Friday’s ad is for Brasserie Vandenheuvel, from the 1920s. 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 Brasserie Vandenheuvel, which was located in Molenbeek, one of the 19 municipalities in the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium. It was founded around 1850 by Henry Vandenheuvel, but was bought by Watney’s in the late 1960s, and was closed in 1974. Ekla was their most well-known beer. This poster depicts a football player after apparently winning a trophy but looking more admiringly at a glass of Ekla, although I don’t know who the artist was that created the ad, though it may be A.G. Roffel, who appears to have signed it on the side.
Archives for June 26, 2020
Today is the birthday of Isaac Leisy (June 26, 1838-July 11, 1892). He was born in Friedelsheim, Landkreis Bad Dürkheim, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. He emigrated to the U.S. with his family when he was 17, in 1855. They settled in Iowa initially, and began farming. Like several of his relatives, Isaac pursued brewing and briefly worked for a brewery in Illinois before spending several years working at the William J. Lemp Brewery in St. Louis. He then moved back to Germany for a few years, got married, and returned to the States in 1862 to start a family brewery with two of his brothers called the Leisy & Brothers Union Brewery. But Iassac wanted something bigger and in 1873, he and his brothers August and Henry Leisy bought Frederick Haltnorth’s brewery in Cleveland, Ohio, renaming it Isaac Leisy & Company.
Here’s a short history of the Leisy Brewery by Michael Rotman in Cleveland Historical:
In 1873, Isaac Leisy and his two brothers (all originally from Bavaria in Germany) left their small brewery in rural Iowa and came to Cleveland after purchasing Frederick Haltnorth’s brewery on Vega Avenue for $120,000. Haltnorth (who was also the proprietor of Haltnorth’s Gardens — a beer garden at East 55th Street and Woodland Avenue) had purchased the brewery in 1864 from Jacob Mueller, who originally opened it in 1858. Only weeks before purchasing Haltnorth’s brewery, Isaac Leissy had been in Cleveland to attend the annual Brewer’s Congress. Leisy must have been impressed with the opportunities for growth and prosperity in Cleveland, which was quickly becoming an industrial metropolis, as compared to those that existed in rural Iowa.
In the mid-1880s, Isaac Leisy (having bought out his brothers) renovated the old brewery and expanded its operations, constructing a multi-building, 8-acre campus along Vega Avenue and increasing beer production eightfold. The Leisy Brewery aimed to be as self-sufficient as possible, and to this end the brewery’s grounds contained, for example, a bottling plant, stables for its fleet of horse-drawn delivery carriages, a cooperage, a blacksmith shop, and two 80-foot silos that held barley prior to its on-site malting. Self-sufficiency was important since competition among breweries in Cleveland at the time was fierce, with nearly twenty breweries operating in the city in 1890. To make matters more difficult for Leisy, in 1898 10 small Cleveland brewers joined the new Cleveland & Sandusky Brewing Co., a massive combination that signaled the brewing industry’s turn towards consolidation. Isaac’s son Otto took control of the company after his father’s death in 1892 and promptly vowed to remain independent of the new combination. He wrote to the Plain Dealer in 1898, emphatically stating that “My firm has existed in Cleveland for over a quarter of a century; has prospered by honorable methods of trade, thereby obtaining, possessing and enjoying the confidence of the same. By its former methods my company proposes to preserve and maintain its trade, and in a fair way compete with its opponent, the huge beer trust.”
Indeed, Leisy Brewing remained an independent, family-owned brewery throughout its entire history. It thrived in the decades before Prohibition, steadily increasing its sales and production. When Prohibition took effect in 1920 and brewing beer became illegal, the company made a short-lived attempt to produce non-alcoholic beverages. This proved to be unprofitable, and Leisy Brewing closed in 1923. Unlike some of Cleveland’s other breweries which had also been forced to shut down during Prohibition, Leisy returned after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. That year, Otto’s son Herbert Leisy reopened the brewery, reequipping it with new machinery to replace the equipment that had been sold off during Prohibition. Industry consolidation, however, continued to chip away at Cleveland’s small, independent breweries in the decades after Prohibition. Leisy Brewing finally closed in 1958, and its plant on Vega Avenue was demolished in the mid-1970s.
And this account is from the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History:
The LEISY BREWING CO., at 3400 Vega Ave. on the near west side, was once Cleveland’s largest independent brewery. It was established by Isaac Leisy (1838-92), an Iowa brewer who purchased Cleveland’s Frederick Haltnorth Brewery in association with 2 brothers; together they established Isaac Leisy & Co. in 1873. Leisy soon gained a reputation for its Premium Lager and Budweiser beers (Budweiser was not then a brand name). Leisy Brewing Co.With the departure of his brothers in 1882, Isaac Leisy as sole owner and manager substantially enlarged the brewery, replacing the old buildings with modern ones occupying 8 acres of land. Production rose from 12,000 barrels in 1873 to over 90,000 in 1890. Leisy employed 75 workers, mostly German-Americans. He died in 1892, shortly after completing a baronial brownstone mansion next to the brewery, and his son, Otto I. (1864-1914), assumed control. During Prohibition, the brewery was closed and its equipment sold, but with repeal Herbert F. Leisy (Otto’s son) reestablished the Leisy brewing dynasty. He reequipped and modernized the brewery with assistance from Carl Faller, the oldest active brewmaster in the U.S. when he died in 1939. In the 1950s, Leisy Black Dallas malt liquor and Leisy Light, Dortmunder, and Mello-Gold beer were distributed in Ohio and 5 neighboring states. To increase capacity, in early 1958 Leisy purchased the Geo. F. Stein brewery in Buffalo. Geo. S. Carter, former Leisy sales manager who had propelled PILSENER’s P.O.C. to a leading position in Ohio, returned to Leisy in June 1958 as president and a substantial owner, but all operations ceased the following year. Pointing to Ohio’s $.36-a-case tax as a major factor in its demise, Leisy was the oldest brewery in Cleveland and one of the longest surviving family-operated breweries in America when it closed.
The Ohio Breweriana website has an excerpt from the book, Breweries of Cleveland, by Carl H. Miller, that’s all about the Leisy Brewery. Also, the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History has an entry on the brewery plus there’s a book all about the Leisy’s entitled Brewing Beer In The Forest City: Volume I, The Leisy Story that’s available directly from the publisher.
Today is the birthday of Alan Moen, who used to be the editor-in-chief of the Northwest Brewing News, and also did drawings for them and others, before he retired from that gig that a few years ago, although he still writes for American Brewer, Market Watch, The New Brewer, and other beer publications. He also owns and operates the Snowgrass Winery in Entiat, Washington. RealBeer.com still has an amusing biography of Alan from who knows how many years ago. Join me in wishing Alan a very happy birthday.
Alan in 1995.
[Note: all photos purloined from Facebook.]
Today is the birthday of James Anderton (June 26, 1830-December 28, 1905). Anderton was born in Lancashire, England (some accounts say Streetbridge, Royston, while others say Haslingden), but came to America with his parents when he was 26 and made his way to Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. He worked as a miner for several years, before shifting to the hotel business. In 1869, he started the Spring Water Brewery. After modest success, he built a larger brewery, renaming it the Anderton Brewery, which continued in business until closed by prohibition.
Here’s a summary of James and his Anderton Brewery from Lawrence County Memoirs:
James Anderton (1830-1905), born in England, came to the United States in 1856 and eventually made his way to Beaver Falls. Along with his brother Jonathan Anderton he founded the Spring Water Brewery Company in 1869. The company, located next to the railroad station at 24th Street (and Ninth Avenue), was reorganized and modernized in about 1891 as the Anderton Brewery Company. James Anderton’s son William H. Anderton later took over management of the firm and it was merged in 1905 to become part of the Pittsburgh-based Independent Brewery Company (1905-1933). The local facility was closed in 1920 (like many other breweries) with the enactment of nationwide prohibition.
While I could find only a couple of photographs of the brewery, and only one of Anderton himself, there are a number of biographies detailing his life. For example, here’s another one from “Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of Beaver County, Pennsylvania,” published in 1899.
James Anderton, the father of William Henry, was born in Streetbridge, Royston, Lancastershire, England, June 26, 1830. He worked for eighteen years in the mines in his native place, beginning at the early age of eight years. In his youth he had no educational advantages whatever, his only mental training being a night school organized by himself and his fellow miners, known as the “Youth’s Seminary.” There the boys taught each other, being too poor to afford an experienced teacher. The school organized by these lads has grown into a famous institution of learning, and is now known as the Literary Institute of Oldham, England.
James Anderton accompanied his parents to America when twenty-six years of age, worked in the mines at Fallston, until 1866, and then removed to New Brighton, Pennsylvania. He continued to follow this occupation at the latter place until March, 1868, when he removed to Beaver Falls, purchased his present residence, and engaged in the hotel business. The following year (1869), he went into the brewing business in a small frame building, situated quite near the elegant structure in which he at present officiates. The first brewing was made November 30, of the same year, and consisted of only nine barrels. In 1875, Mr. Anderton built the old part of the present structure, and with a much increased capacity, he continued to brew ale and porter until 1895, when he built a large brick addition, with all the modern improvements, and began brewing beer. The Anderton Brewery is now one of the most complete up-to-date breweries in Pennsylvania, and has a capacity of 30,000 barrels per year. There are many larger breweries in the Keystone State, but none more complete.
While, still in his native land, James Anderton was united in marriage with Betty Green-wood, a daughter of Joseph and Mary Greenwood. This event took place in 1852, and their union is blessed with five children, viz.: Jonathan; Mary G.; William H.; William H., second ; and Sarah A. Jonathan was born June 2, 1853; he is vice president of the Anderton Brewing Company. He wedded Margaret Hart, a daughter of Hilton and Ann Hart, and their home is made happy by the presence of four sons: James, Hilton, Jonathan, Jr., and William H. Mary G. was born February 1, 1858. She became the wife of C. W. Rohrkaste, who is now superintendent of the Anderton Brewery. They have three children: James A.; Mary A.; and Florence E. William H., the third child, died at the tender age of five years, and the same name was given to the next child. William H., the fourth child, is the subject of this brief sketch. Sarah A., the fifth child, was born October 14, 1869, and died in early childhood, aged three years.
James Anderton is a fine illustration of a self-made man, which in a great measure is due to his progressiveness, reliability and integrity. He ranks among the most esteemed citizens of Beaver Falls, and takes an active interest in fraternal organizations, being a member of Lone Rock Lodge, K. of P.; Valley Echo Lodge, I. O. O. F.; Mechanics Lodge, A. O. U. W.; and Beaver Valley Lodge, F. & A. M., of which he has been treasurer for the past nineteen years. He was one of the organizers and original stockholders of the Union Drawn Steel Co., and is one of the stockholders of the People’s Water Co., of Beaver Falls. In his religious convictions, the elder Mr. Anderton is an Episcopalian, of which denomination he and his family are members. Politically, he is a stanch Democrat, but could never be persuaded to seek or accept public office.
The Anderton Brewing Co. was located in Beaver Falls, between 23rd and 24th streets near the railroad tracks. The local owners would sell their company in 1905, but the brewery remained in Beaver Falls producing beer until 1922.
Here’s another biography from the “Book of Biographies.”
The year Anderton died, the brewery merged into the Pittsburgh entity known as Independent Brewing Co., a conglomerate of breweries formed by the merger of fifteen Pittsburgh and the surrounding area breweries in 1905. But James’ son William continued in a management role with the brewery until it was closed by prohibition.
Today is the 59th birthday of former homebrewer extraordinaire Jamil Zainasheff, who over the last ten plus years had become something of a rock star in the homebrewing community, and especially the Bay Area. He’s also the co-author two books on beer and homebrewing: “Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew” (with John Palmer) and “Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation” (with Chris White). In addition, he hosts the Jamil Show on The Brewing Network and has a website online entitled Mr. Malty. Jamil also turned pro a number of years ago, starting his own commercial brewery, Heretic Brewing, which is now located in Fairfield, California. And more recenty they began making gin, too. Join me in wishing Jamil a very happy birthday.