Sunday, January 4, 2009

Old Wisconsin Beers

Some years ago, I bid on and won on eBay a pack of old Stork Club matches. I was a bit obsessed with the swank Gotham club at the time. The owner sent the prize to me, using some other old matchbooks as packing material. I didn't pay much mind to the extraneous items, tossing them in a box, where they remained until this past weekend, when I gave them a closer look.

The matchbooks are all from old Wisconsin taverns. (The owner must have lived in Green Bay. How he ever got to the Stork Club, I've never know.) It's a quaint collection, and not just because the matchbooks are from places called Chubby's Corner Bar and the Ten-O-One Club. Each book was furnished by a now-extinct local brew, making the throwaway items historical artifacts.

Gettelman's is one of my favorite lost beers, mainly because I well remember it's catchy slogan: "Get—Get—Gettelman's!" It was brewed in Milwaukee. "Fritzie," an advertising character with a Tyrolean hat on his head, was a Gettelman trademark. The beer was last produced in 1971.

Braumeister Pilsner was another Milwaukee beer. It's tagline was "Milwaukee's Choicest."

Whoever decided to nickname Old Imperial beer "Little Imp" was a marketing genius.

Knapp's "Bohemian Style Beer" was brewed at Knapstein Brewing Company is New London, WI. It shut down in 1958.

The Athelsane-based Boesen Distribution Company handled Black Star and Red Stripe beers, and encouraged us to "Give Them a Trial."

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