Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Oshkosh Big Three During Prohibition: Near Beer & Nowhere Near Beer

Last week, we posted THIS about Homebrewing in Oshkosh during the years of Prohibition (1920 to 1933). Today we thought we’d take a look at what the professional brewers of Oshkosh were up to. The advertisements below span the core years of Prohibition. If you’re a beer lover, these aren’t pretty pictures.

From June 27, 1930
From May 28, 1921
From August 3, 1927

The text for the Oshkosh Brewing ad is on the small side, so I’ve included the full copy below. Is this a case of raging deceit or an example of a proud group of people trying to make the best of a very bad situation?

Every real joy... every real help ... remains. Something new and different. A Brew with the old-time flavor ... the old-time healthful ingredients . . . . and the old-time pleasure of drinking Oshkosh Brew.

Everything is there except the "forbidden fruit." There is an old-time malt-and-hop brew, even better than the old. You'll say so, too, after you try this Chief Oshkosh Brew. To drink this new brew is to feel just like old times. It's great! You can drink it cold .. and what refreshing powers it has. At mealtimes... all the kick of the old-time taste and flavor. Here you have all the qualities of the oldtime brews.

Chief Oshkosh Brew is a thoroughly fermented beer with the alcohol taken off after fermentation has taken place. That's why you get that rich, wholesome flavor and taste. It is not a near-beer nor a substitute, but a special brew made by master brewers. Taste it yourself and be convinced. You can get it at your grocer's or phone 11.

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