I’m a plagiarist.
Okay, not in the literal stealing-multiple-paragraphs-and-presenting-them-as-my-own sense. But I am definitely stealing someone else’s idea. And running with it.
More on that in a bit. First, if you’re as devoted to beer and history (and therefore the history of beer) as I am, there are two sites you need to check out. Immediately.
Brian Stechschulte, Executive Director of the San Francisco Brewers Guild (and SF Beer Week organizer), has recently launched Bygone Beer. This beautifully designed site is required reading for anyone into breweriana, and the interactive map of historic San Francisco brewery locations alone is worth visiting. Go there.
Jen Meuhlblauer’s East Bay Beer has also been investigating historical brewery sites in, well, the East Bay (duh). Her “Imagine a brewery here” series has focused on several Oakland locations. She’s a tremendous writer anyway, and this series (and accompanying photos) is a must read for historians.
But back to my larceny.
Both of these sites recently featured newspaper clippings from around the turn-of-the-20th-century (ish). After reading them, an idea struck me. Which really hurt, as it happens so infrequently I wasn’t used to it.
I also write posts for the Hercules Historical Society (of which I’m a member, check us out and buy our book). I’ve written several accounts of our town’s early days based on old newspaper articles. It suddenly occurred to me, why don’t I do the same thing here, only for beer??
So, TA-DAAAAA, here’s the first one.
From the San Francisco Call, August 11, 1910:
John Wieland Brewery was located in what is now San Francisco’s SOMA district. Mr. Wieland, a gold miner, baker, and beer baron, purchased and renamed the Philadelphia Brewery in 1856. Upon his death in 1885, the brewery was sold by his heirs to San Francisco Breweries LTD, but continued to operate under the family name.
(BTW, here’s a cool then-and-now site photo. Just move the slider horizontally to see two photos right on top of each other. Spiffy.)
The brewery was leveled by the 1906 earthquake, then rebuilt on the same site. Prohibition did what the quake couldn’t and closed the facility in 1920. After repeal, it moved to San Jose, where it operated until 1956.
So, with apologies and thanks to Brian and Jen (as well as Jay Brooks, who’s been running his Beer in Ads series for years), look for more of these in future posts. I love beer, and history, and worked for many years at a newspaper. I’m currently kicking myself for not thinking of this sooner.