Wednesday’s ad is for Rheingold, from 1953. In the 1940s and 1950s, Rheingold recruited a number of prominent celebrities to do ads for them, all using the tagline: “My beer is Rheingold — the Dry beer!” In this ad, it features English-born British-American actor of Welsh descent Maurice Evans. He was “noted for his interpretations of Shakespearean characters. His best-known screen roles are probably Dr. Zaius in Planet of the Apes and as Samantha Stephens’s father Maurice in Bewitched.” In this ad, Evans brings up the idea that “you can tell a lot about a person by his pets” but he’d rather be judged by his favorite beer, which unsurprisingly was Rheingold Extra Dry.
Archives for February 2018
Today, it’ also the 58th birthday of Knut Albert Solem from Oslo, Norway, who has one of the premiere beer blogs in Scandinavia, Knut Albert’s Beer Blog. Though I’ve never met him in person, we have corresponded a time or two through blog comments or e-mail and I certainly enjoy his perspective on beer. Join me in wishing Knut a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of James Younger (February 28, 1818-August 5, 1868). He was born in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland, and was the son of George Younger, and the grandson of George Younger, who founded the brewery that would become George Younger and Son in 1764. He was also a first cousin of Robert Younger (1850-1887) and the ancestor of the Younger family of York, North Yorkshire. Presumably because he wasn’t the first, but one of several in the very early days of the brewery, there’s very little information about him I could find.
He married Janet McEwan, daughter of John McEwan, in November 1850.
Today is the 39th birthday of Jeff Bell, whose alter ego was, until several years ago, Stonch, one of England’s best bloggers. He retired from blogging to concentrate on his new job as landlord of a London pub, The Gunmakers, in Clerkenwell, a village in the heart of London. I stopped by to meet Jeff on my way back from a trip to Burton-on-Trent years ago. And several years back, I saw Jeff several times during GBBF week. But later, the blogging started up again, and he moved on from that pub, and for a time he was the landlord of the Finborough Arms in Earl’s Court, next to the Finborough Theatre, but he’s moved on from there, and for awhile was tramping around Italy as an “Englishman living in Tuscany.” But he’s back in England, and has taken up residence in the East Sussex town of Rye as the publican and proprietor of the Ypres Castle Inn. Join me in wishing Jeff a very happy birthday.
Jeff Bell, a.k.a. Stonch, at The Gunmakers Pub in central London.
Today is the birthday of Joseph Metcalfe (February 28, 1832-?). There’s very little information I could find about Joseph Metcalfe. He appears to have been born in Yorkshire, England and was a brewer who owned breweries in both Louisville, Kentucky and New Albany, Indiana, which is just across the Ohio River from Louisville.
He’s mentioned, curiously, in Germans in Louisville, in the prehistory of the town, from a German perspective.
And again similarly in an Encyclopedia of Louisville:
Here’s the story from IndianaBeer.com:
Colonel Joseph Metcalfe started a brewery in New Albany in 1847 which he sold to William Grainger in 1856 who sold it to Paul Reising in 1857. Reising sold it to Martin Kaelin in 1861 who renamed it Main Street Brewery. This was a two-story building of 40×60 feet with two lagering cellars. It employed five men who made 3,600 bbls by 1868.
And this is how he’s mentioned in Hoosier Beer: Tapping Into Indiana Brewing History:
Tavern Trove has a slightly different timeline for the brewery, as do a number of sources.
Joseph Metcalfe Brewery 1847-1857
William Grainger 1857-aft 1857
Paul Reising Aft. 1857-1861
Martin Kaelin, Main Street Brewery 1861-1882
Louis Schmidt, Main Street Brewery 1882-1883
Hornung and Atkins, Main Street Brewery 1883-1886
Jacob Hornung, Main Street Brewery 1886-1889
Indiana Brewing Co. 1889-1895
Pank-Weinmann Brewing Company. 1895-1899
Merged with the Southern Indiana Ice and Beverage Co. of New Albany, Indiana in 1899
This is Metcalfe’s brewery shortly after he had sold it to Paul Reising.
Tuesday’s ad is for Rheingold, from 1955. In the 1940s and 1950s, Rheingold recruited a number of prominent celebrities to do ads for them, all using the tagline: “My beer is Rheingold — the Dry beer!” In this ad, it features German actress and writer Lilli Palmer. “After beginning her career in British films in the 1940s, she would later transition to major Hollywood productions, earning a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance in ‘But Not for Me,'” from 1959. In this ad, Palmer explains that during a “script conference” there are lots of decisions to make, but an easy one is to drink Rheingold Extra Dry.
Today is the birthday of Albert Braun (February 27, 1863-February 27, 1895). He was born in Dusseldorf, Germany, and emigrated to the U.S. when he was 25, in 1888. He worked at several breweries, including Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, before settling in Seattle in 1889. The following year he opened the Albert Braun Brewing Association. It was in business only un 1893, when it merged with several other local breweries to become part of the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company.
This biography is from “An Illustrated History of the State of Washington, by Rev. H.K. Hines, published in 1893:
ALBERT BRAUN, vice-president of the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company was born at Dusseldorf, on the Rhine, Germany, in February, 1863. He was educated in the schools of Germany and then traveled quite extensively through the European countries. His business career began under the direction of his father, who was an extensive manufacturer of preserved fruits, vegetables, meats and fancy canned goods, and was continued in the same industry, in partnership with his brother at Mainz, on the Rhine.
In 1888 Mr. Braun sold his interest and came to the United States and, upon the advice of Adolphus Busch, president of the Anheuser- Busch Association, of St. Louis, Missouri, he entered the brewery of Peter Doelger, of New York, and learned the practical workings of the business, completing his instruction in the details at the Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis.
In 1889 Mr. Braun made a trip through the Northwest, and, after a short visit in Seattle, he was so favorably impressed with the people and location of the city that he decided upon the city as a location for future settlement. He then returned to St. Louis and continued his studies of the brewery business up to March 1, 1890, when he again visited Seattle and at once engaged in the organization of the Albert Braun Brewing Association, which was incorporated with a capital of $250,000, he being duly elected president and general manager. The brewery was erected six miles south of Seattle, very complete in all its appointments, with a capacity of 70,000 barrels per year, the Product finding a ready market in Washington, region, Idaho and British Columbia. Continuing up to 1893, the Albert Braun Brewing Association was consolidated with the Bay View Brewing Company and the Claussen-Sweeney Brewing Company, and incorporated as the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company, with capital stock of $1,000,000. The affairs of the new association were conducted by the managers of the old breweries, the official corps being: Andrew Hemrich, President; Albert Braun, Vice-President; Edward F. Sweeney, Secretary; and Fred Kirschner, Treasurer.
The company expects to develop brewing and malting into one of the leading interests of the city of Seattle, and as their product has competed successfully with the best Eastern brands there is little doubt of an auspicious future.
Mr. Braun is also interested in various other enterprises of the city and he has perfect faith and confidence in the future of Seattle and the Sound districts.
According to Brewing in Seattle, by Kurt Stream, Braun was named Vice-President of Seattle Brewing and Malting. Here’s how it went down:
The Seattle Times also has a story about what happened to Braun’s brewery:
ALBERT BRAUN arrived from Iowa soon after Seattle’s Great Fire of 1889. Within a year and a half, the young German immigrant, with financial help from local and Midwestern investors, built a brewery about 2 miles south of Georgetown.
The serpentine Duwamish River is hidden behind the brewery. Directly across the river, on its west side and also hidden, was the neighboring community of South Park. Braun’s name is emblazoned on the brewery’s east facade, and so it was best read from the ridge of Beacon Hill and from the trains on the railway tracks below.
The brewing began here December 1890, and the brewery’s primary brands, Braun’s Beer, Columbia Beer and Standard Beer, reached their markets in March 1891. The 1893 Sanborn fire insurance map for Seattle includes a footprint of the plant that is faithful to this undated photograph. The map’s legend notes that the buildings were “substantial, painted in and outside” with “electric lights and lanterns” and that a “watchman lives on the premises.” It also reveals, surprisingly, that the brewery was “not in operation” since July of that year. What happened?
The economic panic of 1893 closed many businesses and inspired a few partnerships, too. Braun’s principal shareholders partnered his plant with two other big beer producers, the Claussen Sweeney and Bay Views breweries, to form the Seattle Brewing and Malting Co. Braun’s landmark was then designated “Albert Braun’s Branch.”
Of the three partnering breweries, this was the most remote, and it was largely for that reason, it seems, that it was soon closed. The upset Braun soon resigned; sold most of his interest in the partnership; and relocated to Rock Island, Ill. There, he started work on a new brewery and fell in love, but with tragic results: Early in 1895, Braun committed suicide, reportedly “over a love affair.”
For six years after its closing, the tidy Braun brewery beside the Duwamish River stood like a museum to brewing, but without tours. Practically all the machinery was intact, from its kettles to its ice plant, until the early morning of Sept. 30, 1899. On that day, The Seattle Times reported, “the nighthawks who were just making their way home and the milkmen, butchers and other early risers were certain that the City of Tacoma was surely being burned down.” They were mistaken. It was Braun’s brewery that was reduced to smoldering embers. The plant’s watchman had failed that night to engage the sprinkler system connected to the tank at the top of the five-story brewery.
There is at least a hint that the brewery grounds were put to good use following the fire. The Times, on Aug. 11, 1900, reported that the teachers of the South Park Methodist Episcopalian Sunday school took their classes “out for a holiday on the banks of the beautiful Duwamish River, (and for) a pleasant ride over the river to the Albert Braun picnic grounds.”
Albert Braun took his own life, with a gun shot to the heart, on February 27, 1895, at the young age of 32. While still holding a significant number of Seattle Brewing & Malting Co. shares, he was not considered well-to-do in the matter of ready cash. Additionally, Braun had left Seattle for Illinois, after millionair brewer, Otto Huber, indicated that he was interested in partnering with Braun in the purchase of the LaSalle Brewing Co. For what ever reason Huber went back on his promise, leaving Braun with no immediate prospects and in a state of despair.
Braun’s estate was $25,000, which would be approximately $700,000 today.
The have more about the Albert Braun Brewery, too.
Monday’s ad is for Rheingold, from 1954. In the 1940s and 1950s, Rheingold recruited a number of prominent celebrities to do ads for them, all using the tagline: “My beer is Rheingold — the Dry beer!” In this ad, it features American actor MacDonald Carey. He was “best known for his role as the patriarch Dr. Tom Horton on NBC’s soap opera Days of Our Lives. For almost three decades, he was the show’s central cast member. He first made his career starring in various B-movies of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. He was known in many Hollywood circles as “King of the Bs”, sharing the throne with his “queen”, Lucille Ball.” In this ad, Carey admits it’s dangerous, or at least unpredictable, when “husbands are let loose in the kitchen” but what is certain is that the resulting meal will include Rheingold Extra Dry.
Today is the birthday of Frederick C. Miller (February 26, 1906–December 17, 1954). Fred was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, “the son of Carl A. Miller of Germany, and Clara Miller (no relation), a daughter of Miller Brewing Company founder Frederick Miller.
Succeeding his younger cousin Harry John (1919–1992), Miller became the president of the family brewing company in 1947 at age 41 and had a major role in bringing Major League Baseball to Wisconsin, moving the Braves from Boston to Milwaukee in 1953. He coaxed Lou Perini into moving them into the new County Stadium and the Braves later played in consecutive World Series in 1957 and 1958, both against the New York Yankees. Both series went the full seven games with Milwaukee winning the former and New York the latter.
Fred Miller was also notably a college football player, an All-American tackle under head coach Knute Rockne at the University of Notre Dame, posthumously elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985. He later served as an unpaid assistant coach for the Irish, flying in from Milwaukee several times a week.
He also “volunteered as a coach for the Green Bay Packers and, during a difficult financial period, even helped fund the team. Miller Brewing remains the largest stockholder of the Green Bay Packers,” which probably explains why they played half of their home games in Milwaukee before Lambeau Field was refurbished.
Here’s his biography from the College Football Hall of Fame:
A native of Milwaukee, Fred Miller was the grandson of the founder of the Miller Brewing Company. The qualities which later made Fred a great business executive were already evident when he entered Notre Dame in 1925, and they were quickly recognized by the immortal Knute Rockne. It was under Rockne’s tutelage that the 6-1, 195-pounder came to his gridiron peak, earning All-America mention in 1927, and again in 1928, and achieving the ultimate Notre Dame football honor by being named captain of the 1928 team. His quest for perfection was not limited to the gridiron. During his years at Notre Dame he coupled athletic prowess with academic proficiency and established the highest scholastic average of any monogram winner. Miller was involved in real estate, lumber, and investments before becoming president of the Miller Brewing Company. In 1954, he and his son, Fred Jr., were killed in an airplane crash. Miller was 48 years old. He was survived by his wife, six daughters and a son.
But beyond his sports accomplishments, he was an effective leader of his family’s brewery, as detailed by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in Remembering Frederick C. Miller, Milwaukee brewing’s 1st rock star:
Frederick C. Miller was the first brewery rock star.
Industry types praised Miller in the 1940s and early ’50s in the same way they gush over leading craft brewers today.
Frederick J. Miller was the builder of the brewery that is marking its 160th anniversary this year. Frederick’s son, Ernest, who took over after his father’s death, was a caretaker for the brewery keeping the status quo.
But Frederick C. Miller, part of the focus of a monthlong celebration of the company’s history that wrapped up last weekend, was the innovator who sparked new relationships, new buildings, put new ideas in motion and marched the family brewery past regional dominance to become the nation’s fifth-ranked brewery.
When you sip a beer at Miller Park or Lambeau Field it’s because of Fred C. He identified the relationship between beer and sports, and ran with it like the all-American football player he was.
“Fred was iconic,” said David S. Ryder, MillerCoors vice president for brewing, research, innovation and quality. “He was named as president of Miller Brewing in 1947, and from the day that he was named president, Miller Brewing started to grow.”
Frederick C. died when his plane crashed on takeoff at what is now Mitchell International Airport on Dec. 17, 1954. He was 48. His son Fred Jr., 20, and two pilots on the Miller Brewing payroll were killed on impact in the crash; Frederick C. was thrown clear of the crash but died hours later in the hospital.
A crowd of 3,000 mourners attended the funeral services, and the overflow was described by The Milwaukee Journal as “everyday folks — men in overalls and other rough work clothes, mothers carrying babies, young people and old.”
During Frederick C.’s time, Miller’s brewery expanded and sales grew from 653,000 barrels in 1947 to more than 3 million in 1952. He added buildings, including a new brewhouse and a new office building. He turned the former ice caves into The Caves Museum, a place where brewers could assemble for lunch or special occasions.
Liberace, a West Allis native, cut the ribbon for The Caves in 1953, according to John Gurda’s book “Miller Time: A History of Miller Brewing Company.”
Here’s a newspaper account of the tragic death of Fred and his son in 1954.
And lastly, here’s some interesting speculation from my friend, historian Maureen Ogle, that Miller Brewing might have done considerably better against their rival, Anheuser-Busch, if Fred Miller had not died prematurely in that place crash when he was only 48 years old.
It’s rare that the presence or absence of one person makes a historical difference (I said “rare,” not impossible). But I think that the death of Fred C. Miller in 1954 altered the course of American brewing. Miller was aggressive, ambitious, smart — all on a grand scale. He was the first beermaker to come along in decades who showed the potential to go head-to-head with the Busch family, particularly Gus Busch, who ran A-B from the late 1940s until the mid-1970s.
Miller became company president in 1947, and over the next few years, he shoved, pushed, prodded, and otherwise steered his family’s brewing company not-much-of-anything into the ranks of the top ten. But in late 1954, he died (in a plane crash) — and Miller Brewing lost its way.
As Miller faltered, A-B solidified its position as the dominant player in American brewing. Had Fred Miller not died, I believe the course of American brewing would have turned out differently: Fred Miller would have transformed his family’s company into a formidable powerhouse. He would have challenged A-B’s dominance. He would have been able to command-and-direct in a way that, for example, Bob Uihlein was not able to do at Schlitz during the same period.
Put another way, in the 1950s, Gus Busch met his match in Fred C. Miller. Things might have turned out differently had Miller lived
I can’t prove that, of course, but hey — what’s all that research good for if I can’t express an informed opinion.
And lastly, the Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame created a short video of Miller’s life that’s a nice over view of him.
Today is the 74th birthday of Art Larrance, co-founder of the Oregon Brewers Festival, and also a co-founder of Portland Brewing, too. Art later started the Raccoon Lodge, in 1998, and more recently launched the Cascade Barrel Brewing House to concentrate on sour beers. In 2012, Art was named Restaurateur of the Year by the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association. But I know him best for his continuing work on OBF, which he’s been doing since the beginning of time, or at least 1988. Join me in wishing Art a very happy birthday.