Blatz and Syndicate / Trust Newspaper News
by Michael R. Reilly, Editor, copyright March 18, 2013
Very little news about the British syndicate / trust negotiations was ever released for public consumption in the local newspapers, including those in England.
THE BEER TRUST
Twenty Million in Gold for Milwaukee Breweries
Milwaukee, Wis., Jan 21 – Twenty millions of dollars of British gold was represented in Milwaukee the last week by James Schneck, a New York capitalist and agent. In return for this British gold, which had been furnished by British capitalists, Mr. Schneck desired to gain control of all the big breweries of Milwaukee. This was in furtherance of a scheme which has been on foot for some time to form a gigantic trust by which an English syndicate would control all the large breweries in the country. In his mission here Mr. Schneck was not wholly successful, but he is expected back here in a few days. His proposition to each of the Milwaukee brewers was to purchase a controlling interest in each brewery, the present owners to retain the remaining interests and conduct management as it is at present for five years. After that the syndicate is to take hold and make the power of the trust felt. While here Mr. Schneck visited all the big brewers, Capt. Pabst, Henry Uihlein, Val Blatz, and Frank Falk being the gentlemen he was especially attentive to. None of them gave him any definite answer to his proposition, which, by the way, were also rather indefinite. He did offer extremely large sums for the controlling interests in the different breweries, but the gentlemen who now run these mints were not inclined to sell at any price. there is certainly no apparent reason why the men who control the big breweries here should wish to dispose of their interests. They have all made immense profits out of their business, and there was no exception to the general rule last year.
Source: Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, January 21, 1889, page 1
Two men were badly burned by the explosion of a lamp in a big beer cask at the Blatz brewery, Milwaukee.
Centralia Enterprise And Tribune February 22, 1890, page 9.
Te brewery deal has been consummated by the five Chicago breweries and the Blatz Brewery, of Milwaukee, has been consolidated.
Centralia Enterprise And Tribune February 21, 1891, page 7
Patrick Rice, of Chicago, has sued the Val. Blatz company, Milwaukee, for commission which he alleges to be due him for selling the brewery.
Centralia Enterprise And Tribune February 28, 1891, page 6
The suit of Patrick H. Rice, for $400,000 as commission for negotiating the Blatz and Chicago brewery deals has been dismissed by mutual consent. It is understood that Rice, in consideration of dropping the suit, was given a handsome sum.
The People’s Theater, Milwaukee, will be opened by the Blatz Brewery Company.
Source: Milwaukee Weekly Wisconsin, March 21, 1891, page 4
C. H. Gezelschap Dead
The End Comes in Milwaukee After a Long Illness
Charles H. Gezelschap, , aged 61, died at Passawant hospital in Milwaukee yesterday morning after an illness of five weeks. Several years ago Mr. Gezelschap was general manager of the Blatz Brewing company, but recently he has been engaged in the brewery business at Janesville. The funeral will take place from 107 Lloyd street in Milwaukee Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock.
Janesville Gazette July 3, 1891, page 4
THE BIG NEW BREWERY
Company With a Million of Capital Will Build in the Spring
The Wisconsin of Tuesday evening contained the following in confirmation of the various reports that have been in circulation for a year past.
“Vice-President Thome, of the Peter Hand Brewing Company, of Chicago, has commissioned Architect Maritzen, the designer of the Blatz Brewing Company’s new building, to plan a brewery to be built in Waukesha. Mr. Thome is a member of the syndicate that has been organized to brew beer in Waukesha, and he says the plant will commence operations with a capacity of 100,000 barrels per annum. The capital stock of the company is to be $1,000,000 and it will be called the Waukesha Brewing, Malting and Distilling Company. Building operations are to be commenced May 1.”
Enquires about here fail to furnish any additional information respecting the big deal.
Waukesha Freeman November 24, 1892, page 1 (Editor’s note: This became the Waukesha Spring Brewing Company, read more by clicking the hyperlink)
Blatz Brewing Company Chronology
The Blatz Chronology that follows traces the development of the brewing company and provides some context for understanding the records that are 22 included in this collection. The information was collected primarily from published secondary sources, newspaper accounts, and summaries of government inspection reports. Some of the figures pertaining to the number of employees is approximate, as are some of the production totals. For example, evidence suggests that much of the work at the brewery was seasonal in nature and it is not clear whether the employee totals represent the peak employment, the average number of employees during a given year, or the number that were employed at the time the information was gathered. Likewise, there is some question whether the production figures represent the total production capacity of the brewery at that time or the number of barrels actually produced during a given year. But even with these limitations, the Chronology gives a good sense of the growth of the Blatz Brewing Company during the period of time encompassed by the records in this collection.
1840 Valentin Blatz begins an apprenticeship in his father’s brewery at Miltenberg am Main in Bavaria.
1844 Blatz embarks on a four-year tour of the celebrated breweries of Europe, at which time he learns their methods and procedures.
1846 John Braun opens the Cedar Brewery in Milwaukee. The annual output is 80 barrels.
1848 Blatz immigrates to the United States, settling in Buffalo where he finds work at the Born Brewery.
1849 Blatz moves to Milwaukee and accepts a position as foreman at John Braun’s Cedar Brewery.
1851 Valentin Blatz opens a brewery, on half of a city lot, a short distance away from Braun’s Cedar Brewery. John Braun is killed in an accident in March. Valentin Blatz takes over Braun’s brewery, and merges it with his own. The combined brewery, called City Brewery, and it has an annual output of 350-500 barrels.
1861 Blatz’s City Brewery reportedly produced 8,000 bottles of beer.
1868 Expansion of facilities begins at the City Brewery to include a new malt house, malt-kiln building, and ice house. The annual output at this time is reported to be 15,000 barrels.
1871 The Blatz brewery produced approximately 34,000 barrels of beer annually.
1873 American brewers begin to use pasteurization in the production of their beer. This process allows the beer to be preserved for longer periods, adding to the “shelf life” of the beer. Pasteurization also allows for beer to be transported over longer distances.
1873 Valentin Blatz rebuilds. A fire heavily damages part of the brewery. The brewery’s annual output increases to 44,689 barrels.
1875 According to some accounts, Blatz’s City Brewery opens the first bottling plant in Milwaukee. The brewery’s annual output is reported to be 64,000 barrels.
1876 Valentin Blatz’s beer is awarded the “highest premium” at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. 23 Milwaukee. The brewery’s annual output is reported to be 64,000 barrels.
1877 Blatz’s City Brewery has a capital of $600,000 and employs 124 people in Milwaukee. The company has established branches and depots in Chicago, IL; Danville, IL; Muskegon, MI; New York City; Racine, WI; and St. Paul, MN.
1878 The management of Valentin Blatz’s bottling plant is given over to a Milwaukee company, Torchiani & Kremer, and is located one block away from the Blatz brewery in Milwaukee.
1881 The Blatz City Brewery employs approximately 100 workers and has an annual output of more than 100,000 barrels. The company has established new branches and depots in Boston, MA; Charleston, SC; Memphis, TN; New Orleans, LA; and Savannah, GA.
1885 The Blatz City Brewery employs 300 workers and produced 155,000 barrels of beer annually.
1886 Blatz’s City Brewery employs 300 people in Milwaukee and ships products to every state in the union.
1888 The Blatz City Brewery produces 200,000 barrels of beer during the year.
1889 On September 28, the Blatz City Brewery is incorporated as the Val. Blatz Brewing Company. The company produces five types of beer: Tivoli, Imperial, Wiener, Private Stock, and Muenchener.
1890 A new law permits beer to be produced and bottled in the same building. Later that year, the Internal Revenue Act is changed to allow brewers to run pipelines directly from their brewing tanks to a bottling plant. Prior to these new laws, brewers sold their beer in wooden barrels to private bottlers or directly to retail outlets, like taverns, and were taxed on each barrel that they sold.
1891 Val. Blatz Brewing Company is sold for $3 million to a London investment group known as the “English Syndicate”, doing business as the United States Brewing Company. Valentin Blatz continues to run the brewery, which has an annual output of between 250,000 and 300,000 barrels of beer.
1892 The crown cap is invented. This allows for a crown shaped metal cap to be locked on top of the bottle to form a gas tight seal. One year after the crown cap was invented, the Crown Cork and Seal Co. began production of an inexpensive and reliable crown cap. Soon, this would become an industry standard.
1892 Val. Blatz Brewing Company employs 500 people in Milwaukee. Its annual production capacity is reported to be 600,000 barrels of beer, although less than that is actually produced.
1893 Blatz is the only beer on tap in the German restaurants at the Chicago World’s Fair.
1893 Val. Blatz Brewing Company is run entirely on electricity. The actual annual output of the brewery increases to approximately 365,000 barrels.
1894 On May 26, Valentin Blatz dies at the age of 68 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The estimated value of his estate is $6 million at the time of his death. The new management structure at the Val. Blatz Brewing Company includes Albert Blatz as president, Valentin Blatz Jr. as vice president
1917 Milwaukee brewers begin to develop non-alcoholic beer.
1917 The Val. Blatz Brewing Co. produces a “near beer” called Brewette Temperance Beer.
1920 The Eighteenth Amendment goes into effect, outlawing the manufacturing and sale of any beverage with more than .5% alcohol in it.
1920 The Val. Blatz Brewing Co. starts to rely on their non-alcoholic products for their main source of income. These products include Brewette Temperance Beer, Blatz Root Beer, Blatz Ginger Ale, and For-U Temperance Beer.
1933 Congress repeals the Eighteenth Amendment.
1933 The Val. Blatz Brewing Company is reopened by Edward Landsberg, Frank Gabel, and August L. Klein. Later that year, they change the name to Blatz Brewing Co.
1935 Blatz Brewing Co. begins selling beer in cans.
1958 Pabst purchases Blatz Brewing Co., but a federal court order prevents Pabst from brewing beer at the Milwaukee facility.
1959 G. Heileman buys the Blatz label.