Eldebrew

First of all, Happy belated Thanksgiving to all you Yanks out there. It was a whirlwind weekend for me (I hosted my first Thanksgiving, and then ended up working Black Friday and the rest of the weekend in retail). So, I apologize for not posting a super fun ad from Thanksgiving (and yes, I do have one…) on Thursday, Friday, or even Saturday….I’m such a slacker, I know.

It’s almost bottling time for my husband’s beer. He’s a homebrewer, and Saturday morning he was pottering around with his fancy beer tools, taking gravity readings and making notes in order to determine if his beer is ready to bottle. He’s got two going at the moment: a bourbon barrel porter, and a modified 80 shilling Scottish brown ale. Turns out neither were quite ready to bottle, but I received the inspiration to post about a beer bottle I found at an estate sale a while back. I mainly bought it to add to my husband’s beer bottle collection, started somewhat after we saved a few from trips, and thanks to my many adventures abroad, he has a nice stash.

(I would add a nice picture here of his collection, but I lost the daylight, and felt that a flourescent glow to the shelf wouldn’t be too pretty.)

I added this one to his collection.

bottle1

Edelbrew originally started in the 1860s by German Immigrant Otto Huber. Working at other breweries in Brooklyn before this, he bought the Hoerger Brewery in 1866 and set up his own, building the largest and one of the most productive breweries in Brooklyn. Around the turn of the century, there were around 45 breweries in Brooklyn, with as many as 11 breweries in a 12 block area. The brewery produced 100,000 barrels of beer a year at the peak of it’s production. When Otto Huber died in 1889, his four sons took over the business, continuing the family tradition.

When Prohibition hit in 1918, and was enacted countrywide by 1920 by the Volstead Laws, beer production came almost to a grinding halt. Congress declared that any beer containing more than .5% alcohol was too intoxicating and could not be sold. Instead of trying to come up with a sell-able malt beverage, Otto Huber Jr. sold the family business in 1920 to Edward Hittleman, a Russian-Jewish immigrant who named the brewery after himself. He produced a near-beer until the end of prohibition in 1933. One employee of Hittleman Brewery, Abe Geyer, gave an account which has been published at Let Life In, and describes the days at the brewery just before the repeal of the 18th amendment:

“I was a young man of 20. I worked in the shipping room of Edelbrew, a small brewery in Brooklyn. Breweries were permitted to brew the “real” suds three days before they were actually allowed to sell it. Taking advantage of this, our brewery decided to bottle around the clock. The plan was to store the cases wherever we could find a spot — the basement, roof, garage, yard, wherever.

Outside, trucks, horses and wagons, pushcarts — any means of transportation — were lining up to buy, and then to resell to homes, groceries, restaurants, clubs, and even candy stores.

We started working Thursday 6 a.m., day and night; Friday day and night, and Saturday ’til noon — 54 hours. My mother came down and brought me a change of socks.

The activity was, to say the least, hectic. Only cash was accepted which necessitated the hiring of 20 special policemen. We loaded truck after truck, fast and furiously. Some trucks loaded, drove around the corner, sold the beer on the sidewalk, then rushed back and got on line again.

By noon Saturday, we were cleaned out. Not a single bottle remained and no more could be bottled until that Monday.

We were exhausted but happiness reigned supreme. I worked long and hard and I too was happy. That week I received a $5.00 bonus in my pay envelope.”

In 1934, Hittleman changed the name of the brewery to Hittleman-Goldenrod, as Goldenrod Ale was one of their most popular beers. The brewery’s name again changed to Edelbrau, and then finally in 1946 to Edelbrew. Hittleman died in 1951, ending the Huber-Hittleman Brewery reign.

The Edelbrew label dates this bottle between 1946 and 1951, when production after Hittleman’s death stopped.

 

bottle2

To further place this bottle in the context of human life, here’s a photograph of an Edelbrew ad above the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ, taken on July 5, 1946.

The Edelbrew ad is in the top left of the background, above the boardwalk. You can also see an ad for Phillip Morris cigarettes, 1940s fashions, as well as the little ‘rolling chairs’ (http://www.nj.com/atlantic-city-entertainment/index.ssf/2012/06/acs_famous_rolling_chairs_cele.html) parked at the right of the image.

Further Reading:

Cupolo, Diego. ‘A Walk down Old Brewers’ Road.’ Bushwick BK. 3 July 2009. Web. 30 November 2013

http://bushwickbk.com/2009/07/03/a-walk-down-old-brewers-row/

Eating In Translation. ‘Edward B. Hittleman Brewery.’ Eating In Translation. 9 July 2011. Web. 30 November 2013

http://www.eatingintranslation.com/2011/07/edward-b-hittleman-brewery.html

Geyer, Abe. ‘Prohibition Repealed: Real Beer was Back!’ Let Life In. 2013. Web. 30 November 2013

http://www.letlifein.com/articles/prohibition-repealed-real-beer-was-back/

Miller, Carl H. ‘We Want Beer: Prohibition and the Will to Imbibe.’ Beer History.com. 2000. 1 December 2013

http://www.beerhistory.com/library/holdings/prohibition_1.shtml

NY Food Museum. ‘Beer: Edelbrew Brewery, Inc.’ NY Food Museum. 16 June 2008. Web. 30 November 2013 http://www.nyfoodmuseum.org/bkbeer.htm

R.C. Maxwell Company Outdoor Advertising. ‘Edelbrew and Phillip Morris Cigarettes.’ Duke University Libraries. 5 July 1946. Image. 30 November 2013

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/rcmaxwellco_XXH0172/

First of all, Happy belated Thanksgiving to all you Yanks out there. It was a whirlwind weekend for me (I hosted my first Thanksgiving, and then ended up working Black Friday and the rest of the weekend in retail). So, I apologize for not posting a super fun ad from Thanksgiving (and yes, I do have one…) on Thursday, Friday, or even Saturday….I’m such a slacker, I know.

It’s almost bottling time for my husband’s beer. He’s a homebrewer, and Saturday morning he was pottering around with his fancy beer tools, taking gravity readings and making notes in order to determine if his beer is ready to bottle. He’s got two going at the moment: a bourbon barrel porter, and a modified 80 shilling Scottish brown ale. Turns out neither were quite ready to bottle, but I received the inspiration to post about a beer bottle I found at an estate sale a while back. I mainly bought it to add to my husband’s beer bottle collection, started somewhat after we saved a few from trips, and thanks to my many adventures abroad, he has a nice stash.

(I would add a nice picture here of his collection, but I lost the daylight, and felt that a flourescent glow to the shelf wouldn’t be too pretty.)

I added this one to his collection.

bottle1

Edelbrew originally started in the 1860s by German Immigrant Otto Huber. Working at other breweries in Brooklyn before this, he bought the Hoerger Brewery in 1866 and set up his own, building the largest and one of the most productive breweries in Brooklyn. Around the turn of the century, there were around 45 breweries in Brooklyn, with as many as 11 breweries in a 12 block area. The brewery produced 100,000 barrels of beer a year at the peak of it’s production. When Otto Huber died in 1889, his four sons took over the business, continuing the family tradition.

When Prohibition hit in 1918, and was enacted countrywide by 1920 by the Volstead Act, beer production came almost to a grinding halt. Congress declared that any beer containing more than .5% alcohol was too intoxicating and could not be sold. Instead of trying to come up with a sell-able malt beverage, Otto Huber Jr. sold the family business in 1920 to Edward Hittleman, a Russian-Jewish immigrant who named the brewery after himself. He produced a near-beer until the end of prohibition in 1933. One employee of Hittleman Brewery, Abe Geyer, gave an account which has been published at Let Life In, and describes the days at the brewery just before the repeal of the 18th amendment:

I was a young man of 20. I worked in the shipping room of Edelbrew, a small brewery in Brooklyn. Breweries were permitted to brew the “real” suds three days before they were actually allowed to sell it. Taking advantage of this, our brewery decided to bottle around the clock. The plan was to store the cases wherever we could find a spot — the basement, roof, garage, yard, wherever.

Outside, trucks, horses and wagons, pushcarts — any means of transportation — were lining up to buy, and then to resell to homes, groceries, restaurants, clubs, and even candy stores.

We started working Thursday 6 a.m., day and night; Friday day and night, and Saturday ’til noon — 54 hours. My mother came down and brought me a change of socks.

The activity was, to say the least, hectic. Only cash was accepted which necessitated the hiring of 20 special policemen. We loaded truck after truck, fast and furiously. Some trucks loaded, drove around the corner, sold the beer on the sidewalk, then rushed back and got on line again.

By noon Saturday, we were cleaned out. Not a single bottle remained and no more could be bottled until that Monday.

We were exhausted but happiness reigned supreme. I worked long and hard and I too was happy. That week I received a $5.00 bonus in my pay envelope.

In 1934, Hittleman changed the name of the brewery to Hittleman-Goldenrod, as Goldenrod Ale was one of their most popular beers. The brewery’s name again changed to Edelbrau, and then finally in 1946 to Edelbrew. Hittleman died in 1951, ending the Huber-Hittleman Brewery reign.

bottle2

The Edelbrew label dates this bottle between 1946 and 1951, when production after Hittleman’s death stopped.

To further place this bottle in the context of human life, here’s a photograph of an Edelbrew ad above the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ, taken on July 5, 1946.

Photo Courtesy of Duke University Libraries.

Photo Courtesy of Duke University Libraries.

The Edelbrew ad is in the top left of the background, above the boardwalk. You can also see an ad for Phillip Morris cigarettes, 1940s fashions, as well as the little ‘rolling chairs‘ parked at the right of the image.

Further Reading:

Cupolo, Diego. ‘A Walk down Old Brewers’ Road.’ Bushwick BK. 3 July 2009. Web. 30 November 2013 http://bushwickbk.com/2009/07/03/a-walk-down-old-brewers-row/

Eating In Translation. ‘Edward B. Hittleman Brewery.’ Eating In Translation. 9 July 2011. Web. 30 November 2013 http://www.eatingintranslation.com/2011/07/edward-b-hittleman-brewery.html

Geyer, Abe. ‘Prohibition Repealed: Real Beer was Back!’ Let Life In. 2013. Web. 30 November 2013 http://www.letlifein.com/articles/prohibition-repealed-real-beer-was-back/

Miller, Carl H. ‘We Want Beer: Prohibition and the Will to Imbibe.’ Beer History.com. 2000. 1 December 2013 http://www.beerhistory.com/library/holdings/prohibition_1.shtml

NY Food Museum. ‘Beer: Edelbrew Brewery, Inc.’ NY Food Museum. 16 June 2008. Web. 30 November 2013 http://www.nyfoodmuseum.org/bkbeer.htm

R.C. Maxwell Company Outdoor Advertising. ‘Edelbrew and Phillip Morris Cigarettes.’ Duke University Libraries. 5 July 1946. Image. 30 November 2013

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/rcmaxwellco_XXH0172/

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2 Comments

Filed under 1940s

2 responses to “Eldebrew

  1. I hope you can get some rest soon. 🙂

    • Thanks, Teagan. Me too! How did Nanowrimo finish up? I haven’t been on my reader for the past few days, and haven’t seen many posts, so I’m sorry if I missed one about how you finished up! I’ll have to catch up now…

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