Wednesday’s ad is for Phénix Les Bières de Luxe, from maybe the 1940s or early 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 Brasserie du Phénix, which was founded in 1886 in Marseille, which is located in the Bouches-du-Rhône area in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of southern France. A brewery had been on the same site since 1821, and a new one was rebuilt in 1872, and 14 years later it was bought by a new owner, who called it the Brasserie et Malterie du Phénix. They later changed their name to the Brasserie de la Valentine, and today it is owned by the Heineken Group. The text at the top, “En Tete des Meilleures,” Google translates as “At the top of the best!.” I don’t know who the artist is who created this poster.
Archives for August 12, 2020
Today is the birthday of August J. Lang (August 12, 1865-December 16, 1955). Born in Baden, Germany, Lang and his brothers Otto, Adolph, Leonhard, and Wilhelm, bought the Red Lion Brewing Co., located on corner of Baker & Geary Streets in San Francisco, and renamed it the August Lang Brewing Association. Brothers Otto and Adolph also established a business together called Lang Bros. Bottling Works, also in San Francisco, located at 1406 Polk Street. Around 1880 (accounts vary), they became associated with the Fredericksburg Brewery in San Jose, eventually owning it, as well. Unfortunately, by the beginning of prohibition, all of the Lang’s breweries had closed.
From Lang’s wedding photo.
Here’s a biography of August J. Lang, from “Auld Lang Syne,” written by Boyd R. Land, his grandson, as reprinted in the wonderful Brewery Gems:
THE LANGS – From Gamburg to San Francisco
“Established in the San Francisco Bay Area since the mid-1800’s, members of Lang Family are descendants of a long line of innkeepers from the town of Gamburg, in Baden, Germany.
In 1824 Franz Joseph Lang married Rosina Kramer, daughter of another Gamburg innkeeper. In 1846, Franz Joseph received title to the Stork Inn from the town of Gamburg. He and Rosina then operated two inns, the Green Tree Inn and the Stork Inn next door.
In about 1845, Franz Joseph and Rosina visited the United States for about two years. They returned to Gamburg enthused by the opportunities they had seen in the United States, and encouraged their sons to migrate. Peter Adam, the oldest son, remained in Gamburg to run the inn and butcher business, but the couple’s two younger sons migrated to the United States in the mid-1800’s. These two sons, known as Johann and Lorenzo in Germany, established themselves in San Francisco as George Lang and Louis Lang, and paved the way for future Langs to come.
In 1854, Peter Adam, the brother remaining in Gamburg, married Juliana Martin. Over the years, they had six sons who eventually traveled to the San Francisco Bay Area. Five of the six sons settled there: Otto Johann (born 1855, migrated 1973); Adolf Bernhard (born 1857, migrated 1876); Leonhard Sebastian (born 1861, migrated 1876); August Josef (born 1865, migrated 1882); Wilhelm Josef (born 1869, migrated 1880).
The two uncles, George and Louis Lang, who had migrated earlier, welcomed the nephews and helped the youth get started. In 1869 George and Louis established a foreign wine and liquor import business called Lang & Co., located at 8 Morton Street.
By the time the second generation of Langs from Gamburg arrived in San Francisco, both George and Louis Lang had substantial businesses in which the young nephews could find employment.
The early 1880’s brought major changes to the young Langs. In 1880, Otto and Adolph established a business together called Lang Bros., importers of Philadelphia Beer, located at 1406 Polk Street. They lived next door to their business at 1408½ Polk.
In 1882, they brought brother August Josef to San Francisco. On July 22, 1882, at the age of seventeen, he sailed from Bremen on the “Elbe” and landed in New York. He arrived in San Francisco on August 7, 1882 to join his brothers.
August moved in with his brothers on Polk Street, and as his siblings before him, he started working for his Uncle George. He began as a bottler with George’s, Lang & Co. Then in 1884 he worked for a brief period as a butcher, but in 1886, August returned to work with Otto and Adolph at Lang Bros.
Leonhard first appears in the San Francisco City Directories in 1883 as a baker, living with his brothers on Polk Street. Then in 1887 he joined his brothers August and Otto in their company, Lang Bros., while Adolph left the family business to form, over the next several years, a series of separate partnerships in the beer bottling business.
Throughout their history, the Lang family businesses underwent several splits and mergers: a brother would go independent for a while, then rejoin the family business.
In 1890, the brothers formed the Fredericksburg Bottling Company, located at 1510-12 Ellis Street. Otto was president; Adolph, vice-president; Leonhard, the foreman; and August, the manager. Over the ensuing years, the brothers rotated titles and responsibilities several times.
The Lang Bros. Fredericksburg Bottling Co. in 1906.
In 1892 Wilhelm, the youngest brother at the age of twenty-three, was manager of the Lang Brother’s Oakland branch. In 1898 he left the family business and became manager of the Oakland Pioneer Soda Water Company, at 221 Eighth Street.
In 1899, Adolph split off from his brothers and started a firm called National Bottling Company. He owned and operated this company in San Francisco for the remainder of his career. Lang Bros. had moved several times in the 1880’s, from the Polk Street location to 1318 Scott Street near O’Farrell Street in 1883, and then in 1890 to 1510-12 Ellis Street near Fillmore, where it remained until 1906. After the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906, August bought out Otto and Leonhard to form August Lang & Co., which owned and operated the Fredericksburg Bottling Company. He relocated the bottling operations to 18th and Alabama Streets, with a branch at the corner of Geary and Baker.
In 1887 August married Mary Decker. He was twenty-two years old, and she was twenty. Over the years they had five children, all born in San Francisco: August Jr. (Guss), born May 29, 1890; Rudolph Decker (Rudy Sr.), born September 30, 1892; William Oscar, (Bill), born February 9, 1896; Richard, born in March 1888, and died in 1906 at the age of eighteen of a ruptured appendix; and Myrtle Bertha, born March 19, 1898.
In March of 1900, August obtained a passport and returned to Gamburg to visit his doctor, who happened to have never traveled beyond German borders. The doctor advised August to leave San Francisco and move to Marin, where the weather was better. In 1902 August and Mary moved the family across the bay to San Rafael. Then August built a house on Laurel Grove Avenue in Ross. The family was living on Laurel Grove Avenue at the time of the 1906 Earthquake. August Sr. would commute to San Francisco, first by train, then by ferry from Sausalito.
Both Guss and Rudy followed their father into the beer industry. In 1911, at the age of twenty-one, Guss was manager of the Red Lion Ale and Porter Brewing Company. The next year he joined his father in the August J. Lang Brewing Association, as did his brother, Rudy. But the brother’s careers in the beer industry did not last long.
August Lang and his sons must have recognized that the beer industry as they knew it was finished. In 1913 August Sr. started Lang Realty and Company, and his sons gained employment in the real estate business. Guss joined the firm of Edwards Brewster & McCann as a salesman. This firm was located in the 10 Mills Building, 220 Montgomery Street with a branch at 5298 Mission Street. Rudy started work with another real estate firm, Oscar Heyman & Bros. William worked in a partnership called Lang & Hecker.
In 1914, Fredericksburg Bottling Company was no longer listed as a business in the San Francisco City Directory.”
Here’s a description of the Fredericksburg Bottling Company from 1899.
Today is the 49th birthday of Jennie Hatton, who did P.R. for Philly Beer Week and several craft breweries in the tri-state area for a number of years. She cut her teeth working for Tom Peters at Monk’s Cafe. Jennie and her business partner Claire Pelino are responsible for many, many beer books being published as literary agents to a number of beer writers, including yours truly. Also, Jennie is one of my favorite people in the industry and she’s so much fun to be around that people refer to her as “The Wonderful Jennie Hatton.” Also, few people love tater tots like I do, and she’s one of them. That’s enough for me. More recently, she’s been doing Brand Development for Dogfish Head. Join me in wishing Jennie a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of Samuel Allsopp (August 12, 1780-February 26, 1838). He purchased the brewery started in the 1740s by his uncle, Benjamin Wilson, in 1807. Bringing his family into the business, he renamed it Samuel Allsopp & Sons. When he died in 1838, the Burton-on-Trent brewery passed to his son Henry Allsopp.
“Ind Coope & Samuel Allsopp Breweries: The History of the Hand,” by Ian Webster, includes this memoriuam from shortly after Allsopp’s death:
Here’s a history of Allsopp’s brewery from Wikipedia:
Allsopp’s origins go back to the 1740s, when Benjamin Wilson, an innkeeper-brewer of Burton, brewed beer for his own premises and sold some to other innkeepers. Over the next 60 years, Wilson and his son and successor, also called Benjamin, cautiously built up the business and became the town’s leading brewer. In about 1800, Benjamin Junior took his nephew Samuel Allsopp into the business and then in 1807, following a downturn in trade because of the Napoleonic blockade, he sold his brewery to Allsopp for £7,000.
Allsopp struggled at first as he tried to replace the lost Baltic trade with home trade, but in 1822 he successfully copied the India Pale Ale of Hodgson, a London brewer, and business started to improve.
After Samuel’s death in 1838, his sons Charles and Henry continued the brewery as Allsopp and Sons. In 1859 they built a new brewery near the railway station, and added a prestigious office block in 1864. By 1861 Allsopps was the second largest brewery after Bass. Henry Allsopp retired in 1882 and his son Samuel Charles Allsopp took over. Allsopps was incorporated as a public limited company in 1887 under the style Samuel Allsopp & Sons Limited . There were scuffles at the doors of the bank in the City as potential investors fought for copies of the prospectus, but within three years, these investors were demanding their money back as the returns were so much lower than predicted. Under Samuel Allsopp, ennobled as the 2nd Lord Hindlip on the death of his father, Allsopps lurched from crisis to crisis. With the difficult trading conditions for beer at the beginning of the 20th century, many Burton breweries were forced to close down or amalgamate. After a failed attempt at a merger with Thomas Salt and Co and the Burton Brewery Company in 1907, Allsopps fell into the hands of the receivers in 1911. The company’s capital was restructured and it continued trading. In 1935 Samuel Allsopp & Sons merged with Ind Coope Ltd to form Ind Coope and Allsopp Ltd. The Allsopp name was dropped in 1959 and in 1971 Ind Coope was incorporated into Allied Breweries.
And here’s another history from “The Brewing Industry: A Guide to Historical Records,” edited by Lesley Richmond and Alison Turton, published in 1990: