Wednesday’s ad is a bit of a temporary departure from the May theme of Italian brewery posters, because yesterday was my 3000th Beer in Ads post and I wanted to do something special, and this one is the sister poster to that one. This ad is also from 1957. From the late 1800s until the 1960s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’m not sure exactly what this poster was advertising, although it may have been part of the efforts of the Swiss Brewery Association, which was creating advertising promoting beer in general during this time period. The poster was created by Peter Birkhäuser, who “was a Swiss poster artist, portraitist, and visionary painter, noted for his paintings illustrating imagery from dreams in the context of analytical psychology.”
Today is the birthday of Henry Wagstaff (May 22, 1836-October 19, 1911). He was born in Derbyshire, England, after trying his hand as a policeman and a grocer, moved to New Zealand when he was 48, in 1883. A few years later, in 1889, Wagstaff and Edward Russell founded the Wagstaff Brewery in Mangatainoka, on the North Island. It became quite successful, but in 1903, Wagstaff sold his shares and moved back to England, returning in 1911, but died later that same year. Tui Brewery, of course, continued on without Wagstaff and today is owned by DB Breweries.
There’s not much about him apart from some failed businesses and whispers of infidelity, and he appears to have been quite a character. When his Tui Brewery celebrated its 125th anniversary recently, a book of the brewery’s history was created, and a few pages can be seen online, including the first page discussing Henry Wagstaff.
I think this is Wagstaff in the gray beard at the center of this photo.
It’s also unclear when the brewery name changed from the Wagstaff Brewery to Tui Brewery.
Today is Sam Calagione’s 50th birthday — The Big 5-O. Sam is the owner and marketing genius behind Delaware’s successful Dogfish Head Brewing. Sam’s also a great guy, and a (former?) rap singer of sorts, with his duo (along with his former head brewer Bryan Selders) the Pain Relievaz. See the bottom of this post for a couple videos of him singing after hours at Pike Brewery during the Craft Brewers Conference when it was held in Seattle. Join me in wishing Sam a very happy birthday.
This first video is “I Got Busy with an A-B Salesgirl,” the Pain Relievaz’ first hit single.
The second video is “West Coast Poseurs,” a smackdown to the hoppy West Coast beer and brewers.
Today is the birthday of Jacob Leinenkugel (May 22, 1842-July 21, 1899). He was born in what today is Germany, but moved with his family to American when he was only three years old, in 1845. In 1867, along with John Miller, he co-founded the Spring Brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. In 1884, Jacob bought out Miller and the name was changed to the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. Miller Brewing Co. bought the brewery in 1988, but it continues to be managed by the Leinenkugel family.
This biography of Jacob is taken from Find-a-Grave:
Jacob Leinenkugel was one of the most generous, and in thought and deed one of the most upright men. He was a thoughtful, patriotic citizen, ever devoted to the welfare of the city and anxious in every way with his reach to promote the happiness and welfare of his fellow men. No man ever heard from the lips of Jacob Leinenkugel an unkind or uncharitable saying concerning another. His word was indeed his bond; and in small matters as well as large.” (as written of Jacob Leinenkugel in the the Daily Independent, July 22, 1899).
Jacob Mathias Leinenkugel, born in Germany (Prussia) in 1842, came to America with parents in 1845. He grew up in Sauk City, Wisconsin. There he and his four brothers were taught the art of brewing by their father, Matthias.
He married Josephine Imhoff, daughter of another German immigrant family from Highland, Wisc., in 1865. Shortly after the birth of their first son Matt in 1866, Jacob realized a growing desire for independence and a business of his own. Together Jacob, Josephine and baby Matt journeyed north into logging territory, eventually settling in Chippewa Falls. There, in 1867, he built a little brewery with his friend John Miller (no relation to the Miller Brewing Company).
Jacob built a home on the brewery property where his two daughters, Rose and Susan, and a second son, William, were born.
Josephine, in the tradition of pioneer women, worked beside her husband as he struggled to establish the small company. Josephine prepared three meals a day for up to 20 hungry men, in addition to caring for her family. As the brewery grew larger and the major expansion of the brewery started to take place, there were more employees to feed. She would rise at 3 a.m. to do the family (which now included three adopted children) wash before beginning breakfast for employee boarders at 5 a.m. Josephine died of acute pneumonia in 1890, at the age of forty-four, the winter before the expansion was completed. Family members remember Susan Mayer Leinenkugel, daughter to Josephine, describing her mother as having “worked herself to death.” The city newspaper wrote of Josephine after her death: She was a devoted wife and mother, one who was ever ready to strengthen in all labor, and comfort in all sorrow: one who faithfully performed the common duties of life, the noblest part of woman’s work in this world.
Two years after the death of Josephine, Jacob married Louisa Wilson, and a son Edward, was born.
It wasn’t unusual for Jacob Leinenkugel to choose a life of brewing. It was his legacy. Plus, he looked the part! Perfectly cast, he was a big, round, hard-working German. What many people don’t know is that Jacob had other interests too.
He erected and owned the first creamery in the county. He opened a meat and grocery store on brewery property. He milled feed grains for the dairy industry and made “Snowdrift” flour for the local retail market. (The firms dam formed the millpond which was located across from Irvine Park. After Jacob’s death and the venture became unprofitable, the mill was razed and the land donated to the city in connection with the Marshall family to form Marshall Playgrounds.) He was elected alderman in the first city election of 1869 and was reelected in 1871,1880 and 1883. He was the mayor of Chippewa Falls on three separate occasions: 1873, 1884 and 1891. He was extremely progressive and enjoyed and embraced the use of new inventions and technology. In fact, as mayor of Chippewa Falls he pushed for electric streetlights in the downtown area. (Our fine city had electric streetlights before the large thriving metropolis to the west, called St. Paul, Minnesota.)
Jacob and his family had their “summer home” on the shores of a lake north of Chippewa Falls. It was his refuge-that special spot where an individual or the family gathered to celebrate all of life’s blessings. Each year a family “outing” was planned. One summer Sunday all members of the family arrived home to head north for the annual outing when Jacob became ill. He requested that the family not wait for him … he’d follow in a few days after he felt better. Jacob never felt better. The family was summoned home.
And this fuller history is from the website Chippewa Falls History:
When people hear the name Leinenkugel, most would think of the beer or maybe even Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. As the owner of Colette’s Tavern says, “Some people get hysterical when they find out I have it. The beer’s got some kind of charm.” (Brewer’s Digest). Most, however, do not think of the rich and interesting history that has gone into the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. Most of this history comes from its origins and how over five generations, the business has kept within the Leinenkugel family. To properly tell the history of this family, we must start at the beginning with Jacob Mathias Leinenkugel himself. Jacob Leinenkugel was born May 22nd, 1842 in Prussia to Matthias and Maria Leinenkugel (1860 Federal Census). Jacob and his entire family arrived in New York on August 2nd, 1845. They had taken a ship, the American, from Amsterdam to New York, New York. Jacob Leinenkugel was three at the time of this trip (Arrival in New York, 1845). The Leinenkugel family settled in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin and stayed there to raise their children (1860 Federal Census). In 1865, Jacob Leinenkugel married Josephine Imhoff in Sauk City, Wisconsin. Two years later, Jacob, Josephine and their son, Mathias, all moved to Chippewa Falls when Jacob started the Spring Brewery, now known as the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company (Chippewa Falls Main Street, pg. 76).
The brewery was constructed in 1867 on property along the Duncan Creek which Jacob had purchased from Hiram Allen (Chippewa Falls Main Street, pg. 10). Jacob Leinenkugel established the Spring Brewery with John Miller (Chippewa Falls Wisconsin). In their first year alone, they “…delivered 400 barrels…with a small cart pulled by a horse named Kate.” (Bottom’s Up). Originally, the Brewery only had two teams of horses, which meant they could deliver kegs of beer up to ten miles outside of Chippewa Falls. “During the early years, Jacob Leinenkugel drove the wagon himself.” (Chippewa Falls Main Street). The Spring Brewery was named as such because it was built near the Big Eddy Springs in Chippewa Falls. These springs “…poured nonacidic, non-alkaline water that the brewery uses without treatment to this day.” (Breweries of Wisconsin). The Spring Brewery soon became the Jacob Leinenkugel Spring Brewery Company when John Miller sold his share in 1883 (Bottom’s Up).
It is said that “Jacob Leinenkugel…was more than a brewer of Leinenkugel’s beer. Described as a noble, magnanimous man and a generous contributor to Notre Dame Church, he served two years as mayor.” (Chippewa Falls Wisconsin). Indeed, Jacob Leinenkugel was more than just a brewer. He also had a rich family life. He had five children with his first wife, Josephine. The oldest, Mathias “Matt” Jacob was born in 1866. Their oldest daughter, Rose, was born in 1867. Their next oldest son, William, was born in 1870. Susan, the second oldest daughter, was born nine months later in 1870 (1870 Federal Census). And finally, they had one child who was born in 1873 but sadly passed away as an infant (Infant Leinenkugel). Josephine Leinenkugel passed away in 1890, at the age of 44 (Chippewa Falls Main Street). A few years later, Jacob Leinenkugel re-married in 1892. He married Anna Wilson and had two children. Della, the oldest, was born in 1894 and Edward was born in 1896 (1905 State Census).
In further blogs, I will touch on each of his children and their families. Unfortunately, William from Jacob Leinenkugel’s first marriage did not live very long. He passed away suddenly on January 22nd, 1897. The Chippewa Herald reported that he “…died at noon today of consumption after suffering about two years with this disease.” William had worked at the brewery with his father and the rest of his family. The paper states how he was “…a hard and faithful worker and a valuable assistant to his father who depended largely on his son’s good judgment on matters pertaining to the…business.” (Chippewa Herald).
Jacob Leinenkugel passed away on July 21st, 1899. Before his death, he contributed many things to Chippewa Falls, other than the Brewery. One of these accomplishments was erecting and owning the first creamery in the county. He was also able to serve as mayor three separate times in Chippewa Falls, in 1873, 1884, and 1891. All of these accomplishments paint a picture of a man who was “…a thoughtful, patriotic citizen, ever devoted to the welfare of the city and anxious in every way with his reach to promote the happiness and welfare of his fellow men.” (Daily Independent).
Another post at the website Chippewa Falls History explores Jacob Leinenkugel: The Later Years:
After Jacob Leinenkugel’s first wife, Josephine, passed away, he waited two years before marrying Anna Louise Wilson in 1892. Not nearly as much is known about his second marriage, but it’s still quite interesting.
Anna Louise Wilson was born in December of 1865, in Pennsylvania (Wisconsin State Census, 1905). Her parents were Bernhard and Eva Wehrle. Her father was born in 1823 and her mother in 1823. They were both born in Switzerland. Their whole family lived in St. Louis, Missouri, where her father worked as a backer (St. Louis 1880 Census).
After Jacob and Anna’s marriage in April, 1892, they had two children. The first was named Della and she was born in 1894 (Wisconsin State Census, 1905). However, there was no further information found on her after 1905. Their other child was Edward J. and he was born on September 21st, 1896 (Wisconsin Vital Record Index). Edward grew up to be a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War I. He started his service on June 5th, 1918 (U.S. Veterans Gravesites). When he came back from the war, he married Eleanor in 1920 (1930 Federal Census). Edward and Eleanor lived in St. Paul, Minnesota for a short time after getting married, where Edward worked as a salesman (City Directories).
For the next few years, it appears they moved around as they started having a family. Patricia “Patty” Leinenkugel was born June 17th, 1923 in Illinois. Their second oldest, Joanne Leinenkugel, was born in 1927 in Missouri. Finally, their youngest, Roberta O. Leinenkugel, was born June 4th, 1929 in Florida (1930 Federal Census, Cook County Birth Index). According to the City Directories, Edward and Eleanor stayed in Tampa, Florida until 1932. During this time, Edward worked as a real estate agent and as a salesman. Then, in 1934, the family moved back to St. Paul, Minnesota. Here, Edward worked as a broker, a box maker, and a packer. In 1941, he worked as a packer for Swift & Co. (City Directories). Edward and Eleanor were able to live out the rest of their days together. Edward passed away on October 31st, 1967. Not even three years later, Eleanor passed away as well on August 6th, 1970 (Minnesota Death Index).
And this tray was created to commemorate the brewery’s 125th anniversary in 1992.
Tuesday’s ad is a bit of a temporary departure from the May theme of Italian brewery posters, because this is my 3000th Beer in Ads post, and I wanted to do something special. This ad is from 1957. From the late 1800s until the 1960s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’m not sure exactly what this poster was advertising, although it may have been part of the efforts of the Swiss Brewery Association, which was creating advertising promoting beer in general during this time period. The poster was created by Peter Birkhäuser, who “was a Swiss poster artist, portraitist, and visionary painter, noted for his paintings illustrating imagery from dreams in the context of analytical psychology.”
Today is the 74th birthday of Nick Matt, chairman and CEO of F.X. Matt Brewing in Utica, by the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. The brewery was originally founded in 1888, and their main brand today is Saranac. Nick is an active member of the beer industry, and especially through the Brewers Association, and a big supporter of the community as a whole. Join me in wishing Nick a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of Frederick Kirschner (May 21, 1856-June 29, 1897). Kirschner Frederick Kirschner, Jr., son of Frederick Kirschner and Maria Wick, joined his father-in-law, Andrew Hemrich in Seattle, Washington to work at the Hemrich brewery. He continued working for family, and later himself, in several brewing enterprises in the Seattle area throughout his life.
FRED KIRSCHNER, treasurer of the Seattle Brewing & Malting Company, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 21, 1856. His parents, Frederick and Mary (Weicke) Kirschner, were natives of Germany, but emigrated to America in the early ’50s and located in Cincinnati, where Mr. Kirschner followed his trade of molder in an iron foundry. In 1856 he removed to Buffalo City, Wisconsin, and engaged in the draying business up to 1888, then in farming until 1888, when he removed to Seattle, where he now resides. Our subject was educated in the schools of Wisconsin, and remaining at home followed the avocations of the farm until April, 1878, when he was married at Alma, Wisconsin, to Miss Emma Hemrich.
He then located in Alma and was connected with the brewery of Mr. Hemrich for one year, then for three years was proprietor of the Union House. He then purchased a plant and engaged in the manufacture of soda water, which enterprise be continued until 1885, when he came to Seattle and purchased an interest in the Bay View brewery, assuming the duties of secretary and continuing in such capacity until April, 1892, when, upon the incorporation of the Bay View Brewing Company, he was made secretary and treasure, and so continued up to the spring of 1893, when the Bay View consolidated with the Albert Braun Brewing Company and the Claussen-Sweeney Brewing Company, under the incorporate name of the Seattle Brewing & Malting Company, and Mr. Kirschner was elected treasurer of the new organization. He is also interested in valuable mining interests in the Cascade mountains, and now owns real estate in the city of Seattle.
Mr. and Mrs. Kirschner have three children: William, Andrew and Emily. Socially, Mr. Kirschner affiliates with the social and benevolent German societies of Seattle.
Brewery Gems continues with additional information obtained from Frederick’s great-grandson, Bradley W. Kirschner. In addition, in “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of the City of Seattle and County of King, Washington,” in a biography of Andrew Hemrich, there is also mention of Frederick’s role in the brewery businesses.
Monday’s ad is for Birra Metzger, from around 1930. From the late 1800s until the 1960s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. This poster is for Birra Metzger, founded in Turin, Italy, in 1848. The brewery was bought in 1944, but closed in 1975. In the last few years, however, it’s been relaunched as Metzger 1848. It was created by British painter Daphne Mabel Maugham, who emigrated to Turin, Italy, in 1925.
Today is the birthday of Oliver Hughes (May 20, 1959-July 30, 2016). Hughes, along with partner Liam LaHart, co-founded Ireland’s first brewpub, the Porterhouse Brewing Company in 1996. It’s now grown in size, part of the Porterhouse Group. Unfortunately, He passed away in the Fall of 2016 at age 57, and the brewery he started continues to grow and expand, with locations in the UK and America.
This is an appreciation written about Hughes in Drinks Industry Ireland:
Oliver was the co-founder and director of the Porterhouse Group. An entrepreneur who pushed the boundaries wherever he could, he was not content with helping to start the craft beer revolution in Ireland; he went on to create Ireland’s first purpose-built distillery in over 200 years.
Oliver’s mind never stopped turning, whether it was thinking of how to improve his own ventures or how to help others. His ideas are ingrained in the mind of the Porterhouse and his concepts for growth in the Porterhouse Group have been put in place, mainly due to his boundless energy and dreaming.
Oliver and Liam LaHart’s original “mad” idea was Harty’s brewery in Blessington, Co Wicklow, in the 1980s. This attempt at a micro-brewery in Ireland was followed in 1989 by the setting up of The Porterhouse in Bray which pushed craft beer onto the Bray locality.
Following that in 1996, we saw the Porterhouse Temple Bar begin trading. This was only the beginning of the adventure for cousins Hughes and LaHart. They soon opened up Porterhouse Covent Garden in London, the Porterhouse North (recently converted to The Whitworth), the Porterhouse Central and the Porterhouse at Fraunces’ Tavern in New York while the group also expanded to The Port House chain of tapas restaurants.
Oliver’s most recent treasure was the Dingle Whiskey Distillery. His idea was once again ahead of the curve. Oliver only saw one cask ever released, Cask No 2, on 19th December 2016. He was extremely proud of the Dingle Distillery and he knew the future was bright.
Oliver’s ideas, influence and energy can be seen in everything the Porterhouse group has done and will do going forward.
He will be missed.
And this was his obituary in the Guardian, written by Roger Protz:
Oliver Hughes, who has died of a heart attack aged 57, was known as the godfather of the Irish beer revolution. His pioneering Porterhouse pubs and brewery brought much-needed choice to Irish drinkers and, while he was a minnow in an ocean of stout, his mere presence annoyed Guinness.
There are now about 50 small breweries in the republic, challenging the hegemony of the duopoly of Guinness and Murphy’s, the latter owned by Heineken. The existence of that growing independent sector was inspired by Oliver’s determination to create diversity for beer drinkers.
Born in Dublin, he was the only child of Lillian and Brian, a barrister whose work took the family to Fiji, where he served as a magistrate. They later moved to the UK, where Brian practised in Nottingham and Scunthorpe. Oliver studied law at Hatfield Polytechnic (now the University of Hertfordshire) and, while drinking in pubs in Hatfield and neighbouring St Albans, he came into contact with Alan Swannell, one of the early microbrewers of the 1980s, who ran tiny breweries in Kings Langley and Ware.
With his cousin and future business partner Liam LaHart, Oliver went to folk concerts organised by the Irish community in Kilburn, north-west London, and the pair also took part in Troops Out demonstrations and campaigned for the release of the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four. In London they came across the groundbreaking chain of Firkin brewpubs run by David Bruce. Oliver and Liam were impressed by beers with quirky names such as Dogbolter and T-shirts with slogans such as: “If you nick my pint I’ll firkin punch you.” Oliver said the Firkins were the model for the future Porterhouse pubs.
Back in Dublin, Oliver practised as a barrister between 1989 and 1999. But he was still enthused by brewing, and with Liam he opened a brewery called Harty’s in County Wicklow. It failed after two years because, Oliver sai,: “We brewed beer for publicans who wouldn’t pay the bills”. Undaunted, the pair opened the first Porterhouse pub in Bray. They hired “a man with a van” who drove to Europe to bring back previously unknown beers from Belgium and Germany. They also sold beer from another early Irish micro, Galway Hooker.
“We discovered years later,” Oliver recalled, “that other publicans had opened a book on how long we would survive in a pub that didn’t serve Guinness. Some said two days, others six months.”
But Oliver and Liam had touched a nerve with Irish drinkers, and in 1996 they opened a Firkin-inspired Porterhouse brewpub in Temple Bar, Dublin. I was an early visitor to the pub on Parliament Street, a three-storey building with a 10-barrel brewery that restored a famous Dublin style called Plain, the local name for porter made famous by Flann O’Brien in his poem A Pint of Plain is Your Only Man.
Oyster Stout used real oysters, restoring another old Irish tradition. The stand-out beer for me was Wrasslers 4X Stout, based on a recipe from a long-defunct brewery called Deasy’s in west Cork: it was the favourite beer of Michael Collins, founder of the Irish Free State.
Oliver’s ability to get up the noses of big brewers was shown when he was threatened with legal action by Anheuser-Busch and Carlsberg over a wheat beer called Weiserbuddy and a lager dubbed Probably, which was brewed at the Porterhouse. Anheuser-Busch owns Budweiser, the biggest brand in the US, where it is known simply as Bud, while Carlsberg is famous for its long-running promotion that claims the beer is: “Probably the best lager in the world.” Oliver’s legal training told him he would have to change the names before the writs arrived, but he ensured maximum publicity for his beers and pub.
Oliver and Liam expanded. They opened a vast Porterhouse in Covent Garden, London, and two more followed in Dublin, including the equally vast Porterhouse Central on Nassau Street, with their long-standing beers joined by a cask-conditioned real ale, TSB, and Dublin Pale Ale. “We were the first brewery to make pale ale in Ireland,” Oliver said. “Nobody knew what it was and we had to teach people about hops.”
Restless and energetic, Oliver and Liam added restaurants and a nightclub called Lillie’s Bordello in Dublin, built a standalone brewery outside the city to supply their pubs and free trade, and turned Fraunces Tavern in Manhattan into a Porterhouse. The tavern is the oldest inn in New York and famous as the place where George Washington said farewell to his troops at the end of the War of Independence. The site pleased Oliver’s quiet but passionate republicanism. The Porterhouse group now employs 500 people and exports beer to the US, Italy, Spain and Scandinavia.
I once arranged to meet Oliver in Porterhouse Central on Nassau Street in 2012. He was very late, as timekeeping was not his strong point. I’d been travelling all day and urgently needed food. “Let’s go and eat,” he said, and marched me off to a nearby restaurant where we dined on superb Spanish tapas. “Who owns this place?” I asked innocently. “I do,” he replied.
His last enterprise was a whiskey distillery built in 2012 in a redundant sawmill in Dingle on the west coast of Ireland, the first new distillery in the country for 200 years.
Irrepressible and unstoppable, he said his rule of thumb for running successful pubs and breweries was “to watch what the big players do… and avoid it”.
Today is the birthday of Lord Benjamin “Benjie” Iveagh (May 20, 1937-June 18, 1992). His full name was The Rt. Hon. (Arthur Francis) Benjamin Guinness, 3rd Earl of Iveagh. “Lord Iveagh (often popularly known as Benjamin Iveagh) was born into the Anglo-Irish Guinness family, being the son of Arthur Onslow Edward Guinness, Viscount Elveden, and Elizabeth Cecilia Hare. He was educated at Eton College, Trinity College, Cambridge, and the University of Grenoble. He inherited the title from his grandfather, The 2nd Earl of Iveagh, in September 1967. He lived at Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park in Dublin and was chairman of Guinness 1961–1992. He was a trustee of two charitable housing associations, the Iveagh Trust in Dublin and the Guinness Trust in London.”
Here’s Guinness’ obituary from The Independent:
Arthur Francis Benjamin Guinness, businessman, born 20 May 1937, styled Viscount Elveden 1945-67, Director Guinness 1958-92, Assistant Managing Director 1960-62, Chairman 1962-86, President Guinness plc 1986-92, succeeded 1967 as 3rd Earl of Iveagh, Member Seanad Eireann 1973-77, married 1936 Miranda Smiley (two sons, two daughters; marriage dissolved 1984), died London 18 June 1992.
As far as the business world is concerned, the Earl of Iveagh will be remembered chiefly as the man who recruited Ernest Saunders to Guinness.
His own business career was at best undistinguished and at times positively disastrous. By the early 1980s, Guinness’s need for a dynamic new chief executive was desperate. With every day that passed, the Guinness family fortune seemed to slip further into the sea as the company’s stock price plummeted new depths. The City was clamouring for management changes.
It was in these circumstances that Saunders, head-hunted from a top marketing job with Nestle in Switzerland, went to Ireland to be interviewed at Iveagh’s house, Farmleigh, in Phoenix Park on the outskirts of Dublin.
Iveagh’s undoing was probably in being appointed chairman of Guinness at too young an age – a mere 25. His reign was marked first by a phase of unbridled diversification away from the core brewing business and then a prolonged period of debilitating decline. By the time Saunders had his first meeting with him, Guinness was engaged in, among other things, snake-farming, orchid-growing, and the manufacture of babies’ plastic potties.
Saunders remembers Farmleigh as a cold, empty, lonely sort of place with ‘an enormous entrance hall lined with dozens and dozens of wellington boots’. In his son’s book Nightmare, Saunders paints a picture of aristocratic decay – lunch at a tiny table in the middle of a huge draughty dining- room punctuated by the sound of a butler padding down forgotten corridors. At one point a cat jumps up on the table and tiptoes through the butter.
Saunders believed that he was seen by Iveagh and the rest of the Guinness family as a kind of gamekeeper. He still tells the story of how at a family wedding he was put below the salt on the servants’ table during the reception. He believes that the Guinnesses, as much as anyone else, made him into a scapegoat for what later occurred.
In truth Iveagh was the perfect chairman for a thrusting, dynamic and unscrupulous chief executive such as Saunders. From the beginning Iveagh abdicated all responsibility and power to Saunders. Often away from London at his home in Dublin, he became like an absentee landlord. At the same time he became a highly useful foil to Saunders, who would use Iveagh to bolster his management decisions. ‘I have spoken to Lord Iveagh and he is entirely in agreement,’ Saunders would say, often falsely.
Indeed, when Saunders was put on trial over the Distillers takeover, there were some famous and bitter recriminations between the two. Time and again, what Saunders said happened was at odds with Iveagh’s account. The sadness of it all was that by the time Iveagh gave evidence, Saunders’s claim that what was being heard was the rambling, confused and muddled account of a befuddled alcoholic suffering from some form of amnesia was all too believable. It was plain to all who witnessed Iveagh on the stand, that by giving Saunders and his henchmen such a free hand, Iveagh had failed in his duties as chairman, and indeed to that extent could be held accountable for the financial scandal that followed.
And here is his obituary from the New York Times:
The third Earl of Iveagh, who served as chairman of Guinness P.L.C. during a period of change and turmoil for the British brewing and spirits giant, died here on Thursday. He was 55 years old.
Company officials said he had died of a throat ailment but declined to provide further details.
Lord Iveagh was a descendant of the Arthur Guinness, the brewer who founded the company in Dublin in 1759. Lord Iveagh served as chairman from 1962 until 1986 and as president from 1986 until last month, when he left the company.
By the late 1970’s, the company, whose name is still most widely associated with the stout that bears its name, was stagnating and appeared to be in danger of becoming a takeover target. A program undertaken by Lord Iveagh to diversify out of alcoholic beverages did not do much to improve the company’s performance. Consumption Increased
To breathe new life into Guinness, Lord Iveagh recruited Ernest W. Saunders from Nestle, the Swiss food giant, to be chief executive in 1981. Mr. Saunders began the marketing effort that increased consumption of Guinness stout, whose sales are among the fastest growing of major beers in the world.
Mr. Saunders also began to pursue the acquisition strategy that helped to transform Guinness into a world powerhouse in spirits, especially Scotch and gin. Under Mr. Saunders, Guinness bought Arthur Bell & Son, a Scotch producer, for $574 million in 1985 and the Distillers Company, a leading British spirits company, for $4 billion in 1986.
It later emerged that Mr. Saunders had taken part in an illegal scheme to prop up Guinness’s share price during the takeover fight for Distillers to give Guinness’s stock-and-cash offer a better chance of prevailing.
When the scandal broke, Lord Iveagh at first backed Mr. Saunders but then changed his mind. Guinness’s board, including Lord Iveagh, voted to dismiss him in January 1987. Mr. Saunders later went to jail.
Under Anthony J. Tenant, who succeeded Mr. Saunders as chief executive and is now chairman, Guinness has become one of the world’s most successful and profitable drinks companies. But the scandal tarnished the Guinness name. Over the centuries, the family had earned a reputation as philanthropists and enlightened employers.
The Saunders era also brought about the end of the Guinness family’s dominance over the company. As a result of the issuing of new shares by the company to pay for acquisitions, the family’s stake in Guinness fell from about 25 percent in the late 1970’s to less than 2 percent today. Lord Iveagh’s decision not to seek re-election to the company’s board in May left it without a Guinness director for the first time.
Arthur Francis Benjamin Guinness, who was known as Ben to friends, was born on May 20, 1937, to Viscount Elveden and the former Lady Elizabeth Hare. His father died in action in World War II in 1945, and he became Viscount Elveden and heir to his grandfather, the second Earl of Iveagh.
He was educated at Eton, at Trinity College, Cambridge, and the University of Grenoble.
A shy man and bibliophile who once dreamed of becoming a farmer, he found himself drawn into the family business instead. He was elected to the board of the company in 1958, became assistant managing director in charge of the Park Royal brewery in London in 1959 and succeeded his grandfather as chairman three years later. Married in 1963
He married Miranda Daphne Jane Smiley in 1963 and became the third Earl of Iveagh when his grandfather died in 1967.
Lord Iveagh, who had a home in London and estates in Suffolk, England, and Castleknock in County Dublin in Ireland, loved horses and racing. He also served four years as an appointed member of the Irish Senate in the 1970’s.
Lord Iveagh’s marriage ended in divorce in 1984. A newspaper obituary today in The Daily Mail by his cousin Jonathan Guinness, said the divorce was amicable and Lord Iveagh had been cared for in his former wife’s home in London during the illness that caused his death.
He is survived by their two sons and two daughters. The earldom now goes to his eldest son, Arthur Edward Guinness.
Benjamin Guinness and his wife Miranda Smiley, from their wedding in 1963