Satday’s ad is for Ancre Pils-Export, from the 1950s. From the late 1800s until the 1980s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’ve been posting vintage European posters all last year and will continue to do so in 2020. This poster was created for Brasserie de l’Espérance, which is located in Schiltigheim, France, in the northeast. It was founded in 1746, and today it is owned by Heineken. I’m not sure who created this poster. In case you were curious, “tue la soif…” means “kill thirst.”
Today is the birthday of Herman Zibold (April 4, 1836-July 20, 1891). He was born in Riegel, Baden, in what today is Germany. When he was 23, in 1859, he emigrated to the
Nobody’s sure exactly when the birthday of Henry Thrale is, not even the year is certain. He may have been born in 1724 or it may have been 1720. He did, however, die on April 4, 1781. He was the son of brewer Ralph Thrale (1698–1758), who bought the Anchor Brewery in Southwark, London, England in 1729. Henry Thrale became the owner when his father died. By “the early nineteenth century it was the largest brewery in the world. From 1781 [after Henry Thrale died] it was operated by Barclay Perkins & Co, who merged with Courage in 1955. The brewery was demolished in 1981.”
Henry Thrale was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1765 to 1780. He was a close friend of Samuel Johnson. Like his father, he was the proprietor of the large London brewery, H. Thrale & Co.
Born at the Alehouse in Harrow Corner, Southwark, he was the son of the rich brewer Ralph Thrale (1698–1758) and Mary Thrale. He married Hester Lynch Salusbury on 11 October 1763; they had 12 children, and she outlived him. He was MP for Southwark 23 December 1765 – September 1780, an Alderman, and Sheriff of the City of London: a respected, religious man who was a good hunter and sportsman with a taste for gambling.
This is the entry for Barclay, Perkins & Co. Ltd, which at one time had been Thrale’s Anchor Brewery, from “The Brewing Industry: A Guide to Historical Records,” edited by Lesley Richmond, Alison Turton, published in 1990:
And finally, the famous English writer Charles Dickens, during the period when he was writing many of his major works, “he was also the publisher, editor, and a major contributor to the journals Household Words (1850–1859) and All the Year Round (1858–1870). In “Volume V, from March 30, 1861 to September 21, 1861,” in a piece entitled “Queen of the Blue Stockings,” from April 20, 1861, Ralph Thrale is mentioned in a history of the Barclay Perkins brewery to give context to his tale:
Friday’s ad is for Ancre Pils, Biere d’Alsace, from the 1950s. From the late 1800s until the 1980s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’ve been posting vintage European posters all last year and will continue to do so in 2020. This poster was created for Brasserie de l’Espérance, which is located in Schiltigheim, France, in the northeast. It was founded in 1746, and today it is owned by Heineken. This poster was created by French artist R. Keller.
Today is the 50th birthday of Dave Bonighton, who is a co-founder of Australia’s Mountain Goat Beer. I first met Dave either judging in Japan or in the U.S. at the World Beer Cup, although we also judged together in Australia a few years ago at the AIBA. Dave’s a great guy and his beers are some of the best I’ve had from Australia. In 2015, Asahi Bought Mountain Goat, though Dave and his partner stayed on and at the time said “Mountain Goat will continue to operate as a stand-alone business.” Join me in wishing Dave a very happy birthday.
Dave and Cam Hines at the AIBA Awards.
Today is the birthday of Frederick Hinckel Jr. (April 3, 1859-February 25, 1917). He was the son of Frederick Hinckel Sr., who co-founded the Hinckel Brewery of Albany, New York. His father, Hinckel Sr., along with Johann Andreas Schinnerer, founded the F. Hinckel & A. Schinnerer brewery in 1852, which was also known as the Cataract Brewery. “Its premises occupied half a city block, bounded by Swan Street, Myrtle and Park Avenues. By 1864 Hinckel was the sole owner of the business.” When his father passed away in 1881, Frederick Jr., along with his brother Charles, took over the brewery. It closed in 1920 when prohibition went into effect, and did reopen after repeal. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any portraits of Frederick Jr.
Here’s his obituary from “The Brewer’s Journal” for November 1916-October 1917:
Although the brewery closed in 1920 because of prohibition, and never reopened afterwards, the build was preserved and today is an apartment complex.
Thursday’s ad is for Rodenbach Bier, from 1960. From the late 1800s until the 1980s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’ve been posting vintage European posters all last year and will continue to do so in 2020. This poster was created for the Rodenbach Brewery, which is located in Roeselare, Belgium. It was founded in 1821 by four brothers, and today it is owned by Palm Breweries. I’m not sure who created this illustration.
Today is the birthday of Karl Frederick Schuster (April 2, 1890-November 4, 1976). He was born into a brewing family, and worked in several Bay Area breweries until prohibition, during which time he continued working with beer people though making cereal products. When prohibition ended, he was named president of Acme Breweries.
Our subject’s grand-father, Frederick Schuster emigrated from the Alsace upon hearing of the California gold rush and made his way to the placer mines in Plumas County.
In the early 1850s he started a family and failing to strike it rich, he established a small steam beer plant, one of the first in California. The Pacific Coast Directory for 1867 lists the La Porte Brewery, F. Schuster, proprietor. When the placer mines played out Frederick relocated to San Francisco, and in 1870 he purchased the American Railroad Brewery. When Frederick died, his son Frederick Paul Schuster took control of the Brewery, and in 1902 he merged it with the Union Brewing & Malting Company. The American Railroad branch of the new company operated for two more years, and was then closed. Frederick became the vice president of the Union Brewery.
Frederick Paul’s son, Karl F. Schuster, continued the family tradition in brewing. In 1908 he started as an apprentice, drawing his first pay check from the Union Brewery, which had abandoned the manufacture of steam beer and entered the lager beer field in 1903. While Karl was learning all aspects of the trade, the brewing industry in San Francisco was undergoing many changes – in part from the effects of the ’06 earthquake, but also from the influx of brewers escaping early Prohibition in their home states.
In 1909 Union Brewing & Malting annexed the Wunder Brewing Co. by purchase, paving the way to a merger that would solidify its position. In Jan. 1917 the Union Brewery joined five other breweries in the formation of the California Brewing Assn., with Frederick P. Schuster subsequently named one of the Association’s directors.
Frederick’s son Karl, returning from WWI and facing the demise of his industry from Prohibition, took a position as assistant to Master Brewer Anton Dolenz at the Association’s Fulton plant. During this period with the Cereal Products Refining Corporation he worked with William Adams and Jacob P. Rettenmayer, and later assumed the position of plant superintendent.
By Repeal in 1933 Karl had moved up high enough in the company that in 1934, with the death of Samuel Clarke, the Board of Directors elected Karl F. Schuster president and general manager of Cereal Products refining Corp., aka the Acme Brewery.
On April 1, 1936 the company changed its operating name to Acme Breweries to reflect the addition of the Los Angeles plant.
Karl Schuster remained president of Acme Breweries until it was sold in January 1954. He died in November 4, 1976.
Today is the birthday of Edward John Birk (April 2, 1867-April 22, 1940). Edward was the son of Jacob Birk, who co-founded Chicago’s Wacker & Birk Brewing Co. When Jacob retired, he bought the Corper & Nocklin Brewery for his sons, renaming it the Birk Bros. Brewing Co. Edward and his brother William ran the brewery through Prohibition, and it successfully reopened after repeal, and continued until closing on September 15, 1950.
That’s definitely famed Prohibition agent Eliot Ness in this photo (at the far end of the table, on our left) and it’s possible that the man next to him was Edward J. Birk during his trial in 1922, during prohibition.
The New York Times reported on the case in 1922:
FIRST BREWERY TRIAL ENDS IN AN ACQUITTAL
E.T. Birk of Chicago is Freed by a Jury of Charge of Transgressing Voltead Act.
A precedent was established in the Federal Court here today when a jury before Judge Wilkerson acquitted Edward J. Birk, president of Birk Brothers’ Brewery, who was accused of aiding in the manufacture and sale of beer of illegal alcoholic content.
The acquittal came after a four-day trial. When the case started F.J. Birk, Vice President of the brewery; F.J. Wetzel, shipping clerk, and Leonard Dressler, brewmaster, also were on trial. The cases against these defendants were dismissed because the Government found that its witnesses had vanished. [my emphasis]
This was the first case tried here before a jury in which officials of a brewery were accused of violating the law….
The jury reached a verdict after three and a half hours’ deliberation. When the verdict was read Birk walked up to the jury box and announced in a loud voice: “Gentlemen of the jury, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.” He then turned to the Judge and said, “And I want to thank you, too, Judge Wilkerson.”
While a controversy was pending over taxes claimed by the Internal Revenue Department a squad of prohibition agents sent from Washington in the Spring of 1921 raided loop saloons and seized twenty-five barrels of Birk Brothers beer.
The brewery was closed by the Government and remained closed until April of this year, when at a hearing of forfeiture proceedings instituted by the Government, it was turned back by Judge Carpenter to its owners.
Can’t you just hear the theme song from The Untouchables in the background?”
Here’s some biographical info from “Historical Review of Chicago and Cook County and Selected Biography,” by A.N. Waterman:
Birk, his father having been born in Germany and being in early manhood a harnessmaker. He came to Chicago in 1854, prospered in trade and business, and for many years conducted a hotel on West Lake street. In 1881 he became associated with Fred Wacker & Son, then engaged in the malting business, and in the following year became associated with the firm in brewing operations under the firm name of the Wacker & Birk Brewing Company. In 1891 the business was sold to the English corporation, the Chicago Breweries, Limited, and Jacob Birk and his two sons, William A. and Edward J., incorporated the Birk Brothers’ Brewing Company. Since the founding of the company, at that time, William A. has been president and Edward J. Birk, secretary and treasurer. The basis of the complete and extensive plant was the Corper & Nockin brewery, purchased in 1891, and since remodeled and enlarged. The elder Birk retired from his connection with the business in 1895.
And here’s another account, from the “History of Cook County, Illinois,” published in 1909:
Birk Brothers Brewing Company delivery wagon on Belmont Avenue, around 1895.
Wednesday’s ad is for the Brasserie de Hanoi, from 1899. From the late 1800s until the 1980s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’ve been posting vintage European posters all last year and will continue to do so in 2020. This poster was created for the Brasserie de Hanoi, which although is not in Europe, but Vietnam, the brewery was founded by Frenchman Alfred Hommel in 1892, when Vietnam was a French colony. He located his brewery in Tonkin and it operated until 1927. I’m not sure who created the poster, but the text at the bottom: “La Meilleure des Bieres, Sans Addition D’Alcool” means “The Best of Beers Without Addition of Alcohol.” I assume that means they didn’t add any additional alcohol, not that they were making non-alcoholic beer, but it seems like a strange selling point.