Tuesday’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 November, she’s doing some duck hunting with her faithful Retriever. And why, the copy asks, are Retrievers such good hunting dogs? It’s apparently a number of things, but mostly because you can rely on them … just like Rheingold beer when you’re hunting for something to drink.
Archives for August 2, 2022
Today is the birthday of Armin Louis Neubert (August 2, 1864-July 3, 1946). He was born in Wolkenstein, Saxony, Germany. His father died when he was five, and he grew up with an uncle, who allowed him to train as a brewer while attending school. After a stint in the German-Saxon Army, he moved with his uncle to the United States. After helping his uncle set up his American business, he moved from city to city working for prominent breweries for several years before finally settling in Minnesota, spending twenty years as the head brewer of the Minneapolis Brewing Co., though his official title was “Production Superintendent.” The year after he took the job, he introduced the popular “Grain Belt Beer.”
In 1900, the Minneapolis Brewing Co. bought the Black Hills Brewing Co. in Central City, South Dakota. A new brewery was built, designed by Armin Neubert and he was also named vice-president when the business was reorganized.
When Neubert retired from the Minneapolis Brewing Co. in 1914, he moved his family to Central City, which he’d become fond of during his numerous visits there over the years, and continued to work at Black Hills. Unfortunately, the brewery closed at the beginning of 1917 when the state voted to start prohibition two years before the national prohibition, though it stayed in business by switching to soft drinks and near-beer. But it was a pain in the ass, and Armin apparently was disheartened by what had happened to the industry he loved and the brewery was closed in 1927, and sold the next year. “After that, he moved to a ranch he’d bought near Great Falls, Montana and became a wheat farmer. But after a few years he turned the ranch over to his son and retired to Santa Cruz,” California.
Apparently, a new Black Hills Brewing Co. is in the works, though it gives the original founding date as 1878.
But after prohibition ended in 1933, Neubert was lured back into the brewery industry and was asked to get involved in reopening the old Salinas Brewery, in California.
Armin was to receive equity in the new company as payment for his engineering work, and his son, Armin K., who had an engineering degree, was included in the deal. The Salinas Brewing & Ice Company was opened and soon gaining recognition for its excellent “Monterey Beer.” Armin, Sr. was brewmaster, and Armin, Jr. was the treasurer of the firm.
Eventually, Neubert ended up owning the Salinas Brewery outright, with his son, who’d been involved since the beginning, as president.
Then in February of 1937, Rettenmayer met with an untimely death, followed in November by the death of a prime stockholder and director of the company, Dr. Wm. Fehliman. This resulted in the restructuring of the company in 1938, and the Neubert family gaining sole control. The company’s name was changed to the Monterey Brewing Co., with Armin, Jr., president.
There’s surprisingly very little information about Neubert, and no pictures I could find, and almost everything here is from the website Brewery Gems. They also have a much fuller biography of Armin Neubert.
Today is the birthday of Albertus Carolus “Albert” Moortgat (August 2, 1890-September 14, 1983). He was the youngest son of Jan Léonardus Moortgat, who founded the brewery which became known as Duvel Moortgat. Albert took over the brewery around 1914 and in 1917 created their iconic beer, Duvel, although they didn’t call it that until 1923.
This is his entry from Dutch Wikipedia, which I altered somewhat so it reads more naturally.
Albert’s father first left the management of the brewery to his brother Joseph (1875-1914), but after his early death he left the management to Albert. The first Duvel was brewed in 1917, but it was not until 1923 that the beer was marketed under that name. Albert went to Scotland to learn how to make this beer and initially called it “Victory Ale.”
In 1921 Moortgat became mayor of Breendonk. Moortgat remained mayor until he was arrested in September 1944, during the Allied liberation of Belgium, and accused of collaboration with the German occupier. He was sentenced to four years in March 1946, but he was released at the end of August 1947.
In 1917 Albert Moortgat married Virginie Plaskie (1891-1977), a daughter of a brewer from Ramsdonk. They had 12 children.
This account of the early history of the brewery is from the company’s website:
It all began when Jan-Léonard Moortgat and his wife founded the Moortgat brewery farm in 1871. Around the turn of the century, Moortgat was one of the over 3,000 breweries operating in Belgium.
Jan-Leonard experimented by trial and error, and his top-fermented beers were soon greatly appreciated in the brewery’s home town of Puurs and far beyond. Before long, the Brussels bourgeoisie was also won over by his beers.
Business was booming and Jan-Leonard’s two sons, Albert and Victor, joined the company. There was a clear division of labour: Albert became the brewer, Victor was responsible for delivering the beer to Brussels by horse and dray.
The First World War brought Belgium into contact with England and especially with English ales, which were quite popular at the time.
Inspired by the success of English ales, Albert decided to create a special beer based on the English model.
To create this type of ale, Albert wanted to work with only the best ingredients.
He travelled to the UK to get the specific strain of yeast he wanted and initially met with considerable resistance from the local brewers. It was only after a veritable odyssey across England that he was finally able to get his hands on a precious sample from a Scottish brewery. Our yeast is still cultured from the very same strain to this day!
The two brothers continued to search and experiment until they had perfected the recipe.
To commemorate the end of the First World War, the new beer was initially dubbed ‘Victory Ale’.
Today, of course, it’s known as “Duvel.”
Today is Matt Van Wyk’s 50th birthday — The Big 5-O. Matt was the brewmaster at Flossmoor Station but a number of years ago moved to Eugene, Oregon, where for a number of years he brewed at Oakshire Brewing. He also used to co-write one of the best brewer’s blogs, the Flossmoor Station Blog and again for Oakshire. A few years ago, he left Oakshire to start his own brewery, Alesong Brewing & Blending, which is doing great things. Join me in wishing Matt a very happy birthday.
On the floor at GABF in 2007 with Andrew Mason (on left), Matt’s assistant at Flossmoor Station, and Wil Turner (on right) from Goose Island.
Jamie Floyd, from Ninkasi Brewing, with Matt at GABF in 2009.
A self-portrait with Matt, from Oakshire Brewing, Jonathan Surrat, and me at the Goose Island cask event during CBC in Chicago.
Matt at the Boonville Beer Festival a few years ago.
Matt and me, several years ago during a trip to Eugene at the Oakshire tasting room in Eugene.