Tuesday, March 23, 2010

One Last Case of Peoples Beer Makes Its Way Home to Oshkosh

Last Monday I posted THIS about a case of Peoples beer that was being sold on the Milwaukee Craigslist. I was curious about where the beer had been found so I contacted the seller and... well... now I own a case of Peoples Beer. Funny how these things work.

The bottles are still full of beer and aside from a little dust, some rust and a few tattered labels, these 7 oz pups look ready to drink. At least, if you don’t look too close. Put a bottle up to a light and the beer inside appears cloudy as new homebrew. There’s also a significant amount of sediment congealed at the bottom. When I first thought of making an offer on this, I had every intention of drinking a bottle or two. I’ve changed my mind. Over the last few days I’ve talked to a couple people who drank quite a bit of Peoples beer in the brewery’s final years. Their descriptions of the brew weren’t exactly kind. The bottles are dated 1971. It’s not the sort of beer that would improve with age.

One of the best parts of this whole deal was getting the chance to talk to the guy who actually found the beer. His name is Bryon Kolitz. He now lives in Franklin, but he grew up in Oshkosh. He found the case in 1998 when he was renovating an old bowling alley in Milwaukee at King and Vine (the site had earlier been the Dreamland ballroom, a place where my parents used to dance). Being an Oshkosh native, Bryon knows a few things about the city’s brewing history. As a kid, he said he used to like to explore the ruins of the Oshkosh Brewing Company on Doty. So when he spotted this case of Peoples, he couldn’t just throw it away. He took it home where it’s been ornamenting his kitchen.

Now the beer is back in Oshkosh. I paid $60 for it, the most I’ve ever paid for a case of beer. I don’t know if that’s a good price or not. I don’t really care. Hell, I may end up being the last person in Oshkosh to have walked through their back door totting a full case of Peoples beer. What a strange feeling that was. Even if I can’t taste it, that alone made the beer worth every cent I paid.

1 comment:

  1. Lee... I still think most cases of shorties had 36. I was talking with someone else and they mentioned 30. I think a 24 case is unusual. And I certainly would not drink that stuff!!! I think the empty case should be at least worth $25 in good shape.

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