Wednesday’s ad is for IBI, or International Breweries Incorporation, a group of breweries that merged or were bought out in the Midwest beginning around 1955. The ad is from 1960, and shows the crowns, or bottle caps, for a number of their brands. I really like the ad visually, with the case of empty bottles suspended at the top of the ad and the crowns at the bottom. For the time, there’s an awful lot of white space in the middle, something that was fairly rare in 1950s advertising.
While there’s not much information on the web about IBI, I did find this very old beer can collecting website, that doesn’t appear to be currently maintained, that had the following information:
In 1955 a group of businessmen from Detroit bought out Iroquois Beverage Corporation to help form the International Breweries Incorporation, with combining plants in Frankenmuth, Findaly, Tampa and Covington. International continued the Iroquois “arrowhead” label from the Iroquois Beverage Corp., however, they did change the Frankenmuth label from the Black Label to the oval label that came in beer, ale, and bock, from the Buffalo, NY plant.
IBI quickly created their own look, some collectors call these the “TV Screen” cans, the IBI cans came in Iroquois, Frankenmuth, Silver Bar in matching red beer and green ale cans, the IBI Frankenmuth Bock, and the IBI Old Dutch Beer. While the Buffalo plant was the only IBI brewer to produce all the cans, Iroquois remained solely in Buffalo. All the cans came as flattops, the IBI Iroquois beer has been found as a zip top. The Buffalo plant, also used 2 can companies, Continental Can Co., and Kegline, this produced a color variation with the red Beers.
The IBI logo eventually was removed, as some of the other plants closed or were sold, and a similar looking “TV Screen” can was produced. Buffalo kept filling Frankenmuth in Beer and Ale and shipping to the Midwest and the southeast in flattop cans. There are 2 different designs with the Frankenmuths, a single label with a yellowish background, and a 2 label white background can, however, not sure which came first. And similar to the single label Frankenmuth came an Iroquois Beer, but in a white background. Those were the final flattop cans from IBI of Buffalo. The Ponce DeLeon Silver Bar beer and ales that are identical labels were only canned in Tampa The odd thing is that they had matching beer and ales for Frankenmuth, but only the beer for Iroquois on the post IBI label.
Now there is a post IBI Iroquois Ale, but this is the identical label to the IBI’s, the Indian head replaces the IBI logo.This can has only been found in a zip top, no flats as indicated by the BCU and came out around 62 or 63, and is a very tough can to find. IBI of Buffalo only would last a few more years and canned their Iroquois Indian Head beer and Tomahawk Ale in zip tops.
Along the way International of Buffalo bought some existing labels that many collectors might not be aware of. In 1958 or 59, International canned the Blackhawk Beer for only a year or so before being sold to a Cumberland plant. They also picked up the Stolz label from Tampa, and a few tough variations came from Buffalo. In 1962 the Buffalo plant bought a few labels from Cleveland-Sandusky Brewers, and bear the International of Buffalo d/b/a. Canned in Buffalo were Old Timers and Crystal Rock. G & B was also purchased, and collectors have bottle labels from Buffalo, but haven’t seen a can yet.
Locally, in 1959, International bought out the Phoenix Brewery of Buffalo. Phoenix had just put their beer in cans a year earlier, and a very short run of Phoenix Beer bearing the Phoenix Brewing mandatory was run, this is a tougher variation than the Phoenix from International of Buffalo. The Phoenix Brewery eventually became the Ale plant for International. International eventually went bankrupt in 1966 and a Terry Fox from New Jersey bought the plant and renamed it Iroquois Brewing Company. They continued to produce the Indian Head Beer and replacing the Tomahawk Ale was the Iroquois Draft Ale. Bavarians Select had a short stay and was canned in Buffalo. In 1969, Fox sold the plant to a group from Buffalo, and the name changed to Iroquois Brewery. They discontinued the Draft Ale, and the famous white Draft Beer was canned during this time. With the invasion of Cheaper Canadien Beers, and the growth of the big boys, Iroquois could no not keep up, and on May 5, 1971, Iroquois the once proud brewer of Buffalo shut its doors.
Another website, Kentucky Beer Cans, also shows a few of the IBI cans.