Saturday’s ad is for “Foster’s Lager,” from the 1920s, I think. This ad was made for Carlton & United, who made Foster’s Lager, although it was later part of AB-InBev but more recently was sold to Asahi. It was started by two American brothers who emigrated to Australia in 1886, and started selling it in 1889. In 1907, the Foster brothers merged with four other Melbourne breweries to created Carlton & United Breweries. The Foster’s brand barely sells in Australia, but began importing to the UK and the US in the early 1970s, and thanks to very successful advertising became a popular international brand. This one features a stuffy-looking gentleman holding a glass of beer with the question hanging over his head. “Foster’s Lager?” And his response is “Rather!”
Archives for September 4, 2021
Today is the birthday of Samuel Simon Loeb (September 4, 1862-January 22, 1947). He was born in Indiana, but settled in Tacoma, Washington as a young man, and was involved in several area breweries there, first the Milwaukee Brewery (which merged to form the Pacific Brewing & Malting Company) and then the Independent Brewery, before being bought by the Seattle Brewing & Malting Co. After his brewery was acquired, Loeb remained in charge, and after retiring, he and his wife moved to Los Angeles.
This short description of Loeb is from Brewing in Seattle, by Kurt Stream:
Here’s an account of Loeb from “An Illustrated History of the State of Washington” by H. K. Hines, published in 1893
S. S. Loeb is president of the Milwaukee Brewing Company of Tacoma, incorporated with a capital stock of $35,000, all paid up. The present officers of the company are S. S. Loeb, president, and A. Weinberg, secretary and treasurer. The brewery was formerly called the United States Brewery, and was organized by D. Stegman and M. Karcsecte. The latter sold out to John Frazier, who continued in the business till May, 1891, when the present firm bought out the concern, reincorporated and formed the Milwaukee Brewing Company. The plant was a small one when they first bought it, the output being only forty-two barrels per day. The capacity has been increased until it is now 125 barrels per day. Their trade extends throughout the Sound country.
Mr. Loeb, the president, was born in Ligonier, Indiana, on the 4th of September, 1862. He was the son of Simon Loeb, who was a prominent brewer. The subject of this sketch was reared in Chicago, where he went when a child. He became concerned in the cigar business with Ruhe Bros. (Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Chicago), and later traveled for the same firm, with whom he continued for four years. He then worked four years for Schloss, Ochs & Co., wholesale gentlemen’s furnishers. In 1889 he came to Tacoma and engaged in the wholesale liquor business, which he continued for three years, when he closed out that business, and has since given his attention to the brewing business.
Mr. Loeb was married November 18, 1890, to Miss Blanch Moses, a native of Gallipolis, Ohio. They have one child, Sidney.
In 1897, four years after the foregoing was written, Samuel sold the Milwaukee Brewery and merged it with the Anton Huth’s Puget Sound Brewery, forming a new enterprise – the Pacific Brewing & Malting Company.
In 1899, Pacific purchased the Donau Brewery and closed the Milwaukee plant. Loeb continued with his other business interests in Tacoma, as well as holding a minority interest in Pacific. As late as 1901 he was still secretary of the company. But by 1902 he and his partners from the Milwaukee Brewery decided to actively re-enter the brewing business.
You can pick up the rest of his story at Brewery Gems.
Today is the birthday of William Hamm, Jr. (September 4, 1893-August 20, 1970). He was born in Minnesota, and was the grandson of Theodore Hamm, who founded Hamm’s Brewery in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was also the son of William Hamm Sr., who took over for his father when Theodore retired and ran it until he died shortly before prohibition was repealed, when his son William Jr. took over.
Here’s a short biography from Find-a-Grave:
William Hamm, Jr., was the grandson of Theodore Hamm, founder of the Hamms Brewery. William Jr. inherited the Chairmanship of the company from his father. In 1933, William Junior was kidnapped by the Barker-Karpis Gang as he walked home for lunch. Hamm was released after 3 days in exchange for a $100,000 ransom.
Here’s a brief history from the brewery’s Wikipedia page:
The Theodore Hamm Brewing Company was established in 1865 when, a German immigrant Theodore Hamm (1825-1903) inherited the Excelsior Brewery from his friend and business associate A. F. Keller, who had perished in California seeking his fortune in the gold fields. Unable to finance the venture himself, Keller had entered into a partnership with Hamm to secure funding. Upon Keller’s death, Hamm inherited the small brewery and flour mill in the east side wilderness of St. Paul, Minnesota. Keller had constructed his brewery in 1860 over artesian wells in a section of the Phalen Creek valley in St. Paul known as Swede Hollow. Hamm, a butcher by trade and local salon owner, first hired Jacob Schmidt as a brew master. Jacob Schmidt remained with the company until the early 1880s, becoming a close family friend of the Hamms. Jacob Schmidt left the company after an argument ensued over Louise Hamm’s disciplinary actions to Schmidt’s daughter, Marie. By 1884, Schmidt was a partner at the North Star Brewery not far from Hamm’s brewery. By 1899 he had established his own brewery on the site of the former Stalhmann Brewery site. In need of a new brewmaster, Hamm hired Christopher Figge who would start a tradition of three generations of Hamm’s Brewmasters, with his son William and grandson William II taking the position. By the 1880s, the Theodore Hamm Brewing Company was reportedly the second largest in Minnesota.
Hamm’s Brewery c. 1900.
Unfortunately, he’s perhaps best known not for having successfully run his family’s brewery, but for an incident that occurred in June of 1933. While he was walking home for lunch on that summer day, he was kidnapped by the Barker-Karpis gang and held for a $100,000 (which is over $1.8 million in today’s dollars). The family paid the money two days later, and he was released, but the crime reverberated beyond Saint Paul and became a national story. Up until that time, the Minnesota city was corrupt and allowed gangsters and criminals to stay in the city, even finding them lodgings and women, as long as they promised to behave within the city limits. But the kidnapping broke that bargain, and within a year most of the cities corrupt police and officials had either resigned or were facing jail time. You can read more about it in “A Hamm’s ransom: How the kidnapping of one of St. Paul’s most prosperous brewers reshaped a corrupt system,” “Abducted in St. Paul!” or read accounts from the time in Read All About 1933.
William Jr. and his wife Marie Hersey Hamm.
Today is the birthday of fellow Bay Area beer writer Ken Weaver, who’s a neighbor in the next town over. If I’ve done my math correctly, today is his 40th birthday. Ken used to work for Rate Beer, and was also on the staff of All About Beer magazine until they folded. He also wrote The Northern California Craft Beer Guide, with photographs by his lovely wife Anneliese Schmidt. Believe it or not, Ken has a degree in physics from Cornell but chucked it all to follow his heart and preference for writing and good beer. Physics’ loss is beer’s gain. Join me in wishing Ken a very happy birthday.