Monday, November 24, 2014

A Case of Peoples Beer for Thanksgiving

Click to enlarge image
I haven’t put up an Oshkosh beer ad in a while. Time to fix that.

This bit of hype appeared in the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern on Tuesday, November 26, 1935. Thanksgiving was two days away. In a state of high anticipation, comes this well-fed fellow with beer in hand urging Oshkoshers to, “Let the Peoples Brewing Co. play a part in making the Thanksgiving celebration a success.” I like the line below that one encouraging imbibers to “find a new thrill in drinking beer.” What’s wrong, the old thrill wasn’t good enough? Maybe I’m simple, but it still works for me.

What’s slightly odd about this ad is that the name of the beer is never mentioned. In 1935, Peoples flagship beer was named Würtzer Brew. You wouldn’t know that from reading this ad. I wonder if the folks at Peoples were already starting to feel anxious about using such an explicitly German name for their beer. By the fall of 1935, the Nazis had adopted the swastika and introduced the Nuremberg Laws limiting the civil rights of German Jews. Not the kind of thing an American brewery would want to hitch its wagon to. Of course, it would only get worse. And by 1945, Peoples had abandoned the Würtzer name altogether. From that point onward, the brewery simply referred to it as Peoples Beer.

On a friendlier note, we see that Sitter’s Beverage Company is mentioned at the bottom of the ad. Sitter’s Beverage was located on the north side of Harney Ave. near the corner of Harney and Eveline streets. The Sitter family had been involved with the beer business in Oshkosh since the 1880s when John Sitter was the bottler of beer for Lorenz Kuenzl’s Gambrinus Brewery. Later, Sitter bottled beer for the Oshkosh Brewing Company. As the breweries gradually took all of their bottling business in-house, Sitter turned to distributing beer. Some day I’m going to have to dig deeper into the Sitter story. I’ll bet there’s some interesting stuff waiting there.

No comments:

Post a Comment