Saturday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1955. 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. Nancy Woodruff was elected Miss Rheingold 1955.” She was born in Detroit Michigan in 1933, but was raised in San Leandro, California. Humorously, one newspaper reported she attended “San Leandro high school in San Francisco,” and not in … San Leandro. When she was 18, two years ago, she moved to New York City to pursue a modeling career. She entered the 1952 Miss Rheingold contest and was chosen as a finalist, but list to Mary Austin that year. But tried again in 1954, and well, here we are. I’m not sure who her career fared after this year, as there’s not much information I could find. Apparently, she did some early television, but mostly commercial work. She married stock broker Jack Paul Adler of New York in 1956, and they appear to have had two children, before moving to Naples, Florida at some point. She passed away in early 2004. This is page seven of an eight-page insert published in the Los Angeles Times on January 2, 1955 entitled “The Rheingold Story” and featuring the newly elected Miss Rheingold for 1955, Nancy Woodruff. Page 7, entitled “Like an old and trusted friend,” shows Ms. Woodruff having concluded her day with Dr. Scheulein, Chairman of the Board of the Rheingold Brewery, he’s offering her a final beer, saying “we come to the climax, the taste of Rheingold. Let it roll on your tongue. Savor the aroma with all its delicate overtones. Notice how the dryness of Rheingold lets the real beer flavor come through, keeps the taste crisp and clean with never an aftertaste.”
Archives for January 7, 2023
Today is actually the day that Matthew Nunan passed away, January 7, 1916, and was born in 1834, or possibly 1836, or maybe even 1828, but the exact date or even month is unknown. There are even some sources that give his date of death as January 13. He was born in Limerick, Ireland, and emigrated to the U.S. when he was fourteen, settling in California in 1855. Lured there by dreams of striking it rich in the goldmines, he soon tried of mining, and first opened a grocery store in San Francisco, but eventually bought the Mission Street Brewery. When they moved the brewery and built a larger one, they renamed it the Hibernia Brewery. Matthew Nunan also served two terms as Sheriff of San Francisco, 1876-1877 and 1878-1879.
Gary Flynn has a more thorough Biography of Matthew J. Numan at his Brewery Gems website. He also has a lengthy history of the Mission Street Brewery (1860-1867) and [its] successor The Hibernia Brewery (1867-1920).
Today is the birthday of John G. Schemm (January 7, 1834-March 24, 1899). He was born in Germany, but when he was 22, in 1852, he and his father moved to the U.S., settling on a farm near Detroit. Unfortunately, after a short time, John’s Dad passed away, and he moved to Saginaw, Michigan in 1864. With business partner Christian Grueler, he started a brewery, the Schemm & Gruhler Brewery, in 1866. Three years later, Gruhler passed away and he brought on another partner, renaming the brewery the Schemm & Schoenheit Brewery in 1874. But by 1881, he bought him out, and it became the John G. Schemm Brewery. When he passed away, his son George C. Schemm took over, and incorporated it in 1899 as the J. G. Schemm Brewing Co. Inc. It closed in 1919 due to prohibition, and was sold to another business who tried reopening it as the Schemm Brewing Co. Inc., but it closed for good in 1938. While I found some information on the brewery, there was very little about Schemm himself, not even a picture of him.
This account of the brewery is from the “Industries of the Saginaws: Historical, Descriptive and Statistical,” by John W. Leonard, published in 1887.
This Schemm’s obituary from the American Brewers Review in 1899:
Today is Harry Schuhmacher’s 54th birthday. Harry covers the business side of beer news at his wonderful Beer Business Daily. Our paths cross only occasionally, but I had the pleasure of getting to know Harry better during a press junket to Bavaria several years ago, and he’s one of the warmest, thoughtful and funniest people I’ve met. And he’s a beertard, too. You can also read his occasional personal ramblings at Thanks For Drinking Beer, essays from which is also available as a book, too. Join me in wishing Harry a very happy birthday.
Harry in Germany on a press trip.
With fellow beer writer Horst Dornbusch in Bamberg.
Harry and me enjoying a meal in the Hallertau region of Bavaria.
Harry with a server at his favorite sushi restaurant, presumably in his native San Antonio, Texas, who apparently bought and enjoyed his collection of essays.
Today is the birthday of John Kress (January 7, 1825-April 16, 1877). He was born in Hessen, which today is part of Germany. He trained as both a cooper and a brewer, before emigrating to New York in 1850. He worked at the Jacob Ahles Brewery (on 207-224 East 54th, between 2nd & 3rd) for three years, when he and a partner bought it, renaming it the John Kress & Christian Schaefer Brewery. After ten years it became the John Kress Brewery and later the John Kress Brewing Co., though no word what happened to Schaefer. It closed in 1911. This was the only picture of John Kress I could find.
John Kress also produced bottled beer, and the bottles are now very collectible. Some of the beers they produced included Extra Lager Bier, Karthauser Beer, La Paloma, Lager Beer, and Wiener Beer, all brewed at least between 1884 and 1904.
I was also able to find some of the Preferred Stock in the brewery.
But by far most of the information I could find on John Kress was this biography from the