Sunday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1950. 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 Burrage was Miss Rheingold 1950. Patricia “Patsy” Joy Burrage was born in 1922 and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, and attended Texas Christian University before moving to New York City to pursue a modeling career. In March of 1950 she married Hastings-on-Hudson New Yorker Robert Francis Young in a whirlwind, fairy tale romance, since she’d met him seven years before in Texas. She continued to model and later relocated to Boston and passed away in 2005. In this ad, from June, she’s swinging on a beautiful swing with flowers on the ropes while wearing a bright yellow dress.
Archives for July 24, 2022
Historic Beer Birthday: Adolf Bremer
Today is the birthday of Adolf Bremer (July 24, 1869-October 9, 1939). He was born in Minnesota and married the daughter of Jacob Schmidt, who had been a brewer with Hamm’s, and others. Gremer and Schmidt partner in buying the Christopher Stahlmann Cave Brewery, and in 1900 completely remodeled it turning into the iconic “Castle” brewery with the help of Chicago brewery architect Bernard Barthel. They also renamed it the Jacob Schmidt Brewing Co., and after Prohibition, it became the nation’s seventh largest brewery, and for a time Brewer was its president. The brewery continued until 1972, when the brand was bought by G. Heileman. The Castle brewery in St. Paul was abandoned and only recently was renovated into the Schmidt Artist Lofts. Today the Schmidt Brewery brands are owned by Pabst.
Here’s a very short biography from Find-a-Grave:
Businessman. Financier and president of Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company. The son-in-law of Jacob Schmidt and the father of Edward Bremer, who was a 1934 kidnap victim of the Barker-Karpis gang.
Adolf with his son, Edward Bremer.
Here’s the brewery history from the current brand website:
In 1884, Jacob Schmidt moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and purchased a half interest in the North Star Brewery located at Commercial St. & Hudson Rd. Jacob retired in 1899, turning over the operation to his daughter and son-in-law. The following year the brewery burned to the ground and a new location was immediately found. In 1901, the brewery was incorporated as the Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company and a new plant and malt house were erected next to the existing structures.
Jacob died in 1910, but the brewery continued to enjoy success until Prohibition struck. After a failed attempt at producing soft drinks, a non-alcoholic malt beverage was created and became extremely popular.
After considerable success following the repeal of Prohibition, the company continued to prosper under the Schmidt name until 1955. Most of the original buildings still stand today, looming proudly above the Mississippi River.
Schmidt beer is known as the “Official Beer of the American Sportsman”…a slogan that capitalizes on the exciting, rugged appeal of the Pacific Northwest. The quality and brewing tradition instilled by Jacob Schmidt, continues today.
And here’s the portion of Schmidt’s Wikipedia page that deals with the brewery’s namesake:
Jacob Schmidt started his brewing career in Minnesota as the Brewmaster for the Theodore Hamm’s Brewing Co. He left this position to become owner of the North Star Brewing Co. Under Schmidt’s new leadership the small brewery would see much success and in 1899 Schimdt transferred partial ownership of his new brewery to a new corporation headed by his son in law Adolph Bremer, and Adolph’s brother Otto. This corporation would later become Bremer Bank. With the new partnership the Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company was established. In 1900 the North Star Brewery would suffer a fire that would close it for good. With the new management team in place a new brewery was needed, the new firm purchased the Stahlmann Brewery form the St. Paul Brewing Co. and immediately started construction on a new Romanesque brewery incorporating parts of Stahlmann’s original brewery along with it including the further excavation of the lagering cellars used in the fermentation process to create Schmidt’s Lager Beer.
This account is excerpted from the Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota, by Doug Hoverson:
The Schmidt “Castle” brewery in 1905.
Here’s a portion of a lengthier, more thorough account of the brewery’s history, from Substreet:
He came to the United States in 1865 at the age of 20 and worked in brewhouses as he moved westward. He worked in Rochester, Chicago, and Milwaukee, before coming to Minnesota, where he found a position at Schell’s brewery in New Ulm, before moving to Minneapolis’ Heinrich’s and then to Banholzer’s and Hamm’s of St. Paul.
At Theodore Hamm’s brewery, the biggest of its kind in the state, Schmidt became not just the chief brewer, but also a personal friend of the firm’s powerful owner and namesake.
Ultimately, Jacob Schmidt wanted his own brewery.
On the other end of Swede Hollow, in 1860, Edward Drewry and George Scotten founded what would become the North Star Brewery, then just called ‘Drewry & Scotten’. Though it featured a brewhouse large enough to compete with Stahlmann’s operation on the other side of St. Paul, and had adequate—though far from extensive—underground cellars to match, this brewery produced ale, not lager beer, and therefore did not compete with Stahlmann’s brand.
After changing hands several times, it was clear by the early 1880s that North Star required a talented master brewer. The owners of that humble brewery, William Constans (grocer and brewery supply dealer) and Reinhold Koch (brewer and Civil War veteran), hired Jacob Schmidt, and the former Hamm’s brewer rapidly expanded production below the bluff.
Together, Schmidt, Constans and Koch grew North Star Brewery to the point it competed directly with Hamm’s.
In a few years, the Dayton’s Bluff brewhouse became the second greatest producer of beer west of Chicago by some estimates, sending out 16,000 barrels annually as far as Illinois. In 1884, Constans and Koch decided to leave the business, thereby leaving Schmidt as sole owner. In 1899, Schmidt took down the ‘North Star Brewery’ sign and replaced it with ‘Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company’.
The next year, it all burned.
Today, all that remains of the brewery are its aging cellars, which are a part of the new Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary in Lowertown off Commercial Street.
As he considered the cost of rebuilding, Schmidt received a proposal from St. Paul Brewing: they wanted to sell him their troubled brewery. The brewmaster accepted the offer and moved his operation into the former Cave Brewery, which had been only slightly modified since Stahlmann built it almost 50 years prior. Facilities were inadequate, but he would fix that.
Interestingly, Jacob Schmidt had all the bottles salvaged from the ruined brewery shipped to his new location. The glasses still bore the mark of the North Star brand, a large five-pointed star—a feature the brewer would ultimately opt to keep.
Stars cover the Schmidt brewery to this day, in signs and ironwork, hearkening to Jacob Schmidt’s time at, and the destruction of, North Star Brewery.
Observing the lowly state that Stahlmann’s brewery was in, Schmidt hired a rising Chicago architect, Bernard Barthel, to design a totally new complex to replace what was left of the Christopher Stahlmann Brewing Company, and St. Paul Brewing Company’s brash modifications to it.
It would be medieval on the outside, but totally modern and streamlined inside.
Soon, imposing red brick towers were rising on Fort Road, with obvious influences borrowed from feudal era castles, replacing the modest remains of Cave Brewery. Construction of Jacob Schmidt Brewing Co. was completed in 1904, followed in the next decade by its more significant outbuildings, notably ending in 1915 with the Bottling Department. Schmidt beer was some of the first to be bottled on-site in the state.
The new brewery complex was designed to compete with the biggest brewers in the country, and it did.
When Jacob died in 1911, his brewery was an icon of the West Side and the employer of more than 200 people. More importantly, the beer continued to flow, unlike the bust that followed the Stahlmanns. Though the man himself was gone, the name Schmidt was becoming ever more prominent across the country.
Historic Beer Birthday: Jacob Woolner
Today is the birthday of Jacob Woolner (July 24, 1834-March 23, 1909). He was born in Szennitz (or Szeged), Hungary (although one source says Budapest) but settled initially in Vienna, Austria, where he married. In 1873, he emigrated to the United States, and ended up in Peoria, Illinois. In 1886, he co-founded the Union Brewing Co. with his brother-in-law Sigmund O. Mitler. It closed in 1920 due to prohibition, re-opening briefly as the Peoria Brewing Co. in 1934 but closed for good in 1940.
This is his obituary from his unexpected death in 1909.
Historic Beer Birthday: Charles F. Russert
Today is the birthday of Charles F. Russert (July 24, 1861-July 8, 1920). He was born in Mannheim, Germany, the son of a brewer, and from him learned the family craft. When he was 17, in 1878, he emigrated to the U.S., originally finding work at a brewery in New York City. A few years later he became the brewmaster of A.J. Houghton & Co., which was also known as the Vienna Brewery, located in Boston, Massachusetts. He was still employed there when he passed away.
Here’s a short obituary of Russert from the Western Brewers Journal:
Here’s a short description of the brewery’s history from Curbed Boston:
From 1870 to 1918, the “Vienna” brewery churned. It took over the site of the old Christian Jutz brewery, built in 1857. Their Vienna lager, concocted from a German recipe, came into favor in the 1850s and ’60s and displaced the heavier English and Irish ales. This is the ONLY landmark brewery in Boston that’s protected by the Boston Landmarks Commission.
Beer Birthday: John Harris
Today is John Harris’ 59th birthday. Until not too long ago — and for a long time — John was the head brewer at Full Sail Brewing and was responsible for many of their excellent beers. He’s more recently opened his own brewery in Portland, Ecliptic Brewing. John also occasionally played washboard with the Rolling Boil Blues Band. Plus he’s a terrific person, so join me in wishing John a very happy birthday.
By the Celebrator booth at OBF, from left, John, Tom Dalldorf, and Fred Bowman, co-founder of Portland Brewing Co.
John rocks out on washboard with the Rolling Boil Blues Band at CBC in Seattle, with Marty Jones (left) and Celebrator editor Tom Dalldorf (in the center).
During a collaboration brew at Gigantic at OBF two years ago, with John and Gigantic’s Van Havig and Ben Love.
John and his daughter at his 40th birthday party.
John and the same daughter 10 years later at his 50th birthday party.