Saturday’s ad is for “Rainier Fully Aged Ale,” from 1936. This ad was made for the Seattle Brewing & Malting Co., who made Rainier Beer, and was later known as the Rainier Brewing Company of Seattle, Washington. This one is from after the end of prohibition, and uses the tagline “A Lift Without A Letdown.” The ad also claims it’s the “Largest Selling Ale on the Pacific Coast.”
Archives for July 17, 2021
Today is the birthday of Anthony Straub (July 17, 1882-June 13, 1962). He was the son of Peter Straub, who founded the Straub Brewery in St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania in 1872. Anthony took over running the family brewery after his father died in 1913. The brewery is still owned and operated today by the Straub family.
He’s mentioned in the biography from his father’s Wikipedia page:
The Straub family had been brewing a local beer for generations. As expected Peter learned a trade important to the brewing art. He became a Cooper, a craftsman who makes wooden barrels. Peter aspired to be a brewer and at the age of 19 in 1869 immigrated to the United States for a better and more prosperous life. Upon his arrival in the United States he found employment at the Eberhardt and Ober Brewing Company in Pennsylvania. Peter admired his employers’ pledge to forfeit $1,000 if any adulteration was found in their beer, and as he honed his brewing skills to a sharp edge, he adhered faithfully to this promise. Eventually he tired of city life and moved north to Brookville, where he perfected his brewing process while working in the Christ and Algeir Brewery.
Peter later moved to Benzinger (St. Marys), where he met and married Sabina Sorg of Benzinger. The couple settled in Benzinger and had ten children: Francis X., Joseph A., Anthony A., Anna M., Jacob M., Peter M. (who died at two years of age), Peter P., Gerald B., Mary C., and Alphons J.
Peter’s employment in Benzinger was with the Joseph Windfelder Brewery and he worked there until he purchased the Benzinger Spring Brewery (founded by Captain Charles C. Volk in 1855) from his father-in-law, Francis Xavier Sorg. It was then that Straub Beer and the Straub Brewery was born.
Early on, Peter introduced his sons to the world of brewing. Straub used wooden kegs for his beer. He always placed a red band around his barrels to ensure that people would know they were drinking his beer and so that he would get them back. As a lasting trademark tribute to Peter, the brewery continues to place a bright red band around each of its barrels. Red has become a trademark color for the brewery.
Following Peter’s death on December 17, 1913, his sons assumed control of the brewery, renaming it the Peter Straub Sons Brewery. During this time, the brewery produced Straub Beer as well as other beer, such as the pilsner-style Straub Fine Beer and Straub Bock Beer. In 1920, the Straub Brothers Brewery purchased one half of the St. Marys Beverage Company, also called the St. Marys Brewery, where St. Marys Beer was produced. During Prohibition, which lasted from January 29, 1920, until December 5, 1933, the brewery produced nonalcoholic near-beer. On July 19, 1940 they purchased the remaining common stock and outstanding bonds of the St. Marys Beverage Company.
And this account is by Erin L. Gavlock, from 2009, at the Pennsylvania Center for the Book at Penn State:
Straub owned and operated the Benzinger Spring Brewery until he died in 1912 and left the company to his son, Anthony. Anthony Straub changed the name of the brewery to “Peter Straub Sons’ Brewery,” the only alteration he would make to his father’s business. From there, Peter Straub’s beer would become a Pennsylvania legend.
The Bavarian Man, a long-time image of the Straub Brewery that recalls its German roots.
Fast-forward over a hundred years from Straub’s humble beginnings to today and one will find the Straub Brewing pledge remains unchanged. The company still serves only unadulterated beer to its customers, proclaiming to be “The Natural Choice.” “Our all grain beer is brewed from Pennsylvania Mountain Spring water and we don’t add any sugar, salt, or preservatives to our recipes,” brew master Tom Straub told St. Marys’ Daily Press. “You can say our beer is a fresher, healthier choice than many of the selections in the marketplace.” Although time and technology have forced a transformation in brewing techniques and standards, the taste, ingredients, and the location of Straub have remained constant. Still located in St. Marys, the brewery depends upon the same mountain water from the Laurel Run Reservoir to blend with all-natural ingredients of cornflakes (used to produce fermentable sugars), barley and hops. “Our brewing process is virtually unchanged since our great, great, grandfather, Peter Straub, perfected it in 1872,” Straub’s promises. The reason behind sticking to the fresh taste of the original recipe is simple: people like it. Through the century, Straub has grown a dedicated patronage in western Pennsylvania with its traditional flavor. “Our style of brewing has pretty much stayed the same over the years, but what is interesting is that our popularity has grown and the reputation of our hand-crafted beer has increased,” Straub CEO Bill Brock said. “It is nice to know that we are becoming increasingly popular not for something we’ve changed, but rather for something we’ve always done well.”
The choice to protect and maintain the brewing customs has kept Straub a small, family owned brewery. “We’ve always thought small. We’re more about quality than quantity,” Dan Straub, former CEO, told Fredericksburg, Virginia’s Free-Lance Star. Until June 2009, Straub Beer was only distributed in glass bottles throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio. Now Straub is being brewed and distributed in aluminum cans in Rochester, New York at the High Falls Brewery. The recipe and method have not changed in the new setting and are under the careful watch of brew master Tom Straub. Despite the recent company growth, Straub still only produces about 45,000 barrels of beer per year. “We are unique; we are much larger than a micro brewery yet far, far smaller than some of the leading national brands,” said Bill Brock. In the middle ground, the brewery has managed to survive beer tycoons, economic depression, and cultural trends—a tough maneuver for a company exporting from Pennsylvania’s least populated region. “I believe the brewery has survived because of the fact that it is family owned; it is steeped in tradition and we have an absolute passion for making beer and our products,” said Brock. “From my perspective, the company and our traditions are a huge legacy and there is a clear obligation to continue these traditions.” Keeping to the family legacy has allowed Straub to persevere through the years to become the second oldest brewery in Pennsylvania after Yuengling.
Staying small and faithful to the company’s founding principles has enabled Straub to keep traditions that other larger breweries have been forced to abandon. The returnable bottle, an eco-friendly service that allows customers to send glass bottles back to the brewery for recycling, is still offered at Straub. “We stayed with the returnable bottles first of all, and I think this is really important, because we have a really strong customer base and they like the returnables,” Bill Brock said during a 2009 radio broadcast. “Over the years we maintained it while other breweries slowly fazed them out.” For Straub, a successful regional brewery, shipping bottles back to the factory is feasible, where it would create more pollution for national brands to do the same. In the future, Straub hopes to go greener and offer more returnables to customers. “We’d love for it to grow,” Brock said. “We think it is the right thing to do and if we can blend the right thing to do with making our customers happy that’s almost a perfect world.”
Another Peter Straub tradition kept to make customers happy is the Eternal Tap, an oasis for Elk County beer drinkers. The Eternal Tap, established long before any of the brewery’s current chief operators were born, is a “thank you” gesture for patrons, daily providing two mugs of complimentary, fresh cold beer to anyone of legal drinking age. “The roots of it go as far back as the brewery itself and I am sure that my great, great, grandfather, his workers and their friends would spend time at the end of the week enjoying a few pints of freshly brewed beer,” Brock said. According to Bloomington, Illinois’ Pantagraph, the Eternal Tap sprang up shortly after Peter Straub received the Benzinger Spring Brewery from his father-in-law as a way to draw beer enthusiasts to the taste of Straub. Since the marketing gimmick started in 1872, the Eternal Tap has not been turned off, giving free beer to customers in good times and bad.
Although Straub has been in operation for more than a century since its founder’s death, if Peter Straub were able to return to his brewery today, he might feel as if he still ran it. The original recipe, the customer appreciation, and the environmental concerns he founded his business upon are still principal brewing laws at Straub today. For the descendants of Peter Straub, keeping the tradition was second nature. “For me, being President/CEO, my job is to be faithful to the traditions and it is really not that difficult,” Brock said. “I have one of the best jobs in the world and I have been given the opportunity to continue an important tradition and legacy.”
Today is the birthday of James Pawley Dawes (July 17, 1843-June 11, 1907). He was the grandson of Thomas Dawes, who immigrated from England to Lower Canada in 1808 and three years later established the Dawes Brewing Co. in Lachine. His father and uncle ran the brewery after his grandfather passed away, and then J.P. and his brother took over, and it remained in the family until 1952.
This biography is from the Dictionary of Canadian Biography:
James Pawley Dawes’s grandfather Thomas Dawes immigrated from England to Lower Canada in 1808 and three years later established a brewery in Lachine. After receiving his early education in Montreal, James Pawley journeyed to England, where he became an apprentice in the brewing trade at Evershed, near Burton upon Trent. He returned to Lachine to work in the family brewery and on the death of his father in 1878 inherited, with his brother Andrew Joseph, his father’s share in the business. Together with their uncle Thomas Amos Dawes, the two brothers directed the enterprise. The Daweses’ establishment was one of the major breweries in the Montreal area. In 1863 its output was the second highest, ahead of that of Molson’s Brewery but behind that of the leading producer, William Dow and Company. Its offices were on Rue Saint-Jacques, Montreal, but production remained concentrated in nearby Lachine, where by the early 1880s the firm had a complex of buildings on Rue Notre-Dame and at least 370 acres of land to grow barley and hops. In 1909 the Dawes brewery would join with several others, including the Dow brewery, to become National Breweries Limited. Dawes ceased brewing operations in Lachine and relocated in Montreal. While the other breweries involved in the merger were closed, both the Dawes and Dow breweries continued to function. In 1952 Canadian Breweries Limited was to purchase National Breweries and change its name to Dow Breweries Limited.
The prominence of the Dawes family in the relatively small community of Lachine extended beyond their brewery and landholdings. James Pawley was a jp in nearby Caughnawaga (Kahnawake), Thomas Amos was a jp in Lachine, and Andrew Joseph was for many years a municipal councillor and mayor of Lachine. James Pawley was the family member at the forefront of entrepreneurial activities to promote the development of Lachine. He initiated the building of the first telegraph line from Montreal to Lachine and in 1882 helped the Dominion Bridge Company Limited, founded that year by Job Abbott, locate a 24-acre site for its works. The town council, which included Andrew Joseph, was undoubtedly acutely aware of the economic impact of such a large industrial enterprise and offered subsidies and tax incentives to help attract it, in exchange for guarantees of investment and employment for local residents. Although the company’s earliest successes rested on the construction of railway bridges in the Montreal area, the business soon expanded to include the construction of bridges and structural-steel buildings across Canada.
Dawes was a major shareholder of the Dominion Bridge Company. He served on its board of directors from 1890 to 1892 and as vice-president from 1893 to his death, during the period when it became a national enterprise. In the frequent absences of its president, James Ross, Dawes chaired the monthly meetings. Although Ross was the driving force behind the company, Dawes brought special skills to bear as a negotiator in the political arena. He scored his greatest coup as a lobbyist on the company’s behalf in 1890, meeting with Quebec premier Honoré Mercier and members of his cabinet to persuade the government to stop giving preferential treatment to Belgian bridge contractors. Thereafter the Quebec government shifted most of its bridge-building business to the Dominion Bridge Company.
From 1886 to 1907 Dawes was on the board of directors of another national institution, the Merchants’ Bank of Canada, owned largely by the Allan family. The bank held large investments in railways and government debentures, including those issued by the town of Lachine. Dawes was less active in the bank than in the Dominion Bridge Company, but he regularly attended directors’ meetings. His diverse business interests also included a directorship in the Alliance Assurance Association of Canada and the presidency of the board of directors of Montreal’s prestigious Windsor Hotel.
Dawes’s wealth provided him with time to pursue other activities. Sports, especially horse-racing, seem to have occupied at least as much of his time as his business interests. Moreover, he was as prominent a sportsman as he was a businessman. He was a member of the Montreal Hunt Club and in his youth had participated in many hunting meets. Around 1900 he joined business associate Hugh Montagu Allan in an effort to revive steeple-chasing within the club. He established his own racing stable, Maplewood, in Lachine. Entries from his stable were quite successful in flat-racing and over steeplechase courses, in both Canada and the United States. His horses won the Quebec version of the Queen’s Plate on 11 occasions, and were often raced at Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Active in horse-racing organizations, he was an important participant in Lachine’s Bel-Air Jockey Club, serving during the 1890s as vice-president and president. In 1899 he helped organize Quebec’s Queen’s Plate at the Bel-Air club and invited Governor General Lord Minto Elliot and Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier to attend.
Dawes’s other major sporting activity was sailing. A member of the Royal St Lawrence Yacht Club, he often entered his yacht the Surprise in regattas held on Lac Saint-Louis. He was also a member of the Forest and Stream Club in Dorval and the Royal Montreal Golf Club.
James Pawley Dawes’s career centred on Lachine, where his family had made extensive investments and the town’s economic development was his main concern. Through his involvement in such sectors as banking, insurance, and, in particular, manufacturing, he was able to move beyond a purely local economy to become involved in ventures of national importance. His entrepreneurial success was probably the result of equal measures of readily available capital, personal initiative, and his standing as a member of a notable local family. As a successful manufacturer, on an equal footing with the élite of the Montreal business community, Dawes also had the opportunity to build another successful career as a sportsman.
This biography of Dawes is from the Musee de Lachine website in Montreal, Quebec’s exhibition on Black Horse Beer entitled “Pour boire il faut vendre” (To get a drink you have to sell):”
Born in Ambleside, England, Thomas Dawes (about 1775-1863) was the eldest of six children. He arrived in Canada in his early thirties, in 1808. In 1811, he settled in the area of Montréal called Côte des Argoulets (today’s Verdun borough), where he found work at a brewery run by Joseph Chapman. The brewing business suited him, it seems, since it became his lifelong career.
Thomas Dawes married Charlotte Weller in 1817, with Joseph Chapman and James Ogilvie as witnesses. The Dawes and Ogilvie families appear to have been friends. The connection was confirmed a few years later when, on April 21, 1826, Thomas Dawes and his associate Archibald Ogilvie bought from Stephen Finchlay a parcel of land southwest of Montréal, near what is now 28th Avenue in Lachine. Banking on his experience, Dawes set out to operate a farm and a brewery on the 4-acre by 30-acre lot.
This account of the brewery and the Dawes family is a Google translation from “Historie du Quebec:”
The name Dawes evokes one of the most famous breweries in Quebec. It was in 1811 that Thomas Dawes founded the Dawes Brewery, which was Lachine’s first industrial enterprise. Dawes is the third brewery on the island of Montreal, after the Molson brewery , founded in 1786, and the Dunn brewery , which appeared in 1809.
The Dawes Brewery is a family business, and no less than four generations of Dawes manage it, before selling the company to Canadian Breweries .
After Thomas Dawes, his sons James P. Dawes and Thomas A. Dawes took over. The third generation is represented by Andrew J. Dawes and James P. Dawes Jr. The fourth, by Norman Dawes, who has run the brewery for decades. But he sold it in 1952.
The Dawes were involved in the development of Lachine. Indeed, Thomas A. Dawes was mayor of Lachine from 1868 to 1869, while Andrew J. Dawes held this position from 1888 to 1893. It was the Dawes who funded the foundation of the Lachine General Hospital and of several churches , the tram network and the installation of the first Lachine telegraph line.
In addition, the Dawes family was among the founders of the Société d’Assurance Automobile du Québec , created in 1904 under the name of the Automobile Club of Canada . Andrew J. Dawes also headed Bell Canada, the Merchant Bank and other large companies. In addition, the Dawes imported and raised black percherons and contributed to the improvement of this horse breed. It will be remembered that it was Percherons who ensured the delivery of the beer and that they thus became the symbol of the Dawes brewery thanks to Black Horse beer .
In 1862, the Dawes built their imposing family home in Lachine (which was not sold until 1940). Around the Dawes area, large fields were devoted to the cultivation of barley and hops.
The decline of the Dawes brewery began in 1909, when sixteen Quebec breweries merged into the National Breweries Ltd. consortium. But the Dawes Brewery survived this ordeal, even if the company felt the effects of American prohibition in the 1920s. In 1939, it became the Dawes Black Horse Brewery, recalling its most famous beer.
In 1944, the Dawes proposed a merger with Molson, but the latter refused for fear of establishing a monopoly. The National Breweries Ltd. consortium was finally sold in 1952. It was bought by Canadian Breweries . The group is renamed Dow Brewery (moreover, the Dow Brewery had already existed for years, it was the designation for the whole consortium). The Dawes Black Horse Brewery disappears, as does the great Dawes dynasty. The Dow has long become one of the most popular brands among Quebecers, but that’s another story.