Saturday’s ad is for Rheingold, from 1949. 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 film actor John Payne. He is “mainly remembered from film noir crime stories and 20th Century Fox musical films, and for his leading roles in Miracle on 34th Street and the NBC Western television series The Restless Gun.” In the ad, Payne talks about visiting New York and being busy catching up with his many friends from when he used to live there. And usually, when he gets together with those friends, they sit down and share some Rheingold Extra Dry.
Archives for February 24, 2018
Today is the birthday of Frederick “Fritz” Gettelman (February 24, 1887-June 23, 1954). He was the son of Adam Gettelman, whose father-in-law, George Schweickhart, founded the Strohn & Reitzenstein Brewery in 1854, though the same year it became known as the Menomonee Brewery. When Schweickhart passed away in 1876, Adam Gettelman became the sole owner and renamed it the A. Gettelman Brewing Co. The Milwaukee brewery managed to remain open during prohibition and began making beer again in 1933. When Adam Gettelman dies in 1925, his other son William briefly led the brewery until 1929, when Fritz took over and continued to run the brewery until he passed away in 1954. It remained open after Fritz, though it struggled, and in 1961 was bought by rival Miller Brewing.
This account of Fritz Gettelman’s time at the breweries from the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee:
Gettelman survived Prohibition making “near beer” and through several different investments outside of brewing, like the West Side Savings Bank, the development and manufacturing of snow plows, gold-mining in the American southwest, and a sugar beet processing plant in Menomonee Falls. Gettelman returned to brewing in 1933, with Frederick “Fritz” Gettelman as president.
In order to counteract barrel shortages as brewing resumed, Frederick Gettelman personally designed the first practical steel keg in 1933, manufactured by the A.O. Smith Company of Milwaukee. Shortly after, he also consulted with the American and Continental Can Companies on how to apply his design to the development of what became known as the “keg-lined” beer can. In the late 1930s, he developed new glass-lined storage tanks, also manufactured by A.O. Smith, and a more efficient bottle-washing machine.
The company introduced a new eight-ounce beer bottle labeled “Fritzie” in 1946, inspired by heinzelmännchen, the house gnomes of German folklore. By 1952, Fritzie had evolved into a cartoon beer bottle with a rotund face and Tyrolean hat that was famously featured in different humorous scenes painted on the exterior walls of several Milwaukee taverns. Moreover, the company became an important pioneer in television advertising in Milwaukee, sponsoring televised wrestling matches in 1947, and World Series pre-game shows in 1949.
Gettelman Brewing also made major investments in modernizing and expanding their operations in the 1950s. They entered the Chicago, Boston, California, and other regional and national markets as they briefly opened in the wake of industry consolidation. Gettelman released a new, lighter “Milwaukee” brand beer in 1956, and began importing and distributing Tucher beer from Nuremburg, Germany in 1959—the first American brewer to establish such a relationship.
Nevertheless, the company was unable to continue competing with the national giants, and the Gettelman family sold the brewery to the neighboring Miller Brewing Company in 1961. The Gettelman plant and brand continued on with brothers Tom Gettelman and Frederick Gettelman, Jr. as plant managers until Miller formally merged the two operations in 1971.
Elements of the Gettelman brewery remain part of the Miller Brewing Company complex, and its Milwaukee’s Best brand lives on in Miller’s portfolio.
And this is from “A Century of Brewing, 1854-1954: The A. Gettelman Brewing Company,” a company brochure from 1954:
The A. Gettelman Brewing Company first began to show signs of the new post-prohibition prosperity in 1937 with construction of an addition to the old bottle-house. An 80 x 110 foot structure, the building was twice the size of the building it annexed. Cream-colored bricks salvaged from the old Gettelman mansion atop the hill overlooking the brewery went into the construction of its walls and the bottling equipment it housed was modernity itself. In fact, Fritz Gettelman had had a hand in the improvement of the bottle washer installed in the new bottle house. It was he who had dreamed up and perfected the idea of cleaning the bottles with high pressure steam and water. So efficient was the equipment in the ultra modern bottle shop that Gettelman was able to show figures proving that breakage on bottles of all makes and ages ran only .442 percent of total bottles handled.
In addition to the modern machinery on the ground floor the bottle shop boasted a battery of glass-lined storage tanks in the basement, an innovation which Fritz Gettelman had also helped engineer. During development of the revolutionary tanks, he had spent long hours at the A. 0. Smith plant subjecting experimental models to every conceivable torture to prove his idea that molten glass will stick to steel. How he did this in the face of skeptical college “enchineers” — as he called them — is another story, but the success he encountered is borne out by the fact that few progressive breweries today are without the big beer holders with the glazed walls.
All this while the affairs of the brewery had been directed from the office building which lies between State street and the brewery proper. By 1948, however, it was becoming increasingly apparent that the expanding brewery would need corresponding office facilities. It was decided, therefore, that an old malt-house which had, for the last several years, served as a place for miscellaneous storage be made over into an office building. Part of the building had originally been the first Gettelman homestead, antedating even the mansion on the hill. From what had once been its living room emerged the present office reception room whose walls are panelled with the cypress of the old wooden beer storage tanks. From the rest of the building the architect’s skill and a lot of hard work wrought the present Gettelman offices. Fritz Gettelman went along with, and indeed inaugurated, most of the brewery’s advances, but he turned a deaf ear to any suggestion that he move his office to the newly renovated building. Moreover, he insisted that the second story room in which he had been born and from which had come many of his ideas on the humble brown butcher paper be left inviolate — and so it has been, to this day.
Modernization of brewery and office facilities was approved by everyone connected with the business, but no one sanctioned them more heartily than the two Gettelman brothers, Fred, Jr., and Tom, sons of the energetic and imaginative Fritz. Actively entering the management affairs of the brewery in 1939 and 1941, respectively, the two younger Gettelmans not only welcomed the changes but were, in large measure, responsible for their execution. Interest of the brothers in increased production and administrative efficiency was not an overnight affair. The lives of both of them had revolved around the brewery almost since they had taken their first steps and they had a working knowledge of every facet of the business long before they emerged from brewers’ school as master brewers.
Here’s a fun fact about Fritz:
As Prohibition was beginning to end, the Gettelmen found that there was a wood shortage that would impact the creation of beer barrels. To solve this problem the first steel beer keg was invented by Fritz Gettelman.
The brewery suffered from the Milwaukee brewery strikes of 1953 and, like other breweries in Milwaukee, lost the trust of some local taverns as they began to buy their beer from other breweries. In the following years, Gettelman had to struggle along with the other smaller Milwaukee breweries for advertisement and sales, as the larger breweries were dominating the market in both areas. In 1961, as Miller was becoming ever more interested in purchasing more breweries, The Gettelman Brewing Company was purchased by Miller.
Today is the birthday of Jim Patton (February 24, 1953-October 23, 2012). He was a founder of the Abita Brewing Co. in 1986, the first microbrewery in the south, and one of the earliest anywhere. This is from his Wikipedia entry:
He was an anthropologist and craft beer brewer. He was considered one of the pioneers in the craft beer brewing industry. He was one of the founders of the Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs, Louisiana. He also brewed beer for Key West Brewery and Wynwood Brewing in Miami, Florida. Patton’s first career was as a cultural anthropologist. He received a doctorate in the subject from Washington and Lee University. His specialty was Andean agricultural economics. Patton taught at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana and Xavier University of Louisiana. He eventually quit those jobs to become a full-time brewer. Patton co-founded the Abita Brewing Company in 1986. The first Abita Beer debuted on July 4 that same year in New Orleans and Mandeville, Louisiana. Abita Brewing Company was the first craft brewery to open in the South. Patton was instrumental in creating many of the recipes for the beers that Abita still produces today. Patton sold his share in the Abita Brewing Company in 1997 and co-founded the Zea Rotisserie and Brewery where he was also the brewmaster. Later, he would brew beer for Key West Brewery and Wynwood Brewery in Miami, Florida. Patton was also interested in wine making and worked for wineries in California and Oregon. Jim Patton died in Miami on October 23, 2012.
And this is his obituary from the Miami New Times:
Born February 24, 1953, Patton earned a bachelors degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he met his wife of 42 years. His first career was in professorship, earning a doctorate in cultural anthropology from Washington and Lee University in St. Louis, where he was a Dougherty Fellow specializing in Andean agricultural economics.
In 1980, Patton took a break from academia to visit friends in Abita Springs, Louisiana for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Soon after he moved to teach at Southeastern and Xavier universities in southern Louisiana.
Patton made an abrupt career change, deciding to leave the “politics in the teaching” to become a full-time brewer, applying his research skills and business acumen to start a company that would become among the cornerstones of the craft beer movement in the United States.
“One thing my academic background did teach me was research and study,” Patton told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal in 1994.
Abita Brewing Company debuted its first beer on July 4, 1986, and brewed only 1,500 barrels that year. Patton sold the brewery in 1998, but his legacy continued in the recipes for Abita’s flagship beers: Purple Haze, Turbo Dog, Amber, Andygator and Abita root beer. In 2011, Abita brewed over 130,000 barrels, and their product is available in 46 states, making it synonymous with Louisiana and one of the most widely distributed craft beers in the U.S.
After leaving Abita, Patton continued his entrepreneurship and brewing knowledge to co-found Zea Rotisserie, a chain of brewpubs in New Orleans, where he was also a brewmaster.
Patton went on to brew for Key West Brewery. A San Francisco native, he also returned to northern California to study wine, taking distance learning courses through University of California-Davis. He was an avid wine maker, working for wineries in Oregon and California.
Earlier this year, Patton responded to Brignoni’s ad on probrewer.com seeking a brewmaster. Patton came aboard with Wynwood Brewing in late September. Patton settled into an apartment in the Wynwood district of Miami, where he was attracted by the arts and street culture.
When WBC opens later this year or early 2013, it will be the first production craft brewery to open in the city of Miami since Wagner Brewing Company in 1934.
Patton was an avid explorer and Sierra Club member. As a teenager he explored the mountains of his native California on foot, bike and cross-country skiing. In his twenties he hiked the Inca Trail, exploring Patagonia and the caves of of the Maya mountains. He was a champion for peace and passionate defender of wild places and sustainability.
An extremely kind man, Patton kept cool and confident during difficult situations, believing that good will eventually triumph.
He was a man of many locations throughout the U.S., traversing between Washington state, California, New Orleans, Key West and Miami, keeping an intimate connection to each place.
“I just had a real desire to get back into brewing,” Patton told Short Order earlier this month. “I looked into a lot of places. I really enjoy start-ups because they get my mind going and engaged. Miami is just open territory for craft beer. Not a lot of local stuff is going on here, compared to Seattle, where there are 30 craft breweries in the city. Miami is a place where we could go in and get some recognition.”
“I am more determined than ever to take this project open and thrive,” Brignoni says. “WBC wasn’t just my dream, it was Jim’s too and there is no better way to honor him than by doing so. So I ask you all to cheers today in Jim’s name.”
He is survived by his mother, Peggy, his wife, Kathleen, his daughter, Kathryn, his son, Will, and his two sisters, Amy and Betty.
And this is from NOLA:
Jim Patton, a pioneer in the American craft beer brewing movement and a founder of Abita Brewing Co. and Zea Rotisserie & Brewery, died Oct. 23 in Miami, where he was helping to start a new brewery. He was 59.
Patton died suddenly of unknown causes, said his wife of 42 years, Kathleen “Catch” Patton.
An avid home brewer, Patton was a founding partner in the Abita Brewing Co. in Abita Springs. Taking advantage of the town’s famous artesian waters, he launched the company at a time when Americans were first developing a taste for indie craft brews. When its first beers debuted on July 4, 1986, Abita was just the 13th craft brewery to open in the United States and the first in the South.
“The first night we rolled out with a beer, we had one bar in New Orleans and one bar in Mandeville that carried it,” Patton recalled last month to writer David Minsky of Miami’s New Times newspaper. “We got some of the local television media in there, and they had some pictures of people dancing on the bar, and you just can’t buy that.”
Crafting beer intrigued him, Patton said in the article, because it was a “blend of science and art.”
Abita produced 1,500 barrels of beer its initial year. Patton sold his stake in the company in 1997, but the business he launched now brews more than 125,000 barrels of beer and 8,000 barrels of root beer.
Patton left Abita when he realized he was spending more time behind a desk than in the brewery, he told New Times. “I opened a brewery because I wanted to brew. Eight years later I was sitting in an office talking to distributors and bankers and that’s not what I wanted to do.”
After Abita, Patton was a co-founder and brewmaster of Zea Rotisserie & Brewery, and was brewmaster at Key West Brewery in Florida. Recently, he became involved with the launch of Wynwood Brewing Co., a craft brewer in Miami.
But beer wasn’t his only love. Patton also enjoyed making wine at his home on Lopez Island, in the San Juan Islands of Washington state, and he worked at several wineries in Oregon and California, Kathleen Patton said.
Before he got in the beer business, Patton was an anthropologist and taught at several universities, including Southeastern Louisiana and Xavier. He earned a doctorate in cultural anthropology as a Dougherty Fellow at Washington University and specialized in Andean agricultural economics.
A California native, Patton loved the outdoors and hiked, biked and cross-country skied throughout his teenage years. “In his 20s, he hiked the Inca Trail, explored Patagonia, and journeyed into the caves of the Maya mountains,” Kathleen Patton said by email Thursday night. “Recently he sailed the waters of the Florida Keys and hiked and kayaked extensively in his beloved great Pacific Northwest.”
He met Kathleen in 1970 during their first week of classes at Carleton College.
In addition to Kathleen, Patton is survived by his daughter Kathryn Braidwood Patton of Seattle, Wash; his son, William Anselm Patton, of Lopez Island, Wash.; his mother and two sisters
Today is the birthday of Georg Schneider II (February 24, 1846-1890) who co-founded G. Schneider & Son along with his father Georg Schneider I in 1872. His dad leased the royal “Weisse Brauhuas’ Hofbräuhaus in Munich in 1855 and purchased from King Ludwig II the right to brew wheat beer in 1872. Georg II, along with his father acquired the so-called Maderbräu Im Tal 10” in 1872.
Both he and his father passed away in 1890, and his son, Georg III, took over the brewery even though he was barely 20 at the time, and today George VI still owns and runs the brewery.
The “Weisses Bräuhaus” in Munich, Tal (or Thal) is the founding place of their brewery. It’s the place where Georg Schneider I brewed his first Schneider Weisse Original in 1872.
“In 1927 the owners, who to this day are descendants of Georg Schneider I, expanded their brewing operations into Kelheim and Straubing. After the breweries in Munich were destroyed in 1944 by aerial bombardment by the Allies of World War II, the entire production was relocated to Kelheim.”