Tuesday’s ad is for the Munich Oktoberfest, from 2013, though it’s not the official poster for that year. This one was one of the posters entered in that year’s contest to choose the official poster. 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 Swiss-German artist Filip Triner.
Archives for November 26, 2019
Today is the birthday of Simon E. Bernheimer (November 26, 1849-July 25, 1911). He was born in New York, the son of Emmanuel Bernheimer, who founded the Constanz Brewery, with his partner August Schmid, in 1850, on East 4th Street near Avenue B, and a couple of years later, with a different partner, James Speyers, he started the Lion Brewery on Columbus Ave, between 107th and 108th Streets in Manhattan, next door to the beer garden at the Lion Park, and indeed it is sometimes referred to as the Lion Park Brewery. The business was reorganized in 1868, and his old business partner August Schmid also became a partner in the Lion Brewery, and by 1890 its official name was the Bernheimer & Schmid Brewery, though they continued to trade under the Lion Brewery name. In 1878, Simon took over the business when his father retired. In 1895, it was the sixth-largest brewery in the U.S. After 1903, it was called the Lion Brewery of New York, presumably to avoid confusion with the many other breweries with Lion in their name. Lion survived prohibition but closed for good in 1942.
This biography of Bernheimer is from “The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol. 5,” published in 1894:
This is about the brewery from Wikipedia:
Shortly after immigrating to the United States, Swiss-German August Schmid and Emanuel Bernheimer founded the Costanz Brewery at East 4th Street near Avenue B in 1850. The brewery produced a lagered beer, a favorite among German immigrants. By 1852, they built a second Costanz Brewery at Four Corners in Staten Island, home to a large German community. Five years later, Bernheimer became the partner of another German immigrant, James Speyers and founded the Lion Brewery in 1857 in Manhattan Valley.
A group of Catholic Bavarians helped build the Lion Brewery. When it was built, they held masses in the Brewery on Sunday mornings.
At its peak, the Lion Brewery occupied about six square city blocks, from Central Park West to Amsterdam Avenue and from 107th to 109th Street. At the time Manhattan’s Upper West Side was an open area with inexpensive land housing, many public institutions and an insane asylum. There were about five to ten thousand living in shanties after being displaced by the creation of Central Park in 1859. Consequently, with the brewery and surrounding areas, the Upper West Side failed to increase its real estate value until the early twentieth century.
In 1862, a $1 tax on each barrel of beer hurt small brewers but not Lion. The anti-saloon movement in the late 19th and early 20th century encouraged Lion to clean up its own saloons. Lion Brewery got caught up in a wave of mergers and closings among some of the smaller New York Brewers in the early 1940s which continued until 1941, when the business closed. The brewery (including the canning facilities) was auctioned off on August 26, 1943. The plant was demolished in 1944 and more than 3,000 tons of steel were taken from the original brewery structure and recycled for the war effort.
After the Brewery was knocked down the lot was paved over with cinders. On Sundays, after the war, returning World War II Veterans formed a Softball League and played almost every Sunday afternoon. Home plate was located near 107th street and Columbus Avenue. Today, apartment houses occupy the Lion brewery’s former location.
Around 1860, the brewery published a pamphlet titled “Observations on Brewing and Beer: With an Analysis and Scientific Testimony Relative to the Lager Beer of the Speyers’ Lion Brewery.” The pamphlet had a short history of the different kinds of beer, and an analysis showing that their lager beer was pure. The pamphlet also included some great line drawings of the brewery complex.
And here’s another story from Rusty Cans:
In 1850 recent Swiss German immigrants August Schmid and Emanuel Bernheimer founded the Costanz Brewery at East 4th Street near Avenue B. The brewery specialized in lagered beer, a favorites among their fellow immigrants. By 1852, their success encouraged them to build a second Costanz Brewery at Four Corners in Staten Island, then home to a large German immigrant community. Eight years later, Bernheimer became the partner of another German immigrant, James Speyers, in his Lion Brewery, established in 1857.
The Lion Brewery, depicted here, occupied a site bounded by what are now Central Park West and Amsterdam Avenue and extending from 107th to 109th Streets. The background view includes Central Park, with a glimpse of the Blockhouse, a relic from the War of 1812. (The Church of the Ascension is there now, built with the brewery’s help in the 1890s). During this period Manhattan’s Upper West Side was a relatively open area offering inexpensive land and it accommodated numerous public institutions including an insane asylum. Also clustered in the neighborhood were the shanty homes of between 5-10,000 thousand people displaced by the formal opening of Central Park in 1859. The combination of shanties, public institutions, and such foul-smelling industries as breweries explains why the Upper West Side failed to develop the real estate value of other areas bordering Central Park until the early twentieth century.
Late in the life of the Lion Brewery, it became involved in a number of mergers and acquisitions, eventually becoming The Greater New York Brewery, Inc.:
Lion brewing got caught up in a wave of mergers and closing among some of the smaller New York Brewers in the early 1940s. In late 1940, the Fidelio Brewing Co., located at 1st Ave. between 29th and 30th Streets., closed. However, on November 15, 1940, it reopened business as the Greater New York Brewery, Inc. In December 1940, the Greater New York Brewery merged with the Horton Pilsener Brewing Co., which was located at Amsterdam Ave. and 128th Street. Horton Brewing President Alex White became a director of Greater New York Brewery and they continued producing previous Horton products. In January 1941, the Greater New York Brewery merged with City Brewing Corporation of Queens. In February of 1941, Horton, as part of Greater New York Brewery, closed its doors. On April 9, 1941, City Brewing Corporation, as part of Greater New York Brewery, temporarily had its license canceled because of illegal merchandising in the form of gifts to retailers. (It apparently reopened at a later date.)
In May of 1941, Greater New York Brewery, Inc. acquired the Lion Brewery. It was the only brewery of the four that merged that had facilities to package beer in flat top cans. But by February of 1942, the Lion Brewery was closed and put up for sale. There being no buyers, the brewery (including the canning facilities) was auctioned off on August 26, 1943. In 1944 over 3,000 tons of steel were taken from the original brewery structure and recycled for the war effort. In April, 1946, the Greater New York Brewery, Inc. became known as the Greater New York Industries. This entity remained in operation until 1950.
For its short lifetime the former Lion Brewery continued to produce beer in cans labeled as products of the Greater New York Brewery. The two flat tops produced are scarce, but not truly rare. However, during its short life span, the Greater New York Brewery also produced a very rare crowntainer and two rare quarts containing Lion beer and ale. There are only 3 of the Beer quarts known today and the Ale is not much more common. Another rare Lion can, a Lion Pilsner, was produced by Pilsner Brewing in New York in the 1940s, but I do not yet know this company’s relationship to the original Lion Brewing. Today, apartment houses occupy the Lion brewery’s former location.
Today is the birthday of Georg Schneider (November 26, 1817-1890) who co-founded G. Schneider & Son along with his son Georg Schneider II in 1872. Georg 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, along with his son acquired the so-called Maderbräu Im Tal 10′ in 1872.
Both he and his son passed away in 1890, and his grandson, 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.
Here’s what the brewery website has about their history:
The history of wheat beer is also the history of the Schneider brewing family and its famous Schneider Weisse. Georg I Schneider, as the wheat beer pioneer and creator of the Schneider Weisse Original recipe (which is still used today), is revered by all wheat beer connoisseurs.
Two-hundred years ago, wheat beer could only be brewed by the Bavarian royal family in their reweries. In 1872, King Ludwig II discontinued brewing wheat beer due to a steady decline in sales.
That same year, he sold Georg I Schneider the exclusive right to brew wheat beer. Thus, the Schneider Family saved wheat beer from extinction. Today, Georg VI Schneider is running the brewery in Kelheim, which the family acquired in 1927 and has remained the Schneider Weisse brewery to this day. It is the oldest wheat beer brewery in Bavaria; wheat beer has been brewed there without interruption since its founding in the year 1607.
The Schneider Brauhaus has a slightly different history of the Schneider story:
Georg Schneider I was a tenant of the Königlich Weissen Hofbräuhaus in Munich between 1855 and 1873. On the basis of the prevailing narrow conditions, the production of white beer was to be abandoned. The victory of the lower-fermented beers (at that time known as brown beer) could no longer be stopped in Bavaria.
Georg Schneider I believed, however, that the old top-breed brewing method had a future. Therefore, during the reign of King Ludwig II, he negotiated with the Bavarian court brethren about the replacement of the Weissbierregal (the right to brew Weissbier). The latter believed that he could give the request, since Weissbier was no longer allowed any chance.
At the same time Georg Schneider I had the opportunity to purchase the abandoned Maderbräu. After about a year of conversion, he began to produce his own white beer together with his son Georg Schneider II. The “Schneider Weisse” was born and the “Weisse Bräuhaus G. Schneider & Sohn” from the original Maderbräu became. Georg Schneider I himself was responsible for the business and found in his wife Maria Anna, born Hettel, an efficient cook and economist.
Overall, the acquisition of Georg Schneider I was a speculation with a high level of commitment. The success did not fail. The influx of guests, who wanted to enjoy a “delicious mouth beer” soon surpassed all expectations. George Schneider I is rightly referred to as the Weissbierpionier, who has rescued the superior brewing methods in their original form into modern times.
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.”