Thursday’s ad is for Westmalle, from maybe the 1940s or 50s. From the late 1800s until the 1980s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’ve been posting vintage European posters all last year and will continue to do so in 2020. This poster was created for the Westmalle Brewery, a Belgian Trappist brewery located at the Abdij Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van het Heilig Hart van Jezus in the Campine region of Belgium, and was founded in 1794, although they didn’t start brewing until 1836. I’m not sure who created this poster.
Archives for June 4, 2020
Today is the birthday of Frank Leonard Eppig (June 4, 1864-February 11, 1923). He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was the son of Leonard or Leonhard Eppig, who owned the Leonard Eppig Brewing Co., but traded under the name Germania Brewery. When his father died, his sons, including Frank as president, continued running the brewery until it was closed down by prohibition in 1920. Frank died in 1923, but the rest of the remaining family reopened the brewery after repeal, but in 1935 sold it to George Ehret Brewery.
I’ve been unablt to find any photos of Frank, or much information, but this is Eppig’s obituary from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, for February 13, 1923:
Recently, a descendant of the Eppig family opened a craft brewery in San Diego, which they named Eppig Brewing, and included this infographic in their website:
Today is the birthday of August Schmid (June 4, 1843-June 4, 1889). He was born in Switzerland, emigrated to the U.S., and in 1850 with a partner, Emanuel Bernheimer, he founded the Constanz Brewery on East 4th Street near Avenue B, and a couple of years later, Bernheimer and a different partner, James Speyers, 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 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 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 is the beginning of Schmid’s obituary from the New York Times, but it’s oddly only available to subscribers.
August Schmid of the firm of Bernheimer Schmid, proprietors of the Lion Brewery, died early Monday morning at the Hotel Royal after an illness of three days with pneumonia.
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 birthdays of both David Kuntz (June 4, 1819-July 11, 1892) and Louis Kuntz (June 4, 1852-October 8, 1891). David Kuntz was born in Wiesbaden, Hessen, Germany, but moved to Waterloo City in Ontario, Canada, opening the Spring Brewery in 1844, though it was later renamed the Louis Kuntz Park Brewery. His son, Ludwig “Louis” Kuntz was born in Waterloo, Ontario, and work with his father at the family brewery, though passed away a year before his father, and the business passed to David’s grandson, and Louis’ son, David C. Kuntz. Shortly after David C’ Kuntz’s passing, in 1930, Canadian Breweries Limited, which had originally been “named Brewing Corporation of Ontario,” was created “by merging The Brading Breweries Limited, an Ottawa company Taylor had inherited from his grandfather, Capital Brewing of Ottawa, and Kuntz Brewery of Waterloo, Ontario.” In 1977 Carling Brewery was purchased by Labatt Breweries of London, but the Waterloo plant was closed by 1993 and all the buildings on the site had been demolished.
David & his son Louis.
David Kuntz was a pioneer brewer who helped establish Waterloo as a centre for quality beer making by undertaking every aspect of the business himself. It is written that Kuntz, a cooper as well as a brewer from Germany, made the barrels himself, brewed the beer, and actually made the bricks for the brewery he eventually built. In the 1830s, Kuntz brewed his beer in an old wooden washtub during the day and made his way around the county at night, selling it from a wheelbarrow. He hid his cash from the beer sales in an empty keg to avoid being robbed. By the early 1840s, Kuntz had enough capital to purchase a brewery hotel from Christopher Huether. The building still stands at the corner of King and Princess Streets and is now known as the Huether Hotel and Lion Brewery.
The 1861 census shows that Kuntz, aged 41, used 3,000 bushels of barley and 1,000 bushels of hops that year at a value of $1,700. He produced 12,000 gallons of beer, valued at $2,400. The pioneer, who had emigrated from Wiesbaden, Germany, now had two male employees who were each paid a monthly salary of $36. He also had one female employee who was paid $11.50 a month. The enumerator, who recorded the census information, commented that Kuntz made “the best beer in the country as far as the judgment of the Enumerator extends. The Brewery, Cellars, and House are of first quality.”
On a personal note, the census shows he was married to Magdelina, twenty-eight, who was also from Germany. At that time, they had four children – Ludwig, Henry, Catherine and Charles between the ages of two and eight. The couple went on to have thirteen children.
The Kuntz family lived in a two-story brick house and had two “pleasure carriages,” along with four horses, twelve cows and twelve pigs. The value of the animals was $560. His new brewery prospered and was called Spring Brewery because it used water from a spring on the property. In the early 1870s, his son Louis took over, renaming it L. Kuntz’s Park Brewery. Louis Kuntz, who was married to Theresa Bauer, died at a young age in the early 1890s, forcing his brothers-in-law Frank and Aloyes Bauer, to take over operations. At the time of his death, his own three sons were still children. In 1910, Louis Kuntz’s sons were old enough to take over the brewery and David Jr. became president, incorporating the business and calling it Kuntz Brewery Ltd. His brothers William and Herbert were also involved in the business. David Kuntz Sr. had
died in 1897.
By the time of the First World War, the Kuntz Brewery was selling 90,000 barrels of beer every year and, in Ontario, was second in popularity only to Toronto’s O’Keefe brew. The Kuntz family also owned hotels including the Alexandra House in Waterloo, and the Opera House in Hamilton. After years of prohibition, the Kuntz family was dealt a fatal blow when the federal government won a tax suit valued at $200,000. By October, Toronto’s beer magnate E.P. Taylor took control of the million dollar plant for the price of simply paying the suit. In 1936, Carling Breweries Ltd. of London, Ontario joined Kuntz, calling the business Carling-Kuntz Brewery Ltd. With the outbreak of the Second World War, the name Kuntz was dropped for sounding “too German” along with the well-loved brews Culmbacher, Bohemian and Olde German Lager. In the mid-1970s it became Carling O’Keefe and a few years later the business was sold to Labatt Breweries of London.
The Labatt brewery in Waterloo was demolished in 1993, but the Kuntz beer that started out in an old washtub, will be remembered by some as “the beer that made Waterloo famous.”
This is from “Brewed in Canada: The Untold Story of Canada’s 350-year-old Brewing Industry,” by Allen Winn Sneath:
And this account, written in 2016, is by Rych Mills for the Waterloo Region Record:
No one alive can remember the taste of “Old German Lager” from Kuntz Spring Brewery (I don’t mean the 1988 re-brew by Labatt). Nonetheless, Kuntz fascination continues and its ephemera are fervently sought by brewerianists — collectors of brewery items.
In the 1830s, while still a teenager, David Kuntz came with older brother Jacob from the German Duchy of Nassau. After a few years working as coopers in Doon, they moved north to slightly larger Waterloo, which boasted maybe 200 inhabitants.
A much-quoted anecdote says David made the bricks that helped build his first brewery; made the barrels that contained the beer; and made the wheelbarrow that helped him deliver the beer.
David and Jacob’s initial brewing began around mid-century on Princess Street at the rear of Wilhelm Rebscher’s original Waterloo brewery (now the Huether Hotel site). They next built a small malting building near Erb and Queen (later renamed Regina) behind Bowman’s Hotel. Then, in the early 1860s, the brothers began constructing a full brewery at King and William streets. A fine flowing spring lured them to that corner and by 1865 the new brewery was in full production using hops and barley the brothers grew themselves. They named it Kuntz Spring Brewery. Jacob Kuntz soon expanded the Kuntz brewing empire; he moved to Carlsruhe, opened Lion Brewery and thus helped to begin Bruce County’s brewing industry.
David Kuntz seems the type of entrepreneur who is never fulfilled. In 1870, aged 50, he turned the business over to son Louis who renamed it L. Kuntz Park Brewery, using the decorative green space in front of the brewery as the company’s trademark. In the meantime, David briefly moved to Hamilton to set up son Henry’s Dominion Brewery.
Returning to Waterloo, David kept busy. He served on council during 1876 when the village became a town and erected a modern hotel, the Alexandra House, kitty-corner from the brewery.
Louis Kuntz died, aged 39, following an appendectomy in 1891. His children were still young so brother-in-law Frank Bauer, also a brewer, took over. Then David Kuntz died in 1892. Bauer’s own 1895 passing began an almost unbelievable sequence of deaths in the brewery’s management. However, business success continued and in 1910 David Kuntz Jr., Louis’ son, took over. He also died young, 38, in 1915 so his two brothers, Herbert and William stepped in.
The First World War, Prohibition and a huge 1929 lawsuit loss resulted in the Kuntz name starting to fade from the brewing business.
E.P. Taylor bought the struggling firm in 1929, wrapping it into his brewing empire. During the Depression, the name changed from Kuntz Breweries to Kuntz-Carling to Carling-Kuntz and finally, during the Second World War, to just Carling. The brewing site at King and William later operated under the O’Keefe and Labatt banners.
What remains of the Kuntz legacy?
For nostalgists, highly collectible Kuntz beer trays, bottles, bottle caps, labels, advertising, Kuntz 1920s soft drink bottles, etc. Two Waterloo houses built by David are historically designated: the 1880 Kuntz-Eckert House at 156 King St. S. and the 1885 Kuntz-Labatt House at 167. In southeast Waterloo, Kuntz sounds echo daily through the neighbourhood — one of the 1902 bells at St. Louis Roman Catholic Church is a bequest from David’s will and is named Magdalena for his wife.
A myth surrounding the Kuntz early years claims streets such as Caroline, William, Mary and John were named after David’s children. A nice idea but those names appear on a map published in 1855 before all but two of the Kuntz children were born. In addition, David and Magdalena did not have children named William, Mary or John.
However, from the couple’s dozen-plus children, a large clan of Kuntz family members still lives in Waterloo Region. The Kuntz name in business carries on with Kuntz Electroplating (KEI) started in 1948 by Oscar Kuntz, son of David Jr. and great-grandson of David.