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Gillman
01-26-2008, 17:57
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, digitized and searchable, gives fascinating information on beer and how it was sold in this period. I will summarize salient points from about a dozen articles written between about 1875 and 1895.

Reporters made fields trips to saloons and breweries and reported in detail on these topics. No taste notes are given, except in the sense of noting that each brewery made a beer distinguishable by devoted consumers. Also, beer faults are noted, e.g., if it was "acetic", "muddy", or not the right temperature.

It was observed that whiskey was generally consumed by those who imbibed earlier in the century but slowly beer became more popular, to the point that "seventeen out of twenty" drinkers in a barroom would call for lager beer. Of the remaining three, two wanted ale and the last whiskey.

I suspect (although this is not stated) that in the North East, inexpensive whiskey (young or little aged or blended) lost its market largely to beer, but quality bourbon and rye became favored by the well-off classes, as did mixed drinks.

It was noted (as is known to beer historians) that German immigrants brought lager beer to America and this became much more popular than "ale" (the latter included stout and porter). It was explained that lager's cold temperature made it "the" summer drink, and it was preferred by many in other seasons as well. Ale was regarded as potentially of good quality, as e.g. in England (constantly cited as a model), but was inferior to lager because often served too warm or cloudy. While not stated as such, clearly top-fermented ales were going sour more often than stable, long- and cold- aged lagers. However, it was noted that ale quality was improving in that ales were becoming "lighter", "clearer" and colder. Indeed, cream ale and other blonde ales emerged by the end of the 1800's to take back some of the market lost to lagers.

The color of lager is never (that I found) mentioned except in a vague sense of referring to a refreshing "amber" quaff. Probably lagers then were dark or amber, mostly, although Budweiser was of a color similar today's since it followed the Pilsener style (broadly) emerging in Pilsen, then part of Austria. Old beer ads of Bud I've seen (circa-1900) seem to confirm its light color.

Lagers were fermented at near freezing temperatures using bottom fermenting yeasts and ales were made at 60 F. or over using top yeasts - the distinction then seems similar to that today. The best lager breweries then aged their lagers for 8 months - few would do that today. Lager was also sold new and this is referred to as "Schenk" beer and some of it was possibly unfiltered.

Ales in common use were India Pale Ale, Pale Ale or XXX, Canada Malt ale and Burton, the latter clearly patterned after the famous ales of Burton-on-Trent. Ale, too was sold new or aged. Burton was by the mid-1800's in England not as strong and sweet as it had been, and probably was like a good special bitter or ESB in the UK (and parts of the U.S.) today. The Canada name in Canada Malt ale came from the origin of the barley malt used for this type, it was grown in Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario. This beer was dark and not well-hopped. It was said to be somewhat in a Scotch ale style, which would make sense since much of Ontario was settled by Scots and they would have brought the taste. Perhaps that beer would taste like a modern MacEwan's Scotch Ale.

India Pale Ale was stated to be well-hopped as one would expect, the color is not mentioned but other sources of the time suggest these beers were not amber or dark but truly pale as the name suggests. It was stronger than XXX or regular pale ale.

One Daily Eagle article states (1870's) that ale quality hadn't much improved in the previous 20 years except that one did not see any more "handpulls" and "goosenecks". This appartus, familiar to anyone who knows real ale well and which has endured in England uninterruptedly since the early 1800's, had disappeared from Brooklyn by the 1870's! How amazed would the scribes of the Daily Eagle be to see beer hand pumps reappear behind some bars in modern America! The article did project however that ale would improve and it did of course as I have stated - by transmuting ultimately into an ale/lager hybrid. (Canadian sparkling ales, such as Molson Export Ale, devised in around 1903, represented a similar evolution).

Perhaps the American climate, more extreme than the U.K.'s, made this change inevitable although of course today the pre-lager styles have come back full bore via the microbreweries. It is still true though that these ales are more stable, even without pasteurisation, than their forbears. This is due to modern methods of filtration, temperature control and packaging.

Ale was also regarded as stronger on average than lager beer - true then as now (broadly speaking of course).

Beer was served in "seidels", a German term for mug, or "schooners". I recall a restaurant in Plattsburgh, NY in the early 1970's serving draft beer in glasses called schooners on the menu. Probably the term has since completely died out, but it hung on for 100 years in some parts of New York State after the time in question.

One aspect of beer sales which has disappeared (mostly) is selling beer in "cans" or "growlers", i.e., in containers to be taken out for drinking at home. Young people often were sent to the saloons for this purpose, and it was noted they became adept at insisting on full measure and receiving the correct change.

It was claimed that little margin was earned on selling beer in cans or growlers, but that it was a loss leader and no barroom could afford to dispense with the practice.

The institution of the "free lunch" was analysed with picturesque or wry references to patrons who abused the practice. The items on offer varied but included pretzels, "Saratoga chips" (these must have been our modern potato chips), smoked and other herrings, cheese, crackers, and sausages of different kinds.

The intermittently busy life of a bartender was described with some compassion for people who worked, then, 6 days a week, and long hours on each day, and who spent their one free day often at "Sheepshead" (Sheepshead Bay on Long Island) or Coney Island, which needs no introduction. Despite their grueling schedule they often retained their good humor. It was noted that a good bartender was the guarantee of success of an establishment - little has changed in this respect.

Reading through these articles, one gets a sense that overall, saloon life was becoming oriented around draught beer (as it still is to a large degree), and whiskey was becoming more a specialist item available on its own or in mixed drinks. The fashion for mixed drinks seems to have waxed and waned, one article in around 1875 states that cocktails were losing popularity in favor of whiskey unadorned - there were trends and fashions then as now...

To the pioneering drink journalists of the later-1800's Brooklyn Daily Eagle I lift a glass, for the engaging apercu they gave us of drink types and customs in their time - a time withal that despite many changes is quite recognisable today.

Gary

craigthom
01-26-2008, 18:36
When I visited Australia fifteen years ago or so the word "schooner" was used for a size of beer glass. I don't remember what size it was, but the options were something like "pint or schooner?"

I have taken growlers home from many brewpubs in the past few years. Where permitted by law I think almost all of them do. I've seen a sign at Liquor Barn that implies they sell draught beer to go, too.

Gillman
01-26-2008, 19:38
Yes, I think the term schooner has survived in Australia, I recall in Jackson's earlier books a reference to the term (and if I am not mistaken, he referred also to the "ferocity of premier league drinking" in relation to certain establishments of the Antipodes - this was back in the late 1970's and perhaps that part anyway has changed, or so one would hope!).

I'll mention one more Daily Eagle story, which is a replique to an earlier story which presented the temperance views of a noted spokesman of the day. The story is an alleged interview with a Brooklyn bartender named Miller. I say alleged, because the tone of the interview, which by "Miller's" choice takes the form of a near monologue, allied to the numerous classical references and other unusual bits of learning in the speech, makes me think that Miller was none other than the journalist himself, who used a rather transparent device to set his own views against those of the temperance man.

At the end of Miller's long speech in which beer and the moderate use thereof is defended, Miller states that his defense is predicated on "one condition". At this point, the journalist reappears in his official role and asks him "breathlessly", and what is that?

And Miller replies: "That it be drawn from the keg fresh". :)

Gary

Jono
01-26-2008, 19:39
Gillman,

By any chance are you doing research for some kind of publication?

Gillman
01-26-2008, 19:41
No no not at all, I just do this in my spare time, just for the enjoyment of it (really). There are many beer fans here I know (and some fine brewers), and I just thought these descriptions would interest some of these.

Gary

jesskidden
01-27-2008, 05:04
Coincidentally, I've also been doing research on some breweries using the digitized version of the New York Times. Sadly, most of the references are for various birth, death and wedding announcements of brewers' families. Will have to find a library with the Brooklyn Eagle. (While the searchable/digitized NYT is quick and easy, I sorta miss the old days of rolls of microfilm where one saw the entire paper to get a sense of the era.)

As for the color of late 1800's US lager beer, I like to refer to this following quote from the book "25 Years of Brewing"(1891) by George Ehret (his NYC firm, Hell Gate Brewery, was the #1 US brewery in the late 1800's, altho' soon after was surpassed by Pabst):


"The data (on US barley usage)here will be better
understood, if it be borne in mind that all light beers
of that peculiarly vinous taste, which has late
become somewhat popular, are made of malt and
rice or corn, as in the case of the excellent Pilsen brands.
The prevailing taste, however, still calls for a brewage
of a deep reddish-brown color, peculiar to heavily-malted beers,
such as emanate from Hell Gate Brewery."


I think many often think of the "lager beers" of the US in the 1800's as similar brews- but obviously from Ehret's quote is the fact that many US brewers of German heritage continued to market a more "Bavarian" influenced, darker all-malt beer, even as the "Bohemian"-influenced beers (what Ehret calls "Pilsen brands") from Anheuser-Busch, Pabst and Schlitz -which used corn or rice as adjuncts to "lighten" the beers- were coming to dominate the market.

Even in the post-Prohibition era, the lagers of the East Coast were a bit hoppier and richer tasting (one could even say that it was the cause of their demise, as US beer preference went lighter and lighter)- as noted in this article on "Bushwick" (http://brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue2.1/jankowski.html) style beers.

When the subject of draught beer in the 1800's came up recently elsewhere, I did a little digging into the massive "100 Years of Brewing" (http://jesskidden.googlepages.com/draftbeerin1903) and was somewhat surprised that by 1903 "pushing" draught beer with what they called "carbonic acid gas" was already used for 3/4's of the draught beer served in the US.

Gillman
01-27-2008, 05:30
Thanks for this, as indicated on another thread of SB dealing with my impressions of the Daily Eagle's articles on whiskey, the source can be searched at www.brooklynlibrary.org

On the left side of the home page is the button for its digital collection. Press that and a page comes up with the Daily Eagle under Historical Newspapers.

It is possible to view the full pages of the newspaper also.

I think the (broadly) Munich dark style was contemporaneous with paler beers, e.g., in the Daily Eagle are ads from Anheuser-Busch which mention six of its beers of the late 1800's. One clearly is the ancestor of the Bud we know today but others include "Muenchner", which must have been such a Munich dark.

There are hundreds of articles dealing with beer in one form or another.

The journalists were interested in ale-type beers too and numerous articles discuss the effect the lager surge was having on the pre-existing ale beers.

One such article states that before lager came in, the beer brewed was "small beer" and it did not have a wide sale because it could not last more than three days. This was maybe an exaggeration (since surely stronger ales and porters were brewed by numerous companies before lager arrived in the mid-1800's) but one gets the sense that in the urbanising Brooklyn and New York of the time, the barroom patrons did not drink much beer until lager took hold.

Gary

jesskidden
01-27-2008, 07:21
I think the (broadly) Munich dark style was contemporaneous with paler beers, e.g., in the Daily Eagle are ads from Anheuser-Busch which mention six of its beers of the late 1800's. One clearly is the ancestor of the Bud we know today but others include "Muenchner", which must have been such a Munich dark.




Oh, yeah, while it's now seen as somewhat unique to craft brewers to market a large number of different styles, the breweries at the turn of the 19th century also made numerous styles, even those that were primarily "lager" brewers of German heritage.

A-B's brands, circa 1895, included "Standard", "Budweiser", "Pilsener", "Pale Lager", "Burgundy", "Liebotschauer", "Erlanger" and "Faust" (they even had a "Black and Tan" (http://jesskidden.googlepages.com/A-BBlackTan.jpg), well before the English military unit with the same nickname which some claim is the "origin" of the name for the mixed beer drink). Pabst's bottled beers, in the same era, included "Export" "Bavarian" "Bohemian" "Hofbrau" and "Select"- the latter which came with a length of blue ribbon around the cap and soon took that as it's name. IIRC, one of the well-known Milwaukee brewers even had their own "Budweiser" for a time -as did many US breweries (A-B was still taking them to court to defend their trademark through the 1960's).

But, in the quote from Ehret, it seems to me that he was referring to what today we call the "flagship" beers of the various breweries. The big mid-Western "shipping" breweries like A-B, Pabst and Schlitz which rose to the top of the US breweries in the two final decades of the 1800's were mainly marketing their "Pilsner" style beers. Those beers came to be seen as more "modern" and replaced the older, darker "lagers" of the Eastern brewers.

Gillman
01-27-2008, 07:55
Agreed, not sure what he meant though by "vinous", a term I'd associate more with top-fermented styles. Probably he meant a dryness that some may have found similar to the palate of white wine (assisted by the adjunct and pale malt, 6 row I assume, used in these new, lighter beers).

Gary

jesskidden
01-27-2008, 08:50
Agreed, not sure what he meant though by "vinous", a term I'd associate more with top-fermented styles. Probably he meant a dryness that some may have found similar to the palate of white wine (assisted by the adjunct and pale malt, 6 row I assume, used in these new, lighter beers).

Gary

Yeah, I know what you mean about "vinous". It was a popular term for beer description at the time. I've, too, always assumed it meant "dry", as opposed to a malty sweetness.

Here's quotes from "100 Years of Brewing" describing various beer styles in 1903, for instance, that also uses the terminology, and then says "winelike":

"The German beer is expected to be made of a more dextrinous wort, rich in extract, of full-mouthed taste, moderate in alcohol, mostly of dark color, and possessing a rich and permanent head of foam."

"The Bohemian beers have more of a vinous character and possess a fine and strongly noticeable hop flavor, a pronounced bitter taste, and light in color."

"The American lager beers taste more winelike than the German ones and in character are nearer related to the Bohemian or Austrian beers, being very effervescent and combing the quality of preserving the foam with a more or less full-mouthed taste. Their color, with the exception of special brands, is light throughout."

Gillman
01-27-2008, 09:23
Interesting. Pilsener Urquel, which we get sometimes in Canada within 4 weeks of packaging, meets the description mentioned of the circa-1900 Czech beers except it is not fruity.

Assuming vinous means fruity, I wonder if the lagers mentioned that were vinous did have a fruity smell and top-note (as of course some lagers do today).

In fact, Budweiser Budvar (in some markets called Czechvar), does have a lightly fruity taste, it is sort of appley - as is Budweiser (American Bud) to this day albeit in a restrained way. Michael Jackson, in one of his typically acute observations, wrote that there seemed a "vestigial connection" between the two beers; the key may be in the light estery note associated with their yeasts.

As an example of a modern, estery-style lager, I would cite the excellent Brooklyn Lager, apposite in the context of this discussion.

In contrast, the German bottom fermented beers then and certainly now generally seem clean and rounded - training the yeasts both empirically and later methodically must have resulted in this character which must have been sought by the German brewers, but some of the lager styles elsewhere retained I think to some degree the fruity notes associated earlier with ale styles. And I am aware, too, that some German lagers today have fruity notes; it sounds though like American brewers of circa-1900 were seeking this style.

Gary

Gillman
01-27-2008, 09:30
I might mention here to those drawing analogies with whiskey mash ferments that to my knowledge, all mashes are fermented with top-yeasts at ale-fermentation temperatures. Thus, some of these yeasts will likely produce estery notes (fruity notes) which may well end up in the distillate. E.g., Weller 107 has to my taste an ale-like candy note which may derive from the yeast used or the fermentation temperature or both.

Yet, some bourbons seem very clean in this sense, being analagous to a clean German lager beer in its rounded, "neutral" yeast background.

Perhaps the particular strains used have this effect even with warm fermentation.

Certainly esters can vaporise and characterise the distillate. Fruit distillates provide the best example, e.g., applejack or Calvados. Many other examples can be given.

Gary

mier
01-29-2008, 00:31
It is possible that the yeast strains used by Chech breweries will leave a smell on the lager like apple or pear,i noticed this also by some Dutch breweries.Perhaps hops can make this taste more stronger?Most hops over here are imported from the Chech republic.Maybe the ecosystem has something to do with it as well(terroir)?
Eric.

Gillman
01-29-2008, 04:35
I think yeast strain and fermentation temperature are the keys to an estery character. Yeasts vary quite a bit in behaviour and performance even despite their status as top- or bottom-yeasts, and local environment and conditions add further variables. The well-known Heineken is an example I think of a lightly citric beer, and there are many others. I don't think hop character is the main factor but it might influence the others to a degree. That said, with my limited exposure to Czech beers, I would not have thought them fruity (as ales often are) in general, but maybe they were (or more so) 100 years ago...

Gary

Gillman
02-02-2008, 20:46
A quote from an article on "summer drinks" in the later 1800's Brooklyn Daily Eagle:

"Good lager is slightly - very slightly - bitter, contains very little alcohol, only from three to five percent, and sparkles like Champagne. It should be light in color and have a malt aroma".

It needs to be borne in mind that lager beer had lately (the method) been imported from Germany and Bohemia. One can infer that the same type of beer had found favor in the old country.

While, then as now, specialist brews were available, e.g., darker, stronger "bock beer" is regularly advertised in the the period mentioned in this newspaper, the main type of lager beer which was available was evidently mild in palate albeit (no doubt) flavorful from an all-malt or mostly malt specification and lack of pasteurisation (which did not exist in the period mentioned).

I would think the kind of lager available, at its best, might have resembled, say, Sam Adams lager, Brooklyn lager or one of the numerous other well-crafted but well-balanced lager beers made by American craft brewers.

The beer described in the quote inferentially - by reference also to other articles I've read in the Daily Eagle on late 1800's beer - was being compared to "beer" proper. Then as still today in England, this meant the older style of top-fermented ale and porter. This kind of beer is usually described in the Daily Eagle as "still" or nearly so, when on draft at any rate, sometimes "muddy" (yeasty), and strong in flavor and alcohol. These all-malt ales would have had a rich taste and would have been relatively well-hopped, but evidently did not have a big market (later they were turned into lagerish cream ales and other lager-ale hybrids, and did better). The news stories make it clear that while there was a minority taste for this older kind of beer, the new German-inspired lager was quickly overtaking it due to its perceived superior qualities. The New York 1800's ales would have tasted like some of the real ales served today on handpumps in specialist bars.

When the craft beer revolution started in the 1970's, it sought to reintroduce these older ale styles. And a fair amount of success was obtained, certainly in cooler parts of the country where ale-drinking seems to suit the climate more than hot areas or areas characterised by extremes of hot and cold. Indeed these pale ales today are being trumped by Imperial pale ales and other yet more highly hopped and strong beers. There is some precedent for these in the old American and English annals, but they too would have been a specialist taste - a niche within a niche...

My point is that American taste early on fixed on a relatively clean, mild palate. While I don't doubt that American lager before Prohibition was more flavorful than the mass market variety in currency when the craft brewers started to make inroads (think e.g., current Budweiser), the taste for a mild, "very slightly bitter" drink has been long-implanted. It is unlikely to disappear in the near term, IMO.

I have found the modern, so-called "extreme beers" interesting, and I say this as someone who admires craft beers at their best and has followed them for 30 years, but I don't think it is likely that the taste for them will ever reach beyond a very small group. Also, one shouldn't assume as is sometimes done that beers commonly available 100 years ago were strong, very bitter, and big-flavored.



Gary

craigthom
02-03-2008, 06:06
I suspect that the highly-hopped American-style IPA is a fairly recent invention. It relies heavily, after all, on hops from the Pacific Northwest. I still love them.

Bread went through the same kind of Industrial-Revolution-era change: whiter and whiter, lighter and lighter. While people have rediscovered "older", tastier styles of bread, and availability of them is much greater than it was twenty years ago, a quick look in a grocery stores shows that the market still belongs to fluffy white bread, and I imagine it will continue to do so.

jesskidden
02-03-2008, 08:29
I suspect that the highly-hopped American-style IPA is a fairly recent invention. It relies heavily, after all, on hops from the Pacific Northwest.



Ballantine India Pale Ale, when brewed by P. Ballantine and Sons, of Newark, NJ, had 60 IBU's with an ABV of 7.8 as late as the 1960's. Ballantine's hops came (according to a 1950's era brochure) from contract growers in California, Oregon and Washington- tho' their principal hop was Brewers Gold -a relative of bullion, IIRC, and rare these days and not nearly as "grapefruit-y" as Cascades. (Can't find it now, but I think Falstaff was using Cascades and Bullion in their version in the 1980's. Cascades post-date the Newark era of BIPA.). The beer was also "aged in wood" for 1 year at the brewery, something that economics prevents the vast majority of today's craft brewers from offering. They'd rather sell it to you "fresh" and not tie up money and equipment. (Sadly, Falstaff continually dumbed down the ale until it disappeared in the mid-1990's).

Clearly this beer had a BIG influence on craft brewers. I read an interview with Fritz Maytag back in the '70's in which he discusses the Ballantine ales (someday, I'm gonna find that article again), the S-N brewers use a Ballantine yeast, and a number of other craft brewers have admitting to brewing "Ballantine clones" in homage to those ales.

I'll give you that today's Imperial/Double IPA's are unique, tho'.

Gillman
02-03-2008, 09:28
The Daily Eagle circa-1900 contains numerous ads for Ballantine beers and they include Ballantine India Pale Ale. (Search in the link I gave under "Ballantine").

I found this interesting because in the 1930's after the Ballantine business was revived (all of this history is online and Jess has drawn my attention to some of it before), it is stated that a brewer was brought in from the U.K. to brew the revived beers. I suspect this was done to ensure that someone had the requisite ale-brewing expertise. While Ballantine I know made lager too from the late 1800's onwards, it started in ale and Ballantine XXX (still made and a fine beer for the money) and other Ballantine ales made by the revived operation would have been considered a mainstay of the brewery.

Anyway, when I read this, and with knowledge that under this brewer's direction Ballantine IPA and even a Burton Ale were issued, I wondered to myself, did he bring in those two beers from his U.K. experience?

The answer is, he did not bring in BIPA, at least - the company was selling it around 1900 as the ads from that time make clear. I am not sure if the ads mention Burton ale, but they definitely mention BIPA. I suspect that in the 1930's, Ballantine records were reviewed to determine what BIPA was like when first made by Ballantine and therefore the kind of revived BIPA mentioned by Jess, especially in its earlier (Newark-brewed, maybe Cranston, RI too) form, was very close to the circa-1900 BIPA.

It does seem though that the heavy grapefruit-like taste of many American pale ales and IPAs is new, I don't recall this taste in BIPA I had 30 years ago. Possibly at the end of its life Cascades was used to a degree as Jess suggested, though. I know Ballantine XXX currently uses Cascades, this is stated on one of those Ballantine tribute sites I referred to in an interview with one of its modern brewers.

In these 1800's stories in the Daily Eagle, I found a number of references to hops for American beers - ale and lager - being sourced from the West Coast. Did some of these have a citric grapefruit taste? I think some must have and it is hard to say what influence this may have had on 1800's lagers and ales in the U.S. Personally, it is a taste I find hard to accustom to, the "C" hops in general or say Amarillo. I like American-grown hops that are bitter but impart relatively little flavor, and I believe Bullion and Northern Brewer fit that description although I am far from an expert on hops and do not brew at home. I believe Anchor Steam Beer uses all-American grown hops and it has a bitter taste with some metallic-like flavor, but nothing of the citric, grapefruit pith-like taste that has become an emblem of the American pale ale style.

Gary

jesskidden
02-03-2008, 10:02
The Daily Eagle circa-1900 contains numerous ads for Ballantine beers and they include Ballantine India Pale Ale. (Search in the link I gave under "Ballantine").

I found this interesting because in the 1930's after the Ballantine business was revived (all of this history is online and Jess has drawn my attention to some of it before), it is stated that a brewer was brought in from the U.K. to brew the revived beers. I suspect this was done to ensure that someone had the requisite ale-brewing expertise. While Ballantine I know made lager too from the late 1800's onwards, it started in ale and Ballantine XXX (still made and a fine beer for the money) and other Ballantine ales made by the revived operation would have been considered a mainstay of the brewery.

Anyway, when I read this, and with knowledge that under this brewer's direction Ballantine IPA and even a Burton Ale were issued, I wondered to myself, did he bring in those two beers from his U.K. experience?

The answer is, he did not bring in BIPA, at least - the company was selling it around 1900 as the ads from that time make clear. I am not sure if the ads mention Burton ale, but they definitely mention BIPA. I suspect that in the 1930's, Ballantine records were reviewed to determine what BIPA was like when first made by Ballantine and therefore the kind of revived BIPA mentioned by Jess, especially in its earlier (Newark-brewed, maybe Cranston, RI too) form, was very close to the circa-1900 BIPA.


Gary

Yeah, I was reviewing some of my early notes, and saw that I did suggest erroneously that the IPA might not have existed pre-Prohibition. As you note, further research (thanks to the digitization of more and more newspapers) has uncovered ads from the era (as well as Ballantine's own promotional material) that show it did- so did a "Burton Ale", for that matter.

The question then becomes whether the new UK-trained brewer hired by the new owners after Repeal re-created these beers based on old recipes or simply created his own beers of the styles noted (as he did for the XXX Ale, a brand name that was also used pre-Pro, but according to reports in the 1930's was designed at the request of the new owner, Carl Badenhausen). My suspicion is opposite yours- tho' based more on guessing than fact. I've seen numerous other brewers explain that recipes were "lost" at Prohibition- even at breweries that didn't change ownership. In addition, hop production and malting techniques, etc., changed so much, I sort of suspect that "recreating" an old recipe then was just as difficult as it is today. On top of that, the Badenhausen brothers were very much into "modern" techniques, as strange as that may sound today to say about a company that sold a beer like IPA "aged in the wood one year" (yet also contract brewed an early version of Lite Beer -for Meisterbrau, pre-Miller ownership) and used the "since 1840" founding date of P. Ballantine and Sons so prominently in advertising for decades.

An interesting piece of the Ballantine puzzle is that they actually closed their "ale brewery" in Newark several years prior to Prohibition, and moved all brewing to crosstown "Lager Brewery". By then, most of their sales was lager beer by a margin of 3 to 1. One wonders if, by then, most of their numerous ales had been dropped and forgotten. (When the Badenhausen's re-opened the brewery, the ale to lager ratio was reversed within a few years, so that ale outsold lager 75% to 25% during the heydey of P. Ballantine & sons, 1940's-60's.)

Gillman
02-03-2008, 10:25
That's very interesting.

I guess we will never know for sure unless Ballantine archival records open up and as you say, those may be insufficient to give the answer (and may have been so even in the 1930's).

Still, as with whiskey revival in the 1930's, I'd have to think there were people associated with these companies that had worked for them before Prohibition, or in the industry generally and would have known with a fair certainty what an established (albeit small-selling) category like IPA was like. This is though, as you say too, a guess on my part..

Gary

jesskidden
03-08-2008, 12:01
Gary's research of beer and brewing via digitized newspapers inspired me to do the same. A week or so I stumbled upon this interesting series of "Letters to Editor" to the New York Sun that were printed a century ago.

Tho' some of the writers are a bit long-winded and verbose (and to think they were writing long hand- no copy/paste or highlight/edit) it's still interesting that many of the same things discussed in beer circles today- adjunct brewing, import vs. domestic, purity, chemical/artificial additives, serving temperature, even a hop glut- were on the minds of our great (maybe great-great) grandfathers.

Thought some of you might like to read them.

New York Sun readers on American beer- 1908 (http://jesskidden.googlepages.com/19082)