel. When the New Hotel Leopold was opened, Mr. Schupp was managing director of the Leopold and the Henry. He was familiar with the hotel business long before he came to Bellingham. His introduction to it came when he was a boy, when his father, Carl Frederick Schupp, operated the Green Tree Tavern at Lollar, Germany, where Mr. Schupp was born in November, 1868.
Henry Schupp left Germany for American when 14 years of age. For a time he lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he attended night school. Later he removed to Montana, but before he did so he married on November 22, 1888, Katherine Sengenberger. In 1890 Mr. Schupp located at Basin, Montana, a silver mining camp, where life was rough and free and guns were conspicuous. At Basin, Mr. Schupp and his friend, Leopold Schmidt, who died many years ago, established the Merchants hotel. It was made of logs and had two stories. The partners operated a lodging house for overflows. While Mr. Schupp was at Basin, he and Mr. Schmidt, then living in Butte, formed a partnership to build a waterworks system at Basin.
After ten years at Basin, Schupp came to Puget Sound. Settling at Olympia, he became secretary-treasurer of the Olympia Brewing Company. Nine years later he became secretary-treasurer of the Byron hotel in Bellingham. Four years later the Leopold was opened and he became its manager. Mr. Schupp’s hotel interests gradually expanded until, when the New Leopold was opened, with one of the biggest banquets Bellingham has ever known, he was general manager of a chain of hotels that operated in five cities. He also was president of the New Washington Hotel company, Seattle. Mr. Schupp’s creed, as a hotel man, was: “Hail, guest! If friend, we welcome thee. If stranger, same no longer be. If foe, our love shall conquer thee.” Neatly framed, this creed hung in Mr. Schupp’s office throughout his hotel career in Bellingham.
Today is the birthday of Andrew Henrich (October 31, 1856-May 2, 1910). He was born in Wisconsin, and was the first of his brothers to move to the Seattle, Washington area, but his brothers Alvin, Julius and Louis soon joined him. He bought the Bay View Brewery in Seattle, and later his brother Alvin bought the North Pacific Brewery (also known as the old Slorah brewery), and renamed it the Alvin Hemrich Brewing Co. in 1897. Two of his brothers soon joined him in the enterprise, and it was renamed again, this time to Hemrich Brothers Brewing Company. They did well enough that he began buying out other area breweries. When prohibition closed the brewery, they were ready, having retooled their plants for near-beer and also having divested into some other businesses.
This biography of Andrew is from “An Illustrated History of the State of Washington,” by Rev. H. K. Hines, published in 1893:
Andrew Hemrich received an elementary education at Alma, which was continued in the practical duties of life, as at the age of ten years, he began work in his father’s brewery, and three years later was sent to La Crosse, as an apprentice to learn the brewing business. This was followed by two years in breweries in Milwaukee, one year at Denver, Colorado, and one year at Eureka, Nevada. In 1876, with two companions, all well mounted, he made a trip of 1,700 miles through the Yankee Fork mining district of Idaho, but the claims being all covered and the country being in constant danger from the attacks of hostile tribes of Indians, the party continued to Butte, Montana, then but a small mining settlement. In 1877 at Glendale, thirty-five miles from Butte, Mr. Hemrich partnered with Frank Gilig in starting a small brewery, selling their product at $21 per barrel. This he continued for eighteen months, then sold out and engaged in mining, in which a short experience exhausted his accumulated savings. He then gave up mining and going to Bozeman resumed his trade as foreman of a small brewery and there remained until February, 1883, when he came to Seattle and forming a co-partnership with John Kopp started a small steam beer brewery with an annual capacity of 2,500 barrels. This was the nucleus of the present Bay View brewery.
In 1884 Mr. Kopp sold out his interest to the father of our subject, John Hemrich, and in 1885, the latter’s brother-in-law; Fred Kirschner, entered the firm, then known as Hemrich & Co. With the growing demand the capacity of the brewery was increased from time to time up to 1887, when the brewery was rebuilt and with improved machinery the firm engaged in the manufacture of lager beer, with a capacity of 80,000 barrels per year. The product was sold throughout the Northwest. In April, 1891, the business was incorporated as the Bay View Brewing Company, with a capital stock of $300,000, and so continued up to the spring of 1893, when the company consolidated with the Albert Braun Brewing Company, and the Claussen-Sweeney Brewing Company, under the incorporate name of Seattle Brewing & Malting Company, with a capital stock of $1,000,000, Mr. Hemrich continuing as president. In 1892 our subject was one of the organizers and incorporators of the Victoria Brewing & Ice Company, of which he is vice-president. He has also extensive mining interests in the Cascade mountains, twenty miles east of Snoqualmie Falls. The claims cover 6,000 x 600 feet on one ledge, and 4,500 x 600 feet on a parallel ledge, gold-bearing, running from $5 to $105 per ton. Mr. Hemrich is also president of the Eureka Coal Company, and owns valuable improved and unimproved property in the city of Seattle.
He was married in Seattle, in 1885, to Miss Amelia Hucke, of Essen, Germany. They have four children: John, Alvin, Ernest and Katherine.
And this account of Andrew is from “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of the City of Seattle and County of King, Washington,” published in 1903:
With a deep and abiding interest in the city of Seattle, in its progress and improvement, Andrew Hemrich has done much for its advancement, laboring earnestly along lines that have contributed to its material upbuilding. He is therefore known as one of its valued citizens. He is furthermore prominent in business affairs and a recognized leader in the ranks of the Republican party, on whose ticket he was elected to the office of state senator in 1898, so that he is now serving.
Mr. Hemrich was born in Alma, Wisconsin, October 31, 1856, and is a son of John and Catherine (Koeppel) Hemrich, both of whom were natives of Germany, the father having been born in Baden, while the mother’s birth occurred in Bavaria. In youth they came to American and the father traveled across the country in a covered wagon from Rochester, New York, to Iowa, stopping for a while at Mount Vernon, Indiana, thus making his way to Keokuk, Iowa, where he engaged in the brewing business. He followed that pursuit until 1852, when he loaded his brewery appliances and fixtures upon a barge which was towed to Alma, Wisconsin. There he again established a brewery, which he successfully conducted for thirty years. In 1884 he came to Seattle, where his son Andrew had previously located, and joined him in the organization and incorporation of the Bay View Brewing Company, which was conducted under the firm name until 1893, when it became the Bay View branch of the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company. About 1891 John Hemrich retired from active business life, enjoying a well-merited rest until called to his final home in 1897. His wife still survives him and resides at the old home in Bay View. He was a very active and energetic business man, reliable in all his trade transactions and his industry and capable management brought to him splendid success. In politics he was a Democrat and during the war of the rebellion served as sheriff of Buffalo county, Wisconsin. To him and his wife were born ten children: Edwin, who died at the age of six years; George, who passed away at the age of eighteen; Louise, who became the wife of John Lick, and died at the age of twenty-four; Matilda, who married John Lick, and died at the age of twenty-nine years; Andrew, whose name introduces this review; John, who is living retired; Emma, the widow of Frederick Kirschner; William, who is connected with the Bay View Brewery; Alvin and Louis, who are members of the firm of Hemrich Brothers.
During his boyhood days Andrew Hemrich pursued his education in the common schools, which he attended until fourteen years of age. He then left home and went to the wild mining regions of the west, spending about ten or twelve years on the prairies of Colorado, Nevada, Idaho and Montana. He was there engaged in mining and was also connected with brewing interests, establishing a brewery at Glendale, Montana, which he conducted for several years. He then sold his plant there and accepted a position as manager superintendent of the Bozeman Brewing Company of Bozeman, Montana. He occupied that position for two years and upon resigning he came to Seattle in accordance with plans perfected to establish a brewery business in company with John Kopp.
Mr. Hemrich arrived in this city February 18, 1883, and has since been one of its residents, active in its business affairs and a recognized leader in political circles. The same year he established a business at Bay View under the firm name of Kopp & Hemrich, which business was conducted for two years, at the end of which time he was joined by his father, John Hemrich, and his brother-in-law, Frederick Kirschner, in the organization and incorporation of the Bay View Brewing Company, which was conducted under that style until 1893. The business was then merged into the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company, whose trade has grown from a modest beginning to mammoth proportions, and it is now the largest establishment of the kind on the coast. In addition to the plant at Bay View, there has been a colossal new brick structure erected at Georgetown. It required three years in its construction and has just been completed. It now has a capacity of three hundred thousand barrels per year. The brand “Rainier” is as famous on the coast as the Pabst and Schlitz brews are in the middle and eastern section of the country. Mr. Hemrich was chosen president on the organization of the new company and still serves in that capacity. He has excellent business ability and executive force, his plans are readily and substantially formed and he is determined in their execution and carries forth to a successful conclusion whatever he commences, brooking no obstacles that can be overcome by persistent, honorable and earnest effort.
Mr. Hemrich has long been deeply interested in important measures for the improvement and upbuilding of Seattle. He was one of the organizers and is vice-president of the Seattle and Lake Washington Water-way Company, and many other interests of importance owe their successful existence to his wise counsel and active co-operation. No movement or measure calculated to prove of benefit to the city solicits his aid in vain, for he had ever been a generous contributor to every interest for the general good. In political affairs, too, he is well known, and has labored earnestly and effectively for the improvement and growth of the Republican party, of which he has long been a stalwart and earnest supporter. He was elected in 1898 on that ticket to the office of state senator and is still occupying this position. He has given due consideration to all matters which have come up for action and has left the impress of his individuality upon the legislation enacted during his term.
In November, 1884, Mr. Hemrich was united in marriage to Miss Maria Hucke, a native of Germany, and to them have been born five children: John, Alvin, Ernest, Katie G. and Charles. The family have a fine residence at Bay View, which was erected by Mr. Hemrich in 1892. He has been and is distinctively a man of affairs and one who has wielded wide influence. A strong mentality, an invincible courage and a most determined individuality have so entered into his makeup as to render him a natural leader of men and director of things.
Today is the 73rd birthday of Charles Finkel, one of the pioneers of the better beer movement. He founded Merchant du Vin in 1978, the company responsible for importing a number of word-class beers to the U.S., including a few favorites of mind: Traquair, Ayinger, Westmalle, Rochefort and Orval. He also started the Seattle brewpub, Pike Brewing , in 1989, where Fal Allen was head brewer there from 1990-96. I first met Charlie around 1996 during a visit to Seattle. The following year, the Finkels sold both Pike Brewing and Merchant du Vin. In 2006, they bought back Pike Brewing. In Chicago for CBC a couple of years ago, I was fortunate enough to spend an evening out and about town with the Finkels, and recently I wrote a profile of them for Beer Connoisseur. Charlie and his wife Rose Ann are some of my favorite people in the industry. Join me in wishing Charlie a very happy birthday.
Charlie at CBC in Chicago a few years ago, with Mark Blasingame, owner of the Map Room.
Today is the birthday of Elmer E.L. Hemrich (September 18, 1890-January 20, 1937). He was raised in the Seattle, Washington area, and was the son of Alvin Hemrich, a prominent businessman and brewery owner in Seattle. His son worked for several of his businesses, before strking out on his own and founding Elmer E. Hemrich’s Brewery in 1935. Unfortunately, an unexpected heart attack killed him two years later, in 1937, and his brother Walter took over his brewery.
Here’s his father’s business history. In 1891, he moved to the Seattle, Washington area, and began working for breweries there and in Canada, including the Seattle Brewing & Malting Co. His brother Andrew (Elmer’s uncle) bought the Bay View Brewery in Seattle, and later Alvin bought the North Pacific Brewery (also known as the old Slorah brewery), and renamed it the Alvin Hemrich Brewing Co. in 1897. Two of his brothers soon joined him in the enterprise, and it was renamed again, this time to Hemrich Brothers Brewing Company. They did well enough that he began buying out other area breweries. When prohibition closed the brewery, they were ready, having retooled their plants for near-beer and also having divested into some other businesses. They reopened when prohibition was repealed, and two of Alvin’s sons went into the family business, too, including Elmer, but their father died just two years later.
Elmer, at right, with his father, Alvin M. Hemrich, around 1910.
Today is the 68th birthday of Will Kemper, who’s the brewmaster of Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen in Bellingham, Washington. Will was the “Kemper” in the early brewery “Thomas Kemper,” which was an early lager brewery first in Poulsbo, and later nearby on Bainbridge Island in Washington. I first visited the brewery on my honeymoon in 1996, after it had been sold to Pyramid (then Hart Brewery) in 1992. After Thomas Kemper, Will became a brewery consultant, helping launch such breweries as Philadelphia’s Dock Street, Seattle’s Aviator Ales, Capital City Brewing in D.C. and Denver’s Mile High Brewing. Later, he and his wife Mari moved to Turkey, building a brewery in Istanbul called Taps. After the Taps project was completed they returned to their home in Bellingham, Washington and opened Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen. Within a year of opening, Chuckanut and Kemper were named small brewery and brewmaster of the year at GABF in 2009. Needless to say, Will’s a terrific brewer. I reconnected with Will when CBC was in Chicago when I ran into Will and Mari, along with Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, and ended up spending the evening bar hopping with them. Join me in wishing Will a very happy birthday.
[Note: last two photos purloined from Facebook.]
Today is the birthday of Samuel Simon Loeb (September 4, 1862-January 22, 1947). He was born in Indiana, but settled in Tacoma, Washington as a young man, and was involved in several area breweries there, first the Milwaukee Brewery (which merged to form the Pacific Brewing & Malting Company) and then the Independent Brewery, before being bought by the Seattle Brewing & Malting Co. After his brewery was acquired, Loeb remained in charge, and after retiring, he and his wife moved to Los Angeles.
This short description of Loeb is from Brewing in Seattle, by Kurt Stream:
Here’s an account of Loeb from “An Illustrated History of the State of Washington” by H. K. Hines, published in 1893
S. S. Loeb is president of the Milwaukee Brewing Company of Tacoma, incorporated with a capital stock of $35,000, all paid up. The present officers of the company are S. S. Loeb, president, and A. Weinberg, secretary and treasurer. The brewery was formerly called the United States Brewery, and was organized by D. Stegman and M. Karcsecte. The latter sold out to John Frazier, who continued in the business till May, 1891, when the present firm bought out the concern, reincorporated and formed the Milwaukee Brewing Company. The plant was a small one when they first bought it, the output being only forty-two barrels per day. The capacity has been increased until it is now 125 barrels per day. Their trade extends throughout the Sound country.
Mr. Loeb, the president, was born in Ligonier, Indiana, on the 4th of September, 1862. He was the son of Simon Loeb, who was a prominent brewer. The subject of this sketch was reared in Chicago, where he went when a child. He became concerned in the cigar business with Ruhe Bros. (Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Chicago), and later traveled for the same firm, with whom he continued for four years. He then worked four years for Schloss, Ochs & Co., wholesale gentlemen’s furnishers. In 1889 he came to Tacoma and engaged in the wholesale liquor business, which he continued for three years, when he closed out that business, and has since given his attention to the brewing business.
Mr. Loeb was married November 18, 1890, to Miss Blanch Moses, a native of Gallipolis, Ohio. They have one child, Sidney.
In 1897, four years after the foregoing was written, Samuel sold the Milwaukee Brewery and merged it with the Anton Huth’s Puget Sound Brewery, forming a new enterprise – the Pacific Brewing & Malting Company.
In 1899, Pacific purchased the Donau Brewery and closed the Milwaukee plant. Loeb continued with his other business interests in Tacoma, as well as holding a minority interest in Pacific. As late as 1901 he was still secretary of the company. But by 1902 he and his partners from the Milwaukee Brewery decided to actively re-enter the brewing business.
They organized an investment company to build a brewery in Seattle. They named the new venture the Independent Brewing Co. By mid-September of ’02, construction was well underway when a fire broke out. Despite the efforts of the Rainier Volunteer Fire Brigade it could not be contained and the frame structure burned to the ground. While this was a major setback the investors regrouped and the plant was rebuilt.
By early 1904 they were in production and that October the investors incorporated the company. The principals in the new company were Samuel Loeb, Herman Klaber, and Benjamin Moyses. Albert Weinberg, Samuel’s brother-in-law, was also a part of the company, just as he had been in the Milwaukee Brewery.
The brewery flourished in spite of the major competition with Seattle Brewing & Malting’s popular “Rainier Beer.” But Loeb’s “Old German Lager” was well received in the Seattle area and even found a market in San Francisco.
By now, Samuel’s numerous enterprises and real estate holdings had made him a millionaire. A cartoon from a 1905 Seattle publication (below) reflects the image that Samuel projected.
In 1906, the Seattle Brewing & Malting Co., purchased controlling interest in Samuel Loeb’s brewery, but he remained in the management position. The brewery had become second in sales behind SB&M so became a target for the takeover.
The Loebs decided to build a home in keeping with their wealth and social status. They erected an imposing Tudor Revival, brick and half-timbered Mansion on Millionaires’ Row. It was completed in 1914 but as it turned out, they would not be able to enjoy their new home¹.
While the brewing business was booming, it was not to last. In November of 1914, state-wide prohibition was approved by the voters, to take effect January 1, 1916, giving the brewers one year to dispose of their stock and cease production. Some attempted to shift production to other products, but Samuel chose to close his Independent Brewery.
Loeb decided to relocate to San Francisco, as did the parent company, Seattle Brewing & Malting, in the belief that Prohibition would never be approved nationally. A new Rainier plant was built, but Samuel decided to skip the production phase in favor of marketing his beer.
In 1915, the Old German Lager Brewing Co. was in business. Loeb contracted for the brewing and bottling of his “Old German Lager,” a beer already familiar to San Franciscans. He was assisted by his son, Sidney, who served as the company’s vice-president, while Samuel assumed the position of president.
By 1918 Loeb dropped the word “German” from the firm’s name, no doubt due to the anti-German sentiment from the war in Europe. So it was now the Old Lager Brewing Co., and their beer became “Old Original Lager” but with an identical brown label.
Of course national Prohibition was voted in, and to keep their plants operating many brewers shifted production to either soft drinks or near-beer. Samuel chose the later. He struggled along with this product for four years, but in 1924 he closed the business for good.
Samuel retired, and he and Blanche moved to the warmer climes of Los Angeles, where Samuel became a real estate broker.
On 22 January, 1947, Samuel Simon Loeb died at the age of 85.
Today is the birthday of Alan Moen, who used to be the editor-in-chief of the Northwest Brewing News, and also did drawings for them and others, before he retired from that gig that a few years ago, although he still writes for American Brewer, Market Watch, The New Brewer, and other beer publications. He also owns and operates the Snowgrass Winery in Entiat, Washington. RealBeer.com still has an amusing biography of Alan from who knows how many years ago. Join me in wishing Alan a very happy birthday.
Alan in 1995.
[Note: all photos purloined from Facebook.]