Friday’s ad is for Castle Light Lager, from the 1940s or 50s. 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 was created for Phoenix Brouwerij, which was located in Amersfoort, which is part of the province of Utrecht, in the Netherlands. Castle Beer was one of their secondary brands. The brewery was founded in 1872 as the Amersfoortsche Beiersch-Bier-Brouwerij, but changed its name to the Phoenix Brouwerij in 1890. In 1961, Phoenix was merged into the United Dutch Breweries d’Oranjeboom, but a few years later, in 1967, that was taken over as the Dutch branch of the British Allied Breweries, who closed the Phoenix brewery and demolished it in 1970. I’m not sure who the artist was who created this poster. It appears to be signed in the upper left corner but it’s too small to read.
Archives for November 20, 2020
Today is the 61st birthday of Karl Ockert, who most recently was the Director of Brewery Operations at Deschutes Brewing. But Karl spent many years as the BridgePort Brewing Co. in Portland, Oregon, nearly thirty years, from 1983 to late 2010. That’s when I first met Karl, who was responsible for one of the first IPAs in the modern era, BridgePort IPA. For the last few years he was the Technical Director of the MBAA and also did some brewery consulting, before joining Deschutes a few years ago. More recently, he’s doing brewing consulting. Join me wishing Karl a very happy birthday.
Karl when he was with the MBAA.
Debuting Stumptown Tart.
“Co-founders Dick and Nancy Ponzi, pose with BridgePort’s first brewmaster, Karl Ockert, at the brewery’s grand opening in 1984 when it was known by its original name “Columbia River Brewery.” At the time, patrons could taste beer at the brewery, but not legally purchase it onsite. The Ponzis, along with other local brewers, successfully lobbied on behalf of the Brewpub Bill, which made it possible for local brewers to sell their products directly to the public.” [From the Multnomah County Library.]
“BridgePort’s crew in 1986 included Karl Ockert (at left), the brewery’s first brewmaster, and Ron Gansberg (center), who later became brewmaster at Cascade Brewing. Ockert was just 23 years old and a recent graduate of the brewing program at the University of California at Davis when Richard and Nancy Ponzi hired him.” [From the Multnomah County Library.]
“Karl Ockert, BridgePort’s original brewmaster, is seen in the center of this photograph from 1985 when BridgePort was still known as Columbia River Brewery. Flanking him are other figures from Portland’s craft brewery vanguard. From left, Steve Harrison, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.; Fred Eckhardt, beer columnist; Fred Bowman, Portland Brewing Co.; Paul Shipman, Independent Brewing Co.; Karl Ockert, Columbia River Brewery; Tom Baune, Hart Brewing Co.; Jim Temple, General Brewing Co.; Mike McMenamin, McMenamins; and Kurt Widmer, Widmer Brewing Co.” [From the Multnomah County Library.]
Today is the birthday of Wilhelm Ferdinand Riedlin (November 20, 1850-February 19, 1919). He was born in either Vögisheim or Mulheim, Baden, Germany, and emigrated to the United States in June of 1870. He bought into the Bavarian Brewing Co. of Covington, Kentucky in 1882, and eventually became the sole owner. Riedlin died as prohibition began, but the brewery reopened after repeal, although not until 1935, by one of Riedlin’s son-in-laws and the family retained ownership until 1959, when they sold the business to International Breweries Inc., who finally closed the brewery for good in 1966.
This short account of his life is from Find-a-Grave:
He was a very active resident of Covington, KY.
-In his early career, he was a blacksmith, a trade he brought to the US, having learned from his father.
-In 1877, he opened a grocery store, and shortly after established Tivoli Hall Saloon and Beer Garden
-He was the President and owner of the Bavarian Brewing Company by 1882. During prohibition, the Brewing Company manufactured ice and soft drinks.
-He was an active member of the City Legislature and the Covington Elks.
-The director of the Gernan National Bank and Covington Sawmill
-A member and the President of the German Pioneer Society and the Covington Turner Society
-The treasurer of the Baden Benevolent Society
-The President of the Covington Coal Company
-A major stockholder in the Ludlow Lagoon Amusement Park
In 1877, he married Matilda Emma Hoffman. The two made their home at 917 Main Street, Covington KY. Current day, this is now his historic residence, being occupied by a funeral home, the Covington Chapel.
William and Emma had nine children: Carl, Charles, Emma, William Jr, Anna Maria, Edward, Walter F, Lucia and A.K.
And this history of the brewery is from “The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky,” edited by Paul A. Tenkotte, James C. Claypool:
The Wikipedia page for the Bavarian Brewing Co. mentions Riedlin, of course, and his contributions to the success of the business, eventually becoming sole owner.
After the brewery was established as DeGlow & Co., new ownership interests within just a couple of years resulted in several changes to its name beginning in 1868, including DeGlow, Best & Renner. However, in 1873, it was established as the Bavarian Brewery Co. Over the next several years the brewery operated under this name, but ownership interests varied. John Meyer obtained controlling interest and the brewery operated under his name for a short time, starting in 1879. Then in 1882, a German immigrant named William Riedlin, who established a saloon and beer hall called Tivoli Hall in the Over The Rhine area of Cincinnati, entered into partnership with John Meyer. It operated as the Meyer-Riedlin Brewery before Riedlin purchased a controlling interest in the brewery from Meyer, incorporated the business under its former name and became president in 1889.
A number of changes were made to the facility during Riedlin’s tenure including the brewery’s first bottling plant built in 1892. Key bottling innovations including the crown bottle cap and pasteurization increased the shelf life of beer, enabling it to be distributed to a much wider area. Besides Bavarian Beer, the company also offered Riedlin Select Beer. By 1914 the annual beer production was 216,000 barrels, increasing from only 7,341 barrels in 1870, and it became the largest brewery in the state.
Operations expanded from the original location on Pike street to include several structures on the property between Pike Street and 12th Street. The main structure, which essentially remains today, was a four story 175 by 125 foot edifice that opened in January, 1906, serving as both the stock and wash houses. An ice house that manufactured 200,000 pounds of ice daily, and that included a couple of ponds, was adjacent to the brewery. The total land area comprised six and one-half-acres. Ice was used in the lager fermentation process before refrigeration became available and it was also sold to the public.
Beer production was abruptly halted shortly before the introduction of Prohibition in 1918. To prevent a complete closure of the brewery, arrangements were made to bottle non-alcoholic beverages under the name The William Riedlin Beverage Company. However, William Riedlin died in early 1919, several months before Prohibition was officially passed by Congress. His son, William Riedlin, Jr., died within a couple months after his father aged 37. He had previously been a Vice President of the brewery and briefly in charge of the Beverage Company. Shortly after the deaths of the father and son the brewery property was closed – for some fifteen years.
The Kenton County Public Library also has a history of the Bavarian Brewery, and Riedlin’s involvement is discussed.
Bavarian Brewery can be traced back to the year 1866 when Julius Deglow and Charles L. Best began operating a small brewery on Pike Street in Lewisburg. In 1869, the brewery officially became known as Bavarian. William Riedlin and John Meyer were the next owners of the brewery. They purchased Bavarian in 1882. Seven years later, Riedlin became the sole owner. Anton Ruh was hired as the brew master.
Under William Reidlin’s ownership, Bavarian Brewer expanded rapidly. The first bottling plant at Bavarian was built in 1892 and was replaced in 1903. This two-story structure was modern in every detail and measured 46’ x 188’. At this same time a new stable was constructed to house the many horses needed to pull delivery wagons. A new four-story warehouse followed in 1905. By 1914, Bavarian Brewery was the largest such enterprise in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The brewery occupied a 6 ½ ace site on Pike Street and was producing 216,000 barrels of beer each year.
Bavarian continued to prosper until the era of Prohibition. In 1919 production at the plant shifted from beer to soft drinks. In 1925, the icehouse was sold to Joseph and Ferdinand Ruh who incorporated as the Kenton Ice Company. Bavarian re-opened in 1935. Over three thousand guests attended the grand opening. The officers at this time were: Murray L. Vorhees, Fred C. Faller, and Leslie S. Deglow. Three years later, William Riedlin’s four grandsons purchased the business for $55,000. Sales rose throughout the 1930s.
Today is the 54th birthday of Craig Cauwels, who started brewing at Schooner’s in 2003, when his longtime friend Shawn Burns needed his help, and he continuing brewing there until after Burns sold the brewpub to a new owner. For a time, he was also brewing at E.J. Phair brewing, and even went back to brewing at Schooner’s part-time, splitting his time between the two East Bay breweries. More recently, Schooner’s has a new owner, who shut down the brewpub, but moved the equipment to a production space in Tracy, and is rebranding the brewery as Morgan Territory, where Craig doing all of the brewing. They even brought home their first medal from GABF two years ago, for a beer Craig made at Schooner’s but under the Morgan Territory name since the BA allowed them to enter under the new name even though they hadn’t opened yet, which is pretty cool. Of course, the brewery is now open and has a taproom you can visit, too, enjoy a beer and take home a growler. Originally a molecular biologist, Craig was running the core lab facility at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University when he gave it all up to become a professional brewer. And that’s certainly been good news for people who love great beer, because he’s a very talented brewer. Join me in wishing Craig a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of William Painter (November 20, 1838-July 15, 1906). He was born in Ireland, and in 1858 came to the U.S. “in search of better opportunities,” and settled in Baltimore, Maryland. He trained as a mechanical engineer and initially got a job “as a foreman at the Murrill & Keizer’s machine shop.” His biggest claim to fame is that he “invented the crown cork bottle cap and bottle opener. He worked with manufacturers to develop a universal neck for all glass bottles and started Crown Cork and Seal in 1892 to manufacture caps that could be used to seal the universal necks.”
Over the course of his life, “Painter patented 85 inventions, including the common bottle cap, the bottle opener, a machine for crowning bottles, a paper-folding machine, a safety ejection seat for passenger trains, and a machine for detecting counterfeit currency. He was inducted to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006.”
The bottle cap was arguably his most important invention. “The crown cork was patented by William Painter on February 2, 1892 (U.S. Patent 468,258). It had 24 teeth and a cork seal with a paper backing to prevent contact between the contents and the metal cap. The current version has 21 teeth. To open these bottles, a bottle opener is generally used.
The height of the crown cap was reduced and specified in the German standard DIN 6099 in the 1960s. This also defined the “twist-off” crown cap, now used in the United States, Canada, and Australia. This cap is pressed around screw threads instead of a flange, and can be removed by twisting the cap by hand, eliminating the need for an opener.”
He also patented several other innovations for the brewing industry, such as the Bottle Seal Or Stopper, from 1894, the Bottle Stopper, in 1885, a Closure For Sealing Bottles, in 1899, and a Capped-Bottle Opener, from 1894, to name just a few.
And here’s Painter’s obituary from the Brewers Journal in 1906: