People in Oshkosh are getting ready for the Thanksgiving feast. They’re stocking up on beer. Most of what they buy is brewed locally: Chief Oshkosh, Peoples Beer, Rahr's Elk's Head.
The Oshkosh Brewing Company places an add in the Northwestern trying to sway people towards their brew.
|Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, November 24, 1936|
This fine beer makes good food taste even better… It blends… A whole day of enjoyment… the thoughtful hosts way of saying “Good Cheer.” I love that!
Let’s jump ahead to 1955. Otto’s at 16th and Oregon is offering Thanksgiving specials on beer from all three Oshkosh breweries.
Let's take a short detour. Here's what Otto's looked like back in the day...
Here's what 1528 Oregon St. looks like today...
The local-beer tradition gradually faded. It was extinguished in 1972 when the last of Oshkosh’s breweries failed. Now it's returning.
This weekend I was out running around doing what a lot of Oshkoshers have always done this time of year: picking up beer to share with their friends and family on Thanksgiving. I came home with these....
When I was carrying them into the house, it dawned on me that I’d never done this before. I had never gone out to buy beer for Thanksgiving and come home with 6-packs of Oshkosh-brewed beer. It felt good doing that.
I write all this stuff about Oshkosh beer history, but I’m observing it from a point off in the distance. It can be somewhat alienating. Walking into the house with those sixers the other day was the exact opposite of that. There was no separation. I was doing something that was once common here. I was bringing home Oshkosh beer for the holiday.
That used to be a thing taken for granted. It shouldn’t be. Like the ad says, that’s something to really be thankful for.