Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Every Knob Has a Story

Here we have five tap knobs. All from Peoples Brewing Company of Oshkosh. They span five decades of draft beer. Each has its story. The first of the bunch comes from the early 1930s.

Wurtzer beer was released at the end of Prohibition in 1933. This was also when the branded tap knob became commonplace. After Prohibition, taverns were required to clearly identify the draft beer they served. These ball knobs were what everybody used.

With the 1940s came WWII. The Germanic heft of Würtzer was too much to bear. Peoples dropped it. The beer became known simply as Peoples Beer.

Peoples redesigned its logo in 1951. They aimed for something modern and sleek. At the same time, Peoples introduced its new catchphrase, "HITS the SPOT!"

In the 1960s, those well-worn ball knobs were being phased out. Brewers sought to set their beer apart. Tap handles grew larger. More eye-catching. This is a Peoples handle from the 1960s.

Here's the end of the line. When first shown this, I thought it was counterfeit. A reliable source assures me it's not. This is purported to be from 1971. A year later, Peoples Brewing closed. They'd come a long way from Würtzer.

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