Wednesday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1956. 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 promotional photo, from August, the six finalists for Miss Rheingold 1957 are shown lying on the ground in a circle, another example of a promotional photo sent to the media to use in potential stories about the contest.
Archives for March 22, 2023
Historic Beer Birthday: Joseph A. Straub
Today is the birthday of Joseph A. Straub (March 22, 1880-1948). He was the son of Peter Straub, who founded the Straub Brewery in St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania in 1872. After his father passed away, Joseph became brewmaster and general manager. The brewery is still owned and operated today by the Straub family.
Following Peter’s death on December 17, 1913, his sons assumed control of the brewery, renaming it the Peter Straub Sons Brewery. During this time, the brewery produced Straub Beer as well as other beer, such as the pilsner-style Straub Fine Beer and Straub Bock Beer. In 1920, the Straub Brothers Brewery purchased one half of the St. Marys Beverage Company, also called the St. Marys Brewery, where St. Marys Beer was produced. During Prohibition, which lasted from January 29, 1920, until December 5, 1933, the brewery produced nonalcoholic near-beer. On July 19, 1940 they purchased the remaining common stock and outstanding bonds of the St. Marys Beverage Company.
Beer Birthday: Steve Wellington
Today is the 79th birthday of Steve Wellington. He “started working for Bass in 1965, a year after the Worthington’s brewery was demolished, and brewed both Bass and Worthington’s beers. He left Bass to run his own business, teaching people how to brew at home, then returned in 1994 to run the White Shield microbrewery as part of the Brewing Museum in Burton. He brewed some of the beers Burton had lost: Worthington’s E, Imperial Stout, Barley Wine, and the legendary Worthington’s White Shield.” In 2007, he was named “Brewer of the Year’ by the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group in 2007 and Guild of British Beer Writers’ Brewer of the Year in 2004. I met him shortly after that, when I visited Marston’s in Burton-on-Trent, accompanying Matt Brynildson on a trip to do a collaboration beer. He was very generous with his time and showed us around his brewery. He then retired several times, as many as five (according to Roger Protz), the last time in 2018. When he retired previously, in 2011, Pete Brown referred to him as the “Jedi Master Brewer of Worthington White Shield,” and that sums him up nicely. I’ve run into Steve at least one another time, and he’s a great person. Join me in wishing Steve a very happy birthday.