Friday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1957. 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 is something I haven’t turned up before. This is the actual ballot people would use to vote for Miss Rheingold 1958. It simply lists the six finalists for Miss Rheingold 1958 alphabetically: Robin Bain, Jolene Brand, Madelyn Darrow, Marylu Miner, Cathy Monahan, and Carolyn Stroupe. So to vote, you’d just put an “X” next to your choice and drop it in a specially marked box at your local liquor store, bar, or other authorized Rheingold seller. And this year, something like 24 million people did just that.
Archives for May 12, 2023
Beer Birthday: Homer Simpson
Today is the birthday of Homer J. Simpson (May 12, 1956- ). At least that’s the agreed upon date, which comes from episode 16 in Season 4, entitled “Duffless,” which originally aired February 18, 1993. In the episode, Homer loses his driver’s license when he gets a DUI and there’s a scene where his license is voided by a judge. Eagle-eyed fans were able to freeze the frame and see that his date of birth listed on the identification card was May 12, 1956.
Here’s one biography of Homer, this one from the IMDb:
Homer (b.May 12, 1956) was raised on a farm by his parents, Mona and Abraham Simpson. In the mid-1960s, while Homer was between nine and twelve years old, Mona went into hiding following a run-in with the law. Homer attended Springfield High School and fell in love with Marge Bouvier in 1974. Marge became pregnant with Bart in 1979, while Homer was working at a miniature golf course. The two were wed in a small wedding chapel across the state line, From there they spent their wedding reception alone at a truck stop, and the remainder of their wedding night at Marge’s parents’ house. After failing to get a job at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Homer left Marge to find a job by which he could support his family. He briefly worked at a taco restaurant called the Gulp n’ Blow, until Marge found him and convinced him to return. As a result, Homer confronted Mr. Burns and secured a job at the Plant. Marge became pregnant with Lisa in 1981, shortly before the new couple bought their first house. In 1985 and 1986, Homer saw brief success as the lead singer and songwriter for the barbershop quartet the Be Sharps, even winning a Grammy. During his time with the group, Homer was frequently absent from home, which put stress on his marriage. After the group broke up due to creative differences, Homer went back to Springfield to continue his old life. Sometime in the late 1980s, Homer and Marge carefully budgeted so Homer could have his dream job as a pin monkey in a bowling alley. Unfortunately for Homer, Marge became pregnant with Maggie shortly after he started his new job, and not being able to support his family, he went back to the Nuclear Plant. He likes martini.
Homer’s age was initially 34, but as the writers aged, they found that he seemed a bit older too, so they changed his age to 38; this is contradicted by The Homer Book which states Homer is currently 36. Homer reunites with his mother.Homer’s personality is one of frequent stupidity, laziness, and explosive anger. He suffers from a short attention span which complements his short-lived passion for hobbies, enterprises and various causes. Homer is prone to emotional outbursts; he is very envious of his neighbors, the Flanders family, and is easily enraged by Bart and strangles him frequently. He shows no compunction about this, and does not attempt to hide his actions from people outside the family, even showing disregard for his son’s well being in other ways, such as leaving Bart alone at a port. While Homer’s thoughtless antics often upset his family, he has also performed acts that reveal him to be a surprisingly caring father and husband: in “Lisa the Beauty Queen”, selling his cherished ride on the Duff blimp and using the money to enter Lisa in a beauty pageant so she could feel better about herself; in “Rosebud”, giving up his chance at wealth to allow Maggie to keep a cherished teddy bear; in “Radio Bart”, spearheading an attempt to dig Bart out after he had fallen down a well, even though Homer generally hates doing physical labor; and in “A Milhouse Divided”, arranging a surprise second wedding with Marge to make up for their lousy first ceremony, even going so far as to hire one of The Doobie Brothers as part of the wedding band and getting a divorce from Marge, essentially making their second wedding a “real” one.
Homer frequently steals things from his neighbor, Ned Flanders, including TV trays, power tools, air conditioners, and at one point, part of his house. Flanders knows about this, but Homer constantly states that he has “borrowed” the stolen items. He has also stolen golf balls from the local driving range, cable television, office supplies (including computers) from work, and beer mugs from Moe’s Tavern. Also, while ‘working the night shift’ with the rest of the employees at a local discount store (which was just them being locked in at night and forced to stay via electrocution chip) he made off with a number of Plasma Screen TVs on a forklift, while at the same time breaking out of the store.
Homer has a vacuous mind, but he is still able to retain a great amount of knowledge about specific subjects. He shows short bursts of astonishing insight, memory, creativity and fluency with many languages. Homer is also extremely confident; no matter how little skill or knowledge he has about anything he tries to do, he has no doubt that he will be successful. However, his brief periods of intelligence are overshadowed by much longer and more consistent periods of ignorance, forgetfulness and stupidity. Homer has a low IQ due to his hereditary “Simpson Gene,” his alcohol problem, exposure to radioactive waste, repetitive cranial trauma, and a crayon lodged in the frontal lobe of his brain. Homer’s intelligence was said to jump fifty points when he had the crayon removed, bringing him to an IQ of 105, slightly above that of an average person, however he had the crayon reinserted, presumably lowering his IQ back to its original 55. The amount of Homer’s brain which still functions is also questionable. At one point in the series, Homer apparently lost 5% of his brain after a coma.
Homer’s attitudes toward women, romance, and sex are occasionally explored. While Homer’s marriage with Marge is occasionally strained, it seems generally happy and faithful. Despite this, Homer usually shows no qualms with gawking at (and drooling over) attractive women. Homer successfully avoided an affair with Mindy Simmons, but has made the occasional remark denoting his attraction to other women (including the gag about coveting his neighbor’s wife), even in front of Marge.
His relationship with his children is not the best, although he loves his children deeply. His relationship with Bart is often shown as a love-hate relationship or friendship. They sometimes appear to get on very well, however, such as on the numerous occasions they jointly commit various petty crimes or “get-rich-quick”-schemes. Homer’s relationship with Lisa is usually quite good although Lisa often tires of her father’s ignorance. His relationship with Maggie is perhaps the best, due to her infant state. However, even though Maggie has saved his life a number of times, he sometimes forgets she even exists (once telling Marge the dog does not count when she told him they had three kids).
So while Homer doesn’t brew beer, he does certainly drink a lot of it. And without him, the world may not have ever heard of Duff Beer. And even though there are a few real world examples of Duff being brewed, I don’t recommend them, at least not the ones I’ve tried. But do drink a toast to Springfield’s favorite beer drinker, Homer Simpsons. Below are a few of the times Homer’s mentioned beer throughout the show’s twenty-plus year run.
“Beer. Now there’s a temporary solution.”
— Homer Simpson, in “Homer’s Odyssey,” Season 1, Episode 3, 1990
“Ah, good ol’ trustworthy beer. My love for you will never die.”
— Homer Simpson, in “Bart Gets Hit by a Car,” Season 2, Episode 10, 1991
— Homer Simpson, “Lisa’s Pony, Season 3, Episode 8, 1991; “So It’s Come to
This: A Simpsons Clip Show,” Season 4, Episode 18, 1993; and “Whacking
Day, Season 4, Episode 20, 1993”
“I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer.”
— Homer Simpson, in “Duffless,” Season 4, Episode 16, 1993
“Ah beer, my one weakness. My Achilles heel if you will.”
— Homer Simpson, in “So It’s Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show,” Season 4, Episode 18, 1993
“Alright Brain, you don’t like me, and I don’t like you. But lets just get me through this, and I can get back to killing you with beer.”
— Homer Simpson, in “The Front,” Season 4, Episode 19, 1993
“To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.”
— Homer Simpson, in “Homer vs. The Eighteenth Amendment,” Season 8,
Episode 18, 1997
Homer: “Will there be beer?”
Movementarian: “Beer is not allowed.”
Homer: “Homer no function beer well without.”
Movementarian: “Would you rather have beer or complete and utter contentment?”
Homer: “What kind of beer?”
— Homer Simpson, in “The Joy of Sect,” Season 9, Episode 13, 1998
“I’m glad I’m back. Because the moment that sweet, sweet beer hit my tongue, I was born again!”
— Homer Simpson, in “The Joy of Sect,” Season 9, Episode 13, 1998
“Well, this time I’m drunk on love… and beer.”
— Homer Simpson, in “Natural Born Kissers,” Season 9, Episode 25, 1998
“Expand my brain, learning juice!”
— Homer Simpson, about to drink a Duff Beer, in “See Homer Run,” Season
17, Episode 6, 2005
Therapist: “And has there been any improvement in Homer’s drinking?”
Marge: “Well, he’s down to two beers in the shower.”
Homer: “They’re pale ales … please.”
— From “Specs and the City,” Season 25, Episode 11, 2014
Historic Beer Birthday: Frank J. Hahne, Jr.
Today is the birthday of Frank J. Hahne, Jr. (May 12, 1883-February 1980). He was the son of Frank J. Hahne, who founded the DuBois Brewing Co. either in 1896 or 1897, sources seem mixed. The brewery survived prohibition, with Frank Jr. taking over in 1932, and the brewery stayed in business until 1973, although the business was sold to Pittsburgh Brewing in 1967. Given that Frank Hahne Jr. lived until 1980, it’s surprising that I could not find any photos of him online, or indeed anything about his exploits running the family brewery.
As I mentioned, there was some confusion about the brewery’s founding date, which is addressed on the Wikipedia page for the town of DuBois, Pennsylvania:
There seems to be some debate as to exactly when Frank Hahne came to DuBois and broke ground on his own facility. One source claims 1898, another 1897. It seems most likely that this occurred between April and the end of 1896. It was on April 16, 1896, that the DuBois Weekly Courier reported: “Some new developments in connection with the brewery may be looked for in the near future.”
There were a number of reasons Hahne chose the DuBois site for his facility, but the most frequently cited was the excellence of the water supply. He purchased 2,300 acres (9.3 km2) surrounding the local reservoir to protect the watershed from pollution.
By 1906, the brewery had four products on the market: DuBois Wurzburger, Hahne’s Export Pilsener, DuBois Porter, and DuBois Budweiser. The Budweiser name would be at the center of controversy for 60 years between DuBois Brewing and Anheuser-Busch.
The DuBois brands soon traveled far and wide for a brewery of its size, ranging up to 150 miles (240 km) away and selling well in Buffalo, Erie and Pittsburgh. The brewery’s 300-barrel kettle was kept busy churning out brands, while the left-over grain materials were pressed and sold for cattle feed and grist mills in the rural areas surrounding DuBois.
As with many other American breweries, DuBois Brewing moved right along until 1918 and the advent of Prohibition. The brewery shifted production to “near beer” and soft drinks and opened the H&G Ice Company. According to the April 7, 1933, DuBois Courier, the brewery won the honor of being one of only two breweries in the entire nation that had never violated or been suspected of violating the Prohibition laws since the 18th Amendment went into effect. As a result, DuBois Brewing Company was issued license number G-2, allowing them to resume brewing immediately upon the enaction of the 21st Amendment.
Frank Hahne died in 1932, and the brewery was passed to his only son, Frank Hahne Jr., whose own only son died in infancy, leaving the family without an heir. Hahne Jr. sold the brewery to Pittsburgh Brewing in 1967.
The brewery was torn down in late 2003.
This account, from the DuBois Area Historical Society, picks up after his father’s death in 1932:
With the death of his father, management of DuBois Brewery passed to Frank Hahne Jr. with his sister, Marie, as vice president.
The DuBois Brewery had many successes and some setbacks defending its right to use the Budwiser name for over 60 years that it brewed a Budweiser beer. Starting in 1905 when the brewery began the use of the name for one of its many beer brands, Hahne Sr. and later Frank Jr. maintained that their major label beer’s name was derived from the original Budvar Brewery of Budweis, Germany, in the present Czech Republic. This was the Royal Brewery of the Holy Roman Emperor dating back to the early Middle Ages. Effective October 31, 1970, however, Frank Hahne Jr. was prohibited from the using the Budweiser name by a Federal Court order.
In 1967, because of no heirs and the fact that he was losing interest, Frank Jr. had sold the brewery to the Pittsburgh Brewing Company for $1 million, as the Budweiser name case was preceding through the appeals process. A temporary production output problem for Iron City and the DuBois competition was eliminated at the same time. Five years later, 1972, the DuBois Brewery was closed forever. The Pittsburgh company had been bound by the terms of sale to keep the DuBois plant operating for those five years. While under the ownership of Iron City, the Budweiser name case was settled with Anheuser-Busch for a reported million-dollar profit for Pittsburgh Brewing, which had won the U. S. Supreme Court decision. So in effect, Iron City Beer got the DuBois Brewery for next to nothing, however over 100 jobs were lost.
The brewery building complex, which had been used by various businesses over the decades since closing as a brewery, was demolished in 2003. Clearfield County took over the largely condemned and abandoned area and tore down the derelict structures that summer. First to go was the H & G Ice Company followed by the stock house, offices, and, finally, the huge main brewery building and smoke stacks. During the demolition, the whole rear side collapsed unexpectedly with a loud crash and a billow of dust. Luckily, the workmen were on a break and no one was hurt. Rubble was piled to make a ramp that enabled the cranes to reach and safely remove the tall smokestacks. The powerhouse and the smaller outbuilding shops were the last to go. A DuBois landmark was gone.
Curiously, the DuBois brewery started marketing a beer under the name DuBois Budweiser in 1905. Not surprisingly, Anheuser-Busch brought suit in 1908, but dismissed it and the two brands were marketed simultaneously until DuBois finally stopped making its Budweiser in 1972, after it was owned by Pittsburgh Brewing. Here’s the interesting story of the two Budweisers, from a Metropolitan News-Enterprise article on Thursday, August 4, 2005
Anheuser-Busch long tolerated the operations of DuBois Brewery, maker of “DuBois Budweiser.” It did sue the small Pennsylvania brewery for infringement in 1908, but dismissed the action without prejudice the following year, supposedly because company president Adolphus Busch was in ill-health and conserving his energies. It wasn’t until 1940 that it filed a new action, 35 years after the introduction of “Dubois Budweiser.”
The Associated Press reported on March 11, 1947:
The DuBois Brewing Co. of DuBois, Pa., contended in Federal District Court Monday that the name “Budweiser Beer” is a geographic and descriptive name and is not the exclusive name of the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Corp. of St. Louis. Judge R. M. Gibson heard arguments in a suit entered by Anheuser-Busch to bar the Pennsylvania company using the name Budweiser for its products. “We have a great mass of testimony to show that where Anheuser-Busch Budweiser and DuBois Budweiser are sold together, there is no confusion,” Elder W. Marshall, former Allegheny county judge and counsel for the DuBois company, declared. “The bartender knows his customers and knows which Budweiser they want,” he continued. “Where a stranger asks for Budweiser, the bartender asks him, ‘Anheuser-Busch or DuBois?’” Marshall said Anheuser-Busch had no exclusive right to the name when DuBois first used it in 1905 and that nothing has occurred since to justify issuance of an injunction against DuBois using the name.
Gibson held on Sept. 9, 1947, that “Budweiser” was not a geographic term as applied to the product of either litigant. The beer of neither brewer came from Budweis. And the word was not a mere description because there was no such thing as a Budweiser process for making beer. It was, plainly and simply, a trade name, he found.
Declaring DuBois to be an infringer in using that trade name, the jurist said:
“In the instant case the Court has had little difficulty in determining that in 1905, when defendant adopted its trade name, the name ‘Budweiser’ identified beer so marked to the general public as the product of Anheuser-Busch.”
As to laches, Gibson wrote:
“While the delay in bringing the action has been great, it must not be forgotten that defendant faced the fact that suit might again be brought when it consented to the withdrawal of the 1909 action, and that since the withdrawal it had notice that plaintiff was not consenting to its use of the trade name.”
The majority of a three-judge panel of the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals saw it differently. Judge John J. O’Connell remarked in his May 12, 1949 opinion:
“Certainly we have found no case in which injunctive relief was granted after an inexcusable delay for a comparable period of time….In our view, this is not merely a matter of laches; Anheuser has been grossly remiss.”
O’Connell said of the dismissal in 1908:
“The conclusion is irresistible that the Association feared the outcome of its 1908 suit, and that the long delay prior to the filing of the instant complaint amounted to at least an acquiescence in use of the word by DuBois, which Anheuser should be estopped to deny at this late hour, if it was not an actual abandonment of the exclusive right as far as DuBois was concerned.”
The DuBois brewery was purchased in 1967 by Pittsburgh Brewing Company which continued to produce DuBois Budweiser. It ceased production in 1972 following an adverse decision in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
The Associated Press reported on Oct. 1, 1970:
A 65-year court battle over the use of the name “Budweiser” by two brewing companies apparently came to a head Wednesday when a federal judge shut off the tap on “DuBois Budweiser.”
Judge Louis Rosenberg ruled in U.S. District Court that the name “Budweiser” is now the exclusive trademark of Anheuser-Busch, Inc., of St. Louis….
The two companies in the past reached several court agreements limiting the area in which the DuBois product could be sold, but each agreement was marred by charges of violation.
Historic Beer Birthday: Louis Hennepin
Today is the birthday of Louis Hennepin (May 12, 1626-c. 1705). Hennepin “was a Roman Catholic priest and missionary of the Franciscan Recollet order (French: Récollets) and an explorer of the interior of North America.” His name was used for a Farmhouse Saison brewed by Brewery Ommegang known as Ommegang Hennepin.
Here’s his biography from Wikipedia:
Antoine Hennepin was born in Ath in the Spanish Netherlands (present-day Hainaut, Belgium). In 1659, Béthune, the town where he lived, was captured by the army of Louis XIV of France. Henri Joulet, who accompanied Hennepin and wrote his own journal of their travels, called Hennepin a Fleming (i.e. a native of Flanders).
At the request of Louis XIV the Récollets sent four missionaries to New France in May 1675, including Hennepin, accompanied by René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle. In 1678, Hennepin was ordered by his provincial superior to accompany La Salle on an expedition to explore the western part of New France. Hennepin was 39 when he departed in 1679 with La Salle from Quebec City to construct the 45-ton barque Le Griffon, sail through the Great Lakes, and explore the unknown West.
Hennepin was with La Salle at the construction of Fort Crevecouer (near present-day Peoria, Illinois) in January 1680. In February, La Salle sent Hennepin and two others as an advance party to search for the Mississippi River. The party followed the Illinois River to its junction with the Mississippi. Shortly thereafter, Hennepin was captured by a Sioux war party and carried off for a time into what is now the state of Minnesota.
In September 1680, thanks to Daniel Greysolon, Sieur Du Lhut, Hennepin and the others were given canoes and allowed to leave, eventually returning to Quebec. Hennepin returned to France and was never allowed by his order to return to North America. Local historians credit the Franciscan Récollect friar as the first European to step ashore at the site of present-day Hannibal, Missouri.
Two great waterfalls were brought to the world’s attention by Hennepin: Niagara Falls, with the most voluminous flow of any in North America, and the Saint Anthony Falls in what is now Minneapolis, the only waterfall on the Mississippi River. In 1683, he published a book about Niagara Falls called A New Discovery. The Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton created a mural, “Father Hennepin at Niagara Falls” for the New York Power Authority at Lewiston, New York.
The Thomas Hart Benton mural “Father Hennepin at Niagara Falls”
Because of explorations with La Salle throughout the Great Lakes region, there are geographic places named for Hennepin in Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ontario Canada, but especially Minnesota, where he’s considered the unofficial godfather of the state. For example, here’s a more thorough entry on Hennepin from the Minnesota Encyclopedia:
Father Louis Hennepin, a Recollect friar, is best known as an early explorer of Minnesota. He gained fame in the seventeenth century with the publication of his dramatic stories of the exploration of the Mississippi River. Father Hennepin spent only a few months in Minnesota, but his influence is undeniable. While his widely read travel accounts were more fiction than fact, they allowed Hennepin to leave a lasting mark on the state.
Louis Hennepin was likely born in 1640, although some sources suggest it was as early as 1626. The son of a wealthy banker, he was baptized in the small town of Ath in what is now Belgium on April 7, 1640. Hennepin joined the Recollect Friars at a monastery in Béthune, France, and was ordained a priest in 1666. A few years later, Hennepin asked his superiors for permission to join the Recollect missionaries in North America. In 1675, he sailed to Quebec.
The Recollects were a French branch of the Franciscan order. They were active throughout France’s territory in North America. Hennepin spent his first three years as a missionary in the area of the eastern St. Lawrence River, ministering to voyageurs, colonists, and American Indian communities. In 1678, Hennepin was chosen to accompany René-Robert Cavelier Sieur de la Salle on his exploration of the Mississippi. In 1680, while on La Salle’s expedition, Hennepin and two other members of the party, Michel Accault and Antoine Auguelle (Picard du Gay), were sent to explore the section of the Mississippi north of the Illinois River.
The three men set out early in March 1680, progressing north while avoiding ice that remained on the river. They had just reached Lake Pepin on April 11 or 12 when they encountered a Dakota war party. The Dakota took the three men captive and transported them to a village near Lake Mille Lacs. Hennepin, Accault, and Auguelle lived in the Dakota village until late June or early July of 1680.
At midsummer, Hennepin and Auguelle received permission from the Dakota to canoe down the Mississippi to the mouth of the Wisconsin River. There they planned to collect supplies that the La Salle expedition had left for them. During this trip Hennepin and Auguelle first encountered the waterfall on the Mississippi that Hennepin named in honor of his patron saint, St. Anthony of Padua.
During his own expedition, Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut, heard rumors that the three men were being held captive. On July 25, 1680, Greysolon arrived at the Dakota village to negotiate the release of Hennepin, Accault, and Auguelle. By August, the three captives had begun their journey back to French forts in the east. Hennepin left Canada in the fall of 1681 and returned to France.
Once in France, Hennepin embarked upon the literary career that would bring him both fame and criticism. His first book, A Description of Louisiana, newly discovered to the South-West of New France, was published in Paris in 1683. It detailed his travels, his experiences living with the Dakota, and his discovery of St. Anthony Falls. From the start, Hennepin’s work was a blend of myth and fact. In his travel accounts he made waterfalls much higher and wildlife far more dangerous. He depicted the American Indian populations of North America as barbarous savages. An egotistical and vain man, Hennepin portrayed himself as La Salle’s favorite and most trusted confidant.
In his following two books, published in 1697 and 1698, Hennepin exaggerated further. He claimed that he had traveled from Illinois down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico and back before being captured by the Dakota. The details of his improbable canoe trip, covering some three thousand miles in only a month, were taken directly from accounts of La Salle’s own trip down the Mississippi two years after Hennepin’s time in Minnesota. While his books continued to circulate widely, his reputation was significantly damaged.
Little is known about the end of Hennepin’s life. Around 1700 he traveled to Rome to seek funding from Franciscan authorities. Some say that Hennepin died in Rome around 1701, while other sources suggest he returned to Utrecht and died in 1705. Hennepin’s memory lives on in the many parks, landmarks, schools, and streets, including one in his home city in Belgium, named in his honor.
Painting of Father Louis Hennepin at St. Anthony Falls by Douglas Volk, c. 1905.
Perhaps most amazing, Hennepin is believed to be the first European to see the splendor of Niagara Falls, and at a minimum his journal account of seeing them in 1678 is the earliest known written reference to the famous falls.
Father Hennepin at Niagara Falls in 1678. Drawing by C.W. Jefferys.