Monday, January 6, 2014

Beer Ads in Oshkosh No. 21: Beer for the Bed Sheets

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Last month I posted about the Beer Brewing Rahrs of Wisconsin and mentioned that having three distinct breweries within 60-miles of one another carrying the same name sometimes led to confusion among beer drinkers. In Oshkosh, if you bought a beer with the Rahr name on it, you naturally assumed that the beer was brewed here in town over on Rahr Ave. But that wasn’t always the case. Here’s an example of how muddy the situation could be.

This ad appeared in the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern on Wednesday, May 27, 1953. The Rahr beer being advertised here wasn’t from Oshkosh, though. It was from the Rahr Green Bay Brewing Corporation, a point easily missed if you didn’t bother to read the small type. This came at a time when the Rahrs of Green Bay were attempting to aggressively expand their market and grow their brewery. From 1952 to 1953 production at Rahr Green Bay jumped by more than 20%. In 1953, the Green Bay brewery produced 42,663 bbls of beer, a respectable amount for a regional brewery in Northeast Wisconsin. By comparison, the Rahrs of Oshkosh produced just 7,100 bbls of beer in 1953. Meanwhile, the Oshkosh Brewing Company output for 1953 stood at 57,752 bbls; while Oshkosh’s other brewery – Peoples – produced 34,098 bbls. Anyway you look at it, that’s a lot of beer for a few small breweries.

We’re gradually clawing our way back to those production levels. Stevens Point Brewery now produces well over 60,000 bbls annually and Titletown Brewing of Green Bay recently announced that in 2013 the brewery surpassed the 20,000 bbl marker. And this time, they’re not trying to entice us with a cheap set of pink bedsheets. The lure is good beer. It’s the way things ought to be.


  1. Very cool Lee. Getting back to the good old days, except we need an Oshkosh Brewery.

  2. Thanks! And yes, we do need an Oshkosh Brewery... It's gotta happen.