Friday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1949. This ad was made for the Rheingold Brewery, which was founded by the Liebmann family in 1883 in New York, New York. At its peak, it sold 35% of all the beer in New York state. In 1963, the family sold the brewery and in was shut down in 1976. In 1940, Philip Liebmann, great-grandson of the founder, Samuel Liebmann, started the “Miss Rheingold” pageant as the centerpiece of its marketing campaign. Beer drinkers voted each year on the young lady who would be featured as Miss Rheingold in advertisements. In the 1940s and 1950s in New York, “the selection of Miss Rheingold was as highly anticipated as the race for the White House.” The winning model was then featured in at least twelve monthly advertisements for the brewery, beginning in 1940 and ending in 1965. Beginning in 1941, the selection of next year’s Miss Rheingold was instituted and became wildly popular in the New York Area. Pat McElroy was Miss Rheingold 1949. She was born Patricia Ann McElroy in Victoria, Texas, in 1928, but grew up in Austin. At some point she moved to New York and became a model. After being elected Miss Rheingold, in February of 1949 she married Cliff Lozell, an art director with the prestigious ad agency Young & Rubicom, and the couple later retired to Florida. Pat McElroy Lozell passed away in 2005. In this ad, from July, she’s standing on the beach holding a fishing pole. SHe’s not sure what’s at the end of her pole, but she knows what’s waiting for her at the end of her day: a beer. Oh, copywriters, another gem.
Archives for June 24, 2022
Today is the birthday of Peter Ganser (June 24, 1836-August 5, 1915). He was born in Germany, but settled in Steele County, Minnesota, buying the Knobloch & Mannheim brewery and founding the Peter Ganser brewery in Owatonna, along with his brother Adam. It was generally known as the Peter Ganser, City Brewery, off and on from 1865, before it finally closed a few years into prohibition.
Here’s his obituary, from the American Brewers Review:
Local brewer Peter Ganser sits on an ornate chair, holding two of his daughters. On the left is Adeline, who later became Mrs. William Zamboni; on the right is his daughter, Catherine, who later married Harry Brown (from the Steele County Historical Society).
And here’s another account from the “History of Rice & Steele Counties, Minnesota, Illustrated, Vol. II,” and published in 1910:
Peter Ganser, proprietor of the Owatonna City Brewery, is one of those substantial citizens, who, in building the foundations for their own fortunes, find the time to take an interest in all worthy causes that tend toward the development of the community. He combines liberality with shrewd common sense and business ability and from his first settlement here he has had an unbounded faith in Owatonna’s future. Mr. Ganser was born in Prussia, Germany, June 24, 1836. He received his early education in the public schools and remained in his native country until 1854, when he came to America and located in Dane county, Wisconsin, where he lived for a time and then went to California. In 1863 he returned to Wisconsin and there remained until 1865 when he came to Owatonna and, together with his brother, Adam, purchased the city brewery, which they continued together until 1872, at which time the brother died. The subject of this sketch then became the sole owner and proprietor. In 1878 the brewery was destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of about $12,000. Undaunted by this loss, Mr. Ganser rebuilt, but in 1884 again suffered a similar disaster. The present building, to which additions and improvements have been made from time to time, was erected in 1884. In 1879, Mr. Ganser, in company with Jacob Glaeser, erected the building then known as the Germania Hall. Mr. Glaeser has carried on a large and increasing business from year to year. In 1894 he sold out his business for six years lived a retired life. In 1900 he again came into possession of the brewery, which he has since conducted. Mr. Ganser was married in 1867 to Mary Knight, who was born in Indiana. The fruit of this union was three children, viz: Margaret, now the wife of William Fleckenstein of the Fleckenstein Brewery at Faribault; Adeline, now Mrs. W. C. Zamboni; Kate, now Mrs. H. D. Brown, of Owatonna. Mr. Ganser is a Democrat in political faith. He takes an active interest in public affairs, and served as a mayor of Owatonna one term, and alderman of the fourth ward for two years. Mr. Ganser is a self-made man, enterprising in business, and has won his position by persevering efforts. He lives in a very find residence at 508 South Oak street.
And this is from Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota:
Today would have been longtime Sierra Nevada employee Steve Harrison’s 71st birthday. Unfortunately, Steve passed away in August of 2007. He was Sierra Nevada employee number one, and was responsible for a lot of their early success. I first got to know Steve in the mid-1990s when I was the chain beer buyer at BevMo. He was a terrific person and universally respected and beloved in the industry. Sierra Nevada had to hire two or three people to take over his responsibilities. Join me in raising a glass of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale to Steve’s memory today. Here’s to you, Steve.
The last time I saw Steve was at a CSBA meeting in San Diego in 2007, though we talked on the phone a few more times after that because he’d asked me to do some freelance work for him shortly after that CSBA meeting. You can almost make him out in the photo below. He’s in the middle, toward the back, in a blue shirt. He’s in between Tom McCormick (in a green shirt) and a man in a black shirt raising his glass below the giant boulder in the background.
A very young Steve, at right, with Michael Jackson and Lou. (Photo by Tom Dalldorf, from the Celebrator Beer News.)
The Steve Harrison Memorial Arch, which is at the northern entrance to the Steve Harrison Bike Path, which is located not very far from the brewery in Chico. (The photo was taken in 2010 by Jack Peters, and sent to me by Miles Jordan. Thank you, gentlemen.)
Today is the birthday of Christian Schmidt (June 24, 1833-September 6, 1894). Schmidt was born in Magstadt, Wurtemberg, Germany but moved to Philadelphia as a young man. In 1859, he became a partner with the Robert Coutrennay Brewery but bought him out the following year, renaming the brewery the Christian Schmidt Brewing Company until his sons joined the brewery in 1892, when it became known as C. Schmidt & Sons.
Here’s a biography of both Schmidt and his brewery from Workshop of the World — Philadelphia:
Christian Schmidt, an immigrant from Wurtemberg, Germany, purchased the Robert Courtenay brewery which primarily produced ale at this site in 1860. The acquisition of other breweries, such as Peter Schemm, in addition to the production of lager beer, boosted output to 100,000 barrels by 1892. A marked expansion of the physical plant kept pace with the brewery’s growth.
The last quarter of the nineteenth century was Philadelphia’s shining era for large and small breweries. Bergner and Engel (120,000 barrels), and William Massey and Company (75,000 barrels), were the third largest and eleventh largest breweries respectively in the U. S. in 1877. By 1895, Bergner and Engel with 250,000-300,000 barrels had fallen to 15th place; the largest local brewery. Other major companies were Engels and Wolf, Betz and Bergdoll. Christian Schmidt was succeeded by his son Edward who headed the company from 1895 until 1944. There were 421 employees at Schmidt’s in 1943. It had survived and thrived through new technologies—refrigeration, and political impediments, even Prohibition, which decimated other breweries both locally and nationally. Only 26 breweries operated in Pennsylvania in 1960. Philadelphia lost brands such as Esslinger, Poth, Gretz and Class and Nachod.
Schmidt family ownership ceased in 1976 with the sale of the brewery to William H. Pflaumer. By the late 1970s Schmidt’s was the tenth-largest American brewery. It operated a plant in Cleveland, Ohio which facilitated mid-west regional sales. Valley Forge Brewing Company was acquired in the 1960s, Duquesne Brewing Company (Pittsburgh) in 1972, and label and brewing rights to Reading and Bergheim were purchased in 1976, Rheingold in 1977, Erie Brewing Company, with its Koehler brands in 1978. In 1981, Ortlieb, the only other Philadelphia brewery, was purchased by Pflaumer. Schmidt’s, unable to cope with the marketing muscle of the giant national brewers even though it employed 1,400 and produced three million barrels of beer as recently as 1984, sold its brands to G. Heileman Brewing Company of La Crosse, Wisconsin, in April 1987. Production of the Schmidt’s labels slumped to about $1.6 million barrels in 1986, less than one percent of the total U. S. Market. The demise of Schmidt’s marked the end of the large brewery in Philadelphia.
In Rich Wagner’s Philadelphia Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Cradle of Liberty, he has this to say about Christian Schmidt:
And in One Hundred Years of Brewing, published in 1903, this was the entry for C. Schmidt & Sons.
Today is the birthday of Hans Steyrer (June 24, 1849-August 26, 1906). Born in the Allach district of Munich, by profession he was a butcher and an innkeeper. He became known as a “man of strength,” and was also known as “The Bavarian Hercules.” In addition, he also sported one impressive mustache, and became popular at many Oktoberfests in the late nineteenth century.
This is a short biography of him from his German Wikipedia page, translated by Google:
The son of a master butcher and innkeeper learned the butcher’s trade from his father. Even as an apprentice, he was able to lift every calf and every quarter of oxen on the hook and place a hectolitre on the ganter without help.
In 1879 the Herzog circus was looking for the strongest Bavarian and poster this campaign across Bavaria. Hans Steyrer won all competitions and finally went one better: With the strength of his right middle finger, he was the only one able to lift a 508 pound stone for a few seconds. Since then he has been called “the Bavarian Hercules.”
As a publicity stunt, Steyrer first wanted to pull festively decorated cars from his inn on Tegernseer Landstrasse through the whole of Munich to Theresienwiese in 1879. He himself drove on a four-in-hand truck loaded with beer barrels, followed by seven couples who carried the staff and the musicians. However, he did not arrive at the Oktoberfest at the time – in the city center he was stopped by the police and forced to turn back. The subsequent court proceedings ended with the innkeeper being sentenced to a fine, which, however, could not prevent him from repeating the move in the following years.
For years, Hans from Steyr was the tenant of the forester’s lodge at the Englischer Garten (Steinfeldstrasse 15, demolished), which had been converted into the “Wilhelm Tell” tavern, and ran a beer tent at the Oktoberfest as an Oktoberfest host.
And this account is from Munichkindl:
The Steyrer Hans invented the entry of the Oktoberfest hosts on the first Oktoberfest Saturday. He, who was called the ” Bavarian Hercules,” had leased a festival booth from the Pschorr brewery and drove for the first time in 1887 with brass music, his tap boys and the waitresses on seven decorated pairs and one four-in-hand towards Theresienwiese.
But the magistrate was not enthusiastic about this first small, privately organized pageant and let the Steyrer Hans stop when he stopped in the valley at the Weißbräu for a “standing measure.” He was sentenced to a heavy fine for ” gross mischief “and” disturbing public order,” which, however, was rather conducive to his popularity.
Soon afterwards, the Oktoberfest innkeepers officially moved in and the Steyrer Hans was the first to use silver-clad pompous harnesses for the Haflingers of his brewery team.
From 1879 to 1903, the Steyrer Hans was the host of the Oktoberfest twenty-five times. In the 1890s he was able to secure two adjacent booths and serve “Kraftbier” from the Spaten brewery there.
He was a trained butcher and landlord of several Munich inns, including the inn “Zum bayerischen Herkules” in Lindwurmstrasse. His later parent company was the “Tegernsee Garden” in Obergiesing.
He was a real Munich unique, also because he could lift a 528 pound stone with his middle finger or heave a 40-liter beer keg on the bar with his thumb and forefinger. His body mass index was not the best because he was just 1.70 m tall and weighed almost 130 kg. He was a real Kollos and wore a huge mustache , which the people of Munich said he had just sniffed an “Oachkatzl.”
According to Oldetime Strongman, “’The Bavarian Hercules Hans Steyrer is shown here with his signature lift: a one-finger lift of a heavy stone block, usually 500 pounds or more, combined with a muscle-out of a 50-pound kettlebell. Either one of these feats would be impressive by themselves, but doing them both at the same time put Steyrer in a league by himself. It should also be noted that Steyrer was the very first strongman ever photographed using kettlebells (at least to our knowledge.) This was around 1880 or so.”