Thursday’s ad is for “Rainier Beer,” from 1910. This poster was made for the Seattle Brewing & Malting Co., who made Rainier Beer, and was later known as the Rainier Brewing Company of Seattle, Washington. This one is a promotional postcard showing the brewery as it looked in 1910, and suggesting that when you’re in Seattle, you should visit the brewery.
Today is the birthday of Emil George Sick (June 3, 1894-November 10, 1964). Sick was the “son of Canadian brewer Fritz Sick, who built Sick’s Lethbridge Brewery.”
“He was a brewing worker and industrialist in Canada and later the US. He is well known for his involvement as owner of baseball teams and stadiums in Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia from the 1930s until 1960.
He was chairman of the board of Sick’s Rainier Brewing Company and president of Sicks’ Brewery Enterprises, Inc., both of Seattle, and a director of three other firms, Molson’s Brewery, Ltd., and Sicks’ Breweries, Ltd., both of Canada, and the Peoples National Bank of Washington. He also was a director of the Seattle World’s Fair.”
Here’s a short biography from Find a Grave:
Sportsman. Northwest baseball pioneer. Former owner of the Pacific Coast League’s Seattle Rainiers. He constructed Sick’s Seattle Stadium which opened in June 1938 and served as home to the Seattle Rainiers, Seattle Angels and the 1969 major league Seattle Pilots. He rose to prominence in the brewing industry along with his father Fritz, operating breweries in Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, Great Falls, Spokane and the Rainier Brewery in Seattle. Active in civic affairs, he served as president of both the Seattle Historical Society and Seattle Chamber of Commerce. He was also instrumental in the founding of the King County Blood Bank and as chairman of the Washington State March of Dimes.
“In 1934 the Sicks made their most important transaction. It would transform Emil Sick into one of Seattle’s most significant citizens and impact the game of baseball in the state for decades. They acquired exclusive rights to sell the Rainier brand in Washington and Alaska from the Rainier Brewing Company of San Francisco.”
And this is his obituary from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on November 11, 1964, as posted on the Brewery Gems page about Emil.
Emil G. Sick, 70, long-time Seattle civic and business leader, died early yesterday morning in Swedish Hospital of a stroke following an operation. Mr. Sick had been in failing health recently but had continued to take an active part in his numerous and varied business interests in, the United States and Canada.
He was chairman of the board of Sick’s Rainier Brewing Co. and president of Sicks’ Brewery Enterprises, Inc., both of Seattle, and a director of three other firms, Molson’s Brewery, Ltd., and Sicks’ Breweries, Ltd., both of Canada, and the Peoples National Bank of Washington. He also was a director of the Seattle World’s Fair.
Mr. Sick was equally well known for his leadership in civic activities. He led two successful $100,000 fund raising drives. One played a leading role in saving St. Mark’s Cathedral. As chairman of the non – denominational committee, he saw $100,000 collected to wipe out the church’s debts and beautify the picturesque building.
As president of the Seattle Historical Society, Mr. Sick led the drive which collected $100,000 for construction of the Museum of History and Industry.
Mr. Sick was a long-time leader of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, serving as its president in 1941. Thirteen, years later he was elected an honorary life-time member.
Mr. Sick entered the brewery business as a shipping clerk with Lethbridge Breweries, Ltd., in Alberta, Canada, which was founded and owned by his father.
In the following years he headed numerous corporations which operated breweries in Spokane; Salem, Ore.; Missoula and Great Falls, Mont.; Vancouver, B.C.; Edmonton and Lethbridge, Alta., and Prince Albert and Regina, Sask. Some of these later were closed or sold.
In 1937, Mr. Sick purchased the Seattle Rainier baseball club and a year later built the stadium which bears his name. The club was sold in 1960. He also was past state chairman of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis and was a founder of the King County Central Blood Bank.
In 1949, Mr. Sick became the first Washingtonian to be named for the Disabled American’s Veteran’s award for outstanding civic leadership. And he was named Greater Seattle’s First Citizen in Sports for 1963.
Mr. Sick was born June 3, 1894, in Tacoma. He attended Western Canada College, Calgary, and Stanford University. He resided at 260-39th Ave. E.
He married Kathleen Thelma McPhee in 1918. She died in 1962, and last December he married Mrs. Martha Gardner, widow of a Seattle business leader.
Survivors include his wife, Martha; sister, Mrs. J. A. Blair, Vancouver, B.C.; three daughters, Mrs. Chandler Thomas, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Mrs. Robert Minton, Concord, Mass.; and Mrs. Winston Ingman, Mercer Island; a son, Timothy Sick, London, England; an adopted son, Alan Ferguson, Seattle, and 16 grandchildren.”
Today is Dave Buhler’s 62nd birthday. Interestingly, like Dick Cantwell, whose birthday was yesterday, Dave is also a co-founder of Elysian Brewing in Seattle, Washington. Join me in wishing Dave a very happy birthday.
Dave and Celebrator publisher Tom Dalldorf (at right). Neither Tom or I could identify the fellow in the middle, sorry about that. Can anybody help me out and tell me who that is?
Today is Dick Cantwell’s 63rd birthday. He’s the former head brewer and co-founder of Elysian Brewing in Seattle, Washington. In addition to brewing, Dick’s a great writer, too, and his work frequently appears in numerous beer magazines. Cantwell’s the co-author of Barley Wine and Wood & Beer: A Brewer’s Guide, with Peter Bouckaert, formerly of New Belgium Brewing, and more recently Brewing Eclectic IPA. He was also on the BA’s board of directors and headed both the Communications and Pipeline committees and worked for a time as the BA’s Quality Ambassador. More recently, he has been brewing with Magnolia in San Francisco. Join me in wishing Dick a very happy birthday.
Award-winning Portland beer writer Lisa Morrison and Dick at an Elysian event during OBF.
Today would have been the 47th birthday of Matt Bonney, formerly of Brouwer’s and Bottleworks, both in Seattle, Washington, and later proprietor of Toronado Seattle. Bonney was one of my favorite people in the industry. You would have been be hard-pressed to find a person more passionate about good beer. He also knew how to throw a party and was always a gracious host. Unfortunately, he unexpectedly passed away in late March of 2019. Join me in drinking a toast to Bonney tonight. He is definitely missed.
Today is the 77th birthday of Charles Finkel, one of the pioneers of the better beer movement. He founded Merchant du Vin in 1978, the company responsible for importing a number of word-class beers to the U.S., including a few favorites of mind: Traquair, Ayinger, Westmalle, Rochefort and Orval. He also started the Seattle brewpub, Pike Brewing , in 1989, where Fal Allen was head brewer there from 1990-96. I first met Charlie around 1996 during a visit to Seattle. The following year, the Finkels sold both Pike Brewing and Merchant du Vin. In 2006, they bought back Pike Brewing. In Chicago for CBC a couple of years ago, I was fortunate enough to spend an evening out and about town with the Finkels, and I wrote a profile of them for Beer Connoisseur a few years back. Charlie and his wife Rose Ann are some of my favorite people in the industry. Join me in wishing Charlie a very happy birthday.
Charlie at CBC in Chicago a few years ago, with Mark Blasingame, owner of the Map Room.
Wednesday’s ad is Rainier Beer, from the Seattle Brewing & Malting Co. Like the other Rainier ad I’ve featured, For Pure Drink, it’s from the early years of the 20th century, probably in the first decade. It’s a simple ad showing a beautiful woman holding up a dainty glass of beer while leaning on a giant bottle of Rainier. And I love the message, which would be illegal in a beer ad today; “There’s New Vigor and Strength in Every Drop.”
- 1st Place: Angel’s Share Bourbon ’11; Lost Abbey
- 2nd Place: Abacus ’11; Firestone Walker Brewing
- 3rd Place: Old Birdbrain ’10; Black Raven Brewing
Congratulations to all the winners. (And special thanks to Sean Paxton, the Homebrew Chef, for sending me the results since I couldn’t be there this year.)
- 1st Place: Old Sebastes; Anacortes Brewery
- 2nd Place: Anderson Valley Horn of the Bear ’09; Anderson Valley Brewing
- 3rd Place: Old Woody; Glacier Brewhouse
Congratulations to all the winners.
An alert reader just forwarded me this (thanks Shaun). Today, a Starbucks coffee shop in Seattle, Washington, is test-marketing a new menu item: beer. According to an AP story the Starbucks on East Olive Way “reopened Monday [and] is the first under the Starbucks brand to offer alcohol.” The AP story continues with the following. “Craft beer and local wines go on sale after 4 p.m. The idea is to offer drinks and a wider variety of savory food that will attract customers after the morning espresso rush.”
USA Today has a fuller story about how and why the chain is testing beer, wine, cheese and other foods. Their pronouncement is that the “Starbucks of the future arrived today.” They speculate that if successful, this new model could become “the prototype for the next generation of stores for one of the world’s most influential brands.” Here’s how they describe the new look of the renovated Starbucks.
A very different kind of Starbucks is on tap. It will serve regional wine and beer. It offers an expansive plate of locally made cheeses — served on china. The barista bar is rebuilt to seat customers up close to the coffee.
Most conspicuously, the place looks less like a Starbucks and more like a cafe that’s been part of the neighborhood for years — yet that’s “green” in design and decor. This is the calling card of independent java joints that have been eating and sipping away at Starbucks’ evening business for decades. U.S. Starbucks stores get 70% of business before 2 p.m.
The corporate eyes of Starbucks — and the nation’s ultracompetitive, $15 billion chain coffee business — are laser-focused on this Starbucks store on Olive Way in Seattle’s bustling Capitol Hill area. The 10-year-old location was closed for three months to be revamped into a Starbucks that may not look or sound like any Starbucks you know. But if this location is a hit, some version of it may eventually come to a Starbucks near you.
Inside, the floor is stripped to highly polished concrete. Some of the chairs were salvaged from the University of Washington campus. Empty burlap sacks — once used to transport Starbucks coffee beans — hang from the walls. And an oversized table — designed for customers to share — is made from flooring salvaged from a local high school.
There’s also a video of the new Starbucks’ project to sell both beer and wine.