Historic Beer Birthday: Jacob Best

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

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Here’s a short biography from Find a Grave:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Historic Beer Birthday: George Gund II

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Today is the birthday of George Gund II (April 13, 1888-November 15, 1966). He was the son of George F. Gund and the grandson of John Gund, the founder of John Gund Brewing, of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and the brother of Henry Gund and John Gund Jr., who founded Lexington Brewing, in Lexington, Kentucky. George Frederick Gund founded Gund Brewing Co., of Cleveland, Ohio. Despite the brewing heritage, Gund II “was an American banker, business executive, and real estate investor who lived in Cleveland, Ohio in the early and middle part of the 20th century. Heir to the George Frederick Gund brewing and banking fortune, he was a philanthropist for most of his life. He established The George Gund Foundation in 1952 and endowed it with most of his $600 million fortune at his death.”

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Here’s his biography from Wikipedia:

Gund’s grandfather, Johann Gund, was born in 1830 in Brühl am Rhein in the independent country of the Grand Duchy of Baden (now part of Germany). The family emigrated to the United States in 1848 and settled in Illinois, but in 1854 moved to La Crosse, Wisconsin. There his grandfather founded the John Gund Brewery. His father, George Frederick Gund, was born in LaCrosse in 1856 and later managed the Gund Brewery. His father moved to Seattle, Washington, founded the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company, became a director of two banks, and then returned to the Midwest to move his family to Cleveland in 1897. His father bought the Jacob Mall Brewing Company, renamed it the Gund Brewing Company, and made a large fortune investing in banking, mining, and real estate.

George Gund, Jr. (as he was then known) was born to George Frederick and Anna Louise (Metzger) Gund on April 13, 1888. He was a student at the University School of Cleveland from 1897 to 1905. He entered Harvard University, and received his A.B. in 1909. Toward the end of his Harvard education, he simultaneously enrolled in the Harvard Business School, and graduated in the school’s first class in 1909. He moved to Seattle and took a job as a clerk with the Seattle First National Bank, but moved back to Cleveland when his father died in 1916. But when World War I broke out, he enlisted in the United States Army and served in the Military Intelligence Division.

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The Jacob Mall Brewing Co. when George Gund bought it in 1897.

After the start of prohibition in the United States in 1920, Gund was forced to close his father’s brewery in Cleveland. But during the war, Kaffee HAG, a German corporation, was stripped of its assets in the United States. Among its subsidiaries was Sanka, the company which manufactured decaffeinated coffee. Gund purchased Sanka in 1919, then sold it to Kellogg’s in 1927 for $10 million in stock. Gund also took over management of the Gund Realty Company in Cleveland and invested his money in numerous ventures. During the depths of the Great Depression, he purchased large amounts of stock at very low prices.

Gund studied animal husbandry at Iowa State University from 1922 to 1923. He made many trips to California and Nevada, often staying there for many months at a time, and became interested in a possible political career in Nevada. He purchased a large cattle ranch in Nevada, but on May 23, 1936, he married Jessica Laidlaw Roesler. She was the granddaughter of Henry Bedell Laidlaw, the founder of one of the first investment banking houses in New York City, Laidlaw & Company. Gund purchased a large home in Beachwood, a wealthy suburb of Cleveland, and the couple had six children: George III, Agnes, Gordon, Graham, Geoffrey, and Louise.

In 1937, Gund was elected a director of the Cleveland Trust Company (a savings bank established in 1896), and was named president in 1941. He was made chairman of the board of trustees in 1962. Under Gund’s leadership, by 1967 the bank had more than $2 billion in assets, making it the 18th largest bank in the United States. Gund also served on the board of directors of another 30 national and multinational corporations. But despite the urban nature of his work, Gund never lost his affection for the Old West. He used his income to collect a large number of works of art which depicted the American West, including works by Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Remington, and Charles Marion Russell.

George Gund died of leukemia at the Cleveland Clinic on November 15, 1966. He was interred at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland.

His foundation also has a nice biography of him.

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Historic Beer Birthday: George F. Gund

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Today is the birthday of George F. Gund (April 5, 1855-March 11, 1916). He was the son of John Gund, the founder of John Gund Brewing, of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and the brother of Henry Gund and John Gund Jr., who founded Lexington Brewing, in Lexington, Kentucky. George Frederick Gund founded Gund Brewing Co., of Cleveland, Ohio.

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And here’s a short biography of George F. Gund:

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This caricature of Gund is from the “Clevelanders “As We See ‘Em,” published in 1904.

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Here’s a history of the brewery from the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.

The GUND BREWING CO. was a small independent brewery located at 1476 Davenport St. on the city’s near east side. It was known as the Jacob Mall Brewing Co. when Geo. F. Gund (1855-1916) purchased it in 1897. Born in La Crosse, WI, Gund served as president of the Seattle Brewing & Malting Co. in Seattle, WA, from 1895-97 before moving to Cleveland and buying the Mall brewery, where he served as president and treasurer. On 1 Jan. 1900 the firm name was changed to the Gund Brewing Co. Geo. Gund also served as a trustee of the U.S. Brewers’ Assn. and as secretary of the Cleveland Brewers’ Board of Trade. In 1899 he testified before State Attorney General Frank S. Monnett against the combination created by the Cleveland-Sandusky Brewing Corp., charging that the combination loaned money without interest to saloon keepers who would take its product, and leased buildings and then turned out the customers of independent breweries. Prior to Prohibition, Gund Brewing brewed Gund’s “Finest” and Gund’s “Clevelander,” which it promoted with the slogan “A Wonderful City—A Wonderful Beer.” During Prohibition, the Gund interests turned toward previously established real estate and coffee businesses. The Gund Realty Co. (inc. 1922) and the Kaffee Hag Corp. (inc. 1914) were headed respectively by Anna M. Gund, Gund’s widow, and his son Geo. Gund both were based at the brewery address. After Prohibition, the brewery was operated by the Sunrise Brewing Co. (1933-39), then by the Tip Top Brewing Co. It closed in 1944.

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The Jacob Mall Brewing Co. when George Gund bought it in 1897.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Frederick Pabst

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Today is the birthday of Frederick Pabst (March 28, 1836–January 1, 1904). His full name was Johann Gottlieb Friedrich Pabst. According to Wikipedia, he was born in the village of Nikolausrieth, which is in the Province of Saxony, in the Kingdom of Prussia,’ which today is part of Germany. “Friedrich was the second child of Gottlieb Pabst, a local farmer, and his wife, Johanna Friederike.”

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Here’s his biography from Find a Grave:

Businessman. Beer magnate who founded the Pabst Breweries. Born in Nicholausreith, Bavaria, Germany, he immigrated with his parents to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1848, worked for a time as a cook in Chicago and later became captain and part owner of one of the Goodrich Steamship Lines’ ships, theHuron, on the Great Lakes. In Milwaukee, he met the prominent brewer, Phillip Best, son of Jacob Best, and before long married Phillip’s daughter Maria. After a December 1863 shipwreck near Milwaukee, Pabst bought a half interest in the Phillip Best Brewing Company so that his father-in-law could retire; at that time annual production was 5,000 barrels. Nine years later, the output was 100,000 barrels and he had become President of the company, was 37 years old and just hitting his stride. He went after the best brewmasters of his day, even traveling abroad hire the right men for his brewery. He increased its capacity by convincing the stockholders that the profits should be put into bigger and better equipment. He also traveled extensively, utilizing his personality and salesmanship to promote a nation-wide market by making the beer synonymous with fashionable people and places. Milwaukee’s German immigrant and second-generation population had more than doubled and this community was a ready market and skilled workforce for the lager breweries there. Eventually 40 distributing branches were established across the nation (12 of them in Wisconsin alone), with Chicago leading in sales, and the company’s export volume reached was nearly one-third of U.S. export sales. Under his leadership, the company became the largest national brewery in 1874; the name was changed to The Pabst Brewing Co. in 1889; and it became the largest lager brewery in the world, the first to produce over a million barrels of beer in a single year, 1892. The well-known “Pabst Blue Ribbon” label evolved from marketing and from a host of awards won at various fairs and expositions; his beer won gold medals at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 and the 1878 Paris World’s Fair. In 1882, the company began tying blue ribbons around the neck of each bottle of its “Select” beer to distinguish it from other brands and customers began asking for “blue ribbon” beer even before it became the official name after winning the blue ribbon at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Pabst was also prominent in civic affairs, and was noted for the establishment of Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater and he had also established a traveling library providing German language books for immigrants. Afflicted with both diabetes and emphysema, he attempted to regain his health in 1903 with a trip to California. After two strokes during his trip he returned to Milwaukee, soon transferred $4 million in stock to his children and died six months later.

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Another account from the Wisconsin Historical Society. The WHS also has a “Historical Essay” entitled Frederick Pabst and the Pabst Brewing Company, with a deeper dive into the history of both.

Pabst, Frederick (Mar. 28, 1836-Jan. 1, 1904), brewer, business executive, b. Thuringia, Germany. He migrated with his parents to the U.S. and to Milwaukee in 1848, worked for a time as a cook in Chicago and later became captain and part owner of one of the Great Lakes ships of the Goodrich Lines. In Milwaukee, Pabst met the prominent brewer, Phillip Best, soon married Best’s daughter Maria, and invested his savings in his father-in-law’s brewing business. After Phillip Best retired, Pabst became co-manager of the company with Emil Schandein, and together they built it into one of the largest enterprises of its kind in the nation. Schandein handled the production end of the business, while Pabst traveled extensively, utilizing his personality and salesmanship to promote a nation-wide market by making beer synonymous with fashionable people and places. Eventually 40 or 50 distributing branches were established, with Chicago leading in sales, and the export volume of the company for a time was nearly one-third of U.S. export sales. In 1873 Pabst became president of the company, and in 1889 the firm name was changed to The Pabst Brewing Co. Pabst was also prominent in Milwaukee civic affairs, and was noted for the establishment of the Pabst Theater.

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Fred as a younger man.

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Pabst with his wife Maria Best.

Here’s yet another account, this one from the Pabst Mansion website, which today is a popular tourist attraction in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Captain Pabst was born on March 28, 1836 in the small town of Nicholausreith, Saxony, Germany. In 1848, at the age of twelve, his parents, Gottlieb and Fredericka Pabst, made the momentous decision to immigrate to the United States and settled in Chicago. At the age of 14, young Frederick signed on as a cabin boy on a Great Lake steamer and by the age of 21, he became a Captain. Henceforth, until the day he died, he always retained the title of Captain.

Captain Pabst’s vessels plied the waters between Chicago, Milwaukee and Manitowoc. As Captain of a side-wheeler christened Comet, he found his future wife, Miss Maria Best. Maria, born on May 16, 1842, was the eldest daughter of Phillip Best, a brewer from Milwaukee. Frederick and Maria courted for two years and were married in Milwaukee on March 25, 1862. Two years later Captain Pabst took his father-in-law’s offer to buy a half-interest in the Phillip Best Brewing Company.

Captain and Mrs. Pabst would eventually have ten children from 1863-1875. However, only five survived to adulthood, a common occurrence during the nineteenth century.

Elizabeth 1865-1891 Gustave 1866-1943 Marie 1868-1947 Frederick, Jr. 1869-1958 Emma 1871-1943

They raised their new family in a home built in the shadow of the brewing company buildings. After the company’s name was changed in 1889 to the Pabst Brewing Company, Captain Pabst pursued the idea of building on property he had acquired some years earlier on Milwaukee’s prestigious Grand Avenue. During the summer of 1892, the Pabst family moved into their new home.

At the turn of the new century, Captain Pabst’s health started to deteriorate due to a number of ailments including pulmonary edema, diabetes and emphysema. In 1903, while traveling in California, he suffered two strokes before returning to Milwaukee. After his family rallied around him, Captain Pabst slipped away and died shortly after noon on New Year’s Day 1904. His funeral, which took place in the Music Room of the mansion, was meant to be a private affair, but the enormous crowds of mourners that surrounded the mansion made it all but impossible.

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The Pabst website also has a time of brewery history they call the whole story.

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Also, Immigrant Entrepreneurship has a more thorough account of both Captain Pabst and his brewery. This is relevant part about Frederick Pabst.

Frederick (originally Johann Gottlieb Friedrich) Pabst was born on March 28, 1836, in the small village of Nikolausrieth, Kingdom of Prussia (today Mönchpfiffel-Nikolausrieth, Province of Saxony) and was the second child of the farmers Gottlieb Pabst (1800-1880) and Johanna Friederika (née Nauland) Pabst (1806-1849).[10] His older sister, Christine (1828-1905), remained in Prussia when the rest of the family migrated to the United States in 1848. The family’s migration was initiated by several promotional letters from relatives who had settled in Wisconsin. Shortly after his father arrived in New York from Hamburg, he booked a passage for the rest of the family. Reunited, they first joined their relatives in Milwaukee, and the following year they resettled in Chicago, where Frederick’s mother died in a cholera epidemic.

In some respects, Pabst’s family story reads like the archetypal “rags to riches” narrative of the era. Initially, Gottlieb and Frederick worked in hotels (Mansion House and New York House) as a waiter and a busboy earning $5 (approximately $156 in 2014$) per month. Around the age of twelve, Frederick found employment as a cabin boy abroad a Great Lakes steamer, the Sam Ward, of the Ward Line – a job in which he established a reputation for fairness, honesty, and determination as his 1904 obituary in the Milwaukee Sentinel attested. Stationed at the cabin door on day, his superiors instructed him not to allow passengers to leave the side-wheel steamer without showing a valid ticket. When the vessel’s owner attempted to pass without showing his ticket:

Young Pabst confronted and stopped him. Capt. Ward attempted to force his way out but was thrust back with considerable energy by the sturdy young German. The owner of the steamer stormed about and at last tried to bribe young Pabst to let him pass by offering him a dollar. This was indignantly refused, and Capt. Ward returned to the cabin in the worst temper possible. Then he began to think over the incident and as the integrity of the young man appealed to his better judgment, he not only relented, but from that time forward to the end of his life was one of Frederick Pabst’s best friends.

In 1857, Frederick Pabst received his maritime pilot’s license and “the Captain” was born – not only by occupation but also by personality. During the next six years, he navigated the ships of the Goodrich Transportation Line: theTraveler between Milwaukee and Chicago; the Huron between Milwaukee and Two Rivers; the Sea Bird between Milwaukee and Manitowoc; and the Comet between Milwaukee and Sheboygan, an important barley market that provided the key ingredient in beer. This last route brought him into contact with Phillip Best, who was a frequent passenger on his ships and sometimes took his eldest daughter Maria along with him. After two years of courtship, Frederick and Maria wed on March 25, 1862, and out of eleven children born to them, five survived to adulthood: Elizabeth Frederica (1865-1891), Gustav Phillip Gottlieb (1866-1943), Marie (1868-1947), Frederick Jr. (1869-1958), and Emma (1871-1943).

After marrying Maria, Frederick decided to remain a ship captain, but he changed his mind after the Sea Bird ran aground off the shore of Whitefish Bay on its way to Milwaukee during a winter storm in December 1863. Unable to pay for repairs to the vessel himself, he decided to join the brewing business of his father-in-law. Under the guidance of Phillip Best, “the Captain” learned the brewing business and served as an equal partner in the operation until his father-in-law retired in 1866 and sold his remaining stake in the business to his other son-in-law, Emil Schandein, a former travelling salesman who had migrated from the German lands to the U.S. in 1856 and had married Lisette Best.

Due to emphysema and pulmonary edema caused by years of smoking cigars, diabetes, and two strokes while on vacation in Southern California in 1903, Pabst’s health declined rapidly. When he died on January 1, 1904, newspapers around the world lamented his passing. At the height of his success, he passed on to his children and his eldest granddaughter, Emma (child of Elizabeth and Otto von Ernst), one million dollars’ (approximately $27.4 million in 2014$) worth of company stock (at a time when the average working class salary was about $600 per year or approximately $16,500 in 2014$) and his sons Gustav and Fred Jr. – both educated at military academies and trained as brewers at Arnold Schwarz’s United States Brewers’ Academy in New York – took over the business as president and vice president, respectively.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Henry Gund

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Today is the birthday of Henry Gund (March 2, 1859-July 2, 1945). He was the son of John Gund, who co-founded what would become the The G. Heileman Brewing Company with Gottlieb Heileman. They formed a partnership in November 1858 to operate the City Brewery in La Crosse, but “after nearly fifteen years in business together, Heileman and Gund dissolved their partnership in 1872.” After leaving City Brewing, Gund immediately “established a new brewery on the southern edge of La Crosse that he named the Empire Brewery, and which was incorporated in 1880 as the John Gund Brewing Company.” Gund employed all three of his sons in his new venture, and eventually Henry Gund became president of the brewery after his father’s death.

There’s not much biographical information on Henry, and I couldn’t find a photo of him, either. But there was a short write-up in the Biographical History of La Crosse, Trempealeau and Buffalo Counties, Wisconsin, published in 1892, when Henry was still alive, and so was his father. This biography starts with John Gund, and then has limited information about each son.

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Immigrant Entrepreneurship, under German-American Business Biographies, has a lengthy tale of both John Gund and Gottlieb Heileman

In May 1910, John Gund passed away a few months shy of his eightieth birthday. Fifty-one-year-old Henry Gund assumed control of the firm, which had expanded significantly to become the largest brewery in the Old Northwest outside Milwaukee. It employed 450 workers and owned numerous saloons throughout the region that carried Gund beer exclusively. Despite the firm’s success, the second decade of the twentieth century would be a trying time for Gund Brewing. The First World War fueled the prohibitionist movement in the United States and denunciations of German-American brewers became commonplace. In November 1918, shortly after the armistice ending the war had been signed, Congress passed the curiously misnamed Wartime Prohibition Act banning the production of intoxicating beverages starting in May 1919 and the sale of such beverages starting on July 1. Legal wrangling in the federal courts regarding the definition of “intoxicating beverages” occupied much of the spring of 1919. Many brewers including Gund held that beer with an alcohol content lower than 2.75 percent was non-intoxicating and resumed low-alcohol beer production. Later in the fall, Congress ratified the Volstead Act enacting national Prohibition and set January 16, 1920, as the start date.

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Despite the enactment of national Prohibition in early 1920, Gund and many other breweries continued producing 2.75 percent beer as various lawsuits made their way through the federal courts challenging the legality of the law and the meaning of various provisions. While the officers of the Gund Brewery awaited the outcome of the national legal battles, they faced a more immediate crisis. Local 81 of the International Brotherhood of Brewery Workers went on strike against local La Crosse breweries to ban open shops. Henry Gund refused to negotiate with the strikers and instead hired replacement workers to fill the vacant positions. The situation remained unresolved when the United States Supreme Court upheld the Volstead Act in the summer of 1920 and reinforced the complete ban on sales of alcoholic beverages. The ongoing labor unrest combined with the ban on beer production eventually led Henry Gund and the other corporate officers of the company to shutter the brewery. The corporation was dissolved in 1938 and the Peerless trademark was sold to the Michel brothers who resumed production of the brand. The Heileman Brewery later purchased Gund’s brew house.

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John Gund’s vision of his brewery evolving into a major shipping brewery did not come to pass, and La Crosse did not emerge as a major rival to Milwaukee, St. Louis, or Cincinnati. Nevertheless, Gund had a major economic impact on the community and he influenced the entrepreneurial path of his sons. All three pursued careers in brewing: George in Washington and Ohio, John Jr. in Illinois and Kentucky, and Henry in Wisconsin. They also diversified their business activities into other fields. George entered the financial and mining sectors and earned a fortune through banking and real estate. John Jr. operated a malting facility in Chicago, the Lexington Brewery in Lexington, Kentucky, eventually became head of the Swiss Oil Company and the president of the First National Bank of Lexington. Henry stayed in La Crosse and became a director and later president of the National Bank of La Crosse (later the First National Bank La Crosse) and the president of the Pioneer Real Estate Company, a holding company for the defunct Gund Brewery’s real estate.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Joseph F. Hausmann

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Today is the birthday of Joseph F. Hausmann (February 20, 1887-November 30, 1916). I couldn’t find much of anything about Hausmann, apart from this. He was the brewmaster of Capital Brewery in Madison, Wisconsin, which was founded in 1854. In 1891 it changed its name to the Hausmann Brewing Co. when, presumably, he bought the brewery. This is a short obituary from the 1917 American Brewers’ Review.

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I couldn’t find any portraits of Joseph F. Hausmann, though this is what his brewery looked like.

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Beer Birthday: Lucy Saunders

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because beer is food: in cooking, at the table, and by the glass …

So begins the website of beer cook Lucy Saunders, whose birthday is today. Lucy has done much to promote both cooking with beer and enjoying food with beer through her books and other writings. She’s a treasure, in more ways than one. Join me in wishing Lucy a very happy birthday Lucy.

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At the beer bistro in Toronto for Stephen Beaumont and Maggie’s wedding reception.

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Lucy with Stacy Williams, Brand Manager for Gambrinus, at the Hot Brands reception at the NBWA Convention, when it was in San Francisco a few years ago.

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During CBC in Austin, Texas in 2007, at the Moonshine bar for an event with Lucy for her book, Grilling with Beer. Here, Lucy with three contributors to her book, myself included.

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Lucy with Vinnie Cilurzo at the GABF brewers reception in Denver in 2006.

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Shaun O’Sullivan from 21st Amendment, Fergie Carey, co-owner of Monk’s, Lucy Saunders, the beer cook, and Tom Peters, also co-owner of Monk’s at the Canned Beer Dinner several Junes ago.

Beer Birthday: Dan Carey

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Today is the 55th birthday of Dan Carey, the mad alchemist brewer of New Glarus Brewing. I first met Dan at Hop School in Yakima, Washington many years ago, but I’ve been enjoying his beers far longer than that. He’s a fellow lover of brewing history and a terrific person, as well as one of the industry’s finest brewers. Join me in wishing Dan a very happy birthday.

Dan Carey, from New Glarus, and Me
Dan and me at GABF in 2010.

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Two Dans: Daniel Bradford and Dan Carey at the Rare Beer Tasting 2009 at Wynkoop.

Beer In Film #75: Tour of Miller’s Milwaukee Brewery

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Today’s beer video is an interesting tour of the Miller Brewery in Milwaukee. Most of the tours I’ve taken have been with consumers, brewers or some mix of beer people, but this one was done by Industry Week, who’s mission is “Advancing the Business of Manufacturing.” They also put on an annual IW Best Plants Conference , with seminars and plant tours of local manufacturers. The 2008 conference included this Tour of the Miller Brewing Company’s Milwaukee Plant. As a result, it’s more focused on the manufacturing aspects if the brewery, which is pretty cool.