Wednesday’s ad is for “Hamm’s,” from 1934. This ad was made for Hamm’s Brewing, which was founded in 1865 by Theodore Hamm in St. Paul, Minnesota. At its peak, it was the 5th largest brewery in America, and operated facilities in five cities, including San Francisco, L.A., Baltimore and Houston, in addition to the original brewery in Minnesota. This one features a fancy woman lounging on chair with a tray of sandwiches and beer on a tray on front of her, with the tagline: “Here’s How! — and what to serve with BEER.”
Today is the birthday of Johann Georg Sohn (October 20, 1817-October 24, 1876). He was born in Bavaria, but settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1845, he co-founded the Hamilton Brewery, which was later known as the J.G. Sohn & Company Brewery. It was also known as the Clyffside Brewing Co., and used the trade name Feldsbrau. Johann’s sons took over after his death, and it was sold in 1907 and became known as the William G. Sohn Brewing Co. and later the Mohawk Brewing Co. After prohibition, it reopened as the Clyffside Brewing. After World War 2, it was renamed the Red Top Brewing before closing for good in 1958. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find very much biographical information about Sohn, and only a little about his brewery.
Here’s a short biography from Find-a-Grave:
Clyffside Brewing Company is a defunct brewery in Cincinnati, located on the site of Hamilton Brewery, founded in 1845 by Johann Sohn and George Klotter as the Hamilton Brewery. By 1853, the company becane known as the Klotter, Sohn and Company. In 1866, Sohn bought out Klotter, and Klotter went on to establish his own brewery on Klotter Street. Sohn renamed the brewery the J.G. Sohn & Company Brewery, and it became the tenth largest of its type in Cincinnati. In November 1900, the company was reorganized as the William S. Sohn Brewing Company when Sohn sold out his interest. In 1907, Sohn was purchased by Mohawk Brewery, and was known for its Zinzinnati Beer.
Cincinnati Brewing History has the following to say about the brewery:
George Klotter left the Klotter, Sohn, & Co. Brewery partnership to pursue his own proprietorship, at which point Johann George Sohn brought in Louis Sohngen and Heinrich Schlosser as partners. The new partnership would operate under the name of J.G. Sohn & Co. Brewery. Sohn ran the business until his death in 1876.
After Sohn’s death, leadership of the company was assumed by his sons, J.G. Sohn Jr., William, and J. Edward. J.G. Sohn Jr. died in 1880 and the other two brothers continued to operate the brewery together until 1900, at which time J. Edward left to join the Schaller Brothers Brewery. Shortly thereafter William would rename the brewery as the William S. Sohn Brewery, however he died in 1902. After William’s death his wife, Lena Jung Sohn ran the brewery until 1907, as she was intimately familiar with the industry by way of her father, another Cincinnati brewer.
Abandoned, the story of a forgotten America, also has a page about the Clyffside Brewing Company
Today is the 49th birthday of Sean Paxton, a.k.a. The Homebrew Chef. Sean is a mad alchemist in the kitchen and puts on some wonderful food and beer spectacles. Plus he’s a terrific homebrewer, an even better human being and a great friend. He’s spent the last year redoing his website with great new recipes and an amazing interface that allows you to search, scale the recipes, convert measurements and much more. For just $5 per month, you’ll get a steady stream of newly created and tested recipes, along with videos and articles to teach you how to cook like Sean and answer your questions. Check it out. Join me in wishing Sean a very happy birthday.
Tuesday’s ad is for “Hamm’s,” from the 1950s. This ad was made for Hamm’s Brewing, which was founded in 1865 by Theodore Hamm in St. Paul, Minnesota. At its peak, it was the 5th largest brewery in America, and operated facilities in five cities, including San Francisco, L.A., Baltimore and Houston, in addition to the original brewery in Minnesota. This one features a man fishing in a lake who’s caught a big one, with the tagline: “refreshing as the land it comes from.”
Today is also the 54th birthday of John Tucci, who I first met when he was the brewmaster for the San Francisco Gordon Biersch brewpub. John was one of Gordon Biersch’s best and most senior brewers, and especially with his one-offs that he brewed at that now-defunct location. He’s also a great champion for beer in San Francisco and was very active with the local brewers guild and SF Beer Week. When the San Francisco location closed, he brewed at their Palo Alto brewpub, but after 16 years, left and has opened his own brewery, 47 Hills Brewing, which is located at 137 South Linden Avenue in South San Francisco. Join me in wishing John a very happy birthday.
Today is the 65th birthday of Ron Pattinson, a brewing historian who writes online at Shut Up About Barclay Perkins. Ron lives in Amsterdam but is obsessed with the British brewery Barclay Perkins, which is what the title of his blog refers to. I have finally had the pleasure of meeting Ron in person, when we were both guests of Carlsberg for a press trip to Copenhagen a couple of years ago, and then again two years ago again in Denmark, when he was there with his lovely wife. A few more years ago, Lew Bryson had a chance to go drinking with Ron, too. Join me in wishing Ron a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of John Barbey (October 19, 1850-December 24, 1939). He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Peter Barbey, who founded what would become the Peter Barbey Brewery in 1857. His son John joined him at the brewery in 1880, and they called it Peter Barbey & Son after that, and he owned and ran the brewery after his father’s death in 1897 until it closed in 1920 because of Prohibition. But it did return in 1933 as Barbey’s Inc. In 1951, they completely rebranded it as the Sunshine Brewing Co. before closing for good in 1970.
This is his obituary from the Reading Eagle on December 25, 1939:
Prominent Businessman Dies on Christmas Eve
Funeral services were held today for John Barbey, prominent Reading businesss man, who died at his home 733 Centre Ave, on Christmas Eve following several months illness. He was 89.
The Rev. Dr. HeismannF. Miller, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, of which Mr. Barbey was a member, officiated at services held from the home. Entombment was made at Charles Evan Cemetery.
Mr. Barbey who was widely known in business circles, was chairman of the board of directors of the Vanity Fair Silk Mills and president and treasurer of Barbey’s Inc.
He was born in Philadelphia, a son of the late Peter and Rosina (Kuntz).
Barbey when he was 4 years old the family moved to Reading, where the father engaged in the manufacturing of malt liquors. He received his education in the local public schools and at a business college and then joined his father’s organization.
In 1800 he became a partner in the concern and the business became Barbey and Son. At the death of his father in 1897 he succeeded as head of the organization.For many years Mr. Barbey was actively identified with several local banking institutions and at the time of his death served on the directorate of a number of local industrial institutions.
Mrs. Barbey, the former Mary Ellen Garst, died many years ago. Surviving are these children: Mrs. Ida Lewis, NY. Mrs. Wiliam K Eckert, and Mrs. John H McCauley, both of Reading.
This biography of John is from “Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals,” by Morton Montgomery, published in 1909:
John Barbey, son of Peter and Rosina (Kuntz) Barbey, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., Oct. 19, 1850. When he was four years old his parents moved to Reading, where his father became engaged in the manufacture of malt liquors. He was educated in the local schools, taking an extra course in a business college, and was then placed in his father’s brewery for the purpose of learning all the details of the brewing business. In this he was very successful, and in 1880 the father admitted him into partnership, and they traded under the firm name of P. Barbey & Son. The father died in 1897, but the son has continued the business under the same name with increasing success up to the present. In 1906 the capacity of his large plant was the greatest of any at Reading, a fact which evinces the superior judgment of the son in conducting the complicated affairs of the brewery for the years it has been under his management.
Mr. Barbey has become largely interested in a number of the financial institutions of Reading, particularly the Keystone Bank, Farmers Bank, Colonial Trust Company, and several industrial institutions, in a number of which he is a director. He has been prominently identified with the Masonic fraternity at Reading since 1876, becoming a Mason in Chandler Lodge, No. 227, and a Knight Templar in the Reading Commandery, No. 42, of which be was Eminent Commander in 1886. He has reached the thirty-second degree.
Mr. Barbey married Mary Ellen Garst, daughter of George W. Garst, of Reading, a prominent building contractor for many years. They have seven children, six daughters and one son, John.
And this is from “100 Years of Brewing:”
Apparently, Peter Barbery was just a brewer, but John was more of a shrewd businessman, and apparently made a fortune in the textile industry, which was quite prominent in Reading, PA. Though most of its gone now, the Reading Factory Outlets are still a reminder of that time. This account of his other business interests is from Forbes:
The roots of this family fortune date back to 1899, when a banker named John Barbey and five partners started the Reading Glove and Mitten Manufacturing Company in Pennsylvania. Using profits from his father’s Sunshine Beer, Barbey bought out his partners and expanded into underwear (though he banned the term). In 1939, his son John Edward “J. E.” Barbey became vice president of the company, then known as Vanity Fair Silk Mills. After he took it public in 1951, the family was no longer involved in operations. Today, fewer than a dozen members of the Barbey family still own nearly 20% of VF Corporation (as it was renamed in 1969). It’s one of the world’s largest apparel firms, with $12 billion in revenues and brands such as Lee, Wrangler and North Face.
Monday’s ad is for “Hamm’s,” from the 1950s. This ad was made for Hamm’s Brewing, which was founded in 1865 by Theodore Hamm in St. Paul, Minnesota. At its peak, it was the 5th largest brewery in America, and operated facilities in five cities, including San Francisco, L.A., Baltimore and Houston, in addition to the original brewery in Minnesota. This one features a framed lake scene with a glass of beer and a bottle on a tray, with the tagline: “America’s Most Refreshing Beer, Hamm’s Preferred, from the land of sky blue waters.”
Today is the 57th birthday of Chris Swersey, who’s on the staff of the Brewers Association as the Competition Manager for both the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. He coordinates all the judges, volunteers and the thousands of beers needed for each festival. It’s a big job and Chris seems to do it effortlessly. Plus, the last several years, Chris and I both judged in Belgium at the Brussels Beer Challenge, which has been great fun. Join me in wishing Chris a very happy birthday.
Sunday’s ad is for “Hamm’s,” from the 1950s. This ad was made for Hamm’s Brewing, which was founded in 1865 by Theodore Hamm in St. Paul, Minnesota. At its peak, it was the 5th largest brewery in America, and operated facilities in five cities, including San Francisco, L.A., Baltimore and Houston, in addition to the original brewery in Minnesota. This one features a glass of beer in front of a lake, with the tagline: “Hamm’s Beer from the land of sky blue waters.”