Friday’s ad is for Birra Pedavena, from around 1930. From the late 1800s until the 1960s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. This poster is for Birra Pedavena, founded by brothers Sante, Luigi and Giovanni Luciani in Pedavena, Italy in 1897. The brewery was bought by Heineken in 1974, who announced they were closing the plant in 2004. The brewery worked organized protests and persuaded Heineken to sell it to Birra Castello, who reopened it in 2006. The poster was created by Italian artist Marcello Dudovich.
Archives for May 2019
Today is the 51st birthday of Julia Herz, craft beer program director for the Brewers Association. She worked for big media like CNN before turning her attention to craft beer in 2007, when she joined the organization. Julia was an awesome addition to the BA and was an integral part of its growth and the positive attention that beer is starting to get from the media at large, plus she’s a pleasure to work with. Join me in wishing Julia a very happy birthday.
Today is the 57th (I think) birthday of Phil Markowski. Markowski started his career with New England Brewing in Norwalk, Connecticut, but made a name for himself at Southampton Publick House on Long Island. In 2012, he moved back to Connecticut and opened his own place in Stamford, Two Roads Brewing. Phil’s an amazing brewer and even wrote the book on Farmhouse Ales. Back in 2008, Phil was also involved in reformulating Primo when it was launched again by Pabst. I first met Phil during my Celebrator days, have run into him more recently since. He’s a rock star brewer that couldn’t be more low key. Join me in wishing Phil a very happy birthday.
A promotional shot by the brewery.
This gem is from the Connecticut & Rhode Island Beverage Journal. “A 1990 newspaper clipping highlights Markowski’s early work (shown with Ron Page, now Brewmaster of City Steam in Hartford) at New England Brewing Company in Norwalk.”
Thursday’s ad is for Birra Pedavena, from around 1930. From the late 1800s until the 1960s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. This poster is for Birra Pedavena, founded by brothers Sante, Luigi and Giovanni Luciani in Pedavena, Italy in 1897. The brewery was bought by Heineken in 1974, who announced they were closing the plant in 2004. The brewery worked organized protests and persuaded Heineken to sell it to Birra Castello, who reopened it in 2006. The poster was created by Italian artist Plinio Codognato.
And here’s a slightly clearer version of the poster, but it’s also quite a bit smaller.
Today is the birthday of John Gilroy (May 30, 1898-April 11, 1985). While not a brewer or even brewery owner, he was nonetheless at least partially responsible for the success of Guinness with his iconic advertising that he created for them beginning in 1928.
Here’s his entry from Wikipedia.
“Born in Whitley Bay, Northumberland, England, Gilroy attended Durham University until his studies were interrupted by World War I, during which he served with the Royal Field Artillery. He resumed studying at the Royal College of Art in London, where he remained as a teacher. He taught at Camberwell College of Arts.
In 1925, he gained employment at S.H. Benson’s advertising agency, where he created the iconic advertisement art for Guinness featuring the Zoo Keeper and animals enjoying Guinness. He worked with Dorothy L. Sayers. He was also an accomplished portrait painter, numbering Royalty, Politicians, Actors and many others amongst his sitters. He worked in his large studio at 10 Holland Park, London, the former home and studio of Sir Bernard Partridge. He was a long-standing and much loved member of the Garrick Club, where he was created a Life Member and Chairman of the Works of Art Committee 1970-1975. He was awarded and Honorary MA by Newcastle University in 1975, and was made a Freeman of the City of London in 1981.”
The Guinness Collectors Club has a more thorough biography:
John Gilroy (1898-1985) was a superb natural draughtsman and a versatile illustrator and artist who produced advertsising material, portraits, landscapes, murals and greeting cards.
Born on the 30th of May 1898 at Whitley Bay, Newcastle upon Tyne, he was one of a family of eight (five boys and three girls), born to John William Gilroy and his wife Elizabeth. William Gilroy was a marine landscape painter and technical draughtsman and it was obvious from an early age that John junior was going to follow in his footsteps. The young John practised copying cartoons from Punch and took on all kinds of work to pay for drawing materials. From the age of fifteen he was a cartoonist for the Evening Chronicle, Newcastle, commissioned to produce cartoons of well-known entertainers who played the Newcastle theatres.
John attended Sandyford School followed, in 1909, by Heaton Park Road Upper School. At this date his family was living at 25 Kingsley Place. In June 1912, he left Heaton Park and, having attained his drawing certificate, won a scholarship to Armstrong College Art School, Durham University to study under Professor K.G. Hatten.
The First World War interrupted Gilroy’s studies and he served with the Royal Field Artillery in France, Italy and Palestine. In September 1919 he resumed his studies taking a place at the Royal College of Art, London (RCA). During his time there he produced illustrations for the college student magazine and occasionally played in goal for the college football team. In 1920 he attained his Board of Education certificate and the RCA diploma in decorative painting. His work was also rewarded through scholarships and prizes, winning, in 1919, the North Lordbourne prize for composition and, in 1921, the college drawing prize and the British Institute Scholarship for decorative painting. In 1922 Gilroy won an RCA travelling scholarship in mural painting having missed the Prix de Rome by only one vote.
Gilroy graduated from the RCA in July 1923 but stayed on there until 1925 as a teacher. From 1924 to 1926 he also taught drawing from the figure in the evenings at the Camberwell School of Art. In 1924 he married Gwendoline Peri-Short who had been a fellow pupil at the RCA and three years later they had a son, John.
In 1925 Gilroy embarked on his long association with the advertising agency S H Benson Ltd (Benson’s). Although Benson’s was the first advertising agency for whom Gilroy worked as an in-house artist, he had already proven himself in the commercial art sphere. His earliest known piece of commercial art, dating from 1920 when he was still a student, was for a promotional leaflet for the Mangnall-Irving Thrust-Borer commissioned by the Hydraulic Engineering Co.
Gilroy’s early work at Benson’s is reputed to have been on campaigns for Skipper Sardines and Virol. During his time there he also worked on campaigns for Bovril, Macleans and Monk & Glass Custard. His first significant assignment was the Mustard Club campaign for Coleman’s of Norwich, on which he worked with fellow artist William Brearley and copywriters Oswald Greene and Dorothy L Sayers. Between 1926 and 1933 the pens of Gilroy and Brearley brought eccentric characters like Baron de Beef, Signor Spaghetti and Miss Di Gester to life on bill boards and in magazines everywhere.
In 1928 Benson’s won the Guinness advertising account and Gilroy became involved with the product with which his work is most closely associated. Gilroy’s first known Guinness poster was produced in 1930. Working with copywriters like Ronald Barton and Robert Bevan, Gilroy produced more than 100 press advertisements and nearly 50 poster designs for Guinness over 35 years. He is perhaps best remembered for his posters featuring the girder carrier and the wood cutter from the Guinness for Strength campaigns of the early 1930s and for the Guinness animals. The animals, including a lion, toucan, gnu and kangaroo, appeared, with their long-suffering zookeeper, on posters, press advertisements, show cards and waiter trays from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Gilroy continued to produce Guinness advertisements well into the 1960s even though he left Benson’s employment as an in-house artist in the 1940s to continue freelance work.
During the 1920s and succeeding decades commercial art was not Gilroy’s sole occupation; he began to build his reputation as a painterboth of portraits and landscapes. One of his earliest portrait commissions was to paint the future Edward V111 for the Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club, of which Gilroy was a member and the Prince was patron.
In 1930, while the family was living at The Cottage, Hyde Park Road, Kew Gardens, Gilroy has his first painting, Gwen. exhibited at the Royal Academy. Throughout the 1930s Gilroy’s work continued to be exhibited at the Royal Academy and to appear on advertising boardings, in newspapers and even in the Radio Times. In 1941, with the onset of the blitz, the artist moved to Rasehill, Chorleywood Road, Rickmansworth. His wife and son moved to Cheltenham where, in the same year, he held a one-man exhibition of his work, which then travelled to Sunderland Public Art Gallery.
Throughout the war years, Gilroy’s work continued to be exhibited at the Royal Academy while his commercial art talents were employed by the Ministry of Information in campaigns such as Make-do-and-mend, Keep it under your hat and We want your kitchen waste. He also improved morale by painting murals at various Royal Air Force bases and produced a series of drawings-in-one-line of contemporary political and military figures, called Headlines, which appered in The Star.
By 1945, when his painting Diamond Setting was exhibited at the Royal Academy, the artist’s address was given as 6 Avenue Studios, Sydney Close, SW3. A year laterhe prodced another mural, this time in the bar of the Mrritt Arms Hotel near Greta Bridge on the estate of his close friend Major Morritt. The work at the Morritt Arms began on the 1st February 1946 and was completed within10 days. When Gilroy and his assistant proudly displayed the walls of the bar decorated with Dickensian figures, closer inspection revealed them to be caricatures of local people and staff from the hotel.
In 1949 Esme Jeudwine, a former pupil and portrait subject, introduced Gilroy to the Royle family and another long and successful association began. Gilroy produced five greeting card designs for Royle Publications Ltd (Royles) in that year with another 464 published designs over the next 35 year. In 1966, Gilroy was acting Art Director for Royles.
In 1950 Gilroy married Elizabeth Margaret Bramley (nee Outram Thwaite). The couple lived at 17 Queen’s Gate, Kensington, but moved a year later to 10 Holland Park Road, W14, the former home and studio of Sir Bernard Partridge, whose cartoons Gilroy had copied from Punch as a child. The magnificent studio at Holland Park Road saw the creation of advertising work for T.F. Carrington Van PostingLtd. where Gilroy was Head of the Art Department, and was regularly visited by members of the Royal Family, politicians, actors and many others who came to have theit portraits painted.
In 1957 Gilroy held another one-man exhibition this time at Leighton House Gallery and two years later produced a series of landscapes of McGill University, Montreal, to illustrate a book McGill, The Story of a University, edited by Hugh MacLennan. In 1970 Gilroy held a retrospective exhibition at Upper Grosvenor Galleries and three years later an exhibition of his humorous designs for Royles was held at the London headquarters of Austin Reed Ltd.
In his later years ‘Jack’ Gilroy was a longstanding and much loved member of the Garrick Club where he was Chairman of the Works of Art Committee and where a number of his portraits now hang. In 1975 Gilroy was awarded an honorary MA by Newcastle University and in 1981, now living at 6 Ryecroft Street, Fulham, he was appointed a Freeman of the City of London.
John Gilroy died at Guildford on the 11th April 1985, aged 86, and is buried at Ampney St Peter in Gloucestershire near the home of his son and three grandchildren.
He created the zoo animals and other popular characters for Guinness from either 1928 or the early 1930s (accounts differ), but the first one he did appears to be the Guinness for Strength ad featuring a steel girder in 1934. According to some accounts, it was so popular that people even started ordering a ‘girder’ in the pub.
The following year, the Toucan debuted, and quickly became one of the most recognizable of the Guinness animals, used in marketing and advertising by Guinness for over 45 years. Here’s the story of its design from History House:
The idea of using a toucan was born in the advertising agency of S.H.Benson in London. Staff included the talented artist John Gilroy was newly employed as the poster artist, and among the copywriting team was Dorothy L Sayers, now famous as a writer, poet and playwright, and best known for her amateur detective stories featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. She had started at the agency in 1922 and worked there while writing books in her spare time.
This team produced some memorable posters for Guinness including several posters in the whimsical “Zoo” series. These included a zoo keeper with a Guinness, a sea lion balancing drink on his nose, an ostrich with the shape of a swallowed glass halfway down its neck, a tortoise with a glass of stout on its back, and a toucan with two Guinness bottles balanced on its beak accompanied by the words.
If he can say as you can
“Guinness is good for you”
How grand to be a Toucan
Just think what Toucan do.
Gilroy remained with the advertising agency until 1960 during which time he designed many other Guinness posters. As to how animals came to be used in an advertising campaign was recalled later by Gilroy. “The Guinness family did not want an advertising campaign that equated with beer. They thought it would be vulgar. They also wanted to stress the brew’s strength and goodness. Somehow it led to animals.”
The toucan returned on several occasions on all types of advertising media and on memorabilia. In 1982 Guinness changed advertising agencies and it was decided that the toucan was no longer an effective advertising motif and it was dropped.
The text from that ad was actually written by Dorothy L. Sayers, who worked for the same advertising agency as Gilroy before she became a famous mystery writer, well-known for such characters as Lord Peter Wimsey, and others.
Gilroy’s first Toucan ad, from 1935.
And here’s a sample of some more of his work for Guinness.
And finally, by no means complete, these are other Guinness ads I’ve collected in a Flickr gallery, many of which are by John Gilroy.
Today is also Adam Avery’s 53rd birthday. Adam, of course, founded his eponymous brewery, Avery Brewing, in Boulder, Colorado. Since 1993, Adam’s been making some increasingly hoppy and big, challenging beers that are also quite wonderful, too. Join me in wishing Adam a very happy birthday.
After the Five Guys and a Barrel Beer Dinner, a toast was offered with Isabelle Proximus, the Collaborative Sour Ale made by blending beer and done by the five of them. Top row: Adam, Rob Tod, Bruce Paton and Sam Calagione. Bottom row: Tomme Arthur and Vinnie Cilurzo.
Today is the birthday of Adolph G. Bechaud (May 30, 1840-March 5, 1919). He was born in Rheinpflz, Germany, but emigrated with his parents in 1850, when he was ten, settling in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. In 1871, along with two of his brothers, Frank and Jean (a.k.a. John), founded the A.G. Bechaud Brewery, which was also known as the A.G. Bechaud & Bros. Brewery and later, beginning in 1875, traded under the Empire Brewery name, before returning to Bechaud Brewery when it reopened after prohibition ended, before closing for good in 1941.
This obituary is from Bechaud’s Find-a-Grave page, on originally ran on the front page of the Fond du Lac Daily Commonwealth, Wednesday, March 5, 1919:
ADOLPH G. BECHAUD DEAD; LEADER IN BUSINESS CIRCLES. End Comes to Interesting and Active Life. WAS CAPTAIN IN CIVIL WAR. Fond du Lac Banker, Capitalist and Manufacturer Succumbs at Age of 79. Captain Adolph G. Bechaud; vice president of the Commercial National Bank since its organization, veteran of the Civil War, and a man whose business energy and integrity has left a deep impression upon the life of Fond du Lac, died at 4:30 o’clock this morning at the family residence 457 West Eleventh street. his illness has been of about four weeks’ duration, though for some months past there has been a noticeable lack of that interest and activity which has always been characteristic of him. Mr. Bechaud was born May 30, 1840, in Dirmstein, Germany, and came to the United States in 1853, settling in Fond du Lac with his parents. The outbreak of the Civil War found Mr. Bechaud, then a young man just turning his twenties, ready and willing to serve. On October 29, 1861, he volunteered at Chicago and was assigned to Company B of the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry. At the age of 23 he was advanced from rank of sergeant to that of first lieutenant. He was commissioned as such January 6, 1863. His command was detailed for duty in the western theater of the war, being engaged largely in scouting work in Missouri, Mississippi and Arkansas. On Oct. 19, 1863, he was advanced to the rank of captain taking command of Company B, of the Thirteenth cavalry and serving as such in the later campaigns of the war, and being in command on his discharge from the service at the close of the war. Capt. Bechaud served under Generals Davis, Carr and Steel. In 1864 he took his discharge and came back home to take the duties of civil life. He became associated with Paul Hauser who conducted one of the pioneer breweries of the county on the ledge east of the city. Here Mr. Bechaud learned the fundamentals of the business which was later to become his life work. In 1871 he joined his brothers in the organization of the Bechaud Brewing company, taking the office of president which he has continuously held. On June 6, 1870 he was married to Miss Elizabeth Kramer, then of the town of Taycheedah. Mr. Bechaud leaves in addition to his wife, the following children: Mrs. F.W. Orth, Mrs. H.T. Schmidt, August Bechaud, Mrs. John P. Kalt, Adolph Bechaud, Jr., and Mrs. W.W. Petrie, also six grandchildren, Adolph V. Orth, Charlotte Venne, Robert Bechaud, Ross Petrie, Marcia Petrie and Audrey Bechaud. He is also survived by two brothers; J.B. Bechaud of this city and Armand Bechaud of Chehalis, Wash. Mr. Bechaud was a man of keen business judgment, an indefatigable worker, one who stood unflinchingly by the accepted honorable principles of business dealing. His energy interest and desire that everything should be attended to in a business like way was characteristic of him. He was one of the moving spirits in the organization of the Commercial National bank, and his counsel was often sought and always relied upon in matters requiring decision that would be unerring. In business and social circles he will be missed by a wide circle of friends. Socially he was a member of the Elks and Edwin A. Brown Post No. 130 G.A.R. While plans for the funeral are not fully determined, it is probable that the service will be held Friday afternoon at the residence.
And this obituary ran on page 1 of the Fond du Lac Daily Reporter, Wednesday, March 5, 1919:
CAPT. A.G. Bechaud. Born May 30, 1840 Died March 5, 1919. CAPT. BECHAUD EXPIRES AFTER LONG ILLNESS. Brewing Co. Head and Bank Officer Dies at Home on West Eleventh St. VETERAN OF THE CIVIL WAR. Captain Adolph G. Bechaud, aged 79, president and one of the founders of the Bechaud Brewing company, vice-president and director of the Commercial National bank and one of the city’s most prominent residents died at 4:30 o’clock this morning at his home, 457 West Eleventh street, after a lingering illness. Mr. Bechaud was taken seriously ill about four weeks ago and since then has been confined to his bed. His condition gradually grew worse until this morning, when the end came peacefully. The deceased was born in Dirmstein Germany, on May 30, 1840, and when thirteen years of age came to the United States with his parents. The family settled in Fond du Lac county in 1853 and Mr. Bechaud had resided in this vicinity practically ever since. When the civil war broke out, Adolph G. Bechaud was one of the first Fond du Lac county young men to join forces. He enlisted as a private in the Thirteenth company of the Illinois Cavalry at Chicago, Ill., on October 29, 1861. He was commissioned as a first lieutenant on January 6, 1863 and on October 19, 1863, was promoted to rank of captain. He commanded the Thirteenth company and did scouting work under Generals Davis, Carr and Steele in the states of Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. He was mustered out of the service December 31, 1864. After the war Captain Bechaud returned to Fond du Lac county and for sometime was employed at the Hauser Brewery at Taycheedah. When the Hauser Brewery burned, Mr. Bechaud came to this city and was one of the founders of the Bechaud Brewing company. The present brewery on West Eleventh was built in 1872 and has been in operation since that time under the direction of Captain Bechaud and his brothers. He served as president of the brewing company for many years. The deceased had been a director of the Commercial National bank for several years and a few years ago was chosen vice-president of the institution. he was a member of the Fond du Lac lodge N. 57 B.P. O. E. and also the G.A.R. Although he never held a public office, Mr. Bechaud has always taken an active interest in public affairs. Mr. Bechaud was married to Miss Elizabeth Kraemer in Taycheedah on June 16, 1870. Besides a widow, Mr. Bechaud leaves four daughters, Mrs. F.W. Orth, Mrs. A.H.T. Schmidt, Mrs. P. Kalt, and Mrs. W.W. Petrie, all of this city, two sons, August Bechaud and Adolph Bechaud, Jr., and six grandchildren, Adolph Orth, Charlotte Venne, Robert Bechaud, Ross Petrie, Marcia Petrie and Audrey Bechaud. he also leaves two brothers, J.B. Bechaud of this city and Armand Bechaud of Washington, D.C. The funeral will be held at 2 o’clock Friday afternoon from the residence, 457 West Eleventh street and interment will be held at Rienzi cemetery.
This history of the Bechaud Brewery is from Oshkosh Beer’s post “An Illustrated History of the Brewing Industry in Fond du Lac.”
In 1871, Fond du Lac’s most successful brewery was opened at 515 Main Street by the brothers Frank, John and Capt. A.G. Bechaud. Formed during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, their brewing company also set the standard for longevity among Fond du Lac beer makers, surviving until 1941, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt began his third term in office.
The Bechaud brothers, all born in Bavaria, started brewing at their Main Street location but they also bought lakeshore property on Lake Winnebago just northwest of the city limits, where they envisioned locating their permanent brewing empire. However, the beachfront brew-house was not to be. Instead, in 1873, the Bechauds opened their new large brewery on Eleventh Street, just west of Hickory Street.
The Bechauds also maintained a Main Street address. Their “sample room” gave people a chance to enjoy the freshest beer the company had to offer. The most popular brand produced by Bechaud, “Empire” was bottled and sold in various cities. Their other beers included “Műnchner” and “Pilsener.” In all, the company sold an average of 15,000 barrels of their beers annually.
Today is the birthday of Peter Schemm (May 30, 1824-September 13, 1898). Born in Bavaria, Germany, he came first to Baltimore in 1842, and five years later moved to Philadelphia, where he worked at Dithmar & Bretz, brewers. Thereafter, he worked with Louis Bergdoll, and in 1855 partnered with L. Houser to form the brewery Houser & Schemm. After Houser’s death in 1863, it became the Peter Schemm Brewery, and eventually his son came to work with him, and it was renamed the Peter Schemm & Son Brewery, or the Peter Schemm & Son Lager Brewery.
Here’s Schemm’s obituary from the Philadelphia Inquirer, published on September 14, 1898, the day after he sparked worldwide interest by committing suicide by jumping into Niagara Falls.
PETER SCHEMM JUMPS OVER NIAGARA FALLS
Peter Schemm, the popular millionaire brewer, a favorite in many societies, father of eight children, band director and art patron, yesterday leaped over a bridge into the rapids above Niagara Falls just below Goat Island in the sight of hundreds of people. His body whirled to destruction, passed over the falls on the American side and may never be recovered.
The Associated Press dispatch from Niagara Falls was the first news to the family at 931 N. 8th Street. They hadn’t heard from him since Monday when he had left to visit the brewery at 25th and Poplar Streets. This worry and search for him began Monday night after he had failed to appear at the Board of Directors meeting of the National Security Bank which he never failed to attend. The family knew from the breaking off of his daily habits that something was wrong. All they could learn from his faithful carriage driver, Clarke, was that he took Mr. Schemm to the Reading Terminal Depot Monday at about 12:00.
“That’s all, you can go home. I’ll trouble you no more,” were the last words said to the driver. He spoke in his accustomed manner as the driver then thought, and disappeared in the depot. Upon his failure to appear among his coterie of friends (each evening he met his friends at Massholders Saloon near the brewery – Plumber School, building Harback, roofer Walh and undertaker Christian Kunaig and others) and his failure to return home at the accustomed hour in the evening where was usually punctual as the clock, an investigation was started and every effort was made to trace him. Telegrams were sent to his son, Peter Schemm, Jr. at Holly Beach and inquiries were made of all his intimate friends in this city. None knew anything. He sometimes had business at Bethlehem, and had interest in the Warwick Iron Co., but all that could be learned was that the driver had left him in the Reading Terminal at noon.
A distressing night and morning for his family and friends ended in the news that he had become the first sensational suicide of the summer at Niagara Falls.
AT THE FALLS
He arrived at Niagara Falls at 11:00 pm the night before and registered at the Central House as Peter Schemm with putting down his address. He inquired for the Steel Arch Bridge and paid 25 cents to be conducted there at night. The following morning he said he was from Philadelphia and hired hackman Hickey to take him for a drive. He was taken all along the rapids and stopped many times to make examinations out of curiosity, the driver thought, but evidently contemplating a place to jump. When they got to the bridge on the route to Goat Island, he got out and sent the driver on across the bridge saying he would walk across to get a better view. In the middle of the bridge a figure was seen climbing up and over, there was a shout from people which caused all faces to turn. The 200 pound form of the gray-bearded 74 year old man was that of Peter Schemm.
A SELF MADE MAN
Peter Schemm was born at Dottenheim near Newstadt-on-the-Aisch, Bavaria, May 30, 1824. Landing at Baltimore in his 18th year, without friends or relatives in this country, he found employment as a farm hand on what was a large farm on Pelair Road on the identical spot now occupied by the Van Der Horst Brewery. After five years of service at Baltimore, he left for Philadelphia, engaging with Dithmar & Bretz, the celebrated Ale and Porter brewers. In 1849, he entered a business relationship with Louis Bergdoll, then being one of the founders of the I. Bergdoll Brewing Co. Retiring the next year to give a place for Mr. Bergdoll’s brother-in-law, the late Charles Booth, Mr. Schemm formed a partnership with George Nanger as Nanger and Schemm at the 2nd and New Streets, a firm well known in its day, and held happy remembrances for many old citizens in Philadelphia. “Der dic-h George” was one of the characters of German society in the days of over 30 years ago. (The Industries of Philadelphia records that Philadelphia was the first place in this country where Lager Beer was made and the original brewer was George Manger who had a brewery about 1846047 on New Street).
After five years of hard work, Mr. Schemm started a saloon on 238 Race St. Still in existence and known for many years as the principal place of resort of the German element of the city. In 1855 he formed partnership with L. Houser as L. Houser & Co. which was renewed after five years as Houser & Schemm continuing until the death of Mr. Houser in 1863 when Mr. Schemm purchased the widow’s interest and was continued ever since under the name of Peter Schemm.
He was a member of the Odd Fellows, Red Men, Seven Wise Men, Masonic and other Orders, and served in some as Grand Master, State Representative and other important positions. He was also a member of the Germany Society Turners Schutzenverein, Saengerbund, etc. He was one of the founders and president of the Philadelphia Lager Beer Brewers Association. He was also one of the founders of the National Security Bank of Franklin & Ferard and was Director of it since 1870. Also founder of the Northern Savings and Trust Co. and the Warwick Iron Company and was a member of the Commerical Exchange of Philadelphia.
You can also find additional obituaries and follow up stories at the Peter Schemm and Fredericka Rosina Schill Family Group.
There’s some biographical information about Peter Schemm at the Peter Schemm and Fredericka Rosina Schill Family Group.
Peter was born at Dottenheim near Newstadt-on-the-Aisch, Bavaria, May 30, 1821, where for generations past, his family had been brewers. Peter grew up in the brewing trade, learning both brewing and coopering, two trades which were generally carried on together. His family was well to do, but he believed that America offered larger opportunity for him. He arrived at the port of Baltimore at the age of 18 in 1839 and found employment as a farm hand on what was a large farm on Pelair Road on the identical spot which was occupied later by the Van Der Horst Brewery. Seven years later in 1846, he left for Philadelphia, engaging as a brewer and cooper with Dithmar & Bretz, the celebrated Ale and Porter brewers. In 1849, he entered a business relationship with Louis Bergdoll, then being one of the founders of the I. Bergdoll Brewing Co. Retiring the next year to give a place for Mr. Bergdoll’s brother-in-law, Charles Booth, Peter formed a partnership with George Nanger as Nanger and Schemm at the 2nd and New Streets, a firm well known in its day, and held happy remembrances for many old citizens in Philadelphia. (The Industries of Philadelphia records that Philadelphia was the first place in this country where Lager Beer was made, and the original brewer was George Manager who had a brewery about 1846-47 on New Street).
After five years of hard work, Peter started a saloon on 238 Race Street, a principal place of resort of the German element of the city. In 1855 he invested his capital in partnership with L. Hauser as L. Hauser & Co. which was renewed after five years as Houser & Schemm continuing until the death of Mr. Houser in 1863 when Mr. Schemm purchased the widow’s interest and continued after that time under the name of Peter Schemm. Hauser had a three-story dwelling on the ground floor and a small two-story building next door in which the beer was made. The total daily capacity at the start was 10 barrels. The dwelling and original brewery were used as different offices and a cooper shop, and other buildings were erected on the corner below. A large brewery was erected in 1885, and in 1886 the capacity of the establishment was doubled again when another building, which took the place of the two small houses in which the business had started, was erected. Peter was satisfied with the proportion of his trade, but the popularity of his beer and the expansion in the number of saloons created a larger retailer demand.
Peter gained a reputation in his time for great integrity regarding his product. He was not at all interested in fancy innovations in brewing or for the extensions that were often proposed by promoters and big brewing combinations. He had strong ideas on the way his beer should be served as well. The temperature could be neither too high nor too low and it had to be served carefully. Retailers guilty of neglects in these regards were denied his products.
Peter was a generous giver to charities and to friends of his youth who needed assistance. He contributed to charities and to the many German societies of which he was a member.
In 1885, Peter A. Schemm, Peter’s only son, joined the business, and the elder Peter gradually relinquished active management. His eyesight was beginning to fail, but even so, he maintained his daily practice of visiting the brewery two or three times every day, stroll up to Massholder’s saloon, a few doors above the brewery and sit with three or four old friends, and every day took his own carriage and driver (rather than using the carriage of his family) to meet with an old friend and stop by the brewery to be sure the beer was not too cold and had been properly drawn. In 1895, the contracting firm of Philip Halbach was engaged to add a large stock house to the Peter Schemm & Son brewery at a cost of $30,000.
Today is the 41st birthday of Ben Love. Ben was the head brewer at Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland, Oregon, and before that brewed at Pelican Pub & Brewery and Adler Brau in Wisconsin. He more recently opened his own place, Gigantic Brewing. I had a chance yet to visit it a few years ago during OBF and try his, and partner Van Havig’s, wonderful beers. Ben’s a great brewer, a good friend, an active board member of the Oregon Brewers Guild and a great cheerleader for the Portland beer scene. Join me in wishing Ben a very happy birthday.
During a collaboration brew at Gigantic at OBF a couple of years ago, with John Harris (from Ecliptic Brewing) and Gigantic’s Van Havig and Ben.
Wednesday’s ad is for Birra San Marco, from 1909, though at least one source says 1920. From the late 1800s until the 1960s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. This poster is for Birra San Marco, which was founded in Venice, Italy as early as 1835, though under a different name. In 1908 it became Birra San Marco, but in 1913 changed its name again to Birra Venezia. The poster was created by Italian artist and illustrator Gian Emilio Malerba.