Today is the birthday of Steve Shapiro Steve, who is half of the duo behind Beer by Bart, along with his wife Gail Williams. Steve’s originally from New York, but has been in the Bay Area rooting for the San Francisco Giants longer than I’ve been here. Steve was a player in local politics for many years, but for nearly twenty years he’s been writing about beer online, along with writing for the Celebrator Beer News and other publications. Over the past decade or more, we’ve become great friends with Steve and Gail and until the pandemic saw them frequently. Join me in wishing Steve a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of Charles Haberle (August 10, 1860-October 27, 1910). He was the brother of Frank B. Haberle, and the son of Benedict Haberle, who founded the Benedict Haberle Brewing Co. in 1857. Charles worked in the family business throughout his life, eventually becoming superintendent. When Charles’ father Benedict died in 1881, it was incorporated as the Haberle Brewing Co. After merging with the Crystal Spring Brewing Co. in 1892, the name was again changed to the Haberle-Crystal Spring Brewing Co. (and also the Haberle Brewery) until 1920, when it was closed by prohibition. It reopened in 1933 as the Haberle Congress Brewing Co., and it remained in business until 1961, when it closed for good.
Here’s his obituary from The Syracuse Journal for October 27, 1910:
Charles Haberle, superintendent of the Haberle Brewing Company’s plant, one of the best known business men of Syracuse, died early this morning at his home, 603 James st., after five weeks’ illness. For the last week Mr. Haberle’s condition occasioned considerable alarm among his family and friends. At 6 o’clock last night he lost consciousness and remained in that state up to the time of his death. During Mr. Haberle’s illness, his cheerfulness and good spirits were remarkable and although he suffered greatly he refused to give up fighting for life until he realized that the end was near. He then gave up, sinking into a stupor from which he did not rally. Mr. Haberle was born in Syracuse August 10, 1860, and had spent his entire life in the city of his birth. After completing a grammar school education he entered the brewing plant, at that time in charge of his father, and beginning at the bottom worked up through the different departments of the business until he reached the position of superintendent. Mr. Haberle was prominent in Masonic circles, being a member of Syracuse Lodge 501, F. and A. M.; Central City Chapter 70, R. and A. M.; Central City Commandery 25 K. T.; Central City bodies, A. and A. S. Rite; Central City Council 13, R. and S. M.; the Masonic Temple Club and Keder Khan Grotto. He was also a member of the Elks and of the Anglers Association of Onondaga. Besides his wife, Julia Fisher Haberle, he is survived by three sons, Benjamin F., Karl and Warren Haberle; three sisters, Mrs. Charles Schwartz, Mrs. William Biehler and Mrs. William Woese, and two brothers, Frank B. and William Haberle, all of Syracuse.
And this account is about the brewery, from 100 Years of Brewing:
Today is the birthday of Jacob Ruppert, Jr. (August 5, 1867–January 13, 1939). He was the son of Jacob Ruppert, who founded the Jacob Ruppert Brewing Company in 1867. Jacon Jr., who went by Jake “was an American brewer, businessman, National Guard colonel and United States Congressman who served for four terms representing New York from 1899 to 1907. He also owned the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball from 1915 until his death in 1939.
Starting out in the family brewing business, Ruppert entered the United States National Guard in 1886 at the age of 19, eventually reaching the rank of colonel. While he was the owner of the Yankees, he purchased the contract of Babe Ruth and built Yankee Stadium, reversing the franchise’s fortunes and establishing it as the premier club in the major leagues. Ruppert was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in July 2013.”
Ruppert was born in New York City, the son of brewer Jacob Ruppert, Sr. (1842–1915) and his wife, the former Anna Gillig (1842–1924). He was the second oldest of six children, along with Cornelia Ruppert-Franko (1865–96), Anna Schalk (born 1870), Frank (born 1872), George (1875–1948) and Amanda Elizabeth “Lizzie” Ruppert-Silleck (1878–1952). His grandfather Franz (1811–83), a brewer from Bavaria, had emigrated to the United States in 1836 or 1842. His mother was also of German ethnicity, and was herself the daughter of prominent brewer George Gillig. Although he was a second-generation American, to the day he died he spoke with a noticeable German accent.
He grew up in the Jacob Ruppert, Sr. House on Fifth Avenue. Jacob Jr. attended the Columbia Grammar School. He was accepted into Columbia College, but instead began working in the brewing business with his father in 1887. He started as a barrel washer, working 12-hour days for $10 a week ($267 in current dollar terms), and eventually became vice president and general manager of the brewery.
Ruppert enlisted in the Seventh Regiment, National Guard of New York, serving in the rank of private from 1886 through 1889. In 1890, he was promoted to colonel and appointed to serve on the staff of David B. Hill, the Governor of New York, serving as aide-de-camp. He became a senior aide on the staff of Roswell P. Flower, Hill’s successor as governor, until 1895.
The Jacob Ruppert Brewery around 1932.
Ruppert was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1898 as a member of the Democratic Party to the Fifty-sixth United States Congress, defeating incumbent Philip B. Low of the Republican Party in New York’s 15th congressional district. He was supported in his election by Richard Croker, the political boss of Tammany Hall. Ruppert won reelection over Alderman Elias Goodman in 1900. Ruppert was renominated for Congress, this time running in New York’s 16th congressional district, in 1902. Ruppert was not a candidate for reelection in 1906, and he left office in 1907.
Ruppert was also president of the Astoria Silk Works and the United States Brewers Association from 1911 through 1914. In January 1914, he bought J&M Haffen Brewing Company for $700,000 ($16,737,209 in current dollar terms), intending to close the brewery down and develop the property, which was located near The Hub in The Bronx. Upon his father’s death in 1915, Ruppert inherited the Jacob Ruppert Brewing Company and became the company’s president. Ruppert also owned real estate, including Pass-a-Grille Key in Florida.
Ruppert, interested in baseball since his childhood, began to pursue ownership of a Major League Baseball team, and attempted to purchase the New York Giants on numerous occasions. In 1912 he was offered an opportunity to purchase the Chicago Cubs, but decided that Chicago was too far away from New York for his tastes. However, Frank J. Farrell and William S. Devery, owners of the New York Yankees, were looking to sell their franchise. Ruppert and Tillinghast L’Hommedieu Huston, a former United States Army engineer and captain, purchased the Yankees from Farrell and Devery before the 1915 season for $480,000 ($11,363,684 in current dollar terms). The Yankees were, at that time, a perennial also-ran in the American League (AL), posting winning records in only 4 of their 12 seasons – and only once since 1906 – since relocating to New York prior to the 1903 season from Baltimore, where the team had played as the Orioles during the AL’s first two years of operation, 1901 and 1902.
After the 1917 season, Ban Johnson, president of the AL, suggested that Ruppert hire St. Louis Cardinals manager Miller Huggins to take over the same position with the Yankees. Huston, who was in Europe at the time that Ruppert was considering the appointment, disliked Huggins and wanted to hire the manager of the National League’s crosstown Brooklyn Robins, Wilbert Robinson, his drinking buddy. However, Ruppert interviewed Huggins on Johnson’s recommendation, and agreed that Huggins would be an excellent choice Ruppert offered the job to Huggins, who accepted and signed a two-year contract. The hiring of Huggins drove a wedge between the two co-owners that culminated in Huston selling his shares of the team to Ruppert in 1922.
Ruppert and Huston purchased pitcher Carl Mays from the Boston Red Sox in 1918, in direct opposition of an order issued by Johnson. The matter was taken to court, where Ruppert and Huston prevailed over Johnson. The case led to the dissolution of the National Commission, which governed baseball, and helped lead to the creation of the Commissioner of Baseball. Ruppert eventually organized opposition to Johnson among other AL owners.
The Yankees purchased star pitcher-outfielder Babe Ruth from the Red Sox in 1919, which made the Yankees a profitable franchise. The Yankees began to outdraw the Giants, with whom they shared the Polo Grounds. In 1921 the Yankees won the AL pennant for the first time, but lost to the Giants in the World Series. As a result of the Yankees’ increased popularity, Charles Stoneham, owner of the Giants and the Polo Grounds, raised the rent for Ruppert and Huston for the 1922 season. The Yankee owners responded by purchasing land in The Bronx, across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds, from the estate of William Waldorf Astor for $675,000 ($9,658,002 in current dollar terms), breaking ground on a new stadium in May 1922. That year, the Giants once again defeated the Yankees in the World Series. Yankee Stadium opened on April 18, 1923,[the first ballpark with three tiers of seating for fans, and the first referred to as a “stadium”. Ruppert and Huston financed the project with $2.5 million of their own money ($35,770,378 in current dollar terms).
In 1923, Ruppert bought out Huston for $1.5 million ($21,084,961 in current dollar terms), and he became the sole owner. Later that year, the Yankees finally beat the Giants to win their first World Series title. The Yankees went on to dominate baseball throughout most of the 1920s and 1930s, winning three more pennants from 1926 through 1928, including the Murderers’ Row team which won the 1927 World Series and repeated as champions the following year. They returned to the top with the 1932 World Series title, and then began their strongest period yet with the Bronx Bombers teams of the late 1930s, becoming the first team to win three consecutive World Series titles in 1936, 1937 and 1938. In 1937, the Yankees became the first team to win six World Series titles, and in 1938 they surpassed the Philadelphia Athletics to become the first team to win ten AL championships, with only the Giants winning more pennants in the 20th century.
Lous Gehrig, Ruppert and Joe McCarthy in 1935.
In 1929, Ruppert added numbers to the Yankees’ uniforms, which became a feature of every team. He said, “Many fans do not attend games on a regular basis and cannot easily pick out the players they have come to see.”
in 1931 Ruppert bought the Newark Bears who played at Ruppert Stadium in Newark, New Jersey, and begin building the farm system for the Yankees. Ruppert’s 24 years as a Yankee owner saw him build the team from near-moribund to a baseball powerhouse. His own strength as a baseball executive – including his willingness to wheel and deal – was aided by the business skills of general manager Ed Barrow and the forceful field managing of Miller Huggins, until his sudden death at age 50 late in the 1929 season, and Joe McCarthy, beginning in 1931. By the time of Ruppert’s death, the team was well on its way to becoming the most successful in the history of Major League Baseball, and eventually in North American professional sports.
Ruppert and Ruth had public disagreements about Ruth’s contracts. Nevertheless, they were personal friends; according to Ruth, Ruppert called him “Babe” only once, and that was the night before he died. Usually, Ruppert called him “Root” (as “Ruth” sounded in his German-accented voice); he always called everyone, even close friends, by their last name. Ruth was one of the last persons to see Ruppert alive.
Ruppert suffered from phlebitis in April 1938, and was confined to his Fifth Avenue apartment for most of the year. He was too sick to follow the Yankees to the 1938 World Series, what would be their seventh world title under his stewardship; he listened on the radio. In November 1938, he checked into Lenox Hill Hospital, where he died on January 13, 1939.
New York Yankees Tony Lazzeri, Joe DiMaggio, and Frankie Crosetti with their team owner Jacob Ruppert taken in the late 1930’s.
Ruppert’s father, Jacob, Sr., left behind an estate of $6,382,758 ($111,618,204 in current dollar terms) when he died in 1915, which Ruppert increased to $40 million by the time of his death in 1939. This was managed by his heirs. His brother George, who served as the Yankees’ vice president, declined to take over the team presidency, and instead recommended that general manager Ed Barrow be given control of the club. Under Barrow’s leadership, the Yankees won a fourth consecutive World Series in 1939, and captured three more AL titles and two World Series from 1941 to 1943 as the nation entered World War II. After mismanaging Ruppert’s brewery, the heirs sold the Yankees to Dan Topping, Del Webb and Larry MacPhail in 1945. The brewery sold its flagship beer, Knickerbocker beer, to Rheingold, and went out of business in 1965.
On April 16, 1940, the Yankees dedicated a plaque in Ruppert’s memory, to hang on the center field wall of Yankee Stadium, near the flagpole and the monument that had been dedicated to former manager Miller Huggins. The plaque called Ruppert “Gentleman, American, sportsman, through whose vision and courage this imposing edifice, destined to become the home of champions, was erected and dedicated to the American game of baseball.” The plaque now rests in Monument Park at New Yankee Stadium.
An apocryphal story says that Ruppert is responsible for the Yankees’ famous pinstriped uniforms; according to this account, Ruppert chose pinstripes in order to make the often-portly Ruth appear less obese, but the uniform was in fact introduced in 1912.
A beer was named after Ruppert, as were Ruppert Stadium in Newark, New Jersey. Ruppert Park in Manhattan, is part of the Ruppert Yorkville Towers housing complex was built on the site the brewery in Yorkville, Manhattan.
Ruppert and Lou Gehrig in 1938.
Today is the birthday of Rita Daigle McGrover (July 31, 1927-February 9, 1974). Daigle was elected Miss Rheingold 1946. She was born in New York, and started modeling when was seventeen (lying about her age). She was also Miss Stardust of 1944 and Queen of the 1945 Photographers Ball. The same December she was crown Miss Rheingold, she married a well-known singer, Jimmy Saunders, who sang with Harry James, among others, and co-wrote songs with Frank Sinatra. Her modeling career both before and after 1946 was fairly robust, with her appearing on the cover of such magazines as Cosmopolitan, Life and Vogue. She later married lawyer Raymond J. McGrover, who was also president of the American Contract Bridge League. She had two children.
Here’s more about her from Those Obscure Objects of Desire:
Rita Daigle was born on July 31, 1927 in New York City, to Raymond and Alice Daigle. Her father, who worked as an assistant manager in a hotel, was born in Massachusetts. Her mother was French-Canadian, a housewife. She was their only child.
The family lived in Manhattan with a lodger in 1930. Rita attended high school in New York and developed an interest in modeling from an early age, picking this vocation as her road to fame and riches.
Rita signed with the Walter Thorton Agency, a premier modeling agency of the time, on par with Conover and John Power Agencies. She was only 16 when she started doing the modeling rounds. Her claim to fame was being crowned Miss Stardust in 1944, beating more than 3000 other pretty hopefuls for the title. This was followed closely by being Queen of New York’s Press Photographers Ball. Riding on a wave of high publicity, she was signed to a movie career in 1945.
Let me tell you right of the bat – I haven’t got any credits on Rita. She doesn’t have a page on IMDB, but I know that, unless the papers outright lied about it, Rita signed a contract with Paramount pictures in April 1945. There is a good chance that she, like many young and pretty starlets, never made a movie during their contract period. Also, it’s worth noting that her modeling career was much more lucrative than signing a contract as a starlet. If I were Rita, I would have chosen to return to New Yotk. Anyway, Rita really went back to New York and married by the end fo the year, thus ending any chance of working in Hollywood for the long run (her husband absolutely refused to work on the West coast, and her modeling momentum was slowly melting away).
Later, after her divorce, in about 1952, the papers called her an “actress”, but I couldn’t find any credits from this time (unless she changed her name) so it’s kaput again.
In 1944, when the 17-year-old Rita hit the papers, they claimed she was a native of Lowell Massachusetts (not quite right), that she was 19 years old (not quite right), and that she was the sweetheart of Liutenant Emile Bouchard, serving somewhere in England at the time. I guess the part about Bouchard was true, but their relationship ended not long after.
Rita married singer Jimmy Saunders in New York in December 1945. Saunders was born as Vincent LaSpada on June 9, 1920, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He came from a large Italian-American family – the son of Fillipo and Lillian LaSpada, his father was a baker who owned a bakery on the 9th and Cross Street. The family had 13 children, and Vincent had seven sisters (Lucy, Rose, May, Grace, Helen, Carmel, Angelina).
In 1945, Jimmy was in top form, and so was Rita. For instance, in 1946, Rita was crowned Miss Rheingold, a great honour for any model in the 1940s (the very first Miss Rheingold, Jinx Falkenburg, was the only one that had any kind of a acting career). That year, she made about 45, 000$ from her modeling work, making her a pretty well paid woman for that time! Rita appeared in Yank the Army Weekly, Cosmopolian and Vogue (among others). She was nicknamed La Daigle, and played pretty coy with the papers, admitting her father was a innkeeper and refused to say what inn – she also admitted that she rarely drank beer (despite being Miss Rheingold). It was also noted that she met Jimmy while dancing at Pops’ hotel. Cute! Now more about Jimmy’s career. As his obituary on Philly.com notes, he was a popular big band singer of the time:
Jimmy Saunders, also known as Sonny Saunders and for a time as Marco Polo, sang with the bands of Harry James, Eddie Duchin, Ray Bloch, Sonny Kendis and Charlie Spivak. He co-wrote “Peach Tree Street” with Frank Sinatra and recorded such hits as “There Must Be a Way,” “Santa Lucia,” “You Belomg to My Heart,” “I Love You for Sentimental Reasons” and “You Are Too Beautiful.” He also was a featured vocalist on the “Lucky Strike Hit Parade” show.
Aside for their highly successful careers, the LaSpadas had two children, two daughter, together: Diane LaSpada (born on April 15, 1947) and Linda LaSpada (born on December 9, 1948).
However, things in showbiz turn fast. One day a king, the next a pauper. Rita’s career, in a time when models lasted until they were 25, was hampered not only by her age but also by her wish to take care of her children. So, her modeling career was effectively over by 1950. Due to the sharp decline in popularity of big bands, so was Jimmy’s.
The tensions over their failed careers led to the demise of their marriage in 1951. Yet, during the court proceedings more dirty laundry made it’s way to the public. For instance, an article claimed that Saunders filed court papers asking a judge for help “ridding his household of a mother-in-law and a gossipy aunt.”
Rita officially divorced Saunders in 1952 – Jimmy never remarried. Rita marched on. There were rumors she might marry James Cecil when her Florida divorce came through. Nothing doing.
Rita married Raymond J. McGrover, probably in the 1950s. McGrover was born on December 9, 1905, in New York, making his a whole lot older than Rita. While unlike in age with Rita, like her he spent his entire life in New York City, Brooklyn to be exact. He became a noted lawyer and devoted much energy to his favorite pastime, bridge. He married Billie McGrover in 1930, and they had a child. Both Raymond and his wife were passionate bridge players, probably the best in Brooklyn, often winning tournaments. I found that very cute – they had a strong shared interest that probably got them together in the first place. However, they divorced in 1939 in Reno, and Mrs. McGrover charged Raymond with a very non descriptive “cruelty”. McGrover lived alone from then on in Brooklyn. In the 1946-1947 period, he was a member of the steering committee that very much reorganized the American Contact Bridge League.
Today is the date that George Crum died in 1914, and the closest anyone knows about when he was born is July 1832, although some accounts say as early as 1822 and at least one more gives 1831. But he was born George Speck, but changed his name to “Crum” (July 1832-July 22, 1914). He worked several jobs before finding his true calling as a chef in upstate New York, most notably at Moon’s Lake House near Saratoga Springs, New York, and later at his own “Crum’s Place.” But his true fame came from the invention of the potato chip in 1853. There is some controversy about whether he is the true inventor, although there are other candidates, and some evidence that either way he may have been involved at some level, he remains the likeliest person to be credited with inventing the potato chip, which makes him a hero in my book.
Here’s a short account of his life from Ancestory.com:
When George W. Speck-Crum was born in July 1828 in Malta, New York, his father, Abraham, was 39 and his mother, Catherine, was 42. He had three sons and one daughter with Elizabeth J. He then married Hester Esther Bennett in 1860. He died on July 22, 1914, in his hometown, having lived a long life of 86 years, and was buried in Saratoga County, New York.
Nothing about his life seems particularly settled, not his birthday, where he was born, his exact ethnicity, or almost anything else, but here’s what Wikipedia claims:
George Speck (also called George Crum) was a man of mixed ancestry, including St. Regis (Akwesasne) Mohawk Indian, African-American, and possibly German. He worked as a hunter, guide, and cook in the Adirondacks, who became renowned for his culinary skills after being hired at Moon’s Lake House on Saratoga Lake, near Saratoga Springs, New York.
Speck’s specialities included wild game, especially venison and duck, and he often experimented in the kitchen. During the 1850s, while working at Moon’s Lake House in the midst of a dinner rush, Speck tried slicing the potatoes extra thin and dropping it into the deep hot fat of the frying pan. Thus was born the potato chip.
George Speck (also called George Crum) was born on July 15, 1824 (or 1825) [maybe, but possibly other years or dates] in Saratoga County in upstate New York. Some sources suggest that the family lived in Ballston Spa or Malta; others suggest they came from the Adirondacks. Depending upon the source, his father, Abraham, and mother Diana, were variously identified as African American, Oneida, Stockbridge, and/or Mohawk Indians. Some sources associate the family with the St. Regis (Akwesasne) Mohawk reservation that straddles the US/Canadian border. Speck and his sister Kate Wicks, like other Native American or mixed-race people of that era, were variously described as “Indian,” “Mulatto,” “Black,” or just “Colored,” depending on the snap judgement of the census taker.
Speck developed his culinary skills at Cary Moon’s Lake House on Saratoga Lake, noted as an expensive restaurant at a time when wealthy families from Manhattan and other areas were building summer “camps” in the area. Speck and his sister, Wicks, also cooked at the Sans Souci in Ballston Spa, alongside another St. Regis Mohawk Indian known for his skills as a guide and cook, Pete Francis. One of the regular customers at Moon’s was Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who, although he savored the food, could never seem to remember Speck’s name. On one occasion, he called a waiter over to ask “Crum,” “How long before we shall eat?” Rather than take offense, Speck decided to embrace the nickname, figuring that, “A crumb is bigger than a speck.”
Wicks later recalled the invention of the potato chip as an accident: she had “chipped off a piece of the potato which, by the merest accident, fell into the pan of fat. She fished it out with a fork and set it down upon a plate beside her on the table.” Her brother tasted it, declared it good, and said, “We’ll have plenty of these.” In a 1932 interview with the Saratogian newspaper, her grandson, John Gilbert Freeman, asserted Wick’s role as the true inventor of the potato chip.
Speck, however, was the one who popularized the potato chip, first as a cook at Moon’s and then in his own place. By 1860, Speck had opened his own restaurant, called Crum’s, on Storey Hill in nearby Malta, New York. His cuisine was in high demand among Saratoga Springs’ tourists and elites: “His prices were…those of the fashionable New York restaurants, but his food and service were worth it…Everything possible was raised on his own small farm, and that, too, got his personal attention whenever he could arrange it.” According to popular accounts, he was said to include a basket of chips on every table. One contemporaneous source recalls that in his restaurant, Speck was unquestionably the man in charge: “His rules of procedure were his own. They were very strict, and being an Indian, he never departed from them. In the slang of the racecourse, he “played no favorites.” Guests were obliged to wait their turn, the millionaire as well as the wage-earner. Mr. Vanderbilt once was obliged to wait an hour and a half for a meal…With none but rich pleasure-seekers as his guests, Crum kept his tables laden with the best of everything, and for it all charged Delmonico prices.”
Potato Chip Legend
Recipes for frying potato slices were published in several cookbooks in the 19th century. In 1832, a recipe for fried potato “shavings” was included in a United States cookbook derived from an earlier English collection. William Kitchiner’s The Cook’s Oracle (1822), also included techniques for such a dish. Similarly, N.K.M. Lee’s cookbook, The Cook’s Own Book (1832), has a recipe that is very similar to Kitchiner’s.
The New York Tribune ran a feature article on “Crum’s: The Famous Eating House on Saratoga Lake” in December 1891, but, curiously, mentioned nothing about potato chips. Neither did Crum’s commissioned biography, published in 1893, nor did one 1914 obituary in a local paper. Another obituary states “Crum is said to have been the actual inventor of “Saratoga chips.”” When Wicks died in 1924, however, her obituary authoritatively identified her as follows: “A sister of George Crum, Mrs. Catherine Wicks, died at the age of 102, and was the cook at Moon’s Lake House. She first invented and fried the famous Saratoga Chips.”
Hugh Bradley’s 1940 history of Saratoga contains some information about Speck, based on local folklore as much as on any specific historical primary sources. Fox and Banner said that Bradley had cited an 1885 article in the Hotel Gazette about Speck and the potato chips. Bradley repeated several myths that appear in that article, including that “Crum was born in 1828, the son of Abe Speck, a mulatto jockey who had come from Kentucky to Saratoga Springs and married a Stockbridge Indian woman,” and that, “Crum also claimed to have considerable German and Spanish blood.”
Cary Moon, owner of Moon’s Lake House, rushed to claim credit for the invention, and began mass-producing the chips, first served in paper cones, then packaged in boxes. They soon became wildly popular: “It was at Moon’s that Clio first tasted the famous Saratoga chips, said to have originated there, and it was she who first scandalized spa society be strolling along Broadway and about the paddock at the race track crunching the crisp circlets out of a paper sack as though they were candy or peanuts. She made it the fashion, and soon you saw all Saratoga dipping into cornucopias filled with golden-brown paper-thin potatoes; a gathered crowd was likely to create a sound like a scuffling through dried autumn leaves.” Visitors to Saratoga Springs were advised to take the 10-mile journey around the lake to Moon’s if only for the chips: “the hobby of the Lake House is Fried Potatoes, and these they serve in good style. They are sold in papers like confectionary.”
A 1973 advertising campaign by the St. Regis Paper Company, which manufactured packaging for chips, featured an ad for Crum (Speck) and his story, published in the national magazines, Fortune and Time. During the late 1970s, the variant of the story featuring Vanderbilt became popular because of the interest in his wealth and name, and evidence suggests the source was an advertising agency for the Potato Chip/Snack Food Association.
A 1983 article in Western Folklore identifies potato chips as having originated in Saratoga Springs, New York, while critiquing the variants of popular stories. In all versions, the chips became popular and subsequently known as “Saratoga chips” or “potato crunches”.
The 21st-century Snopes website writes that Crum’s customer, if he existed, was more likely an obscure one. Vanderbilt was a regular customer at Moon’s Lake House and at Crum’s Malta restaurant, but there is no evidence that he played any role in inventing (or demanding) potato chips.
And here’s yet another story about the origin of the potato chip, written by Jean McGregor in the Saratogian in 1940:
The authentic story of Saratoga chips is at long last revealed by the great nephew of George (Speck) Crum, their originator, Albert J. Stewart, now an employee of Mrs. Webster Curran Moriarta of North Broadway, with whom he has been employed for 24 years. Stewart told the story to Mrs. Moriarta many times as I relate it here: “Aunt Kate Wicks” so called by her friends, had something* to do with their Invention—worked for her brother, Crum. She related the true circumstances to Stewart many times before her death in 1914 at 68 William St., where she resided. Crum was born in Malta, the son of Abram Speck, a mulatto jockey who came from Kentucky in the early days of Saratoga and married an Indian woman of the Stockbridge tribe. It is related that a wealthy dinner guest had one time Jokingly referred to the name Speck, as Crura, and thereupon Speck took over the name of Crum. George Crum was more Indianin appearance. His younger days were spent in the Adirondack^ and he became a mighty hunter and a successful fisherman. His services as a guide in the Adirondack* were much sought after. His companion in the forests was a Frenchman from whom he learned to cook. Shortly after the Frenchman’s death, Cnrn took up his abode near the south end of the lake and prepared to serve ducks. He became known throughout the country for his unique and wonderful skill In cooking game, fish and camp fire dishes generally. While he was employed as a cook at Moon’s Place, opened by Carey B. Moon in 1853 at the Southend of Saratoga Lake, on the Ramsdill Road, the incident occurred which led to the making of Saratoga Chips. “Aunt Kate Wicks” who worked with her brother, Crum, making pastry, had a pan of fat on the stove, while making crullers and was peeling potatoes at the same time. She chipped off a piece of potato which by the merest accident fell into the pan of fat. She fished it out with a fork and set it down upon a plate beside her on the table. Crum came into the kitchen. “What’s this?”, he asked, as he picked up the chip and tasted it “Hm, Hm, that’s good. How did you make it?” “Aunt Kate” described the accident. “That’s a good accident,” said Crum. “We’ll have plenty of these.” HE TREED them out. Demand for them grew like wild fire and he sold them at 15 and ten cents a bag. Thus the Saratoga Chip came into existence. Other makes appeared on the market as time passed. For a long period of years, few prominent men in the world of finance, politics, art, the drama or sports, failed to eat one of Crum’s famous dinners.
The late Cornelius E. Durkee, who died at the age of 96, entertained many guests at Moon’s and was familiar with its history, related this interesting story of Crum’s genius as a cook for me one day while he was compiling his reminiscences: “William H. Vanderbilt, father of Governor William H. Vanderbilt of Rhode Island, a prominent visitor here in those days, was extremely fond of canvasback ducks, but could not get them cooked properly in the village. “He sent a couple to Crum to see what he could do with them. “Crum had never seen a canvasback but having boasted that he could cook anything, willingly undertook to prepare these. “I KEPT THEM over the coals 19 minutes.” Crum told Mr. Durkee, “the blood following the knife and sent them to the table hot. Mr. Vanderbilt said he had never eaten anything like them in his life”Mr. Vanderbilt,” continued Mr. Durkee, “was so pleased he sent Mr. Crum many customers. He prospered in the business. He kept his tables laden with the best of everything and did not neglect to charge Delmonico prices.” “His rules of procedure were his own. Guests were obliged to wait their turn, the millionaire as well as the wage earner. Mr. Vanderbilt was once obliged to wait an hour for a meal and Jay Gould and his party, also visitors here in the early days when this resort was the capital of fashionables of the country, waited as long another time. CRUM LEFT the kitchen to apologize to Mr. Gould, who told him he understood the rules of the establishment and would wait willingly another hour. Judge Hilton and a party of friends were turned away one day. “I can’t wait on you,” said Crum, directing them to a rival house for dinner. “George,” said Mr. Hilton, “you must wait on us if we have to remain in the front yard for two hours.” Mr. Durkee recalled for me that, among those who enjoyed Crum’s cooking and his potato chips were Presidents Chester A. Arthur and Grover Cleveland, and Governors Horatio Seymour, Alonzo B. Cornell, David P. Hill, Roswell P. Flower and such financiers as Vanderbilt, Pierre Lorillard, Berry Wall, William R. Travers, William M. Tweed and E. T. Stokes. Crum died in 1914. His brother, Abraham (Speck) Crum dug out an old Indian canoe for Jonathan Ramsdill of Saratoga Lake which is still on exhibit in the State Museum in Albany as one of the finest examples of Indian canoes and Indian days at Saratoga Lake, rich in Indian lore.
His own restaurant, Crum’s Place, was located at 793 Malta Avenue in Ballston Spa, New York. Today, a marker can be seen by the spot where it stood from 1860-1890.
Today is the birthday of Joseph Schmid (July 14, 1814-December 18, 1881). He was born in Hausen, Hohenzollern, but grew up in Constantz, where he learned to brew. He started a brewery in Germany, but sold it and came to American when he was 42, in 1856.
He initially settled in Illinois where he started the Atlantic Brewery in Rock Island, but a decade later when he joined the Lion Brewery, which was also known as the Bernheimer & Schmid Brewery. There was also an August Schmid involved in that business, and it’s unclear the relationship between the two Schmids. The brewery survived prohibition but closed for good in 1941.
This short biography of Joseph Schmid is from the Western Brewer reprinting his obituary 25 years after the fact. The piece mentions the “Lim Brewery” but I’m convinced that’s a typo and should read “Lion Brewery.”
Another account appears to clear up some of the confusion regarding Joseph and August, from the Columbia University Libraries:
A locus for both business and pleasure in Morningside Heights, the Lion Brewery began operations in 1850 and continued until its demolition in 1944. During that time, especially in the late 19th-century, it rose to be a community focal point. It originated with a farm—stretching from Tenth Avenue to Central Park, and 106th Street to 110th Street—belonging to Joseph Schmid (sometimes spelled “Schmidt”) on which he built a brewery in the 1820s, operating as Schmidt & Speyer. Soon, a change of partners brought a change in name to Bernheimer & Schmidt, for Schmid’s new partner, former brewery worker Emanuel Bernheimer. The two renamed it the Lion Brewery in 1850; within thirty years it was generating profits estimated between $1,500,00 and $2,225,000. Real estate speculation doomed the partners, however, and by May 1879, the year after the newspapers’ estimate of their wealth, their combined net worth had fallen to $500,000. They dissolved their partnership and each man transferred his share of the business to his better-educated son: Joseph Schmid transferred his holdings to his son August, and Emanuel Bernheimer to his son Simon. August and Simon applied their education to the management of the business, and by 1888 the plant alone was valued at $1,5000,000.
And this account of some litigation reported by the American Brewers’ Review shed further light on the ownership question of the Schmids.
Today is the birthday of John Gardiner (July 11, 1825-July 5, 1903). Gardiner was born in upstate New York, in Albany, where he learned brewing from his father. He moved to Philadelphia when he was 24, in 1849, and worked for Massey’s Brewery before buying the James Smyth Brewery in 1874, renaming it John Gardiner & Co. Brewery. In 1883, Gardiner renamed it again, this time the Continental Brewing Co., which remained its name until it closed at the start of prohibition in 1920.
He appears to have married an Anna E. Snyder, and not Caroline Schmidt (as I’d earlier believed). According to one commenting relative, it was Gardiner’s son, John Jr., who in 1866, married one of brewery owner Christian Schmidt’s daughters, Caroline, and according to a history of Schmidt’s Brewery, he began working for his father-in-law’s brewery at that time. But it’s unclear if there is any relationship to Gardiner’s purchase of the Continental Brewery. Unfortunately, Find-a-Grave’s listing for both John Gardiner and Anna do not list a son named John Francis Gardiner Jr., but instead a John L. Gardiner Jr., a daughter, Mary, and another son, George.
Here’s how Gardiner and his family are mentioned in the history of Schmidt’s Brewery:
For generations the name of Gardiner had been well known in brewing circles. The family owned the Continental Brewing Co. in Philadelphia. John Gardiner married a daughter of Christian Schmidt. John Gardiner Jr., and Edward A. Gardiner, sons of John Gardiner, joined Schmidt’s to add new luster, in, respectively, sales and finance., to the family management team.
During the entire period of relegalization- including the peak year of 1955- and through to 1958, John Gardiner Jr., a grandson of the founder, was sales and advertising manager for the brewery. Mr. Gardiner, now a vice president, saw sales rise under his management from 106,000 in 1934 to almost 2 million in 1955.
Edward A. Gardiner, his brother, now chairman of the board, was responsible for the financial arrangements which made possible the various expansions of the brewery in the 1930’s, 40’s and early 50’s. It was Mr. Gardiner’s raising of the funds to accommodate the expansion of the company in 1947 and 1948 which kept the brewery abreast of modern changes and in a position to meet the difficult competitive challenge of the postwar years.
He’s an obituary from Gardiner from Find-a-Grave:
Today is the birthday of Jack “Legs” Diamond (July 10, 1897–December 18, 1931). He was “also known as ‘Gentleman Jack,’ [and] was an Irish American gangster in Philadelphia and New York City during the Prohibition era. A bootlegger and close associate of gambler Arnold Rothstein, Diamond survived a number of attempts on his life between 1916 and 1931, causing him to be known as the “clay pigeon of the underworld”. In 1930, Diamond’s nemesis Dutch Schultz remarked to his own gang, “Ain’t there nobody that can shoot this guy so he don’t bounce back?”
Here’s his biography from Find-a-Grave:
Gangster bootlegger. Born Jack Moran on July 10, 1897, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to an Irish immigrant family. After his mother, Sara’s death, Diamond moved with his father and brother to Brooklyn, New York. Growing up impoverished, Diamond turned to street gangs and became involved in theft and violent crime as a teen. He later began to work for gangsters Arnold Rothstein and Jacob “Little Augie” Orgen. Jack set up shop as an extremely violent and murderous figure. He earned his “Legs” nickname either due to his quickness when running from a scene or because of his excellent dancing skills. He also married Alice Schiffer in 1926. She remained devoted to Jack through his strings of crime and mistresses, which included a notable affair with Ziegfeld showgirl Kiki Roberts. In August, 1927, Jack played a role in the murder of “Little Augie” (Jacob Orgen). Jack’s brother Eddie was Orgen’s bodyguard, but Legs Diamond substituted for Eddie that day. As Orgen and Jack were walking down a street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, three young men approached them and started shooting. Orgen was fatally wounded and Jack was shot two times below the heart. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he eventually recovered. During the late 1920s, Prohibition was in force, and the sale of beer and other alcohol was illegal in the United States. Jack traveled to Europe to score beer and narcotics, but failed. He did score liquor which was dumped overboard in partially full barrels which floated into Long Island as ships entered New York. Following Orgen’s death, Jack went to work overseeing bootleg alcohol sales in downtown Manhattan. That brought him into conflict with Dutch Schultz, who wanted to move beyond his base in Harlem. He also ran into trouble with other gangs in the city. In 1930, Jack and two henchmen kidnapped Grover Parks, a truck driver in Cairo, New York, and demanded to know where he had obtained his load of hard cider. When Parks denied carrying anything, Jack and his men beat and tortured Parks, eventually letting him go. A few months later, Jack was charged with the kidnapping of James Duncan. He was sent to Catskill, New York for his first trial, but was acquitted. However, he was convicted in a federal case on related charges, and he was sentenced to four years in jail. In a third trial, in Troy, New York, he was acquitted. On October 12, 1930, Jack was shot and wounded at the Hotel Monticello on the west side of Manhattan. Two men forced their way into his room, shot him five times, and then fled. Still in his pajamas, he staggered out into the hallway and collapsed. On December 30, 1930, Jack was discharged from Polyclinic. On April 27, 1931, Jack was again shot and wounded, this time at the Aratoga Inn, a road house near Cairo, New York. He was eating in the dining room with three companions when he walked out to the front door. A gunman with a shotgun shot him three times, and Jack collapsed by the door. On December 18, 1931, Jack’s enemies finally caught up with him, At 4:30 am, Jack went back to the rooming house and passed out on his bed. Two gunmen entered his room around 5:30 AM. One man held Jack down while the other shot him three times in the back of the head. No other gangster of the bootlegging era of 1920’s survived more bullet wounds than Legs. He was known as “The Clay Pidgeon of the Underworld”. On July 1, 1933, Jack’s widow, Alice Kenny Diamond, was found shot to death in her Brooklyn apartment. It was speculated that she was shot by Jack’s enemies to keep her quiet.
This is about his arly life from his Wikipedia page:
Diamond was born July 10, 1897, to Sara and John Diamond, who emigrated from Ireland in 1891 to Philadelphia, USA. In 1899, Jack’s younger brother Eddie Diamond was born. Jack and Eddie both struggled through grade school, while Sara suffered from severe arthritis and other health issues. On December 24, 1913, Sara died from complications due to a bacterial infection and high fever. John Diamond, Sr. moved to Brooklyn shortly afterwards.
Diamond soon joined a New York street gang called the Hudson Dusters. Diamond’s first arrest for burglary occurred when he broke into a jewelry store on February 4, 1914, with numerous arrests following through the remainder of his life. Diamond served in the U.S. Army during World War I, but deserted in 1918 or 1919, then was convicted and jailed for desertion.
Once free of jail, Diamond became a thug and later personal bodyguard for Arnold Rothstein in 1919.
On October 16, 1927 Diamond tried to stop the murder of “Little Augie” (Jacob Orgen). Diamond’s brother Eddie was Orgen’s bodyguard, but Legs Diamond substituted for Eddie that day. As Orgen and Diamond were walking down a street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, three young men approached them and started shooting. Orgen was fatally wounded and Diamond was shot two times below the heart. Diamond was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he eventually recovered. The police interviewed Diamond in the hospital, but he refused to identify any suspects or help the investigation in any way. The police initially suspected that Diamond was an accomplice and charged him with homicide, but the charge was later dropped. The assailants were supposedly hired by Louis Buchalter and Gurrah Shapiro, who were seeking to move in on Orgen’s garment district labor rackets.
Diamond was known for leading a rather flamboyant lifestyle. He was a very energetic individual; his nickname “Legs” derived either from his being a good dancer or from how fast he could escape his enemies. His wife Alice was never supportive of his lifestyle, but did not do much to dissuade him from it. Diamond was a womanizer; his best known mistress was showgirl and dancer Marion “Kiki” Roberts. The public loved Diamond; he was Upstate New York’s biggest celebrity at the time.
And this is about his time during “Prohibition and the Manhattan Bootleg Wars:”
During the late 1920s, Prohibition was in force, and the sale of beer and other alcohol was illegal in the United States. Diamond traveled to Europe to score beer and narcotics, but failed. He did obtain liquor, which was dumped overboard in partially full barrels, which floated onto Long Island, as ships entered New York. He paid the children a nickel for every barrel they brought to his trucks.
Following Orgen’s death, Diamond went to work overseeing bootleg alcohol sales in downtown Manhattan. That brought him into conflict with Dutch Schultz, who wanted to move beyond his base in Harlem. He also ran into trouble with other gangs in the city.
In 1930, Diamond and two henchmen kidnapped Grover Parks, a truck driver in Cairo, New York, and demanded to know where he had obtained his load of hard cider. When Parks denied carrying anything, Diamond and his men beat and tortured Parks, eventually letting him go. A few months later, Diamond was charged with the kidnapping of James Duncan. He was sent to Catskill, New York, for his first trial, but was acquitted. However, he was convicted in a federal case on related charges, and sentenced to four years in jail. In a third trial, in Troy, New York, he was acquitted.
And this is about the many assassination attempts, prosecution attempts, and his eventual death:
On October 12, 1930, Diamond was shot and wounded at the Hotel Monticello on the west side of Manhattan. Two men forced their way into Diamond’s room, shot him five times, and then fled. Still in his pajamas, Diamond staggered out into the hallway and collapsed. When asked later by the New York Police Commissioner how he managed to walk out of the room, Diamond said he drank two shots of whiskey first. Diamond was rushed to the Polyclinic Hospital in Manhattan, where he eventually recovered. On December 30, 1930, Diamond was discharged from Polyclinic.
On April 21, 1931, Diamond was arrested in Catskill, New York, on assault charges for the Parks beating in 1930. Two days later, he was released on $25,000 bond from the county jail.
On April 27, 1931, Diamond was again shot and wounded, this time at the Aratoga Inn, a road house near Cairo, New York. Diamond was eating in the dining room with three companions when he walked out to the front door. A gunman with a shotgun shot Diamond three times, and Diamond collapsed by the door. A local resident drove Diamond to a hospital in Albany, New York, where he eventually recovered. While Diamond was still in the hospital, New York State Troopers on May 1 seized over $5,000 worth of illegal beer and alcohol from Diamond’s hiding places in Cairo and at the Aratoga Inn.
In August 1931, Diamond and Paul Quattrocchi went on trial for bootlegging. That same month, Diamond was convicted and sentenced to four years in state prison. In September 1931, Diamond appealed his conviction.
On December 18, 1931, Diamond’s enemies finally caught up with him. Diamond had been staying in a rooming house in Albany, New York while on trial in Troy, New York, on kidnapping charges. On December 17, Diamond was acquitted. That night, Diamond, his family and friends were at a restaurant. At 1:00 a.m., Diamond went to visit his mistress, Marion “Kiki” Roberts. At 4:30 a.m., Diamond went back to the rooming house and passed out on his bed. Two gunmen entered his room around an hour later. One man held down Diamond while the other shot him three times in the back of the head.
There has been much speculation as to who was responsible for the murder; likely candidates include Dutch Schultz, the Oley Brothers (local thugs), the Albany Police Department, and relatives of Red Cassidy, another Irish American gangster at the time. According to William Kennedy’s O Albany, Democratic Party Chairman Dan O’Connell, who ran the local political machine, ordered Diamond’s execution, which was carried out by the Albany Police.
Legs’ best known mistress was showgirl and dancer Marion “Kiki” Roberts, who was with him the night he was murdered.
Today is the birthday of Rudolph J. Schaefer Jr. (July 9, 1900-September 2, 1982). Nicknamed “Rudie,” he was the great-grandson of Rudolph J. Schaefer, who was the son of Maximilian Schaefer, and he, along with his brother Frederick, founded the F&M Schaefer Brewing Company in 1842. Rudie’s grandfather Rudolph became the president of F&M Schaefer Brewing in 1912, and continued in that position until his death. He also bought out his uncles and their heirs, and controlled the entire company, which allowed Rudie to become president in 1927, a position he held until retiring in 1969.
Here’s his obituary from the New York Times:
Rudolph J. Schaefer – the brewer and yachtsman who ran one of the country’s largest and most famous regional breweries for 42 years while also supporting the American tradition of yachthing – died yesterday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center after a brief illness. He was 82 years old.
Mr. Schaefer was well known for his stewardship of the family beer business, the F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company of Brooklyn, from the depression and prohibition to the hectic competition of the late 1960’s.
A Figure in 2 Worlds
But ”Commodore Ruddy,” as the Larchmont Yacht Club designated him, was at least as important in the world of ships that sail on the winds as he was in the world of palates that lived on good beer.
Mr. Schaefer took over the family brewery in 1927 and began planing for the end of prohibition. In 1934, a year after the country became wet again, his three week old racing yatch, ”Edlu,” won the 650-mile Newport-to-Bermuda race.
During his captaincy, Mr. Schaefer built the New York brewery into the nation’s sixth largest and help support the United States retention of the America’s Cup and the rebuilding of Mystic (Conn.) Seaport.
Rudolph Jay Schaefer 2d was born in Larchmont, N.Y., on July 9, 1900. He was the son of Rudolph J. Schaefer, the head of the brewery which his grandfather, Maximilian, and his grand uncle, Frederick, had founded on Sept. 1, 1842, six years after ariving from Germany. Took Grandfather’s Advice
His earliest lessons in brewing came from his grandfather. He said: ”When I was a youngster, grandfather said to me one day, ‘Rudy, you can have the best grain and the finest hops and the best yeast, but if you want to make real good beer you’ve got to have people who know their business and who want to make the best beer in the world.’ ”
Because he always followed this advice, Mr. Schaefer said in 1952, the brewery had grown. Following his graduation as an architectural major at Princeton University in 1924, Mr. Schaefer joined the brewery which began on 19th Street in Manhattan and then moved to Park Avenue before arriving in Brooklyn in 1915.
Mr. Schaefer became president in 1927. And with Repeal in 1933, he began rebuilding the brewery and expanding the image and consumption of beer.
To this end, he even clashed with Mayor-elect F.H. LaGuardia in 1933 when Mr. Schaefer opposed city-owned beer gardens as good ideas ” for spacious living” that nevertheless jeopardized ”the investment made by many thousands of peoples in retail beer establishments.”
Mr. Schaefer headed the brewery until 1969 when he was succeeded by his son. And the brewery remained independent until August 1981, when it was taken over by the Stroh Brewery Company of Detroit.
Mr. Schaefer is survived by his second wife, the former Janet Udall of Valley Stream, L.I.; his sons, Rudolph J. 3d and William M.; his daughters, Edmee Coombs and Lucy Peterson; and grandchildren.
A big part of Schaefer’s life, as big or bigger than his running the brewery, was yachting, which he was passionate about all his life.
But perhaps the best account was written by Rudolph J. Schaefer, Jr. and is Chapter IV of The Schaefer Story blog:
It’s evident from our lifestyle and activities that the repeal of the Volstead Act not only saved the Schaefer Brewing Company from collapse, but resulted, in subsequent years, in its growth and profitability.
But to go back: Eventually, the Sebastion Somers Brewing Company came into Friedrich and Maximilian Schaefer’s hands. How that came about, I don’t know. Perhaps the owner had no issue. My grandfather, Maximilian, came to America with the formula for lager beer. The word, lager, in German means storage place. It was used to define beer which had been aged for weeks or months. Lager beer is distinct from ale, but, generically, ale is called a beer.
My grandfather was the first brewer to make lager beer in this country. This he did after he and Friedrich had taken over the little Somers brewery. Hitherto, all brewers made what we all know as ale–porter, ‘common beer.’ Heavy, bitter and completely lacking in sparkle, ale was drunk at room temperature. One of our prominent advertising slogans was ‘America’s Oldest Lager Beer Brewers.’
In 1842, Friedrich and Maximilian Schaefer formed the F. & M. Schaefer Co., a partnership. We have a ledger entry of their first sale–five gallons of beer. I found the following account written years ago of Friedrich and Maximilian’s partnership in my father’s papers.
‘On a blustery day in February, 1848, Friedrich and Maximilian Schaefer hoisted some casks from their cellar and became the first brewers in New York to put lager beer on the market. Most brewers, who produced English-type beers and ales, didn’t see the handwriting on the barroom floor.’
The fast-growing demand for the Schaefer product seemed to blunt the difficult years since the blossoming partnership took root five years earlier in a small brewery on lower Broadway.
It was barely a month after the Schaefer brothers began operations that New York City celebrated a blessed water event. The new Croton aqueduct now offered a free current of water, through pipes extending downtown, for people, for firefighting and for commercial use.
The joyous news gushed throughout every part of the city with its universal tone. Despite the fact there was “Water, water everywhere,” the Schaefer brothers felt somewhat like throat-parched “Ancient Mariners.”
Their brewery had no connection with the Croton water, and, it turned out, they had to pay a neighborhood grocer $20.75 for a year’s supply.
With the coming of cold weather, malt-liquor patrons shifted to heavier brews. The Schaefer brothers joined in and sold their first strong beer in November. The price was higher than for small beer, a whopping $2.25 for 15 gallons, as against $1.50.
Work in a brewery in those formidable days was hard. It took muscle. Brewers pulled, pumped, lifted and stirred by hand, working as much as 15 and 16 hours a day, and the Schaefers were no different. Brewing also took skill. A brewer lacking instruments depended on his senses of sight, smell, taste and touch to judge the condition of his mixture in following his private formula.
The Schaefer brothers managed these first few years with thrift and determination, despite competition from the other 22 brewereies in Manhattan. Soon they needed to move, and in January, 1845, bought several vacant lots on Seventh Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets where they erected a brewhouse and two brownstones.
As wave upon wave of emmigrants poured in to these shores, lager-type yeast suddently appeared from Europe aboard clipper ships and, obtaining some, the Schaefer brothers revised their manufacturing process. Shortly after, they introduced lager beer. Within a year that innovation, the partners began looking for enlarged quarters.
In 1850, they acquired land on 51st Street and Fourth (Park) Avenue, and part of the old Beekman estate, a fading landmark that ended in a rocky cliff. In a six-year period, they had moved the brewery three times, an indication of the rapid growth of the company. Here, they had a cavern excavated 30 feet wide to make room for a double row of casks and 250 feet deep to accommodate a lot of them.
Producing lager necessitated deep cellars, and cold areas were imperative, not only for the storage phase of manufacturing, but for storage until delivery.
In view of a mounting volume of production, the Schaefer brothers counted on a considerable savings also by making malt in stead of buying it.
Breweries throughout the country increased from 431 in 1849 to 1,269 in 1859, despite the moral fervor of the ‘temperance’ movement, and with formulation of the first Internal Revenue Code in 1862, a device of a Civil War Congress to raise money, taxation of whiskey, as well as beer, helped to promote lager beer’s national success.
Brewers, however, saw the possibility of arbitrariness and evasion in the regulations for tax bites, and subsequently formed a federation to protect their interests and insure uniform obedience to the code.
Frederich Schaefer was named its first treasurer, remaining in that post for 15 consecutive years. The federation was the genesis of the present-day U.S. Brewers Association.
Consolidating activities during the war, the Schaefer brothers closed their Seventh Avenue plant in 1863 and acquired more ground for the Fourth Avenue operation. That July, the plan miraculously was spared from the onslaught of the Draft Riots, which marked a path of pillage and murder for four days, but somehow bypassing the brewery.
With an eye towards growth potential, the brothers later bought property on 50th Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues and erected a large hall, called the Terrace Garden, which became a mecca of entertainment.
Production at the F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company for 1871-72 was 43,847 barrels, putting the partners eighth on the list of leading American brewers and second to the Lion Brewery in the New York area.
The Schaefer brothers decided to perpetuate the family business and in late 1877 applied for incorporation, listing $650,000 in capital stock. Incorporation became fact on January 4, 1878.
The brewery was built on Park Avenue on the land of what is now St. Bartholmew’s Church. Across the street were their livery stables. The Ambassador Hotel (which later became the Sheraton East) was also erected on that site. A 44-story office building, 345 Park Avenue, replaced the hotel. So the Schaefer brothers had the two block fronts from 50th Street to 52nd Street on the east side of Park Avenue.
The pictures of the brewery show that many years prior to 1910 there were railroad tracks right on grade on Park Avenue. The brewery, facing the railroad tracks, had its grains and materials shipped by railroad and dropped right at its doorstep. In the course of time, the railroad company made a far-reaching decision to depress the tracks, and, in so doing, it was necessary to put temporary bridges every six to ten blocks across the tracks to allow traffic to cross over. About 1911, the tracks were completely recessed, and Park Avenue, with an esplanade down its center, was paved. It had been strictly commercial before then–old factories lining the street. The Steinway Piano factory was north of the brewery.
When the company moved to Park Avenue, the beer was put into large casks probably 6 or 7 feet in diameter and about 7 feet long. Casks were hauled by horse and wagon to a piece of property the company owned on the East River where there were natural caves. I don’t know how my canny grandfather came upon them. The beer casks were stored in the caves for cooling in the ice cut from lakes and ponds and transported to the caves and allowed to age for several months. The beer was light in body with a sparkling quality and clarity and was served cold.
When the property where our caves were was bought to build the fashionable River House apartment building, the builders had a terrible time because when they drilled for the foundation, they fell through into the natural caves which had to be filled in order to support the foundation of the apartment building.
The beer was then filtered into smaller barrels for delivery in the area. The Park Avenue plant consisted of a brewery and an extensive malt house. In 1858, the founders of the company, Friedrich and Maximilian, constructed a large four-story building, installing some of the first refrigerating machinery ever used in this country. This machinery made possible the erection of beer storage houses above ground.
In 1892, on the 50th anniversary of the company, ‘Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly,’ said of Schaefer beer, ‘It has the reputation of fifty years standing for unexcelled quality, strength, age and parity and is the standard beer of the trade.’ In that year, we instituted the bottling department.
I have listed the stockholders of the F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company as of April 20, 1907.
E.C. Schaefer (275 shares)
Emil Schaefer (5)
R.J. Schaefer (313)
George G. Schaefer (274)
Geo. ChaSchmid (1)
Albert Schaefer (50)
Amelia G. Chatillon (250)
Maximilian Schaefer (308)
Rose K. Schaefer v. Bertenbach (66)
E.C.S. and G.G.S. Trustees for Rose K. v. Burtenbach (134)
E.C.S. and G.G.S., Trustees for Albert Schaefer (200)
R.J.S., Trustee under deed of Trust (624)
For a total of 2,500 shares
In September of 1912, my father, Rudolph (now Anglicized) Jay Schaefer, Sr. had the money to purchase his brother Frederick’s children’s interests and his cousin’s interests in the company. It was an amicable buyout and a profitable one for those family members. He thereby became president of the company and sole owner of the F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company.
On the 70th anniversary dinner of the company, November 23, 1912 my father gave the following speech to the officers and friends of the company. It reveals the feeling he had for the men who worked for the company and the company itself.
“This is the proudest day of my career. It is also one of the happiest nights of my life–and many of my friends have claimed that I have been partial to nights.
Like many of you, so have I built castles in the air and so did I have dreams that I felt could never be realized, and like many, I, in my imagination, tried to reach goals which I felt could never be reached. But, determination, perseverance, plugging away, hard work and some luck are often rewarded by the fulfillment of the very things I referred to a moment ago.
I am here tonight, and this is why I expect to be here a few years longer. I fully realize the difficulty of the task before us–the many responsibilities, anxieties, cares and obstacles to overcome, but I have faith in God, I have confidence in you and in myself.
That is why in taking this optimistic view of the future and having this tremendous desire to ‘make good,’ I feel that we shall and must succeed. And this evening, too, I find a difficult task before me.
I am to give a history of the Seventy years of activity of our concern in seven minutes…
Both old gentlemen [Frederick and Maximilian] and their family came from Wetzlar. Uncle arrived in 1838. My father came soon afterward. They both were earnest, hardworking, saving men, and the first monies they accumulated were returned to their mother in Wetzlar who had given them the money to travel abroad from a mortgage she had placed on her modest little home. The next monies accumulated by them, after organizing the business, brought over their sisters and brothers, of which only one is living today. Aunt Sattig.
When Uncle and Father established the business, succeeding a man named Sommers in 1842, the capital consisted of a few hundred dollars which belonged to my uncle and some chattels which belonged to my father that were not quite worth the amount of money my uncle had. To put them on an equal basis, my father drew a few dollars less each month until such time when they were equal partners.
Uncle moved into his house [on Park Avenue] and here his three youngest children were born. The property which we hold here was gradually bought–some as late as 25 years ago. Opposite here, before the stable was built, was a row of small houses on Park Avenue. The old malt house, over which we had a falling out, when not malting was used for a walking and running track when I was a kid. Later on, John B. and I would use it for a bathing establishment in the summer time. Steel tubs! Around the corner was a place familiar to all the old Columbia College boys–a frame house, ‘Fritz’s.’ Uncle Settig’s place, and next to it was the cooper shop. Our cellars, ‘Felsen Keller,’ were at East River and more beer ran down the gutters in those old days than many places sell. Those were the good old times, and they were happy days.
Each evening at five, we would gather around the old Sternwirth, and there spend an hour or more, telling stories and drinking beer. Uncle Jake Schaefer, Spitzer and later on Moller, were the wits of our party.
And gradually, structural changes took place. The old ice houses were changed into cold storage houses–boilers were opposite – 3 Boyle 25-ton machines, and you could hear valves 1,000 feet away. But many things are as they were more than 30 years ago. Brew house kettles – mash tub – old engine – all the beer – old vats and tanks.
Some of the old men are with us–and if time has changed them a bit, they are just as energetic and loyal as in the old days. No brewing concern in this country and few in any other, can show such a roster of old, faithful and loyal men as we can–and to these men I want to give thanks.
Our brewery is not one of the largest, but in addition to being the oldest is among the best. Its age and standing more than compensate for lack of largeness and furnish the best and safest foundation upon which to build largely and expansively in the future. If the capacity of our present plant is not sufficient to meet the demands of a clamoring public and the efforts of a well organized, enthusiastic, aggressive and energetic force of popular solicitors and agents, for whom it should be comparatively easy to sell a brew concocted by the foremost master of fermentology and exponent of the art of beeriology, why, there are some vacant lots near by that can be improved by placing upon them in time the most complete, modern and up-to-date brewery in this country.
Thirty years ago last Wednesday, I entered the employ of this concern, beginning in the old malt house on Park Avenue. At the end of 30 years’ experience and schooling, it has been my happy lot to come to the head of the business in which I started at the bottom, and as I approach the responsibilities which come with the assumption of control, I find consolation both in the knowledge that I shall have about my men, you men, who will assist me in solving the problems and carrying out the work which we shall confront, and also in time have at my elbow one of my sons who will share with me the labors and responsibilities of my position. When one looks upon the founding, development and growth of a business such as ours, he is forcibly reminded of what Tennyson wrote about the brook: ‘For men may come and men may go, but I go on forever.’
So is the Schaefer Brewing Company destined to go on from generation to generation. Founded 70 years ago by the two noble men to whom I referred, perpetuated and carried further by their sons, it now happens that a third generation of the family is to enter into active participation in the affairs of our company and acquire the lessons and experience which will enable it some day to carry its burdens and enjoy its prosperity.
It is my pleasure and my blessing that I am to introduce into the business tonight my son, Emile. With him I hope will come new life, new vigor, new ideas and new force. I hope it may be given to him to carry on this business until the next generation and to continue these yearly celebrations of our birthday up to a time when a fourth generation will take hold of the reins and carry the business on to another generation.
Tonight is indeed commemorative of many things. It deals with the past. It puts us in deep thought about the present and it brings up the horizon of the future. The past is safely a matter of history. The present is happily taking care of itself. Let us turn our faces to the future and determine upon harmony of thought, unity of action, singleness of purpose and sameness of ambition and make them all tell for the promotion of the best interest and success of The F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company–not for me, not for anyone alone, but for all of us because we are all sailing in the same boat and sharing the same trials and enjoying the same successes.
A friendly haven will welcome us all together; a destructive storm will bring calamity to each of us. I am at the wheel for time being and shall endeavor to steer a safe and successful course. All I ask of you is your conscientious assistance. With that I have no fear for the future.”
The entire Park Avenue area, to use a current term, was slowly gentrified. Apartment houses were built on the east and west sides of the avenue. By 1916, the area was almost 100% residential, and the commercial plants such as the brewery had to move. Having bought out his cousins, my father made the unilateral decision to move the F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company to Brooklyn. He sold the property–one block front to the church and one block front to what became the Ambassador Hotel. A very lucrative sale! It was very valuable property then, but little did anyone dream how valuable it was to become. In 1960, it was appraised as the most valuable corner in New York City at that time. In 1980, it was appraised as worth $100 million.
The move to Brooklyn was a big decision. My father had to pull up stakes of what was in those days a fairly large brewery on Park Avenue and establish completely new headquarters in Brooklyn on South 9th Street and Kent Avenue. The company bought a distillery which was outfitted with the necessary equipment to brew beer. Instead of stills, we put in brewing kettles–somewhat similar but used differently. City water–Croton Dam water–was used in the Brookly plant. It was and is considered very fine water. In addition there was a good water supply on Long Island which was fed into the plant and blended with Croton Dam water. That water had to be watched and tested scientifically to make sure the blend was right because the New York City water was somewhat different from the Croton water. We had to make adjustments from time to time.
Most of our employees at the Park Avenue plant continued to work for us in Brooklyn. Subsequently, because of travel time and other events affecting the business, our employees came largely from Brooklyn and Long Island because it was more convenient for them to get to work.
To go back. The company came upon hard times in 1918. In spite of sugar and other supply shortages during World War I, we managed with barley malt, made from a special quality of barley. It was a limited crop used mainly for beer. The other ingredient, hop, was gown in upper New York State. The Herkimer County farmers grew a very fine grade of hops. Hops were also grown on the West Coast. Over the years, the labor supply in New York State became scarcer and more costly than the West Coast labor. The hop fields upstate gradually dwindled down, and finally the farmers went out of the hop business entirely. All the American hops grown since World War II come from the West Coast.
Parenthetically, when the Eighteenth Amendment abolishing alcoholic beverages was canceled by the Twenty-first Amendment, and we started to brew in volume again, we tried to support the New York State hop people (all of the New York State brewers did), but the farmers couldn’t make a go of it; they couldn’t compete with the lower cost of labor on the West Coast. Sad.
In 1919, the Volstead Act was passed to reinforce the Eighteenth Amendment. Intoxicating beverages were defined as containing more than .5% alcohol by volume. This ushered in the terrible era of Prohibition. F. & M. Schaefer faced a crisis–how to survive.
I don’t know who wrote the following account of that period but it was written at that time and has immediacy.
“OUR HAND HAS NEVER LOST ITS SKILL”
Gloomy patrons jammed hotels and bars across the land to bid farewell to an old friend that fateful midnight in January, 1920. Prohibition had become law. The ‘good old days’ were gone.
One state legislature after another had ratified the Eighteenth Amendment and by September, 1918, President Wilson had clamped down on 2.7% beer, halting production of all malt beverages as of the following November.
In August, 1917, as the flood of prohibition legislation rose, Schaefer decided to make a trial brew of non-alcoholic beer. “We-No,” as it was called, sold fairly well and had offset growing losses in beer sales.
When the mantle of Prohibition finally cloaked the country, Schaefer tried out various ersatz species such as “Special Brew,” “Schaefer’s Special” and “Malt Tonic,” all of them attempts to get as near as possible to the allowable cereal beverage, or “near beer.” These contained less than half of one percent of alcohol by volume.
Uncertain as to public response to these concoctions, Schaefer began manufacturing ice to offset losses. This venture proved profitable and facilities were optained to turn out 100 tons a day. Conversely, near beer lost money. To make sure of surplus refrigeration, Schaefer decided to produce dyestuffs, inasmuch as color-bearing liquids in such work were filtered in iced. Under the name of Kent Color Corporation, Schaefer made methyl violet. The product claimed a high price, and as Kent prospered, F. & M. Schaefer declined.
Schaefer remained rigid in his belief that the public would tire of Prohibition. But he never lived to witness the outcome. He died of pneumonia on November 9, 1923.
His son, Emile, took the helm, and when Emile suffered grave injuries in an auto accident in 1924, Rudy [sic] Schaefer, Jr. came to the rescue. Fresh out of Princeton, Rudy became sales manager and gave Schaefer advertising and sales new impetus. Sales of Schaefer near-beer brands were largely confined to the summer months, and to bolster winter sales the company brought out Kent Ale and Olde Stout.
Malt Tonic, a Schaefer sleeper, awoke from its lethargy, and salesmen did best with it, its sale advancing 50%. Rudy, who had shown a phenominally acute grasp of business, succeeded his ailing brother to the presidency on October 10, 1927. Because of Rudy’s persistent advertising for Malt Tonic, and by virtue of ice sales and curtailment of operating costs, the company managed to make a small profit in 1929.
The free-spending “Roaring 20’s” brought prosperity to virtually every industry except brewing. It also brought futile enforcement of Prohibition. It was an era of “bathtub gin,” home brew, speakeasies, rumrunners, hijackers and gang warfare and murders.
Mounting defiance of the law and revulsion of the underworld sparked a drive among leaders in business, labor and civic life to clamor for repeal. When the Wall Street bull market crashed in 1929, there was widespread hope that the national depression might induce Congress to modify the Volstead Act.
Rudy Schaefer, Jr. wasn’t merely waiting. He had an idea to make his near beer more attractive. This was to serve “Schaefer on Draught” at Nedick’s orange juice stands. He figured that a passerby who might not care for a frankfurter and an orange drink, might relish a frank and a beer. The idea caught on, and refrigerated boxes were installed at five Nedick stands the following year, while others were taken by Chock Full O’Nuts.
While repeal was waxing hot as a political issue, Rudy Schaefer, Jr. set about formulating plans for expenditures on the physical plant and product and merchandising policies. Although it was still not permissible to advertise beer, he planned and subtly carried forward an aggressive promotional campaign that would bolster Schaefer’s prestige and win industry leadership.
Before it adjourned in February, 1933, Congress passed a joint resolution ot overturn the ‘noble experiment’ of Prohibition. It voted for the manufacture and sale of 3.2% beer effective April 7. That great day witnessed a rush of the Kent Avenue brewery, and on December 5, President Roosevelt proclaimed ratification of the repeal amendment.
Prohibition was dead! Happy days were back again!
Thereafter, expansion became the keynote at the Brooklyn brewery. In the ensuing years, an eight-story stockhouse and new bottling and administration buildings were built. Close to $1 million was spent in this spurt of contruction and on other physical improvements such as new brew kettles and mash filters.
Sales volume grew as expected, and the plant now was geared to an output of 400,000 barrels, a mark almost reached in 1934. Growing prestige and product satisfaction soared company sales to 592,000 barrels in 1936, the year contracts for cans and machines were inked. Schaefer subsequently adopted the “steinie,” an immediate sales-booster, expecially in the suburbs.
The millionth barrel was drawn on December 22, 1938, in ceremonies attended by key executives, a testimony to the fact that for the 13 arduous years between Prohibition ad Repeal, the Schaefer hand had “never lost its skill.”
In 1921, the family members holdings were valued at $1,000,000.
A minute of a January 1922 meeting notes that F.M.E. Schaefer was to become a Director of the company (all Directors to receive $10 for each meeting), and that the president, Rudolph Jay Schaefer, was to receive a salary of $6,000 per annum.
As was said in the preceding account, the only product the brewers could make had the onerous name of near beer. Let’s go back a bit and define non-alcoholic beer. Beer was brewed under a federal permit and then dealcoholized. Alcohol was boiled off, and the beer was then carbonated to give it the head and the bubbles of genuine beer. It was sold under various labels since the work ‘beer’ could not be used in its name. Brew was the substitute word. We made Kent Brew or Weiner Brew, but the near beer was always sold as a Schaefer product. Schaefer was the brand.
Over the years, our biggest rival was Ruppert Brewery, Ehret was the second biggest. In the New York City area, there were about ten breweries which managed to stay in the business selling near beer. My father was innovative. He was well liked in the beer fraternity. The owners of the breweries were his great friends. When Prohibition began, he went to a number of them and said, ‘Look, we’re not going to be able to sell a lot of the near beer product. My brewery has a capacity of X, and we could take your production, produce it at our plant and share the profits on an accounting basis to be developed. You close your brewery and sell the real estate or whatever you want to do with it, and we’ll make the beer for you.’ Six or seven brewers agreed to his proposal. We were making beer for breweries you’ve never heard of: Fallert, Elias, Central, Huber, and Hoffman.
My father saved them from losing money, but the arrangements soon petered out. We’d put their labels on their bottles, but it was all one product. And the joint enterprise quickly died because the brewers didn’t have any direct operation in hand; they didn’t have the contacts with the trade, taverns and the like. That ended very fast, but it was yet another means of keeping going.
Compared to the real beer, it was awful. It certainly didn’t have much sex appeal! A few years before Prohibition was repealed in 1933, we sold many kegs of near beer to people who added alcohol to it and sold it as bootleg beer. That really had a horrible taste because the alcohol was synthetically added. But people drank awful stuff in those days–bathtub gin, as an example.
Fortunately, we had other products to support us. we had excess refrigeration capacity. In my father’s time, he had wisely installed an artificial ice-making plant. Before that, ice was sold by the block. ‘The Iceman Cometh.’ Block ice. Making ice was a profitable item. My father, resourcefully, sought another use for the refrigeration facility. He knew he couldn’t keep the company going on the sales of near beer alone. This was apparent very quickly. He had to find something else to keep the plant open or it would close as so many other breweries had. He bought the Kent Color Corporation which made a dye, methyl violet, used for printing ink. One of the main ingredients was dimethylanaline, the main chemical in the methyl violet. It required refrigeration to manufacture so Kent Color Corporation leased part of the plant to F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company to manufacture the dye. A very separate operation from brewing beer. The only thing in common was the need for refrigeration.
We had purple footprints around–people would walk through the dye plant and then come out in the brewing area. Things were purple except for the beer–we managed to keep that a beautiful golden color. We never made purple beer. That auxiliary dye business was important because we managed to keep the company going with its profits.
I had no desire to be a brewer. I wanted to be an architect, having majored in architecture at Princeton with my father’s blessing. Before I went off to college, I remember sitting down with him one evening to ‘think about my future’ as he said. He wanted me to have some idea of what I was aiming for. He said, ‘I was born a brewer and my father before me, and so it’s natural that it would make me very happy if you planned to follow that path. I want you to be very frank because, whatever you do, I’ll back you. Whatever is your desire.’ And I told him then I wanted to be an architect. He then said, ‘All right, fine, architecture it will be.’
When he died suddenly in the Fall of 1923, he was still of a mind that I would never go into the business. My brother, Emile, who was eight years my senior, was already in the business. He was not, at the time I came aboard, in particularly good health. When I joined the company in 1924, right after I had graduated from college, Prohibition was still in effect and would be until 1933.
The company was struggling when I came to work there as Vice President and Director. My salary was $3,600 per year from the F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company; $1,500 from Kent Color Company and $2,000 from Schaefer Company. In 1927, when I was 27, I was made president and CEO of the company with a salary of $7,500, $1,200 and $4,000 from the three companies. By 1937, my salary reflected the company’s profits–$60,000 per year. I was the most active one; my brother couldn’t give the company the time and attention.
Our relationship, both brotherly and professionally, was wonderful. We never had an argument. I was running with the ball, and he let me run with it. I valued his judgment and experience. He never disputed my decisions, my suggestions. There were periods when he would be in good health, and he’d be involved in the business. He always had an office there, and we would discuss problems and make decisions together. It eventually got to the point where I had to do things my own way.
Prohibition was a precarious time, but facing the challenge was beneficial. we had to be very efficient and economical in order to keep Schaefer from going under. Without my father as my mentor, Emile was always my guide. In Father’s stead, Jake Ruppert taught me the brewery business. He was always ther with canny advice, staunch support and encouragement. I am forever grateful to him. I had wonderful people working in the company. The brewmaster, the journal manager, the office manager, the financial man just adopted me. There was no resentment that I was the boss’s young son. I leaned on them very heavily as we struggled to keep our heads above water. Business had dwindled because our product was near beer. The volume had dropped from 300,000 barrels (that’s a unit measurement) a year down to 50,000 barrels a year. And it kept dropping by the year. We had to let many of our employees go, but, fortunately, we kept the key men who swung into action when we were able to resume brewing beer.
After I’d been president for a short while, I concentrated on promoting a product that was difficult to promote. Near beer. I would develop new labels, new names and look for some reason to get people to try the newly-named product. From time to time, we’d make a little change in the near beer’s taste. We dubbed a near ale Kent Ale because the brewery was on Kent Avenue. We made what was called a malt tonic concentrate which we advertised as good for nursing mothers. Anything to try to keep going!
In 1932, the Democratic Party had a beer plank in the party platform advocating relegalization of beer so we swung behind Roosevelt because that meant the end of Prohibition. Many Republican brewers cast Democratic vote for the first time in their lives. Roosevelt had a plank in the Democratic party platform to legalize beer, and if he was elected, I knew that we would be able to brew beer again. By that I do not mean repeal of Prohibition. On the strength of that, I sought the services of Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn advertising agency. The son of the president was a very close college friend.
I told the agency that I was convinced that we could start manufacturing beer very soon, and I wanted to get a jump on competition and come our with an advertising campaign to tell the public that we hadn’t forgotten how to brew beer. They designed a campaign, a billboard campaign, with the slogan, ‘Our Hand Has Never Lost Its Skill.’ We couldn’t use the word beer because it was still illegal since Prohibition was still in effect. We got around that by picturing a glass of beer since there was no law against that. I had fun posing for that picture–the glass was in my hand. We smeared the city billboards with that ad. ‘Our hand has never lost its skill’ was a form of telling everyone that we hadn’t forgotten how to make excellent beer.
It was very successful. It gave us a tremendous jump. Schaefer was the only company at that time to advertise beer. we had the whole field 100% to ourselves. Becaue of our extensive advertising and my interest in sports, I was named by ‘TV Guide’ its ‘Sports Patron of the Year.’ We dealt with BBD&O from that time until I sold the company. The new management discharged them after the company went public.
The Volstead act was amended in 1933 to allow brewers and wine makers to make beer and wine with a 3.2% alcohol content. There was a definition of what constitutes an intoxicating level of alcohol, and it was determined to be 3.2. We went ahead brewing 3.2 beer. We knew about a month before it happened that the Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States would be approved. That saved our business because Prohibition was outlawed on April 7, 1933.
Before that, we had begun intensive preparation for that welcome event which got us off to a roaring start. Our clever, knowledgeable brewmaster began to make beer. Parenthetically, I never wanted that role. I never went to brewer’s school to learn the science of brewing; I knew I could always hire brewmasters. In those days, a bewmaster was the overall boss of the whole operation. He formulated the product; he oversaw the production of his formula; he purchased the necessary ingredients, the hop and malt. He did the hiring and firing. He was central to the success of every and any brewery.
After Prohibition was cast out, I think I was one of the first in the industry to get away from the concept of the brewmaster being overall head. I separated the technical control man from the production control man. I dropped the title of brewmaster; I abandoned the name. Our production manager had been the brewmaster, but our technical control man held equal rank. I thought the brewmaster had too much control. That new table of organization was copied by other breweries.
Around 1930, I conceived the idea of merging the 12 major regional brewers of the country into one national organization which I would head. Approval by some of the brewers approached was a key factor to this proposition. For reasons of their own, more than one declined, and the proposal failed. If it had succeeded, it would have resulted in a business with great clout. I went to them when Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president in the Fall of 1932. The depths of the Depression.
How did we get through the Depression? The Twenty-first Amendment saved our business. It came just in time. We were just about down to our very last penny. We had reached the point where sales of near beer were down to nothing. The ice and dye business couldn’t sustain the plant. We were about ready to give up the ghost. We had so few dollars in the till that, in preparation for the first day of sale of beer, I had to go to the bank to borrow money to buy the federal tax stamps. In those days, a revenue stamp had to be put on each barrel by hand. There was a tax collector right in the brewery, assigned to the brewery, to whom we gave the revenue stamps. We had to rebuild the F. & M. Shaefer Brewing Company from a very low, near-bankrupt point.
I was turned down by three banks–the three banks we did business with at that time. I was angry about that. I went to the National City Bank, now Citibank. I walked in cold on them with hat in hand and told them my story on bended knee. They believed in me; they had faith in me just from that one chat. They agreed to extend a line of credit in the amount of $75,000 for three months. We drew only $50,000 of the loan and repaid it in a little over two months. We never had to borrow the entire $75,000 to buy the tax stamps.
From that time on, National City Bank, now Citibank, became the company bank. We went to the bank from time to time for help in financing our ongoing construction and expansion programs. We had a wonderful relationship, both professional and personal, with Citibank.
On April 7, 1933, we had what was called relegalization as a result of the repeal of the Volstead Act and we were allowed to make 3.2 beer. 3.2 beer was real beer. Repeal, however, allowed brewers to make beer with as strong an alcohol content as they wished. Beer, however, just happened to come out with a 3.2 level of alcohol. A natural fermentation, not as a result of a controlled formula.
Our advertising campaign gave us the field for six to eight months. Sales rose rapidly. We went from something like 250,000 barrels in the first year to 1 million barrels in the fourth year. We aged our beer. We had to build like mad. We started enlarging our plant capacity right away. We were building all the time, never stopped building. We had to borrow a lot of capital on a rotating basis from the bank. That was no problem. All of the money we borrowed went right into the plant, and our profits paid off the loan. It was a continuous cycle.
By the time repeal came, we had about 150 to 200 employees. The teamsters, drivers of our trucks, increased our numbers. Engineers and the like had to be found. We had to build up a sales staff. I hired a sales manager to build up a sales organization, and within six months, we fielded something like 200 salesmen. Our big advertising campaign was in place by that time. We didn’t use radio; television hadn’t been developed at that time. Billboards and print media, newspapers, magazines, were the outlets we used. We had an appealing campaign, high quality, and it made a hit. We had the jump on everyone when it came to the selling end of our business.
To commemorate the first Million Barrel Year, a citation was presented to F.M.E. Schaefer (my brother) and R.J. Shaefer (me) by the company’s 1,000 employees on December 22, 1938. That meant a great deal to Emile and me. By 1941, the Brooklyn plant had storage tanks which were 85 feet long. 900,000 glasses of beer could be stored in the tanks. 500 trucks delivered the beer in a radius of 100 miles from the plant–the equivalent of going around the world 140 times a year.
Incidentally, in the thirties, I began to build, for the company, a splendid collection of ceramic and faience tankards. I bought a small but excellent collection of tankards from the widow of one of Father’s best friends. The collection, dating from the 16th century and up, contains 250 tankards which were found by searching all over Europe and the United States. A museum quality collection which was displayed in a room I had designed at the company offices.
I was receptive to a request to build a tavern room identified by a plaque, ‘Donated by Schaefer Brewing Company’ at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut. This came about after a call from Philip Mallory, a member of the Mallory family, one of the families which founded the Seaport following World War II. He said, ‘We’re working on a restoration of Mystic Seaport. We have several buildings which we want to erect there or replace there, and one of them is a tavern. I can’t think of anyone who’d be more interested in that building than Rudie Schaefer.’ He asked me to come over and talk about it, and I replied, ‘I’m on my way.’ We discussed the whole undertaking, and after our meeting, I made arrangements for the company to restore ‘The Old Spouter Tavern.’ An enormously satisfying undertaking.
With my knowledge and consent, the curator collected what went into the building. I found it an absorbing undertaking because it gave me an outlet for my love for traditional American architecture and furniture. To have such a satisfying project be such good PR for the company was wonderful.
That encouraged me (as well as the company) to contribute to the William Pitt Tavern in the Strawberry Banke restoration in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and to have the company give taverns to restorations at Old Bethpage, Long Island, and Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusettes.
During my presidency, Schaefer grew from a small company to the sixth largest brewing company in the United States. We grew technologically sophisticated which enabled us to become a large multi-brewing company after World War II. At the time I started with the company, we no longer depended on dray horses and wagons. We had motor trucks. But, interestingly, with the gasoline shortage caused by the war, we reverted to a horse operation. We found an old stable in New York and went out and bought horses. I found a fellow who could train and break farm horses to use on city streets. Horses that had never been shod before.
Our stable in New York City housed 100 horses. We bought wagons only to discover that harnesses were difficult to find. I was out scouting for harnesses everywhere; they were very scarce. We had to train drivers–teamsters to drive the teams of horses.
That operation turned out to be a terrible pain in the neck in many ways, but it proved to have tremendous advertising value because of the favorable press coverage. We had a great amount of publicity about our horse operation. F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company was perceived to be not only patriotic but resourceful.
F. & M. Schaefer sponsored the Brooklyn Dodgers on radio and television for a number of years. When the Dodgers left New York, we sponsored a wide variety of sporting events then known as the Schaefer Circle of Sports. We put up $1,000,000 to build the Schaefer Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, with the proviso that it be named Schaefer Stadium for ten years. Unfortunately, that promise was abrogated after eight years.
Over time, I bought some other plants: The Beverwyck Brewing Company in Albany in 1950; in 1961 the Standard Brewing Company in Cleveland, another in Baltimore. The George J. Meyer Malt and Grain Corporation in Buffalo became our malt division.
Schaefer did business in Brooklyn, the metropolitan area, and Westchester. We had a wholesale and retail business. We sold bottled beeer to the retail grocer when it was permitted and within the law. We sold to taverns directly, but only in areas we could reach with our delivery system. In fringe areas, we had distributors, and we would ship truckloads of beer to them. They would, in turn, distribute to the retailers both for on-premise consumption (the restaurant and tavern where you drank the beer on the premises) and for off-premise consumption. That included retail stores and chain stores which became big outlets. Beyond our immediate delimvery zone, selling the product was done by wholesalers and distributors.
Schaefer had six or eight branches or distribution centers. We had one up in Bridgeport; we had one in Fairfield County; we had several in New Jersey; we had one in New Rochelle which was relocated in Mamaroneck. All the beer was made in the Brooklyn plant.
Did it take a lot of nerve and optimism to expand that rapidly? Was I so sure? Oh, I was certain! There was no question about it. We just went forward, Gave the horses full rein! Everything was go!
The World’s Fair of 1939 in New York provided us with a marvelous public relations opportunity. We made a big splash there because we decided that if we wanted to be heard and seen, we had to do something important. Eggers and Higgins were our architects (as they were for anything we did). We built a huge restaurant, Schaefer Center, a circular structure with one-third of the circumference of the circle an open, stand-up bar. The rest of the building was an enclosed restaurant with some open terraces off of it. 2,000 people could be fed at one time. It was a huge success, and again, that added to our good name. As I recall, it was pretty much self-sustaining. It had great prestige and had quality.
I’d like to add that Em, Helene, Lucia and I had tickets for the Fair’s opening ceremony. Despite the fact that we had built a $300,000 pavilion, we had to beg for two more bleacher seats for our wives. We witnessed a milestone because General Sarnoff of RCA opened the first television broadcast in the United States of that occasion at which President Fanklin D. Roosevelt gave the opening address. The first president of the United States to appear on television.
Our rivals had pavilions but nothing like ours. They were also-rans. They saw what we were doing, and they copied us by subsidizing other restaurants where they sold their product. These were not high-class operations at all. Ours was outstanding. Totally ours; re ran it; we managed it.
Based on our experience with the ’39 Fair, we commissioned an outstanding structure for the second World’s Fair in 1964, again designed by Eggers and Higgins. Again, it was totally owned and operated by The F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company. We wanted to do something unusual because we knew we had to compete with many unusual structures and exhibits. So Eggers and Higgins came up with what amounted to a balloon roofing–a floating roof–air bubbles. We had a lot of problems with it, but it was, as we ordered, unusual and caused much comment. That’s exactly what we wanted. The floating balloon roof symbolized the foam on top of a glass of beer.
We had a circular motif at that time. Our bottle labels were circular; again, everything was circular including the bubbles on the roof. Many, many footsore visitors to the Fair welcomed a chance to sit down and have a bite to eat and a cold glass of beer in a cool, attractive restaurant centrally located on the Fair grounds. Our product was good!
Because I had been educated to be an architect, I loved doing the two Fair pavilions. And, too, promotional ideas came naturally and easily to me. I guess I was a born salesman. Most important to me was building a quality image for Schaefer. I succeeded in doing that in the many facets of my business career, but having the company known for its quality in all operations gave me the most satisfaction.
We went through a very bad experience in 1949 with a labor strike that lasted two days short of three months. The Brewery Workers Union–which subsequently became the Teamsters–struck. Up to that time, we’d had only spasmodic labor trouble. Sniping. There were continual small problems. If you’re unionized, there’s always a problem.
I had a bad experience, which prompted me to close the office. I drove up to the office one morning, and one of the pickets stretched out on the ground in front of my car. I said, ‘That does it!’ I called all my people together and said I was going to close up shop. ‘We’re going to close the shop tomorrow, and there will be a sign on the door, ‘CLOSED,’ until termination of the strike.’ Everybody was laid off; everybody was told that when we resumed, which I hoped would be soon, they wouldn’t lose any money–they’d all be given back pay. I set up my temporary office over at our advertising agency, Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborne on Madison Avenue, and I did not lay eyes on that brewery for the duration of that strike. We were out of business for three costly months.
My point in talking about that strike is this: We expected, of course, the competition from outside the New York area to move in. All the breweries were closed in New York–they were all struck so we weren’t the only victim.
We had a trade organization, the Brewers’ Board of Trade, in New York City. I was the president. We were surrounded by competing companies. New Jersey had big breweries, Ballantine and others. The western brands such as Budweiser, Schlitz, etc. had distribution facilities in New York City as they were doing business in the city. We knew that they’d just pour in their products to the extent they physically could. And we knew that the unions, to hurt us, would permit and promote the importation of beer from the outside so our poor, thirsty customers wouldn’t go dry.
All these pressures. Well, we came out of it uncertain about how we would fare picking up the loose ends at the termination of the strike, but we regained our position in one month.
The Brewers’ Board of Trade members were a united front almost to the termination of the strike, but there were breakaways towards the end of the ordeal. Some weakened and broke away. We had some unpleasant exchanges which were hard to take since we had been good friends. There was bitterness as a result.
As was expected, I held various offices in all of the important trade associations:
United States Brewers Association–Vice President, Treasurer, President and honorary Director.
New York State Brewers Association–Vice President, Trustee.
Metropolitan Brewers Institute–Treasurer
Brewers Board of Trade–Vice President
Brewing Industry Foundation–Treasurer
Brand Names Foundation Inc.–Director
Bottling Brewers Protective Association–Vice President and Director.
The business kept growing to a pint where we were confronted with either expanding the capacity of our breweries or building a completely modern brewery. The older plants were not as efficient as our rivals’ newer ones. We decided, because of the shipping and delivery problems, that central Pennsylvania would be the ideal site for a new, modern brewery. That’s why we built the Lehigh Valley Brewery near Allentown, Pennsylvania.
I had a wonderful time working on that. We announced that brewery in 1968. We designed it ourselves although we had to have an architect of record because that was required. I worked with David Eggers of Eggers and Higgins for we had commissioned his firm to design the skin. The outside appearance. The aesthetics. That they did.
But the entire interior layout from an operational standpoint was done by us–with our own engineers and our own talent. It was built on a big, old corn field. About 160 acres. It was farm country; there were no factories anywhere near us. The major hurdle was persuading the local town fathers to agree to give up the farm land. There was no zoning fight, but it took a little doing. We had to move very slowly because we had to deal very gently with the local people. After they agreed to our building the brewery, the city had to run all of the utilities in there for us–they even ran a railroad spur in for delivery of our supplies. It is a self-sufficient plant and tremendously successful. Very efficient. As a matter of fact, that brewery is the only one owned by the people who bought the company. They expanded the Lehigh Valley plant, and it now produces all of the beer that the company is selling now.
When we first completed Lehigh in 1972, it was about half the size of the Brooklyn brewery, but it was tremendously efficient. The whole plant was on one level. It was built from the ground up, and everything was placed in proper relationship or sequence to the production flow. The other plants were relative hodge-podges because, just as in the case of the Brooklyn plant, the original brewery was added on to meet changing demands. This resulted in an inefficient operational flow.
It also resulted in a difficult manning problem. We had to hire a great many more people than we wanted to to produce the same capacity we could achieve in Allentown. So our decisions to build Lehigh had as its purpose to build a plant which would operate efficiently with fewer people.
It was dedicated to me, to R.J. Schaefer, in June, 1972, by R.J. Schaefer III who was president of the Schaefer Brewing Company, a subsidiary of The F. & M. Schaefer Corporation, the holding company.
During the sixties, business was very good. 1964 was a 4-million-barrel year! And 1968 was a 5-million-barrel year! But all during this time, I sensed that the future was going to be rough. I knew that our big competition was no longer the local breweries but national breweries–the national brands. Budweiser, Schlitz, Pabst, Miller, these were our future competition. We had now reached a peak which we thought was a saturation point for one brand in the area where we sold. We had made a few probes to test the opening of new markets. These proved to be difficult and really not successful.
Our Cleveland market was confined to what I thought of as an island operation. There was an area between the Cleveland market and the area we sold in Ohio surrounding Cleveland. There was a barrier between that and our Pennsylvania market. A gap where we did not sell, and, in trying to close the gap, we ran into difficulty. In fact, we abandoned it. In fact, we abandoned Cleveland even though we had put on a tremendous show there to make ourselves known. Schaefer was a new name in Cleveland, and we were not successful to giving it high visibility so we finally sold the brewery and closed that market.
With discouraging experience, and with the conditions in the marketing field, we could foretell that, with competitors like Budweiser, Schlitz and Pabst, we were facing a rough future. Expanding territorially was a difficult, if not impossible, undertaking except at very high cost. We didn’t want to take that risk. I began to think of selling out if we could find an interested buyer at a good price because we were very successful and very profitable. We went through a number of negotiations and finally decided to go public. This we did in 1968.
We were incorporated, and we sold all the shares of stock that I owned and had put in trust for my children. I had talked it over with my two boys very carefully because it involved their futures. I considered all aspects of the idea. I presented all the pros and cons to my sons. We discussed it, and I said, ‘It’s your future, not mine.’ They finally agreed with me that selling out would be a smart step to take. We developed the idea and then discussed it with my tow daughters. I had set up trusts for the four of them so they were involved through the trusts. I was completely open and above board as far as my family was concerned. I went about and tried to shop this thing and wound up doing it the way we finally did.
It was a very hard decision to make, but the reasoning was so plausible that I had no misgivings about it whatsoever. I knew I was right. I was convinced that this was the thing to do. My boys agreed with me, and, as it turned out, in retrospect, it was a very smart thing to have done. We picked just exactly the right time.
We sold out right at the peak and got the last possible dollar. A new company, The Schaefer Corporation, was formed which purchased the stock which was sold to the public in 1968. There was a banking group which put the deal together, and the stock was distributed by White, Weld downtown. The deal had been put together oiginally by a company by the name of Pressprich which dissolved about three or four years ago. The capital stock was sold for $100 million. We had set that price, and anyone could have come along and bought it for $100 million, but no one did so we had to sell the stock to the public for that price plus $6 million for the preferred stock I held. Valued at $106 million, Schaefer stock was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
At the time, we decided to sell our stock, Schaefer was number one! We could out-service any of our competitors. We had beat out Ruppert several years before, but Rheingold was now our biggest competitor. Soon after we went public, Rheingold became number one. Several years later, Ruppert closed their plant and sold the property because their brand was produced by Rheingold. We regained our first position and beat Rheingold right up and beyond the time that we dicided it was the right time to sell out.
My son, Rudie, had been groomed to take over Schaefer Brewing Company and that he did as CEO and President. However, the board of the holding company searched for and hired Bob Lear CEO of Indian Head to be chairman. He, knowing nothing about a consumer-oriented business, made one mistake after another. I deplored his disastrous decision to fire BBDO, the advertising agency which helped to put Schaefer on the Fortune 500 list for some years. He brought in William Schoen to be responsible for overseeing your Rudie’s operation of the brewing company. Rudie was asked to do a great deal of PR work–appearing before investment committees of brokerage houses and so forth–and he found that that wasn’t what he’d been trained for. He found those assignments ate up a great deal of the time needed for the operation of the brewing company.
Rudie asked me to have lunch with him at the New York Yacht Club a few years after we’d gone public, and he told me most reluctantly that he was going to resign from The F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company. His position had become untenable. That was a sad day for us both.
In 1970, we acquired Arnold Bakers for $9,500,000 of Schaefer preferred stock. It was a step in our diversification program and our entry into the food field. Arnold’s serviced the same area that Schaefer did. It seemed like a natural because beer, made from hops, was regarded as liquid bread. It never worked for we found that with 27 different kinds of packaging our beer for the trucks, we didn’t have room to carry Arnold’s products. We and Bob Fanelli of Arnold’s decided to sell Arnold Bakery to a grain company. We didn’t lose money, but that acquisition never made us any money either.
I wish I knew what the company’s net worth was when I took over presidency in 1927, but it was very low. At one time, during Prohibition, along about 1930, on of the big bootleggers approached me indirectly and offered to buy the brewery in Brooklyn with the proviso that I would stay as president as a front for his clandestine operation.
I was willing to consider his offer of $700,000 for the property, but under no condition would I stay with the company as its president. If we had accepted his deal, we would have sold out for $700,000. So, in effect, what I did was to parlay the $700,000 to $106,000,000 in 38 years.
During those 38 years, even though there were difficult times, I didn’t have to struggle with any self-doubt about being able to handle the good times and the bad. I had many things going for me and the company. I had good managers. We had wonderful esprit de corps; we had a great personnel program. We had a very loyal, hardworking group. We became unionized at the turn of the century, but I was the first in the country, in our business, to give life insurance and pension benefits not called for in union contracts.
As it turned out, I am very pleased that I never became a professionl architect but made a success of the F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company. Concluding the beautiful 100th Anniversary book, printed in 1942, which tells the story of the company up to that year, is this pragraph:
‘The years ahead are shaped by the years that have gone before. And man’s achievements rise like monuments to the thoughts, the hopes, the dreams of men who are here no more. How well these monuments will endure the never-ending flight of time, our deeds alone can tell. For the past lives today in each of us, and through us, prophisizes our future.’
On May 26, 1981, I sent in my remaining shares of the F. & M. Schaefer Corporation for redemption through the purchase agreement by Stroh Brewery Company of Detroit to acquire all outstanding shares at $7.40 per share.
This was the last vestige which spelled the complete disassociation – the last line – of the family from the company which the Schaefer brothers had founded in 1842 (incorporated in 1878), 139 years ago.
Interesting to note is that the company has now come full circle, from a private company to public ownership and now again back to a private company–from 100% Schaefer ownership to 100% Stroh ownership.
For all but the last 13 of these years, the company had been owned 100% by the family, having gone public in 1968.
Park Commissioner Heckscher, and Rudolph J. Schaefer with the New America in the background at E. 12st and E. River, where anchor memorial was dedicated, taken August 16, 1967.
Rudy was also involved in creating the United Brewers Industrial Foundation, which was responsible for the “Morale is a Lot of Little Things” advertising series and the later “Beer Belongs” ads. This 1937 photo from the founding of the UBIF includes Rudy Schaefer in the middle, with NYC competitors Jacob Ruppert, Jr. and Carl Badenhausen.
Today is the birthday of Joe Owades, born today in 1919. He’s best known as the father of light beer. Owades was trained as a biochemist but ended up working in the beer industry, first for Rheingold Breweries in Brooklyn, eventually becoming their vice president and technical director.
Joe passed away in 2005, and in his obituary it tells the story of light beer:
It was at Rheingold where Mr. Owades finally applied his college training to his profession, developing a process to remove the starch from beer, making it lower in carbohydrates and calories and, thus, cholesterol. The new beer was called Gablinger’s, which became a product of Meister Brau, all of which was eventually purchased by the Miller Brewing Co. Miller Lite was made famous by the company’s “tastes great, less filling” advertising campaign, but it was exactly the same product that Mr. Owades had invented in his laboratory years before.
After stints at Anheuser-Busch, Carling and others, in 1975 he began consulting, and a few years later moved to the Bay Area. Owades also worked on formulas for such brands as Samuel Adams, Tuborg, New Amsterdam Beer, and Pete’s Wicked Ale. He taught a short course at Anchor Brewing he called the “Art and Science of Brewing” and also consulted with the wine industry as well. He had 25 patents, including Prequel, a pill that supposedly if you take before you start drinking, will reduce the effects of alcohol.
I first met Joe when his neighbor, who was an early marketing director at BevMo, asked him to meet with me when we first started developing private label beers at Beverages & more. I’ve never been a fan of low-calorie light beer but its influence on the industry is undeniable and that, along with Joe’s contributions to several of the craft beer pioneers, makes his legacy equally as undeniable. Join me in raising a toast to Joe’s memory.
Here’s a more tongue-in-cheek obituary featured on Morning Remembrance, which bills itself as “a collection of sarcastic obituaries ripped from the deadlines.”
Joseph L. Owades, the biochemist whose recipe for light beer achieved the impossible feat of making crappy beer even crappier, is now more stale than a Herman Cain pick-up line.
Fresh out of college, Owades got his first job researching for Fleischmann’s Yeast. Then he found out Fleischmann was one of his mom’s canasta friends and “Yeast” was another thing entirely.
In the 1950s he created the first “diet” beer by discovering an enzyme that destroys fat starches, and in the process, any reason for wanting to drink beer in the first place.
When Miller Brewing Co. bought his process they marketed the new beer with the familiar “tastes great, less filling” jingle, replacing the less successful “Hey! You gotta chug twice as much of this crap to get a buzz!” jingle.
Over the years Owades wrote over 40 research papers on beer, all of them supporting the same thesis that he’s okay to drive and nobody understands him.
Owades requested his body be brewed into a tasteless yellow liquid and poured directly into the toilet to save time.