Monday’s ad is for the Munich Oktoberfest, from 2003. 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 Christian Weiss.
Archives for November 11, 2019
Today is the birthday of William A. Birk (November 11, 1861-June 11, 1916). William was the son of Jacob Birk, who co-founded Chicago’s Wacker & Birk Brewing Co. When Jacob retired, he bought the Corper & Nocklin Brewery for his sons, renaming it the Birk Bros. Brewing Co. William and his brother Edward ran the brewery through Prohibition, and it successfully reopened after repeal, and continued until 1950.
Here’s William’s obituary from the American Brewers’ Review from the year after he died:
Here’s some biographical info from “Historical Review of Chicago and Cook County and Selected Biography,” by A.N. Waterman:
Birk, his father having been born in Germany and being in early manhood a harnessmaker. He came to Chicago in 1854, prospered in trade and business, and for many years conducted a hotel on West Lake street. In 1881 he became associated with Fred Wacker & Son, then engaged in the malting business, and in the following year became associated with the firm in brewing operations under the firm name of the Wacker & Birk Brewing Company. In 1891 the business was sold to the English corporation, the Chicago Breweries, Limited, and Jacob Birk and his two sons, William A. and Edward J., incorporated the Birk Brothers’ Brewing Company. Since the founding of the company, at that time, William A. has been president and Edward J. Birk, secretary and treasurer. The basis of the complete and extensive plant was the Corper & Nockin brewery, purchased in 1891, and since remodeled and enlarged. The elder Birk retired from his connection with the business in 1895.
And here’s another account, from the “History of Cook County, Illinois,” published in 1909:
Birk Brothers Brewing Company delivery wagon on Belmont Avenue, around 1895.
Today is the birthday of Harry Shlaudeman (November 11, 1865-19??). His father Henry Shlaudeman founded what would become the Decatur Brewing Co., in Decatur, Illinois. It reopened after prohibition in 1934 under the name Macon County Beverage Co., but closed for good the same year.
Harry attended the University of Illinois, and received a B.S. in Architecture. After college he worked in the family brewery, as secretary and treasurer, and he was also president of the Citizens National Bank. Later in life, he left for California, settling in Pasadena, where he lived out his days.
Surprisingly, I was unable to turn up even one photograph of him, and very little even of the brewery his father, and then he and his brother, owned. The City of Decatur and Macon County, subtitled “A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement,” includes a biography of Henry Shlaudeman, which also mentioned Harry and his brother Frank:
He father also held two patents related to brewing. One was for an Improvement in safety-valves for fermented-liquor casks from 1878 and the other for a Refrigerator-building for fermenting and storing beer.
Today is the 65th birthday of Ken Grossman, who founded Sierra Nevada Brewing in 1980. It would be hard to say too much about just how much Ken has done and continues to do for the craft beer industry, while at the same time being wildly successful. Join me in wishing Ken a very happy birthday.