Saturday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1951. 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. Elise Gammon was elected Miss Rheingold for 1951. She was born in Miami, Florida in 1930, though I was unable to find her birthday, it’s not even mentioned in her obituary when she passed away in 2014. She attended Florida State and Harcum College in Pennsylvania, before moving to new York City to pursue a modeling career. At the end of 1950, she married Edward Ory of Louisiana. The pair met on the television show “Blind Date.” As far as I can tell that marriage didn’t last very long because in her obituary, it only mentioned she later moved back to Miami and met and married Fatio O’Hearn Dunham, I think around 1964, and they had four children together, eventually settling in Lakeland in 1980. In this ad, from March, she’s out on the town in ew York City a cool day with her dog, trying to hail a cab.
Archives for August 13, 2022
Today is the birthday of Anders Jöns Ångström (August 13, 1814–June 21, 1874). He “was a Swedish physicist and one of the founders of the science of spectroscopy.” The Ångström unit (1 Å = 10−10 m) in which the wavelengths of light and interatomic spacings in condensed matter are sometimes measured are named after him. Various types of spectroscopy are employed in the brewing industry.
Here’s a partial biography of Ångström from Wikipedia:
Anders Jonas Ångström was born in Medelpad to Johan Ångström, and schooled in Härnösand. He moved to Uppsala in 1833 and was educated at Uppsala University, where in 1839 he became docent in physics. In 1842 he went to the Stockholm Observatory to gain experience in practical astronomical work, and the following year he was appointed keeper of the Uppsala Astronomical Observatory.
Intrigued by terrestrial magnetism he recorded observations of fluctuations in magnetic intensity in various parts of Sweden, and was charged by the Stockholm Academy of Sciences with the task, not completed until shortly before his death, of working out the magnetic data obtained by HSwMS Eugenie on her voyage around the world in 1851 to 1853.
In 1858, he succeeded Adolph Ferdinand Svanberg in the chair of physics at Uppsala. His most important work was concerned with heat conduction and spectroscopy. In his optical researches, Optiska Undersökningar, presented to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1853, he not only pointed out that the electric spark yields two superposed spectra, one from the metal of the electrode and the other from the gas in which it passes, but deduced from Leonhard Euler’s theory of resonance that an incandescent gas emits luminous rays of the same refrangibility as those it can absorb. This statement, as Sir Edward Sabine remarked when awarding him the Rumford medal of the Royal Society in 1872, contains a fundamental principle of spectrum analysis, and though overlooked for a number of years it entitles him to rank as one of the founders of spectroscopy.
This is the general definition of spectroscopy from Wikipedia:
Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation. Historically, spectroscopy originated through the study of visible light dispersed according to its wavelength, by a prism. Later the concept was expanded greatly to include any interaction with radiative energy as a function of its wavelength or frequency. Spectroscopic data are often represented by an emission spectrum, a plot of the response of interest as a function of wavelength or frequency.
This abstract from the 2006 paper “Applications of Vibrational Spectroscopy in Brewing” gives an overview of their use by brewers.
The purpose of this chapter is to compile the literature concerning the applications of near‐infrared (NIR), mid‐infrared and Raman spectroscopy in the brewing industry. All these three techniques share the advantages that they are rapid, can be noninvasive and allow direct observation of specific molecular species. As for barley, many researchers have used the NIR reflectance on whole grains in malt evaluation. The NIR determination of α/β‐acids and hop storage index in baled hop samples is reported. NIR spectrophotometric methods have been developed for the determination of yeast concentration and activity in beer making. In addition to the applications in the laboratory of quality control, the overview concerns also the applications of infrared and Raman spectroscopy in monitoring of operation and process control at the essential steps of mashing and wort fermentation in brewery. The results obtained with a short wave NIR spectrophotometer are presented in comparison with long wave NIR spectrophotometers.
Brewers use spectrometers to measure a number of QC items throughout the brewing process.
To get a sense of how much spectrometers are used, this article promoting StellarNet, a company selling them, entitled Spectroscopy Prospects Brewing, is pretty thorough.
Today is the birthday of Lilly Anheuser (August 13, 1844-February 25, 1928). She was born in Mainz-Bingener Landkreis, in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, one of three daughters of Eberhard Anheuser. Eberhard was originally a soap and candle maker, but had had also invested in the Bavarian Brewery Company, in St. Louis, Missouri. When it went through financial troubles in 1860, he took over control of it, buying out the other creditors, and renaming it Eberhard Anheuser and Company. “Lilly married Adolphus Busch, a brewery supply salesman, in a double wedding with Anna Anheuser (Lilly’s older sister) and Ulrich Busch (Adolphus’ brother) in 1861.” Her husband was running the brewery even before her father died in 1880, and the year before, 1879, the corporation was renamed the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association to reflect the reality of Busch’s leadership role.
Here’s a short biography from Find-a-Grave:
Lilly was one of six children of Eberhard and Dorothea Anheuser. She and her family lived in Cincinnati, Ohio for a time before moving to St Louis, Missouri.
Lilly, who was blonde and called “curly Head” was courted by and married to Adolphus Busch, who sold brewery supplies at the time, to her father at the E. Anheuser Brewing Company. She was married to Adolphus in a double wedding; her sister Anna married Ulrich Busch on March 11, 1861. Anna was dark and known for her sophistication.
Lilly was the mother of thirteen children. Nine lived to adulthood. Along with her social life, Lilly cooked for her husband and to an extent remained a “house wife.”
With the success of the Brewery, She and her husband and children traveled extensively. They owned Villas in Germany. Both were confiscated by Hitler. They traveled by private train car. A favorite group of homes for them was Ivy Wall, and The Blossoms, Busch Gardens in Pasadena,CA. They had an estate in Cooperstown, NY, and Germany.
Upon reaching their fiftieth wedding anniversary, Lilly and Adolphus presented a home to each of their children.
One was given a French chateau manner on a farm near St. Louis once owned by General U.S. Grant. It is now known as Grant’s Farm and is open to the public. Other Children were given homes in St Louis, New York, Berlin, Germany, Chicago,IL,and Stuttgart, Germany.
It was reported Lilly was given a gold Crown by her husband to commemorate their golden Anniversary. Amidst the celebration was sadness because the health of her husband was failing. He passed away at Villa Lilly, in Germany with Lilly at his side.
The Anheuser-Busch website gives this account:
Eberhard Anheuser, who left Germany in 1843, settling first in Cincinnati and before moving to St. Louis. Trained as a soap manufacturer, he eventually went on to own the largest soap and candle company in St. Louis. Although he had no brewing experience, he became part owner of the Bavarian Brewery, which had first opened its doors in 1852. By 1860, Anheuser had bought out the other investors and the brewery’s name was changed to E. Anheuser & Co.
Adolphus Busch was born in 1839, the second youngest of 22 children. At age 18, he made his way to St. Louis via New Orleans and the Mississippi River. Adolphus began working as a clerk on the riverfront and by the time he was 21, he had a partnership in a brewing supply business.
It was through this enterprise that Adolphus Busch met Eberhard Anheuser, and soon Adolphus was introduced to Eberhard’s daughter, Lilly. In 1861, Adolphus Busch and Lilly Anheuser were married, and shortly after that, Adolphus went to work for his father-in-law. He later purchased half ownership in the brewery, becoming a partner.
Lilly Anheuser later in life.
In 1897, famed Swedish artist Anders Zorn painted portraits of Lilly Anheuser and her husband Adolphus Busch. They were recently sold through the auction house Christie’s. The winning bid for Busch’s portrait was $207,750 and Lilly’s went for $123,750.
A portrait of Lily Anheuser, painted by Anders Zorn in 1897.
Today is the birthday of William Jacob Lemp, Jr. (August 13, 1867-December 29, 1922). He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and was the son of William J. Lemp and the grandson of Adam Lemp, who founded the Lemp Brewery in 1840. When his grandfather died in 1862, his father inherited the brewery, and it was renamed the William J. Lemp Brewing Co. When he committed suicide, most likely from depression after his favorite son Frederick died at age 28. His other son, William J. Lemp Jr., ran the brewery thereafter, until it was closed by prohibition in 1920.
This account of Lemp Jr.’s time running the brewery is from the Wikipedia page about the Lemp Mansion:
On November 7, 1904, William J. “Billy” Lemp, Jr., took over the brewing company as president. Billy had married Lillian Handlan five years earlier, and they moved to a new home at 3343 South 13th Street.
Lillian Handlan Lemp was, allegedly, nicknamed the “Lavender Lady” for her lavender-colored wardrobe and carriages. She filed for divorce in 1908, charging Billy with desertion, cruel treatment and other indignities. Their divorce proceedings lasted 11 days and ended in Lillian being granted her divorce and custody of William III – their only child – with Billy given only visitation rights.
After the trial, Billy built “Alswel” – his country home overlooking the Meramec River. The home was located in what is now the western edge of Kirkwood. By 1914, he lived at Alswel full-time.
The Lemp Brewery suffered in the 1910s when Prohibition began. The brewery was shut down and the Falstaff trademark was sold to Lemp’s friend, “Papa Joe” Griesedieck. The brewery itself was eventually sold at auction to International Shoe Company for $588,500. On December 29, 1922, Billy Lemp shot himself in his office — a room that today is the front left dining room.
This history of the Lemp Family is from Monstrosity, a paranormal convention offering stays in the supposedly haunted Lemp Mansion:
America’s First Lager Beer Brewers
When John Adam Lemp arrived in St. Louis from Eschwege, Germany in 1838, he seemed no different from the thousands of other immigrants who poured into the Gateway to the West during the first half of the 19th century. Lemp originally sought his fortune as a grocer. But his store was unique for its ability to supply an item sold by none of his competitors – lager beer. Lemp had learned the art of brewing the effervescent beverage under the tutelage of his father in Eschwege, and the natural cave system under St. Louis provided the perfect temperature for aging beer. Lemp soon realized that the future of lager beer in America was as golden as the brew itself, and in 1840 he abandoned the grocery business to build a modest brewery at 112 S. Second Street. A St. Louis industry was born. The brewery enjoyed marvelous success and John Adam Lemp died a millionaire.
William J. Lemp succeeded his father as the head of the brewery and he soon built it into an industrial giant. In 1864 a new plant was erected at Cherokee Street and Carondolet Avenue. The size of the brewery grew with the demand for its product and it soon covered five city blocks.
In 1870 Lemp was by far the largest brewery in St. Louis and the Lemp family symbolized the city’s wealth and power. Lemp beer controlled the lion’s share of the St. Louis market, a position it held until Prohibition. In 1892 the brewery was incorporated as the William J. Lemp Brewing Co. In 1897 two of the brewing industry’s titans toasted each other when William Lemp’s daughter, Hilda, married Gustav Pabst of the noted Milwaukee brewing family.
The Lemp Family
The demise of the Lemp empire is one of the great mercantile mysteries of St. Louis. The first major fissure in the Lemp dynasty occurred when Frederick Lemp, William’s favorite son and the heir apparent to the brewery presidency, died under mysterious circumstances in 1901. Three years later, William J. Lemp shot himself in the head in a bedroom at the family mansion, apparently still grieving the loss of his beloved Frederick. William J. Lemp, Jr. succeeded his father as president.
Tragedy continued to stalk the Lemps with startling ardor. The brewery’s fortunes continued to decline until Prohibition (1919) closed the plant permanently. William Jr.’s sister Elsa, who was considered the wealthiest heiress in St. Louis, committed suicide in 1920. On June 28, 1922, the magnificent Lemp brewery, which had once been valued at $7 million and covered ten city blocks, was sold at auction to International Shoe Co. for $588,500. Although most of the company’s assets were liquidated, the Lemps continued to have an almost morbid attachment for the family mansion. After presiding over the sale of the brewery, William J. Lemp, Jr. shot himself in the same building where his father died eighteen years earlier. His son, William Lemp III, was forty-two when he died of a heart attack in 1943. William Jr.’s brother, Charles, continued to reside at the house after his brother’s suicide. An extremely bitter man, Charles led a reclusive existence until he too died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The body was discovered by his brother, Edwin.
In 1970, Edwin Lemp died of natural causes at the age of ninety.
Not everyone is convinced that Junior’s death was a suicide, but may have been murder, as explained in All Things Lemp:
On December 28th, 1922 William Lemp Jr. was found shot to death in his office on the first floor of the Lemp Mansion. William Lemp Jr. was not a very well liked person. Junior’s personality was rather crass and abrupt. Most people who knew him would avoid him if all possible. Junior was not the first pick by his father to inherit the Lemp Brewery Presidency. This had to be embarrassing considering Junior was the oldest and by tradition the heir apparent. This honor was to be reserved for his youngest brother Fredrick. The reason why Junior was to be passed over to run the family’s brewing empire was the standing animosity between Junior and his father. Many think Senior despised his oldest son because he thought William Lemp Junior didn’t deserve to bear his name. Very few people at the time knew that William Lemp Jr. had an older brother that died shortly after birth. It pained his father deeply that the child died before it could be named. His father thought his first deceased son should have been given his name, not his second surviving son. This is believed to be the initial cause of their life long feud. Fredrick died in 1901 due to heart failure. If Fredrick would have survived, many think that we would have a Lemp Brewery today.
According to police reports, William Lemp Jr. was shot twice directly into the heart with a .38 caliber single action revolver. In order for someone to pull off a feat such as this, one would have to be able to pull the trigger twice. With a single action revolver, that would mean that he would have to cock the pistol, place it to his chest, and pull the trigger. Then he would have to repeat the process of cocking the revolver again, placing it to his chest, and pulling the trigger. I doubt seriously that anyone would have the ability to be able to shot themselves twice in the chest with this style of weapon. Especially after the initial shot would leave a rather large wound in your back and in shock. The police also found two rounds missing from the revolver’s cylinder. If he was shot twice, it there is a very good chance William Lemp Jr. was murdered.
The Coroner’s report states he was shot only once. If the Coroner is right it could have very well been a suicide. Since the findings of a Coroner’s inquiry outweighs the evidence presented by the police, the death of William Lemp Jr. was ruled a suicide, and the case was closed.
This is a slideshow of Lemp breweriana and photos.
While records going back this far in time are notoriously unreliable, some sources put the birthday of St. Arnulf of Metz at August 13, 583 C.E., such as Find-a-Grave, among others. He’s also known as Anou, Arnould, Arnold of Metz, and his feast day is July 18. Although even the year is not settled, and some sources give it as 580 or 582 C.E., so the actual likelihood that any of this is correct is pretty low.
“Saint Arnulf of Metz (c. 582 – 640) was a Frankish bishop of Metz and advisor to the Merovingian court of Austrasia, who retired to the Abbey of Remiremont. In French he is also known as Arnoul or Arnoulf. In English he is also known as Arnold.” Metz is located in northeastern France.
Also, Arnulf is one of at least three patron saints of brewers with similar names, although he is the oldest, and essentially first one. That’s one of the reasons I chose his feast day, July 18, for the holiday I created in 2008, International Brewers Day.
The Saint Arnold most people are familiar with is Arnold of Soissons, and he’s from much later, almost 500 years, and is thought to have been born around 1040 C.E. Less is known about the third, St. Arnou of Oudenaarde (or Arnouldus), and he’s also a patron saint of beer and specifically Belgian brewers, because Oudenaarde is in Flanders. His story takes place in the 11th century.
Here’s his bio from Find-a-Grave:
Saint Arnulf of Metz (c 582 — 640) was a Frankish bishop of Metz and advisor to the Merovingian court of Austrasia, who retired to the Abbey of Remiremont.
Saint Arnulf of Metz was born of an important Frankish family at an uncertain date around 582. In his younger years he was called to the Merovingian court to serve king Theudebert II (595-612) of Austrasia and as dux at the Schelde. Later he became bishop of Metz. During his life he was attracted to religious life and he retired as a monk. After his death he was canonized as a saint. In the French language he is also known as Arnoul or Arnoulf. Arnulf was married ca 596 to a woman who later sources give the name of Dode or Doda, (whose great grandmother was Saint Dode of Reims), and had children. Chlodulf of Metz was his oldest son, but more important is his second son Ansegisen, who married Saint Begga daughter of Pepin I of Landen.
Arnulf was canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. In iconography, he is portrayed with a rake in his hand.
He was the third great grandfather of Charlemagne.
St. Arnulf in the Metz Cathedral.
It was July 642 and very hot when the parishioners of Metz went to Remiremont to recover the remains of their former bishop. They had little to drink and the terrain was inhospitable. At the point when the exhausted procession was about to leave Champigneulles, one of the parishioners, Duc Notto, prayed “By his powerful intercession the Blessed Arnold will bring us what we lack.” Immediately the small remnant of beer at the bottom of a pot multiplied in such amounts that the pilgrims’ thirst was quenched and they had enough to enjoy the next evening when they arrived in Metz.
And here’s another account from Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites:
During an outbreak of the plague a monk named Arnold, who had established a monastery in Oudenburg, persuaded people to drink beer in place of water and when they did, the plague disappeared.
Arnold spent his holy life warning people about the dangers of drinking water. Beer was safe, and “from man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world,” he would say.
The small country of Belgium calls itself the ‘Beer Paradise’ with over 300 different styles of beer to choose from. Belgium boasts of centuries old tradition in the art of brewing. In the early Middle Ages monasteries were numerous in that part of Europe, being the centers of culture, pilgrimage and brewing. Belgium still has a lot of monasteries and five of these are Trappist, a strict offshoot of the Cistercian order, which still brews beer inside the monastery.
During one outbreak of the plague St. Arnold, who had established a monastery in Oudenburg, convinced people to drink beer instead of the water and the plague disappeared as a result. Saint Arnold (also known as St. Arnoldus), is recognized by the Catholic Church as the Patron Saint of Brewers.
St. Arnold was born to a prominent Austrian family in 580 in the Chateau of Lay-Saint-Christophe in the old French diocese of Toul, north of Nancy. He married Doda with whom he had many sons, two of whom were to become famous: Clodulphe, later called Saint Cloud, and Ansegis who married Begga, daughter of Pépin de Landen. Ansegis and Begga are the great-great-grandparents of Charlemagne, and as such, St. Arnold is the oldest known ancestor of the Carolingian dynasty.
St. Arnold was acclaimed bishop of Metz, France, in 612 and spent his holy life warning people about the dangers of drinking water. Beer was safe, and “from man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world,” he would say. The people revered St. Arnold. In 627, St. Arnold retired to a monastery near Remiremont, France, where he died on August 16, 640.
In 641, the citizens of Metz requested that Saint Arnold’s body be exhumed and ceremoniously carried to Metz for reburial in their Church of the Holy Apostles. During this voyage a miracle happened in the town of Champignuelles. The tired porters and followers stopped for a rest and walked into a tavern for a drink of their favorite beverage. Regretfully, there was only one mug of beer to be shared, but that mug never ran dry and all of the thirsty pilgrims were satisfied.
A modern portrait of St. Arnulf by American artist Donna Haupt.
Today is the birthday of William Blackall Simonds (August 13, 1761-January 13, 1834). Simonds “was a brewer and banker in the English town of Reading. He founded both Simonds’ Brewery, a component of today’s Wells & Young’s Brewery business, and J & C Simonds Bank, one of the precursors to Barclays bank.”
Here’s his entry from Wikipedia:
Simonds came from a family with estates at Arborfield to the south-east of Reading, but his father, William Simonds senior, had moved to Reading to set up a malting business that later grew to include brewing. William senior married Mary Blackall, and William Blackall Simonds was their only son. He was probably born in Reading, with records showing that he was baptised at the Broad Street Independent Chapel in Reading on 13 August 1761.
When William senior died in 1782, William Blackall Simonds inherited his business. He married Elizabeth May, who was the heiress of Daniel May, the miller of Pangbourne, and the ward of Thomas May, the miller of Brimpton and founder of a brewery in Basingstoke. In 1789 Simonds acquired a site on the banks of the River Kennet, and commissioned the architect Sir John Soane to build a brewery and house on the site. The riverside site permitted transport of raw materials and finished product by barge, and was to continue to serve as a brewery until 1980.
In 1791, Simonds was co-founder of a bank in Reading’s Market Place, in partnership with local businessmen Robert Micklem, John Stephens, and Robert Harris. His motivation in doing this was to help the brewery grow and to offer its output to a wider customer base. However this proved difficult, largely because local magistrates refused to issue licences for new public houses to sell his beer. As a consequence, Simonds decided to concentrate on his banking activities, and in 1814 he dissolved the original partnership and established a new family-run bank in partnership with his younger son Henry Simonds, and his cousins John Simonds and Charles Simonds. This bank was located in Reading’s King Street and later became known as John Simonds, Charles Simonds & Co., Reading Bank.
Simonds served as mayor of Reading in 1816. He retired to London and then to Pangbourne, where he died on 13 January 1834 and was buried in the family plot in Hurst churchyard.
“The Simonds brewery was founded in Broad Street in Reading by William Blackall Simonds in 1785 (although his father had a brewing arm of his malting business as early as 1760). The company moved to Bridge Street, where it remained until 1978. The site is now occupied by The Oracle shopping centre. Simonds became a very early limited company in 1885, taking the name of H & G Simonds from William’s two sons, Henry and George. The latter was the father of a later director, George Blackall Simonds, a sculptor.”
“The company amalgamated with Courage & Barclay in 1960 and dropped the Simonds name after ten years. Eventually the firm became part of Scottish & Newcastle who sold the brands to Wells & Young’s Brewery in 2007 and closed the Reading brewery three years later.”
William Blackall Simonds was the son of William Simonds Senior and his wife, Mary Blackall. The Simonds family owned extensive estates in the Hurst-Arborfield-Wokingham area of Berkshire, but William Senior, being a second son, left the land and set up a small malting, and later a brewing, business in Reading. Upon his death in 1782, this business passed to his only son.
The following year, young William Blackall Simonds married Elizabeth May, co-heiress of the late Daniel May, the miller of Pangbourne whose sister had married William’s uncle, Thomas Simonds. She was the ward of a third sibling, Thomas May, the miller of Brimpton, who had founded the May Brewery in Basingstoke some thirty years before. As well as such excellent business contacts, this match brought William a dowry of £2,000. This, added to the £1,000 he had inherited from his maternal grandfather in 1781, meant that he had a tidy sum of money available to him. Fortunately, he also had the youth, vigour and entrepreneurial skill to put it to good use in increasing his brewing capacity
Tradition has it that William opened his first permanent brewery in Broad Street in Reading in 1785. Unfortunately, the site allowed no room for expansion though and, business being swift, four years later, he purchased a larger and more flexible plot of land in Seven Bridges Street. It has been taken as a measure of his self-assurance that, at the age of only twenty-eight, William commissioned Sir John Soane, the foremost architect of the day, to design him both a new brewery and a grand Georgian family home on the site. Although, as Soane was educated in Reading, one wonders if they knew each other from their youth.
William had to borrow heavily to cover the £6,400 which his new brewing complex had cost him. But he was well aware of the need to turn a tidy profit and had a counting house erected next to his study. By 1790, the malthouses and 25-quarter plant were fully operational and an annual output of 6,000 barrels can be assumed. The house – complete with a tablet above the entrance and wall-paper in the drawing room showing the hop-leaf design which was to make the brewery famous – was not finished for a further four years, but, in 1794, Elizabeth and their seven children (one had died in infancy but one more was to follow) were able to move in.
An added advantage of the new brewery site was that it immediately adjoined the River Kennet, so it had its own wharves for the import of barley for malting and for secondary trades, often associated with brewing, like timber and vinegar production. In 1799, demand for Simonds beer had increased so much that William had a two horse-power Boulton and Watt steam engine replace his old horse-driven power system; and the offices were extended a few years later. He was also able to purchase for himself the lease on a fine country estate, across the River Thames, at Caversham Court, where he exploited the chalk pits on his land in order to sell chalk and flint to the glass works of Bristol.
William was by now recognised as a stylish man of substance in Reading. In 1791, he had been appointed Receiver-General of Taxes for West Berkshire and he subsequently contributed £1,000 to enter into a partnership which formed Messrs Micklem, Stephens, Simonds and Harris’s Bank in Reading’s Market Place. This was a natural expansion of his business interests. As Receiver-General, William could use his tax receipts for up to six months before remitting them to London, while, as a brewer and maltster, he held very large cash balances for certain periods of the year. He was also Reading’s Town Treasurer in 1793 and various years thereafter. Even in the financial crisis year of 1797, William’s share of the bank’s profits was £150 and he soon came to regard the bank as a better long-term prospect than the brewery.
Although the War with France had produced a financial boom in the brewing trade, the Simonds’ Brewery saw little of the benefits, for it was a relative latecomer to the industry. Older breweries kept a tight hold on existing retail outlets for beer and strict licensing laws meant few new ones were created. By 1805, William had managed to acquire ten public houses in Reading and seven in the traditional Simonds areas of Hurst, Wokingham, Arborfield and Pangbourne. But, by 1834, this had only expanded by three further inns and output at the brewery had increased by no more than 70%. William insisted on high quality beer to counteract the poor quality price-fixed products of his rivals and, in 1813, managed to secure the contract to supply the newly opened Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. Despite this triumph, however, the following year, he was so pessimistic about his brewery’s future that he decided he would sell up in order to concentrate more fully on banking.
Though his eldest son, Blackall, persuaded William to retain the brewery under his own management, the father withdrew from his original banking business and founded a family-based partnership of his own in King Street in Reading. His partners were his second son, Henry, his cousins, John and Charles, and his friend, Ralph Nicholson, and they had a working capital of some £25,000. This bank traded as J & C Simonds for about a century until it was absorbed by Barclays in 1912.
In 1816, as soon as William considered both the brewery and the bank to be in secure hands, he stepped down from involvement in business matters; though not totally from public life as he served as Mayor of Reading that year He arranged that he should be paid an annuity and divested himself of all other wealth, retiring first to 40 York Place in London and then to Pangbourne. He lived the quiet life for twenty years until his death on 13th January 1834, at which time his estate was worth less than £1,000. He was buried in the family plot in Hurst churchyard. His wife, Elizabeth, survived him by eight years.
The brewery survived in the name of William’s two sons, H & G Simonds, until 1960 when it merged with Courage & Barclay. Courage moved the brewery to the edge of Pingewood in 1985 and it is now the largest in Europe.
Today is the birthday of Charles Wells (August 13, 1842-April 1, 1914). He “was the British founder of Charles Wells Ltd, now the largest privately owned brewery in the United Kingdom, and the progenitor of the Wells Baronets of Felmersham.” In 2006, the brewery entered into a joint venture with Young’s Brewery, becoming Wells & Young’s Brewing Co Ltd., with Wells retaining 60% of the combined business.
This biography is from his Wikipedia page:
Wells was born on 13 August 1842, the second son of George Wells. He left Bedford Modern School at the age of fourteen and went to sea, ‘signing up with the shipping company Wigrams as a midshipman on the frigate Devonshire’. Wells was made a Captain on 16 December 1868 and offered command of Wigrams’s first steamship.
While on leave in the early 1870s, Wells became engaged to Josephine Grimbly of Banbury, Oxfordshire. Josephine’s father, although in favour of the match, said that ‘Charles Wells must leave the sea and find a new and less dangerous career’. In 1872 Charles and Josephine married; they had five sons (one of whom, Richard Wells was created a baronet) and three daughters.
In 1876, Wells became a brewer when he took over a coal wharf, a malt house and brewery in Horne Lane, Bedford and thirty five public houses, sold to him at public auction in December 1875. He subsequently sold off the coal business.
In 1903, Wells became a member of Bedford Borough Council which he served until 1909. Four of Charles’s sons became partners in the brewery on condition that they live in Wells’s native town of Bedford. In 1910, the business was registered as a private limited company, valued at £150,000 and owning 140 pubs.
Charles Wells died in Bedford on 1 April 1914.
And this account is from the brewery’s Wikipedia page:
Charles Wells, after whom the company is named, was born in Bedford in 1842; he left school at the age of 14 and ran away to sea by boarding the frigate ‘Devonshire’ which was bound for India. In the late 1860s, Wells was promoted to Chief Officer when he fell in love with and proposed to a Josephine Grimbley. Unfortunately, his prospective father-in-law put paid to his plans when he announced that no daughter of his would marry a man who would be away at sea for months at a time. And so Wells, desperate to marry his sweetheart, left his seafaring career and in 1876 established the Charles Wells Family Brewery to provide beer for the local population of Bedfordshire.
Charles Wells Ltd (also known as Charles Wells Brewery and Pub Company, and previously as Charles Wells Family Brewery) was founded by Charles Wells in 1876. In 1875, a two and a quarter acre site came to auction on the banks of the River Ouse as it ran through Bedford. This site contained both a coal depot and a brew house; included in the price were 35 pubs, mainly in Bedford and the surrounding area.
Wells thought that beer would always be in demand, and with the help of his father-in-law he purchased the site and began work to turn the small brew house into a fully fledged brewery which could serve the county.
As water is an essential ingredient for any beer, Wells believed that good quality water is vital to create the best beer. In 1902, Wells climbed a local hill a couple of miles from the brewery and sank his own well to tap into an underground reservoir of water, purified through layers of chalk and limestone. All beers to this day, both their own and under licence, are made with the certified mineral water drawn from this well.
By 1976, exactly 100 years since the company was established, the brewing operation moved from the Horne Lane site to a new site, the Eagle Brewery on Havelock Street. The move came about due to an increased demand for the company’s beers, spurred on by a deal with Red Stripe brewery Desnoes & Geddes. This offered the company the chance to install the most up-to-date brewing equipment, and a state of the art bottling line.
The company is still in the family’s hands, with the fifth generation coming into the business. There are currently six members of the family who work within the company, serving the Charles Wells Brewery, Charles Wells Pub Company, and John Bull Pub Company. Charles Wells Pub Company has an estate of more than 200 pubs predominantly based across the Eastern and Northern Home Counties regions, while Charles Wells beers are distributed through both the Charles Wells and Young’s pub estates, as well as through various free houses.
This video, “Charlie Wells: The Story,” was produced by the brewery:
Today is Mark Carpenter’s 79th birthday. Mark had been the head brewer at Anchor since 1971 and is responsible for much of their success over the years. Not too long ago, he celebrated his 40th anniversary at Anchor, and he began stepping back from his day-to-day duties, a process which took several years, but now he is officially retired, although happily I still see Mark from time to time around the neighborhood. He’s a terrific person and one of the nicest people I know. Join me in wishing Mark a very happy birthday.
Dave Suurballe with Mark at Anchor a few years ago.
Matt Salie, with Big Sky Brewing, and Mark at a recent Anchor Christmas party.
Me and Mark at the Anchor Christmas party a few years ago.
Mark showing off a new release, Brekle’s Brown.
Mark, Herlinda Heras and me (I’m holding the third glass) toasting our friend Glenn Payne, who passed away in late 2015.
Today is the 67th birthday of Dave Keene. Dave, of course, owns the best beer bar in San Francisco, the Toronado, which has been around for over 30 years. Dave is one of the great figures in the San Francisco beer scene and also one of my favorite Washoe partners, and we’ve had some monumental games and vanquished many fine players — you know who you are! Join me in wishing Dave a very happy birthday.
Peter Bouchaert, brewmaster at New Belgium Brewing, with Dave at one of Beer Chef Bruce Paton’s beer dinners.
Outside the Toronado for their 20th anniversary, Dave bookended by fellow publicans Don Younger (from the Horse Brass in Portland) and Chris Black (from the Falling Rock in Denver).
At a beer release party for Brother Dave’s Triple. From left: Fal Allen, Mark Cabrera, Dave Gatlin (head brewer at AVBC) , Me and Dave.
Dave and Tomme Arthur, from the Lost Abbey, after a night of Washoes during SF Beer Week a few years ago.
Dave Keene and me at the Summit Hop Festival held at Drake’s Brewing several years ago.
Dave with Vinnie Cilurzo, from Russian River Brewing, last year at the “Toronado 25th Anniversary Dinner and Blending Session.”
In the back room at the Toronado, Dave, Alec Moss and me, at Alec’s 70th birthday party a few years ago.