Wednesday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1953. 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. This newspaper item, entitled “Model Candidates,” features a photo of the six finalists for Miss Rheingold 1954, and ran in the Brooklyn Eagle on August 13, 1953, with official voting to begin four days later, on Monday, August 17.
Archives for November 16, 2022
Today is the birthday of Charles Liebmann (November 16, 1837-June 23, 1928). He was born in Schmiedelfeld, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. His father owned the Castle Schmiedelfeld, but when Charles was two, the family moved to Ludwigsburg and operated the Zum Stern Inn there, which also included a brewery. For political reasons, some of the family moved to America around 1850 to build a home, and the rest followed in 1854. Initially he ran the old Maasche Brewery, but later built a new brewery in Bushwick. Originally, it was called the Samuel Liebmann Brewery, but when his sons joined the brewery, it was called the S. Liebmann’s Sons Brewery. When Joseph’s father died in 1872, Charles and his brothers took over the family brewery. After prohibition ended, the brothers’ six sons re-opened the brewery as the simpler Liebmann Breweries, but in 1964 they changed the name again to Rheingold Breweries, after their most popular beer. The brewery closed in 1976.
Charles Liebmann was born in 1837. His father Samuel Liebmann was at that time owner of the estate Schloss Schmiedelfeld. In 1840, the family moved to Ludwigsburg and operated there the inn “Zum Stern” with attached brewery. There Liebmann attended the secondary school.
After the father decided for political reasons to emigrate to America, Liebmann’s brother Joseph was sent ahead in 1850 to build a new home. This settled in Williamsburg. Four years later, the rest of the family followed.
In the new home Liebmanns first operated the old Maasche Brewery. For a short time Liebmann was employed by the F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company as Küfer. Later, the family built a new brewery in Bushwick – the S. Liebmann Brewery.
After the death of his father Samuel Liebmann in 1872, his sons took over the management of the brewery and renamed it S. Liebmann’s Sons Brewery. The Liebmann brothers alternated with each other as Chief Executive Officer each year. Charles Liebmann was considered the technical director of the company. In 1903, the Liebmann brothers retired and handed over the management of the company to six of their sons.
Liebmann died in 1928 in New York.
This short biography of Charles is from his Ancestory.com page:
When Charles Liebmann was born on November 16, 1837, in Schwäbisch Hall, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, his father, Samuel, was 38 and his mother, Sara, was 36. He married Sophia Bendix on October 22, 1865. They had six children during their marriage. He died on June 23, 1928, in Manhattan, New York, at the age of 90, and was buried in Queens, New York.
This is from “The Originators of Rheingold Beer: From Ludwigsburg to Brooklyn – A Dynasty of German-Jewish Brewers,” by Rolf Hofmann, originally published in Aufbau, June 21, 2001:
New Yorkers over the age of fifty will remember the brand name Rheingold Beer and the company’s brilliant publicity stunt in which a bevy of attractive young women competed annually for the privilege of being elected that year’s Miss Rheingold and appearing in ads on billboards and in the subways throughout the New York area.
The beer’s evocative name with its allusion to Germany’s great river, was the culmination of a German-Jewish family enterprise that had its beginnings in 1840 in the town of Ludwigsburg, north of Stuttgart, in what was then the Kingdom of Württemberg. One Samuel Liebmann, a member of a prominent Jewish family in the region, settled there and bought the inn and brewery “Zum Stern.” A liberal and staunch supporter of Republican ideals, Liebmann encouraged other like-minded citizens, including some soldiers from the garrison, to meet in his hospitable surroundings. The ideas fomented there contributed to the local revolution of 1848. It brought the opprobrium of the King down upon Liebmann’s enterprise, and “Zum Stern” was declared off limits to the soldiers. Soon thereafter, in 1850, Samuel Liebmann emigrated to the U.S.
The family settled in Brooklyn and Samuel, together with his three sons, Joseph, Henry, and Charles, opened a brewery once again at the corner of Forest and Bremen Streets. With the responsibilities divided among the family – Henry became the brewing expert, Charles. the engineer and architect, Joseph, finance manager – the company was already flourishing by the time of Samuel’s death in 1872. Success also led to a concern for the company’s Brooklyn surroundings, and the Liebmanns became involved in local welfare – focusing on housing and drainage systems.
Each of the three brothers had two sons, and when the older Liebmanns retired in 1903, the six members of the third generation took over. Other members of the family also contributed to the gradual expansion of the company. In 1895 Sadie Liebmann (Joseph’s daughter), married Samuel Simon Steiner, a trader in high quality hop, an essential ingredient for good beer. Steiner’s father had begun merchandising hop in Laupheim in 1845 and still today, S.S. Steiner, with its headquarters in New York, is one of the leading hop merchants. Under these fortuitous family circumstances, beer production grew constantly. In the early years, the brewery had produced 1000 barrels per year, by 1914 its output stood at 700,000 barrels.
The Liebmann family.
Unfortunately, political developments in the U.S. between 1914 and 1933 were extremely disadvantageous for the Liebmann brewery. The resentment against Germany and anything German during World War I led to an informal boycott of German beers. Following close upon the lean wartime years, was the implementation of Prohibition in 1920 forbidding the manufacturing and trading of alcohol. The Liebmann enterprise managed to survive by producing lemonade and a product they called “Near Beer.”
With the reinstatement of legal alcohol production under President Roosevelt in 1933, opportunities for the brewery opened up, abetted by the anti-Semitic policies of Hitler’s Germany. The pressures on Jewish businessmen there, brought Dr. Hermann Schülein, general manager of the world-renowned LšwenbrŠu brewery, to America. Schulein’s father, Joseph, had acquired two of Munich’s leading breweries at the end of the nineteenth century–Union and Münchner Kindl–and his son had managed the 1920 merger with Löwenbrau. Arriving in New York with this experience behind him, Hermann Schülein became one of the top managers of the Liebmann brewery and was instrumental in its spectacular growth after World War II.
Working with Philip Liebmann (great-grandson of Samuel), Schülein developed a dry lager beer with a European character to be marketed under the brand name “Rheingold.” According to company legend, the name was created in 1883 at a brewery dinner following a performance at the Metropolitan Opera. When the conductor took up his glass, he was so taken with the shade of the beer, that he declared it to be the color of “Rheingold.” For New Yorkers, however, the name Rheingold did not bring to mind the Nibelungen fables, but the pretty young ladies who participated in Schülein’s most brilliant marketing strategy – the selection of each year’s Miss Rheingold by the beer-drinking public of greater New York
At the height of the campaign’s success in the 1950’s and 60’s, the Liebmann Brewery had an output of beer ten times that of Löwenbrau at the same time in Munich.
For thirty years, Rheingold Beer reigned supreme in the New York area, but by 1976, as a local brewery, it could no longer compete with nationwide companies such as Anheuser & Busch, Miller, and Schlitz, and its doors were closed. Only recently, using the same brewmaster, Rheingold is once again being sold in the tri-state area.
Here’s an “Origin of Liebmann Brewery” posted by a relative on Ancestry.com:
On May 12, 1833 (Sulzbach-Laufen Archive) Samuel and his older brother Heinrich bought a castle/inn Schmiedelfeld, Sulzbach-Laufen, Schwaebisch Hall District that dated from 1739. They renovated the place and created a prosperous farm/estate and in 1837 began a brewery in the cellar. In 1840, he moved to Ludwigsburg, near Stuttgart and purchased the gasthaus [guest house or inn] “Zum Stern” on Seestrasse 9 (later Zum Rebstock) which included a brewery. (source: Translation extract from Dr. Joacim Hahn’s book, History of the Jewish Community of Ludwigsburg)
After supporting a movement to oust King William I of Wurttemberg, and sensing the wavering tolerance of Jewish businessmen, Samuel sent his eldest son Joseph to the US in 1854 to scout out a location to establish a brewery.
Samuel retired in 1868 and turned the family business over to his sons Joseph, Charles, and Henry under the name S. Liebmann’s Sons Brewery.
Today is the birthday of Johann Evangelist Götz (November 16, 1815-March 14, 1893). In Polish, his name is usually written as Jan Ewangelista Goetz. He founded the Okocim Brewery in 1845. Located in Brzesko in southeastern Poland, “his son Jan Albin expanded the family business, married a Polish aristocrat, and changed his name to Goetz-Okocimski. In 1945 the brewery was nationalized, then reprivatized in the 1990s. Carlsberg first acquired an interest in 1996, eventually acquiring full control in 2004.”
This short biography is from his Wikipedia page:
Johann Evangelist Götz was born to Anton and Josephine Götz. He attended the village school in his native Langenenslingen and middle school in Wilfigen, which he completed in 1830. He then worked in his father’s brewery and on the family’s farm. At the age of 18, as a journeyman brewer, he was employed in his cousin’s brewery in Hitzhofen. Subsequently, as a member of the brewer’s guild, he was obliged to travel away from his home region and establish himself as a brewer elsewhere.
He left Bavaria in 1834 and traveled around Germany and Austria, working in various breweries. He finally settled in Klein-Schwechat, near Vienna, where he obtained a position of “Cellarer” in a brewery of another cousin, Anton. After a year and a half, he was promoted. As an assistant to his cousin over the course of six years, he improved and modernized the brewery so that eventually it became one of the best-run brewing enterprises in Austria-Hungary. It was during that time that Götz introduced the then-new technique of bottom fermentation, which he would later utilize in his Okocim Brewery in Poland.
This is the entry from the Wikipedia page for the Okocim Brewery:
[Götz was] a German beer maker born in Wirtemberg together with Joseph Neumann, from Austria-Hungary, and local Polish noble, Julian Kodrębski. The first batch of beer was brewed on February 23, 1846. During the “Rabacja“, an Austrian-inspired peasant uprising in Galicia in 1846, directed at Polish nobility as well as affluent merchants, Götz barely escaped with his life. He survived thanks to help from local friends and the fact that the workers of his brewery stood up in his defense, certifying that his business provided good pay and decent working conditions. In turn, Götz helped to save the life of Julian Kodrębski, who had partly funded his brewery, by hiding him in woods on the banks of the Uszwica river in Brzesko, and providing him with food which was delivered over the course of ten days by workers from the brewery.
After the death of Neumann, Götz became the sole owner of the brewery. He modernized the enterprise and expanded it, adding a malthouse in 1875. In 1884 the brewery was visited by J. C. Jacobsen, the founder of Carlsberg brewery in Denmark.
After the death of Johann Evangelist Götz in 1893, the brewery was taken over by his son, Jan Albin Goetz. Jan Albin further expanded the family business, married a Polish aristocrat, and changed his name to Goetz-Okocimski. The Götz family quickly assimilated into Polish culture, became Polish patriots and engaged itself in Polish politics. Among other endeavors they funded a statue of Adam Mickiewicz, a gallery and the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków, contributed money to buy out the Wawel castle from Austrian authorities. Jan Albin was also the president of the Koło Polskie (“Polish Circle”) in the Austrian parliament, and after Poland regained its independence a senator to the Polish sejm He built a private rail link between the brewery and the Brzesko rail station. As the richest person in Lesser Poland at the time he was also a philanthropist and a patron of the arts.
This account of the history of the Okocim Brewery is translated from Polish website:
John the Evangelist Goetz – the man from whom it all began.
At that time, Jan Goetz was a true visionary. Considered the father of modern brewing in Poland, he was one of the pioneers in the production of so-called Bavarian beer, bottom fermentation. The revolutionary nature of this method consisted in breaking with traditional forms of brewing beer, unchanged since the early Middle Ages. The new method consisted of aging at low temperatures of 7-12 º (in ice-cooled cellars) as well as bottom-up and back fermentation. This new species, called the lager, with a characteristic golden color and dense foam, beat the traditional types of beer on the head in terms of taste and allowed to store longer.
Although the founder of Okocim Brewery Jan Götz came from German Langenenslingen, he emphasized his belonging to Poland from the beginning. Soon for his involvement in the life of the local community, he received the nickname noble – Okocimski – and adopted the Polish name Goetz.
One of Jan Goetz’s principles was: best of the best. That’s how the best ingredients made beer, which brought Goetz fame and fortune. Goetz also kept in touch with other brewers, exchanging experiences and training in the art of brewing beer. At the end of the 19th century, Goetz met Jacob Christian Jacobsen, the creator of Carlsberg Brewery, who is only two years younger brother of Okocim.
The beginnings of Okocim Brewery
The history of the plant begins in 1845. It was then that Okocim with a small amount of money, sufficient only to build a small brewery, came then thirty-year-old Jan Goetz. Together with a partner, he began building a state-of-the-art brewery in Poland at that time. It was the quality of the beer brewed in it that made Goetz brewery very quickly become one of the largest in Poland. In 1846, the first bright full in Poland was brewed in Okocim. The first beer was only 7,500 buckets (1 bucket – approx. 60 l).
In the years 1846 – 1879, the volume of production in Okocim reached 24,000. hl. In the 1980s, three types of beer were introduced: Marcowe, Lager and Bock. The brewery, in particular, became famous for the latter, commonly known as bock. The brewery’s success gradually increased.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the brewery achieved an increase in production to 120 thousand hl. The beginning of the 20th century is already production at the level of 385,000 hl. In addition, the Okocim brewery from the beginning of its existence specialized in the production of oak barrels, not only for its own needs, but also for other breweries.
Okocim Brewery – beer for generations
In 1893, after the death of John the Evangelist, Okocim Brewery passed into the hands of his son, Jan Albin Goetz. In recent years before World War I, the brewery was at the forefront of the best of 1,200 breweries throughout the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. During the war, the Russian army forced the brewery to stop brewing for several months. After opening in 1915, the quality of beer dropped significantly. However, already in free Poland Jan Albin managed to restore Browar Okocim to the highest brand. During this period Okocimskie and Slodowe beers with the addition of sugar were brewed, as well as seasonal St. John’s beer.
After the death of his father, Antoni Jan Goetz became the owner of the brewery. Soon he launched a porter, which was sold in elegant, engraved bottles. The brewery’s prosperity was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. Antoni Jan Goetz and his family fled to France from the approaching German army, and the brewery passed into the hands of the occupier and began producing beer for the army.
When the Red Army approached Okocim, the German administrator, Karl Schroeder, ordered the dismantling of the basic machinery and equipment of the plant and taking them to Magdeburg. However, the train did not leave Silesia. The equipment was found and checked back by the brewery employees. The machines were quickly mounted to their former places, thanks to which the brewery began production in the same year.
After World War II, the brewery was expropriated and functioned as the State Brewing Company in Okocim, later renamed Okocimskie Brewing and Sweet Factory. Despite the lack of major modernizations, it was one of the most prosperous breweries in the country. It mainly brewed OK Pils beer, but also Caramel beer (formerly Słodowe).
The Goetz family – responsible employers, patrons of culture and art
The Goetz family was not only interested in beer – they supported culture, art and engaged in local life. Along with the brewery, the city also developed. New jobs were created. Thanks to the philanthropy of John the Evangelist, the first folk primary school, a neo-Gothic church, presbytery and library were opened in the vicinity of the brewery. In 1898, the Goetz took part in the buyout of Wawel from the Austrians, financially supported the construction of the Adam Mickiewicz monument on the Krakow Market Square, the construction of the theater Słowackiego and the opening of the gallery in the Sukiennice.
The Goetz family took special care of the brewery’s employees. In 1878, Okocim was one of the few workplaces to have its own credit and loan fund. Then a theater room was built, and a brass band was created.
Jan Goetz, as an avid social activist, founded a volunteer fire department, often leading the way in danger. He was awarded the Papal Order of St. New Year’s Eve and the Gold Cross of Merit with the Crown awarded by the emperor for participating in fire fighting around Okocim.
Jan II Albin Goetz Okocimski was an avid patron of the arts. In his collection he had canvases of artists such as Chełmoński and Malczewski. Family members were painted by, among others, Stanisław Wyspiański and Olga Boznańska.
Okocim Brewery today
Today, the Okocim brewery is undoubtedly a contemporary brewery, but drawing on its unique history. Not only when it comes to buildings, many of which remember the Goetz family, but above all in the approach to brewing beer and the principles that are passed down from generation to generation among Okocim brewers.
Today is the 38th birthday of Mark Dredge, who writes the beer blog Pencil and Spoon from his home in Kent, England. I’ve had the pleasure of drinking with Mark on a few of his trips across the pond. The first time, at the opening gala for SF Beer Week, and several years ago at the Beer Bloggers Conference in Boulder, Colorado, and more recently judging at GABF. By day, he works in digital marketing and social media, most recently for Pilsner Urquell, and by night, he’s “a beer writer and blogger.” The last two times I saw him, a few years ago in Belgium, and also in San Francisco, it was working for Pilsner Urquell. In December 2009, he won the British Guild of Beer Writers New Media Writer of the Year for Pencil and Spoon. If you don’t read his stuff, you should. Join me in wishing Mark a very happy birthday.
With Mark at Central Kitchen in San Francisco on the anniversary of the 1st tapping of Pilsner Urquell, November 9, 1842.
Mark, at left, having lunch at Mountain Sun in Boulder, Colorado during the Beer Bloggers Conference a few years ago.
Raising a toast. (Note: This last photo was purloined from Facebook.)
Today is the birthday of Peter Ballantine (November 16, 1791–January 23, 1883). He “was the founder of Patterson & Ballantine Brewing Company in 1840 in Newark, New Jersey,” which is better known by its later name, the P. Ballantine and Sons Brewing Company.
He was born on November 16, 1791 in Dundee, Scotland. He emigrated to Albany, New York in 1820 and learned brewing. By 1830 he had established his own brewery there. In 1840 he moved to Newark, New Jersey and partnered with Erastus Patterson and leased the old High Street Brewery that had been built in 1805 by John R. Cumming. In 1845 Ballantine pulled out of the partnership. In 1850 Ballantine built his own brewery on the Passaic River and in 1857 took on his sons as partners.
Here’s a short bio of Ballantine from Find-a-Grave:
Businessman. He founded the Ballantine Brewing Company in 1840 in Newark, New Jersey. Born in Scotland, he emigrated to the United States in 1820, and learned the beer brewing craft in New York City, New York. He acquired a brewery with a partner and moved its operations to New Jersey. He became the sole proprietor in 1847, and the P. Ballantine and Sons Brewery would produce beer under that name until 1972. At the height of its operations it would be the 3rd largest brewer in the United States. Today the Ballantine Beer brand is owned and produced by the Pabst Brewing Company.
This is from “America’s Successful Men of Affairs: The United States at Large,” published in 1896
And here’s a history of the Ballantine brewery from “A History of American Manufactures from 1608 to 1860,” by John Leander Bishop, Edwin Troxell Freedley, Edward Young, published in 1868: