Today is the birthday of Jaime Jurado, who for many years was the Director of Brewing Operations for the Gambrinus Company, which included several beer brands and breweries, such as Shiner, BridgePort, Pete’s Wicked and Trumer. A couple of years ago, he moved to Pennsylvania, where he was the brewmaster at Susquehanna Brewing Co. in Pittston, but more recently he moved back south, this time to Louisiana, where for five years he was the Director of Brewing Operations at Abita Brewing. A couple of years later, he struck out on his own, and his doing brewery consulting and currently is a Vice-President of two start-ups, Ennoble Beverages and JHH. Jaime’s an incredibly talented brewer. More importantly, Jaime is one of the nicest people I know in the business. Join me wishing Jaime a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of John Roehm (January 5, 1849-June 9, 1907). He was born in Bavaria, Germany, but moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1888 and bought the brewery of Anton Stroebele (founded in 1870), renaming it the John Roehm Brewery, but also traded under the Consumers Brewing Co., at least until 1909. After Roehm’s death in 1907, his brewery appears to be sold to Henry Hess and went through several name (and probably ownership) changes until lastly it was known as the Otto Erlanger Brewing Co. from 1837 to 1951, when it closed for good. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find out much info about Roehm or the brewery, not even a photo of him.
Today is the 52nd birthday of fellow Pennsylvania transplant Marc Worona. Marc used to be the brewer at Stoudt’s Brewing in Adamstown, Pennsylvania but a number of years ago moved to California and currently works with Brewers Supply Group, and is their VP of Sales and Marketing. Join me in wishing Marc a very happy birthday.
Marc (center) with Brendan Moylan and Denise Jones getting the top prize in the Chocolate Beer competition sponsored by Brewers Supply Group and TCHO chocolate company during CBC in San Francisco a few years ago.
Out in front of the Bistro at the Double IPA Festival in 2008. Rodger Davis’ wife Claudia (who nworks at 21st Amendment), brewster Melissa Myers (working on opening her own brewpub), Shane Aldridge (brewer at Marin & Moylan’s) and Marc.
Today is the birthday of George Frey (December 17, 1826-1872). He was born in Ober-Saulheim, Germany, but moved to Buffalo, New York when he was fourteen, in 1840, and worked for a brewery there, before moving to Erie, Pennsylvania, to build his own there. Most brewery history, especially breweriana-focused sources, claim the George Frey Brewery was only called by that name in 1855, and the following year became known as the Eagle Brewery. But “One Hundred Years of Brewing” states that Frey built the brewery in 1842 but sold it to Henry J. Kavelage in 1854, who sold it to Jackson Koehler in 1883, and in 1899 it was bought by the Erie Brewing Co. And the breweriana brewery lists say it was known as the Eagle Brewery through all of its changes in ownership, at least through prohibition. Although it appears to have also been known by “Jackson Koehler’s Eagle Brewery” after Koehler bought it.
More evidence that he was brewing in Pennsylvania long before 1855 can be found in “The Brewing Industry and the Brewery Workers’ Movement in America,” by Hermann Schlüter, which was published in 1910. In a chapter on “Lager Beer,” it casually mentions Frey’s contribution. “George Frey, who brewed the first lager beer in Erie, Pa., in 1847, had helped in the first brewing of “lager” in Buffalo in 1843.
But I also found another listing in Erie for another George Frey Brewery that opened in 1861, but was renamed the Erie City Lager Brewery two years later, in 1863, then in 1870 dropped “Lager” to become known as the Erie City Brewery. It 1872, it was renamed the Joseph F. Seelinger Brewery, which would suggest it was sold to that person, which especially makes sense since that’s the apparent year Frey died.
It seems a shame after those accomplishments, that what happened to Frey after he sold his brewery is unknown, and I even had a hard time finding out when he passed away. This is also the first instance where I could find not one piece of breweriana or photograph online of George Frey or his brewery, except for this modern image of the decaying building where the brewing used to be done.
Today is the birthday of Henry Flach (November 23, 1835-November 13, 1896). He was born in Hessen, Germany and emigrated to American when he was 16, in May of 1852. In 1880, Flach and a partner, John Henzler, bought Morris Perot’s Brewery in Philadelphia (which had opened just two years before, in 1878), who operated it as Henzler & Flach until 1885, when they changed the name to the Eagle Brewery. In 1888, Henry bought out Henzler and brought his two sons into the business, calling it Henry Flach & Sons. When Henry Flach dies in 1986, his sons sold the business the following years and the new owners called it American Brewing Company before it closed for good in 1920 because of Prohibition.
Henry Flach and his wife, Marie Rosalie Frederica Hartung.
This is his obituary from the Public Ledger on November 14, 1896:
Henry Flach, a well-known brewer of this city, died yesterday at his residence, 1500 N. 52nd St. Mr. Flach had been complaining of illness for a year past and three months ago underwent an operation, from the effects of which he, for a while, appeared to have nearly recovered.
Mr, Flach was born in Neuenhien, Hessen, Germany, November 23, 1835. He came to this country in 1851 and since resided in Philadelphia. In 1860, he opened a saloon, and in 1873 entered into a partnership and bought the brewery of Leimbach and Mohr, 32nd and Master Sts., the business being conducted under the name of Henzler and Flach until the death of Mr. Henzler in 1885. A year later Mr. Flach took his sons into partnership, the firms name being changed to Flach and Sons. He is survived by a widow, three sons and four daughters.
Mr. Flach was a Mason and was a member of the William B, Schneider Lodge, No. 419; Oriental Chapter, No 183; St. Johns Commandery No. 4; and among other organizations to which he belonged are the 34th Ward Republican Club, Philadelphia Lodge, No. 30 D. O. H.; Belmont Lodge, No.19, K of P; Philadelphia Rifle Club, the Bavarian Society, the Gambrinus Society and the Lager Beer Brewery Association.”
Henry is buried at the Northwood Cemetery in Phila., located off Broad St. a short distance from Temple University. His burial plot is shared with Philip Spaeter, who, according to Edna Godshall, was Henry’s best friend and the reason Henry named his last son Philip. Philip Spaeter worked as a cooper and made kegs for the brewers. Philip named his son, Philip Henry in honor of Henry Flach.
In a letter to Richard Flach, Muriel Flach Eldridge, granddaughter of Henry, writes that there were 33 carriages in Henry’s funeral procession.
This is Flach’s biography from Find-a-Grave:
Henry was born on Nov 23, 1835 in house #5 in Neuenhain, a small village located southwest of Kassel in northern Hesse. He was baptized in the protestant church on 1 Jan 1836 and was confirmed in 1849. His godfather was Henrich Ehl who was a teacher in Bischhausen.
His father Johannes was an innkeeper, musician, brewer, farmer, and member of the village council. Johannes died at age 44 in 1847 on Henry’s 12th birthday. Henry’s grandfather was Conrad Flach, a blacksmith from the village of Zimmersrode which is about two miles west of Neuenhain. Conrad had died 15 years before Henry’s birth. Conrad was the son of Nicholaus Flach.
On May 6, 1852, at the age of 16, Henry Flach arrived at the port of Philadelphia, Pa. He came from Bremen, Germany aboard the ship Louise Marie. The passenger list had his name spelled (Heinrich Floch) and his occupation was listed as a farmer. Henry became a citizen on September 28, 1860 and his home in Germany was listed as the “Elector of Hesse-Cassel” and his occupation in the 1860 census says he was a woodturner.He married Rosalie Hartung, who arrived in USA from Saxony, Germany in 1855.
In the Phila. census of 1860, Henry is listed as Henry (HOGG) living in the 1st ward of Phila.on June 11, 1860. His occupation is listed as a wood turner. He hailed from Hesse Cassel and wife Rosalie shows as being from Saxony. Daughter Anna (age 5) shows born in Pa. Son Henry was age 3 and also born in Pa. Son George was 1 and reported born in Delaware.
1861 At the onset of the Civil War, President Lincoln called for 72,000 soldiers to serve for 3 months. Henry joined the 1st Delaware infantry in Wilmington, DE and served his 3-month term at which time he went back to civilian life in Philadelphia. Henry’s younger brother George enlisted in Sep 1861 and was wounded at the battle of Sharpsburg aka Antietam
- In 1863, Henry Flach was living at 422 Morris St. in Philadelphia. His occupation is “Lager beer”
- In 1864 and 1865 Henry had a tavern at 1514 S. 4th St. in Phila.
- In 1866, Henry and brother George are listed at 433 Enterprise St as machinists.
- In 1867, Henry has a saloon at 1206 S. 4th St.
- In 1868 and 1869, Henry is listed in Gopsills Directory as having a “saloon” at 1206 4th St.
In Nov. 1869 Henry petitioned for membership into the William B Schneider lodge as a mason and on Dec 21, 1869 Henry was initiated. On Dec 21 he was a 1st degree. On Jan. 2, 1870 he was a 2nd degree. He became a Master on Feb. 15, 1870 and passed to the Chair Dec. 12, 1871.
Henry (center) with his two sons.
And this short obituary is from the American Brewers Review from 1897:
Today is fellow beer writer Don Russell’s 64th birthday. Don wrote a beer column for the Philadelphia Daily News under the nom de plume Joe Sixpack. He also writes a blog online, Beer Radar. His most recent book, What the Hell Am I Drinking?, was published a few years ago and can still be ordered directly from the author. Don also became the first executive director of the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild, the trade group for New Jersey breweries. More recently, he accepted a position as the editor-in-chief of Broad Street Media. Don is also a fellow Pennsylvanian, a crack card player, and one of my very favorite people to share a beer and discuss the issues of the day with. Join me in wishing Don a very happy birthday.
Today is fellow Pennsylvania beer writer Jack Curtin’s birthday. You can read his writings and rantings on a variety of subjects at his Liquid Diet Online, Curtin’s Corner, I Have Heard the Mermaids Singing and The Great Disconnect. If you think I don’t know when to stop, check out Jack’s voluminous output. Plus Jack is one of my favorite people to kvetch about politics with, over a pint, of course. Join me wishing Jack a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of Peter Barbey (November 9, 1825-February 15, 1897). He was born in Bavaria, though the actual town seems to be in some dispute, and learned brewing at his uncle’s brewery there from the age of fourteen. As an adult, he worked at breweries throughout Europe, then entered military service for a four-year tour of duty. After that, at age 25 he came to the United States and found work in Philadelphia. But he found a better job in nearby Reading working at the brewery of Frederick Lauer.
He apparently liked Reading (my hometown) because he founded his own brewery there in 1857, with Abraham Peltzer, which they called the Peter Barbey & Abraham Peltzer Brewery. Barbey must have bought him out, because in 1861 it was renamed the Peter Barbey Brewery. His son John joined him at the brewery in 1880, and they called it Peter Barbey & Son after that, until it closed in 1920 because of Prohibition. But it did return in 1933 as Barbey’s Inc. In 1951, they completely rebranded it as the Sunshine Brewing Co. before closing for good in 1970.
This is from “Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals,” by Morton Montgomery, published in 1909:
Peter Barbey, the founder of Barbey’s Brewery at Reading, Pa., was born Nov. 9, 1825, in Dierbach, Canton of Bergzabern, Rhinepfalz, Bavaria, son of Christopher Barbey. He attended the schools of his native place until he was fourteen years of age, when he entered the brewing establishment of his uncle, Peter Barbey, for the purpose of learning the business. After remaining there three years, he found employment in France and Switzerland in different brewing establishments during the next four years, in observance of a German custom to increase his knowledge of the business in this way by practical experience. He then returned home, and being twenty-one years of age, entered the army in a cavalry regiment where be served as a soldier for four years. At the expiration of his term of service, be emigrated to America, proceeding immediately to Philadelphia, and for several years he was engaged there in different breweries; he then located at Reading, and entered the employ of Frederick Lauer, also a German, who had by this time established himself in the brewing business at Third and Chestnut streets. In 1860 Mr. Barbey embarked in business for himself as a brewer, and carried his affairs on with increasing success until his decease in 1897.
Mr. Barbey was a Democrat in politics, but never inclined to fill any public offices. He assisted in organizing the Keystone National Bank in 1883 and served as a director until his decease in 1897. He was prominently identified with Teutonia Lodge, No. 368, F. & A. M., in which he was a past master, and with Germania Lodge, I. O. O. F.
Mr. Barbey married Rosina Kuntz, daughter of Philip Kuntz, of Rhenish Bavaria, and they had two children: Katrina, who died in infancy; and John, who, after arriving of age, engaged with his father in the brewing business under the name of P. Barbey & Son. Notwithstanding the decease of his father in 1897, the firm name has been continued until the present time.
And here’s an obituary, from the “Allentown Morning Call,” from February 16, 1897:
Peter Barbey, the well-known Reading brewer, died yesterday morning at his home, aged 71 years. Mr. Barbey was a native of Dierbach, Canton of Borgzaben, Rhinepfaltz, Bavaria. He attended the schools of his native country until the age of 14, when he entered the brewery establishment of his uncle, Peter Barbey, for the purpose of learning the business. When about 23 years of age, he came to America. He entered the employ of Frederick Lauer, in Reading. Later he conducted several saloons and then started in the brewery business. Deceased was married to Rosina, daughter of Philip Kuntz, of Rhenish Bavaria. They had two children, Katrina, a daughter, deceased; and John Barbey. In politics he was a Democrat, but never was an aspirant for any office. He was a director of the Keystone National Bank, a member of Teutonia Lodge, No. 568, F. and A. M., and of Germania Lodge, I.O.O.F.
This is from an article in the January 1942 issue of the Historical Review of Berks County:
Reading naturally felt the effects of this movement as can be witnessed in the Peter Barbey Brewery establishment. Peter Barbey, the originator of this brewery, was born November 9, 1825, in Dierback, Canton of Bergzabern, Rhinepfalz, Bavaria, the son of Christopher and Katrina Barbey. Until the age of 14 Peter attended the schools there, after which he entered the brewing establishment of his uncle, where he remained three years learning the business of a brewer. At the age of thirty-two (in the year 1857), Barbey emigrated to the United States, and proceeding at once to Philadelphia engaged for two and one-half years in the pursuit of his trade. In 1859 he settled at Reading, where he entered the employ of Frederick Lauer for one year, and soon after opened a saloon. Peter Barbey began his prosperous career as a brewer here in 1869, when he established a brewing plant at River and Hockly Streets. Montgomery wrote of the Barbey Brewery: “the buildings are a three-story brewery, a six-story brick malthouse, two refrigerators and two ice houses-they cover a tract of three acres. In the malt house are five germinating floors, one storage floor, and two large drying kilns. Two engines, producing 60 horse-power, and two large duplex boilers, of 75 horse-power, are used. Thirty hands are employed.” Barbey’s son, John, became a partner in 1880, the firm henceforth trading as P. Barbey and Son. During the year 1885 twenty thousand barrels of beer and porter were manufactured and sold, although the full capacity was thirty-five thousand barrels, and the full malting capacity seventy-five thousand bushels of barley malt.
Thus by 1880 the foundation had been laid for one of Reading’s important industries. Developed as a normal, if not necessary, adjunct to the life of the German population, it brought to this community the industry and craft of the old country. As Reading grew, so did her brewing industry, and its importance was more than local. Frederick Lauer was one of the organizers, and president, of the United States Brewers’ Association, and he was also a leading citizen of Reading. As a public servant and philanthropist he was honored by his fellow citizens, and his statue now stands in our city park. There it symbolizes the social as well as the economic significance of the early industry.
And this is from “100 Years of Brewing:”
Today is the birthday of John N. Straub (November 6, 1810-November 1891). He was born in Darmstadt, Germany, and emigrated at age 20 to the U.S., in 1830, landing initially in Baltimore, but as soon as he was able moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1831, he founded the John N. Straub Brewery and became what is believed to be the first lager brewer there. As far as I can tell, he is not related to the Straub Brewery in nearby St. Marys, Pennsylvania, although its founder Peter Straub did work for John N. Straub when he first came to America, before starting his own brewery. The John N. Straub Brewery also had a branch in Allegheny, and in 1899, it became a branch of the Pittsburgh Brewing Co.
This biography by his son is from “100 Years of Brewing:”
This short obituary is from the Brewers Journal:
And this is a short history of the brewery itself, also from “100 Years of Brewing.”
Today is the birthday of Franklin Pierce Lauer (November 2, 1852-March 10, 1926). He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, and was the son of Frederick Lauer. He followed in his father’s footsteps and also became a brewer. After being sent to learn brewing in Germany, upon his return he became the brewmaster at his family breweries, and began running the breweries after his father retired in 1882.
Here’s a biography of Lauer from “Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals” by Morton Montgomery, published in 1909:
Franklin Pierce Lauer, brewer at Reading since 1882, was born in Reading Nov. 2, 1852, the day on which Pierce was elected President of the United States. He received his preliminary education in the common schools, which he attended until 1866, when he and his brother were sent to Germany for their advanced education, and they remained three years, spending two years in the institutions at Ludwigsburg and Stuttgart, Germany, and one year at Lausanne, Switzerland. He directed his studies more especially toward the scientific manufacture of beer, porter, and ale for the purpose of qualifying himself to take charge of his father’s breweries upon his return home. While at Lausanne he showed great proficiency in music, and though still a boy the vestry of the French Lutheran Church elected him as the organist, which position he filled in a very satisfactory manner during his sojourn at that place.
Upon returning home his father placed him in charge of the two breweries as brewmaster and he displayed great skill in the production of malt liquors of a superior character. He discharged the duties of this responsible position with increasing success for twelve years, until 1882, when his father retired, and he organized the Lauer Brewing Company, of which he became the manager and principal owner. Since then, covering a period of twenty-six years, he has directed the affairs of the company in a most successful manner, bringing its productions to a high state of perfection and purity (as evidenced by the analysis of the State authorities), and giving them a popularity equal to that of any others in Pennsylvania. Its trade has been developed to extend into all the surrounding counties, and to numerous distant places, the large shipments being made on the railroad in improved refrigerator cars.
Mr. Lauer’s responsibilities at the head of his company have kept him so closely confined that he could not devote any time to political or social affairs. He, however, has been a liberal contributor to various public causes; and he has assisted in organizing several financial institutions at Reading, and participated in their management as a director: the Schuylkill Valley Bank since 1890; the Colonial Trust Company since 1900; and the American Casualty Company, since 1903. His only relaxation for some years has been an annual vacation of several weeks with his family to Pike county, where he enjoys the privileges of membership in the Porter’s Lake Hunting and Fishing Club, which owns several thousand acres of timber land on the top of the Allegheny Mountains, elevated 2,000 feet above the level of the sea. In August, 1891, he made an extended tour of three months through the principal countries of Europe.
In 1874 Mr. Lauer married Amelia Dora Heberle (daughter of William Heberle), by whom he had six children: Florence, who married William Y. Landis, of Reading; Carl Franklin; and four who died in youth. He owns and occupies a costly home on the site of the homestead on South Third street, near Chestnut, where he was born, and where his parents and grandparents had lived since 1826. In politics he is a Democrat; in religion a Lutheran, being a member of St. John’s German Lutheran Church, of which his father was one of the organizers in 1860.
This is the description of the illustration of the Lauer Brewing from the National Archives:
Image of an elevated landscape view of the Lauer Brewing Company brewery in Reading, Pennsylvania; a large industrial complex of factory buildings is pictured including the breweries, smokestacks, ice plant, boiler house, hop storage, office, malt house, band stand, hotel, garden, and several others including a bowling alley in Lauer’s Park; railroad cars labeled “Refrigerator Line. Ale Porter and Lager Beer” a Philadelphia & Reading Railroad passenger train, cable car, and horse-drawn vehicles are visible along the street in the foreground; small inset image at bottom right features an earlier view of the much-smaller brewery captioned “Lauer’s brewery in 1866”; a Greek sphinx is pictured in a circular ivy-bordered frame captioned by the words “Trade mark” at bottom center.