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. In this newspaper item, from August 21, 1955, the six finalists hoping to become Miss Rheingold 1956 or on a tour of Rheingold markets trying to drum up votes for themselves, but also publicity for the brewery. In this visit, they’re heading to San Bernadino, which was a newer market for Rheingold in the mid-1950s.
Archives for February 11, 2023
Historic Beer Birthday: John Weidenfeller
Today is the birthday of John Weidenfeller (February 11, 1867-1929). He was born in Germany, but came to America with his family, who settled in Michigan and owned a farm. Weidenfeller though, defying his father’s wishes, became a brewer, working first with “Frey Bros. and Kusterer Brewing Companies. In 1892, these two breweries joined three others to form the Grand Rapids Brewing Co.” He later worked in Montana for the Centennial Brewery, before accepting a position as brewmaster of Olympia Brewing in Washington.
There’s also a photograph of Weidenfeller that can be seen at Brewery Gems’ biography of John Weidenfeller shared with him by the brewer’s family.
There’s less about brewmasters, as opposed to brewers who were also brewery founders or owners, when you go back this far, but there’s a pretty thorough biography of Weidenfeller by Gary Flynn at his website Brewery Gems.
Weidenfeller around 1901, with his workers in Montana.
Beer Birthday: Dylan Schatz
Today is the 51st birthday of Dylan Schatz, who until not too long ago was the brewmaster at Mad River Brewing in Blue Lake, which is where he’s originally from. Dylan started in 1999 in the brewery’s packaging department, on the bottling line, and immediately fell in love with the beer industry. He took classes at UC Davis and became a brewer, and in 2005 was named head brewer. He’s a terrific person, one who often doesn’t get all the credit he deserves, especially since he had been making some amazing beers. I heard he’d left under circumstances that were less than ideal, but I have not had a chance to ask him directly, or find out what he’s doing now. Please join me in wishing Dylan a very happy birthday.
Dylan with some of the crew from Mad River after winning Small Brewery and Brewer of the Year at GABF in 2010.
Behind the bar at Mad River’s tasting room during a visit there several summers ago, when I was in the research phase for my latest book, California Breweries North.
Dylan and Vic at the Double IPA Fest
Bistro Double IPA Winners 2023
Earlier today, the 23rd annual Double IPA Festival was held at the Bistro in Hayward, California, and after a virtual fest two years, and a modified outdoor festival last year, this year it was back to a much more typical festival, complete with people and sunshine off and on. I got there early for judging again this year, and we were back in the basement again — which was oddly comforting. We judged 87 Double IPAs for most of the morning and part of the afternoon, before choosing our favorites
After emerging from the darkness into the light, it was nice to see the shining, at least from time to time.
At 2:00 p.m., Vic and Cynthia gathered everybody together to announce this year’s winners.
- 1st Place: Alvarado Street Double Cone
- 2nd Place: Floodcraft Freshly Rubbed
- 3rd Place: Beachwood Green Shift
People’s Choice Awards
- Double IPA: Ghostown / Slice collaboration: Lurid Lupulin
Historic Beer Birthday: Joseph Bosch
Today is the birthday of Joseph Bosch (February 11, 1850-January 9, 1937). He was born in Achim, Lower Saxony, Germany, the son of a brewer, but came to America in 1854. They started in New York, but moved to Lake Linden, Michigan in 1862, and a few years later began training as a brewer. In 1874, he came back to Michigan, and started his own brewery, the Torch Lake Brewery, which eventually became known as the Bosch Brewing Co. It survived prohibition, but Bosch died in 1937. His two grandsons took over management of the company, and it stayed in business until 1973, when their labels were sold to the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company.
Here’s some biographical information from Wikipedia:
Joseph Bosch was born in Baden, Germany in 1850. He emigrated to New York with his family when he was four, then moved to Wisconsin at the age of twelve, where his father was a brewer. In 1867, the family moved to Lake Linden; there, Bosch worked as a miner of the Calumet & Hecla company. However, he harbored the desire to become a brewmaster, and travelled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to work at the Schlitz Brewery, then on to Cleveland, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky before returning to Lake Linden in 1874 to found the Torch Lake Brewery. Two years later he admitted business partners and changed the name to Joseph Bosch & Company. In 1894 he again changed the name, this time to Bosch Brewing Company, and in 1899 the brewery was the largest in the Upper Peninsula, with a capacity of 60,000 barrels annually.
Bosch was also the president of Lake Linden’s First National Bank, organized in 1888, and participated in various mercantile enterprises, including those carried on in the Joseph Bosch Building.
And there was this at the Van Pelt and Opie Library at Michigan Tech:
Joseph Bosch, founder of the Bosch Brewing Company, had always yearned to enter the brewing industry. He had learned much from his father, a brewer in his native country of Germany, who had brought the family to Lake Linden, Michigan in 1867. A desire for more knowledge and experience led the young Bosch to Cleveland, Fort Wayne and finally Milwaukee, where he worked for the Schlitz brewery. He returned to Lake Linden in 1874, erected a small wooden building and began brewing operations as the Torch Lake Brewery, Joseph Bosch & Company. Bosch operated the brewery on his own for the first two years, but in 1876 admitted several men on a partnership basis. The company continued as a partnership until around 1894, when the reorganized firm issued stock under its new name, the Bosch Brewing Company. The company continued in operation for nearly a century, closing the last of its facilities in 1973.
In the early years of brewing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, little if any beer was sold in bottles. Bosch saw the potential of this packaging, however, and the company began bottling on a small scale before 1880. By 1883, the original wooden building in Lake Linden had been enlarged and the company was producing 4,000 barrels of beer annually, one quarter of which was bottled. The brewery was completely destroyed in a great fire that swept through Lake Linden in 1887, but the demand for its product fired quick construction of new facilities. By the turn of the century the Bosch Brewing Company had brewing facilities in Lake Linden and Houghton, as well as branches and storehouses in Calumet/Laurium, Hancock, Eagle Harbor and Ishpeming. Having survived the difficult years of prohibition, the company finally closed the Lake Linden facility in favor of the better-situated facilities in Houghton.
Stressing the relationship of its product and the community, the Bosch Brewing Company featured many local themes in its advertising. Promotional phrases such as the “Refreshing as the Sportman’s Paradise” kept the small brewery close to the hearts of Copper Country natives and visitors from farther afield. The company found itself increasingly unable to compete locally with the larger breweries of Milwaukee and St. Louis, however, and the last keg of beer was ceremoniously loaded onto a wagon for delivery to a local tavern on Friday, September 28, 1973.
This is from the “History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,” published in 1883:
JOSEPH BOSCH & CO., proprietors of Torch Lake Brewery. This business was organized in 1874, and is owned one-half by Joseph Bosch, the other by Joseph Wertin & Sons, of Hancock; 4,000 barrels of beer. are manufactured annually, 1,000 of which is bottled. Joseph Bosch was born in Baden, Germany, February 13, 1850, and came to America with his parents in 1854; he spent nine years in New York City, and then removed to Port Washington, Wis., where he learned the brewing business with his father. In 1867, in company with his father, he came to Torch Lake, and erected the first house in what is Lake Linden; he worked four years at the Hecla Stamp Mill. In 1874, he built the brewery; he was married at Hancock in January, 1875, to Miss Mary, daughter of Joseph Wertin. Mrs. Bosch was born in Austria. They have a daughter — Mary.
And finally, here’s a longer biography of Bosch from “Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of Houghton, Baraga and Marquette Counties, Michigan,” published in 1903:
Historic Beer Birthday: Charles Engel
Today is the birthday of Charles Engel (February 11, 1816-June 2, 1900). was born in Stadtgemeinde Bremen, in Bremen, Germany. He emigrated to Philadelphia when he was 29, in 1840, and began brewing there, first as Engel and Wolf’s, and later as Bergner & Engel’s.
Here’s his obituary from the American Brewers Review of July 1900.
Here’s his story, from “100 Years of Brewing,” recounting his role in brewing some of the first lagers in America:
His first partnership was with Charles Wolf, but after he retired, Gustavus Bergner joined the company and it became known as the Bergner and Engel Brewing Company.
“100 Years of Brewing” also has an entry for the Bergner and Engel Brewing Company:
And this similar account is by Pennsylvania beer historian Rich Wagner:
Charles Wolf, a sugar refiner in the neighborhood, had an employee named George Manger, who was a brewer by trade. Manger obtained some of the yeast and began making larger batches in a brewery on New Street near Second. Around the same time, Charles Engel, also a brewer, emigrated and found work in Wolf’s refinery. In 1844 Engel and Wolf brewed their first batch of lager beer in the sugar pan and stored it in sugar hogsheads to be shared with their friends.
The same year, the refinery was destroyed by fire and Mr. Wolf went into the brewing and distilling business at 354 Dillwyn Street. Engel & Wolf’s brewery became a popular resort of the Germans of Philadelphia who were known to “drink the brewery dry.” Since lager yeast requires colder fermenting and aging (lagering) conditions than ale yeast, ice houses became more important than ever. Vaults were dug in 1845, and with the increasing number of German immigrants, Mr. Wolf expanded the brewery. In 1849 he purchased a property on the Schuylkill River known as Fountain Green where lager beer vaults extending over 200 feet were dug. For several years wort was hauled by ox teams from Northern Liberties to the vaults at Fountain Green, a distance of about three miles. Over the next few years a new brewery was erected on the site, modern and complete in every way. It was the first large-scale lager brewery in the United States.
Fountain Green was an ideal location. It was out in the country where there was plenty of room. There were springs on the property. Wolf’s farm was just up the road. The banks of the river are composed of Wissahickon Schist, which is fairly soft and easy to dig. In winter, being right on the river was an advantage when harvesting ice for refrigeration. In addition, the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad served the brewery with the “Engel Side” spur.
Philadelphia developed along both of it’s rivers, but along the more navigable Delaware, ship building, shad fishing, industry and commerce were most abundant. Philadelphia’s reputation as “The Workshop of the World” was earned in large part by the “river wards” of Northern Liberties, Kensington, and Frankford. These neighborhoods were literally teaming with breweries. When lager beer began to catch on, many brewers rented beer vaults along the Schuylkill River, and in the area that came to be known as Brewerytown.
Engel & Wolf enjoyed success, but in 1870 the property was acquired by the Fairmount Park Association. The city had just built the Fairmount Water Works, the most technologically sophisticated, state of the art municipal water pumping facility in the nation, and to ensure water quality, removed all industry from the Schuylkill River for a distance of five miles upstream. At this time Mr. Wolf retired and his partner joined Gustavus Bergner to create the Bergner and Engel Brewing Company.
Gustavus’ father Charles had started a brewery on North Seventh Street in the Northern Liberties in 1852 which Gustavus took over upon his father’s death. In 1857, Gustavus erected a brewery at 32nd & Thompson Streets, an address that would become the heart of Brewerytown. Interestingly enough, Brewerytown was essentially up and over the river bank from the old Engel and Wolf brewery.
The earliest picture of Brewerytown that I have been able to uncover is based on four Hexamer Surveys that were made in 1868. They show thirteen breweries, one of which had a distillery, three “lager beer vaults,” including one owned by Peter Schemm, a row of dwellinghouses with beer vaults beneath them, a number of stables and at least three or four brewery saloons.
Beginning in the 1870’s ice-making and artificial refrigeration technology radically altered the equation. It made proximity to river ice of little importance. Huge fermenting and storage houses could be constructed anywhere and they could maintain cold temperatures year round. Where brewers had been bound to brew only during the colder months, it was now possible to brew year round. With the exponential increase in popularity of lager beer, artificial refrigeration was the answer to a dream.
Some brewers who had rented vaults in or near Brewerytown built breweries there. Others refrigerated their breweries and no longer needed to rent vaults. According to the list of projects executed by brewery architect Otto Wolf, the breweries were continually being altered and enlarged to accommodate the trade. The trend was for the brewers to go west to Brewerytown from the river wards, but some left Brewerytown and went into business in Kensington.
The Bergner & Engel B.C. was one of the largest brewers in the country. B & E won the Grand Prize at the Centennial Exposition held in Philadelphia in 1876 and the Grand Prize at the Paris Exposition in 1878. Their beer was shipped across the country, and around the world. Gustavus Bergner was very active in the United States Brewers Association, the Philadelphia Lager Beer Brewers Association, and the Philadelphia Brewmasters Association. B & E was the largest brewer in Philadelphia, and eventually absorbed three other Brewerytown breweries: Mueller, Eble & Herter, and Rothacker.
When prohibition loomed on the horizon, Mr. Bergner had significant political clout and did everything humanly possible to prevent severe trauma to the brewing industry, not only in Philadelphia, but throughout the nation. At first, the brewers thought they would not be affected. After all, beer was hardly intoxicating when compared with liquor. Then they thought if they reduced the alcohol to 2.75% they could still sell their product. Anti-dry forces in Congress attempted to make beer available by physicians’ prescription. But in the end the Federal Government established the legal limit for “near beer” at one half of one per cent alcohol.
Prohibition devastated the brewing industry. It was such an unpopular law, that for some time, things just went on as they had before. Most of the city’s brewers were law-abiding German Americans. They could not fathom a world without a foamy seidel of beer. Not only that, but they would have to become criminals in order to make beer, their “staff of life.” Legally, they brewed “near bear,” and made soda. They made malt extract for the malt shop as well as for the home brewer, and sold yeast and ice. The Poth brewery became home to the Cereal Beverage Company, the local distributor of Anheuser-Busch’s Bevo. Due to demand and profitability, however, many continued to produce “high-octane” beer, even after being raided several times, sometimes while they were involved in litigation.
The government targeted the biggest guy on the block and made an example of B & E. After being raided, B & E continued to make beer. It was a case of the public and business community defying a terribly unpopular law and the government responded with a vengeance. And while B & E had lots of legal tricks up its sleeve, in the end the government prevailed and shut them down. Breweries throughout the city were padlocked. And in December of 1928, as police sewered nearly a million gallons of B & E beer, officers were quoted as saying “B & E made the best beer in the city.”
Historic Beer Birthday: Daniel Jung
Today is the birthday of Daniel Jung (February 11, 1822-December 2, 1877). A member of one of several Jung families in brewing, Daniel was born in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, but settled in the Cincinnati area of Ohio, where he founded a brewery that eventually would bear his name.
When it was first opened in 1857, along with partner Peter Weyand, it was called the Western Brewery (some sources say 1854). In 1879, they added a third investor, and it became the Weyand, Jung & Heilman Brewery. It 1885, with Jung apparently sole owner, it is renamed the Jung Brewing Co., which it remained until 1908, when it went back to being the Western Brewery, before closing due to prohibition in 1919.
But I’ve been unable to find much about Jung personally, about his life. The only obituary I uncovered was in German, and was a scan, meaning I couldn’t just copy it into Google Translate. I know he came to New York from Germany in his early 20s, but returned home for a number of years, before returning via New Orleans and making his way to Cincinnati, where he stayed for the rest of his life.
I do really love their branding, though. They marketed their beers under the name “Red Brand Beer,” with a bright red heart. So many labels of this time period are dull and similar, while this one really seems to stand out. I’d love to see more of their labels and artwork, but unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much out there lurking on the interwebs. Even their slogan is pretty awesome. “Creates & Sustains Life.”
Here’s yet another account of his brewery history.
In 1857, Peter Weyand and Daniel Jung established the Western Brewery on Freeman and Bank Streets in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1879, Weyand and Jung partnered with Max Hellman and operated the brewery until 1885. In 1885, following the deaths of Peter Weyand and Daniel Jung, the brewery was renamed the Jung Brewing Company. The Jung Brewing Company operated from 1885 to 1890. In 1890, the brewery was sold and merged with Cincinnati Breweries Company.
A Jung Brewery glass from 1895.
A label from their Old Lager.