Thursday’s ad is for the Munich Oktoberfest, from 1985. From the late 1800s until the 1970s, 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 the Munich Oktoberfest, which began September 21 and runs through October 6. Originally I thought from now until then I’d post posters from the German folk festival, but now that Oktoberfest is over I think I’ll just keep going. From what I can tell, official Oktoberfest posters started being produced each year beginning in 1952. This poster was created by German artist Fritz Dommel, who also created an Oktoberfest porter for 1980.
Archives for October 24, 2019
Today is the birthday of John L. Hoerber (October 24, 1821-July 3, 1898). Hoerber was born in Germany, I believe, but founded the John L. Hoerber Brewery in 1858 of Chicago, Illinois, located at 186 Griswold Street. There was very little information I could find about him, not even a photo. But his brewery appears to have taken on a partner in 1864, and was renamed the Hoerber & Gastreich Brewery, but just one year later was the John L. Hoerber Brewery again. But in 1865 it was sold. As far as I can tell, another John L. Hoerber Brewery was opened in 1864, located at 216/224 West 12th Street, but appears to also have been sold in 1882. Then in 1882, yet another brewery was opened at 646/662 Hinman & 22nd Streets, though it 1885 it changed its name again from brewery to the John L. Hoerber Brewing Co., which is stayed until prohibition. After prohibition, it reopened as The Hoerber Brewing Co., and remained in business until 1941, when it closed for good.
There’s a little bit more information in this translation of “Chicago’s Breweries Statistical Items about the Most Outstanding Breweries,” from Western Brewers, 1875:
J. L. Hoerber is one of our oldest German citizens….He founded a brewery on the South Side….in 1858. He sold this brewery later and established himself at his present location, 220–222 West Twelfth Street. Evidently this was a very fortunate choice, because property values….have increased rapidly in that neighborhood.
Mr. Hoerber has had ample opportunity and means to enlarge his establishment, but 24he prefers to brew only as much beer as he requires in his own beer hall, and possibly enough to supply three or four of his old customers.
Hoerbers’s brewery and beer hall is one of the most imposing brick buildings on West Twelfth Street. The frontage, including the cigar business of the younger Hoerber, is seventy-five feet. Since the house on the east, at 218 West Twelfth Street, also belongs to Mr. Hoerber, the total frontage on Twelfth Street reaches one hundred feet….
The ground floor of the main building is used for the beer hall. It is a popular meeting place for all who like a good glass of beer.
The upper floor contains a hall, a dining room,….etc., and is used for lodge meetings by the Freemasons at present.
J. L. Hoerber brews only in winter, and his guests may rest assured that they will always receive genuine lager beer in the summer, since he serves only his own 25 product.
The business….is stable and well managed. Mr. Hoerber is superintendent…. He stored one hundred and fifty cords of ice….
As we pass the main building, walking towards Dussold Street, we notice the following arrangement: The beer hall faces Twelfth Street; at the back is the adjoining icehouse and the brewery. The yard along Dussold Street would make an excellent beer garden.
Chicago historian and beer writer Bob Skilnik had an article in the Chicago Tribune that mentioned the Hoerber Brewery in 1997:
A population increase from a few hundred in 1833 to more than 100,000 in 1860 opened the market and made success possible for scores of brewers. In 1857, the city council ordered the grades of all existing properties to be raised to a height that would ensure proper drainage. John Hoerber used this opportunity to raise his combination saloon, store and boardinghouse and install a small brewery underneath, pumping fresh beer to his customers. By doing so, Hoerber beat the now-defunct Siebens on West Ontario by about 150 years for the title of Chicago’s first brew pub.
Today is the birthday of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (October 24, 1632–August 26, 1723). He “was a Dutch tradesman and scientist, and is commonly known as ‘the Father of Microbiology.'” Apropos of nothing, “his mother, Margaretha (Bel van den Berch), came from a well-to-do brewer’s family.” Despite hi family ties, van Leeuwenhoek didn’t discover anything specifically useful to the brewing industry, but he did find that there was life pretty much everywhere he looked, using his microscope, including the “microscope—tiny “animalcules,” including yeast cells, which he described for the first time” in 1674-80.” But he laid the groundwork for later scientists to figure how exactly yeast worked. As Brian Hunt wrote in the entry for “infection” in the “The Oxford Companion to Beer,” that “the existence of yeast as a microbe was only discovered in 1674 by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the inventor of the modern microscope.” Or as Sylvie Van Zandycke, PhD, put it. “The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was used for thousands of years in the fermentation of alcoholic beverages before anyone realized it! The Dutch scientist, Anton Van Leeuwenhoek observed the mighty cells for the first time under the microscope in 1680.”
Here’s a short biography, from the Science Museum Brought to Life:
Leeuwenhoek was born in Delft in the Netherlands, to a family of brewers. He is known for his highly accurate observations using microscopes.
Leeuwenhoek worked as a draper, or fabric merchant. In his work he used magnifying glasses to look at the quality of fabric. After reading natural scientist Robert Hooke’s highly popular study of the microscopic world, called Micrographia (1665), he decided to use magnifying lenses to examine the natural world. Leeuwenhoek began to make lenses and made observations with the microscopes he produced. In total he made over 500 such microscopes, some of which allowed him to see objects magnified up to 200 times.
These were not the first microscopes, but Leeuwenhoek became famous for his ability to observe and reproduce what was seen under the microscope. He hired an illustrator who reproduced the things Leeuwenhoek saw.
In 1673 he began corresponding with the Royal Society of London, which had just formed. Leeuwenhoek made some of the first observations of blood cells, many microscopic animals, and living bacteria, which he described as ‘many very little living animalcules’. In 1680 his work was recognised with membership of the Royal Society – although he never attended a meeting, remaining all his life in Delft.
Leeuwenhoek with His Microscope, by Ernest Board (1877–1934)
Here’s a story from Gizmodo, by Esther Inglis-Arkell, explaining Antonie van Leeuwenhoek’s role and iviting readers to Meet The First Man To Put Beer Under A Microscope:
The man in the picture [the same one at the top of this post] is considered the “Father of Microbiology.” He helped to discover and sketch microorganisms. When he turned his microscope on beer, he saw some of the most useful microorganisms in the world — but he failed to recognize them.
This man above is Anton van Leeuwenhoek, and he’s wearing an absolutely bitchin’ coat because he was a draper by trade. In fact, he draped so successfully that he managed to indulge his hobbies as he got older, one of which was lens making. Anton spent his days making powerful microscopes and sketching the objects he put in front of them. He discovered many things, the most interesting of which were animalcules, things that looked like tiny little animals. His sketches and descriptions, as well as his microscopes, jumpstarted the field of microbiology.
It wasn’t long before he turned his lens on beer in the process of brewing. It was 1680 when he first trained his lens on a droplet of beer. At the time, no one knew what it was that made hops, barley, and water turn into beer. Although they knew of yeast as a cloudy substance that appeared in beer after it spent some time fermenting, they were entirely ignorant of what it did; to the point where there were laws against using anything except barley, hops, and water in the beer-making process. Naturally, as soon as Anton looked at brewing beer he saw little circular blobs. He saw the way they aggregated into larger groups. He saw the way that they produced bubbles of what he thought was “air,” and floated to the surface.
Despite his obsession with microorganisms, he utterly failed to recognize them as life. These blobs, he believed, had come loose from flour. They aggregated into groups of six as part of a chemical process. Anton was fascinated by these groups of flour globs. He modeled them in wax, because he wanted to figure out the ways six globs could stick together while all being visible from above. This is his sketch of his models.
It took another 150 years before Charles Canard-Latour figured out that the “air” was carbon dioxide and the sextets of blobs hadn’t aggregated together, they’d grown. Archaeologists believe that beer was probably first brewed around 3000 BC. That means that we used an organism for nearly 5,000 years before we realized it even existed.
Although van Leeuwenhoek did write about the wood used in beer barrels:
Today is the birthday of Elias Daniel Barnitz (October 23, 1715-February 6, 1780). He was the son of John Barnitz, who founded the first brewery in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1748, along with his son Elias. When his father died a year later, Elias continued running the brewery, but changed the name from the John Leonard Barnitz & Elias Daniel Barnitz Brewery to the Elias Daniel Barnitz Brewery. In 1780, he appears to have sold it and the brewery proceeded to go through no less than twenty name changes, and multiple ownership changes, and by 1888 was known as the Globe Brewery, the name that it continued under until 1963, when it closed for good.
This biography of John Barnitz is from “The Barnitz Family,” by Robert M. Torrence, published in 1961, and also mention his son Elias:
John Leonard Barnitz is assumed to have been born in Falkenstein, Germany, November 24, 1677 (tombstone), because his son, John George Charles (Carl) Barnitz, stated in his own will that he was born there in 1722, so his father must have been there too. He died in York, Pa., November 19, 1749 and was buried in the Christ Lutheran Churchyard on South George Street. His remains must have been moved twice to make room for two new churches, during which his stone was broken and his J.L. letters were lost. Someone, attempting to make it right, just cut on it N.N .—no name. [The first Lutheran Church in York was built of logs in 1744 and was small. In 1760-61, this was replaced by a new church, forty feet by sixty-five, which lasted until 1812. The present Christ Lutheran Church was finished in 1814. They were all on the same location.] The date of his arrival is not of record in the Pennsylvania Archives or in any other standard publication consulted by the compiler. Evidently, he was well provided with ample funds and a knowledge of brewing, a business in which he was conspicuously successful, and he was correspondingly generous in sharing it with the Lutheran churches wherever he went. His first brewery was in York, the second in Hanover, Pa., and the third in Baltimore, Md., where he and his son, Elias Daniel Barnitz, bought Lot No. 27 from Charles Carroll of Annapolis, Md. Since his first wife
was not mentioned in his will, it is assumed that she died in Germany. His second wife was the widow of Frederick Gelwick (sic), who had a son by her first marriage, John Frederick Gelwick, born in 1733; married Maria Dorothea Uler; became York County Treasurer in 1756, succeeding Colonel Robert McPherson.
He was the first individual to be baptized in the Evangelical Lutheran Church on-the-Conowago “when Lenhart Barnitz and Frederick Gel wicks (sic) were the first Elders.”
And this account is from “Zion Church and Baltimore’s First Brewer,” by Dr. Eric W. Gritsch:
Zion Church can claim the first brewer of Baltimore Town, Elias Daniel Barnitz, as a founding member our congregation. Along with his father John, they established their brewery in 1748. John was born in Falkenstein in the Palatinate of Germany on November 24, 1677, arriving in America in 1732 at the age of 55. In Germany he had been an apprentice brewer. Elias Daniel was also born in Falkenstein, on October 24, 1715. After residing in York County, Pennsylvania, John arrived in Baltimore Town in 1748 at the age of 71. He and his son found the Baltimore settlement surrounded by a stockade fence, erected in 1746. Lost to history is the purpose of the stockade, but it was said to provide protection from hostile Native Americans west of the town. A more plausible reason for the fence was to keep wandering hogs and other livestock from wandering into the town. The fence was eventually dismantled and used for kindling after several cold winters.
The Barnitz brewery was gratefully welcomed by Baltimore’s early inhabitants, about 30 families in all. The brewery was viewed as both a source of liquid refreshment and impetus to attract other businesses to the nascent settlement, then just 22 years old. The original brewery was located at the southwest corner of Baltimore and Hanover Streets, today the entrance to Hopkins Plaza and cater-corner to the Lord Baltimore Hotel. This was one of the original lots of Baltimore Town, purchased from Charles Carroll, Sr. He was father of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
To place this brewery in historical context, George II was King of England and Sovereign Lord of the Province of Maryland. Samuel Ogle was Governor of Maryland, and George Washington was just a lad of sixteen. Tobacco was used as currency.
Unfortunately, the elder Barnitz died on November 19, 1749, surviving his brewery but for one year. The brewery was then passed on to Elias Daniel. Although no description of Baltimore Town’s first brewery exists, it was assumed to be diminutive in size and small in output, one or two stories in construction and employing no more than three workers. Equipment was likely crude, consisting of copper cookers, fermenting tubs and racking for casks and kegs. The entire brewing process was done by manual labor. The water supply was drawn from a well. The “ageing” period was likely a short one as there was no cooling cellar to lager the beer. Records indicate beer was produced at this location until about 1815, with the building itself lasting over 100 years, until 1853.
This video is from when the Barnitz’s were Baltimore Beer Legend Inductees in 2017.