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MAY 4, 2012 5:15PM

Blatz Brewery Phantom Beers

Rate: 12 Flag
Milwaukee is a very old town
let us say mystery and intrigue abound
who would have thought an ambitious man
would emerge the husband of a dead brewer's wife;
he worked at the company to make it fine day and night
could he have had something to do with
her plight?
The son of a brewer in Bavaria,
takes the boat to Milwaukee
he brews for one man,
then starts his own place
down the street. 
I wish to cast no aspersions.
Yet, I am troubled
are you?
In those days it took a great deal to make a brew
that would be king
and to learn that in this little twist of fate,
two houses were united. 
Braun & Blatz
No doubt now buried near each other at Forest Home Cemetery
in the place called "Beer Baron's Hill."
It is the name Blatz that we know still. 
Copyright © 2005 Sulfur Mausoleum of brewing magnate Valentin Blatz, located on the grounds of Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Wikipedia 

"Blatz was one of the premier Milwaukee breweries. It was founded by Johann Braun in 1846, shortly before Wisconsin achieved statehood, and was originally called the City Brewery. Braun's fledgling business produced about 150 barrels of beer annually – until 1851 when Valentine Blatz, a former employee, established a brewery of his own next door to the City Brewery. Braun died later that year and Blatz soon married his widow, thereby uniting the City Brewery and his own operation.

At the time of the marriage, the combined breweries produced only 350 barrels per year. However, by 1880 total annual production reached 125,000 barrels. The brewery's growth continued, and in 1884 Blatz ranked as the third-largest beer producer in Milwaukee.

Blatz was the first Milwaukee brewer to market beer nationally. He set up distribution centers in Chicago, New York, Boston, New Orleans, Memphis, Charleston, and Savannah. He was also the first of the Milwaukee brewers to include a bottling plant within his brewery. In addition, Blatz operated his own carpenter shop, railroad cars, cooper shop, machine shop and coal yard.

In 1890 Blatz sold his brewery to a group of London investors, who continued to operate the plant until Prohibition. Following the repeal of the eighteenth amendment, the Blatz brewery again flourished, producing over a million barrels annually during the 1940s and 1950s. Its labels included Blatz, Pilsener, Old Heidelberg, Private Stock, Milwaukee Dark, Culmbacher, Continental Special, Tempo, and English Style Ale.

By 1955 only six Milwaukee breweries remained open. Of these six, Miller, Pabst and Schlitz were the biggest and most successful. Blatz was big, too, but stiff competition and skyrocketing production costs prevented it from growing further. In 1958 the brewery was finally sold to Pabst; however a federal court order at the time prevented Pabst from Brewing at the Blatz facilities. In 1959 this giant, Blatz, ceased all operations. Shortly there after, Pabst purchased the Blatz brands, and relaunched the brand as a craft-style beer, true to the high-quality style that Valetine Blatz espoused." from their website.

Copyright 2011 by SheilaTGTG55 
Just to set the record straight, another brewer did  a similar thing. Marrying the widow of  brewer and restaurateur August Krug was Joseph Schlitz. He was Krug's former bookkeeper and managed the operation for two years after  Krugs death then married his widow. He changed the brewery name to Schlitz and the name of his new wife.

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Just a little something to start the weekend out with a brewskie.
I remember many Milwaukee breweries that made real beer... not the homogenized drek that sits on supermarket shelves today. Decent beer starts a over a dollar a bottle and goes up from there... sigh!
I read this to Steve as he lived a great art of his life in Wisc. It brought back memories.
What a beautiful post, Sheila. I remember my observation in many Wisconsin cities was this: On almost every block there is one church and one bar! Go Wisconsin! R
jmac: We love good beer here. I have been in a couple of Wisconsin breweries in my day...I don't have much but a sip any more, but I still enjoy the taste!

Linda: I am glad it brought back happy beer memories. It is still a great town for brew. Thanks for reading!

Thoth: Yes, that is right, a church, then a bar! It is so true. Thanks for visiting!!!
Tink: This one's for you!!!
Growing up in the Midwest, I listened to the commercials for the tongue twister to end them all: "draft brewed Blatz beer."
This is just one of the reasons why Milwaukee is such a great town. Legends and great stories abound!
nilesite: Yes, it is quite a place. I like living in the midwest, most of the time.

Chicago Guy: Yes, when I read about this it really intrigued me!
Milwaukee: six-packs of separation.
I don't drink beer but I sure enjoyed this post, Sheila, especially the old commercials.
I love his tory Hick up...
Blatz. An important name out of my misty past. This little history was fascinating.
okay...gotta improve my stuff....wrote a 'nobel prize winning' blog on beer....and nobody be my picture...cant be my skills...can it?huh?huh?...good reading
J.P. Hart: A total beer town.

Miguela: I thought the commercials really told a story too! Thanks for reading.

tg: Ha, more history where that hic up came from...nach einmal bier bitte!

Brassawe: Yes, I had this to do a piece back at Halloween and never got to it, then found out those marriage tidbits and it kind of got me...

Steel: Ha,thanks for reading. The thing about what gets read, you just never know what it going to strike the cord as they say... I am sure your work is stellar, I will go over and check it out.
If you want water, ask for it. But if it's beer you're looking for, say "Blatz."
Chicken: Very you remember that Hamms commercial with the Indian beat, Hamms, the beer refreshing, Hamms?
When we moved to Detroit for W to work on his PhD at WSU, there was a big old Stroh's brewery downtown. Sadly, Stroh's went out of business. We still have a stein with the name on it. Memories, memories!
cc: I have found that I have reached an age where many things have changed. Our favorite pecan farm in New Mexico is no longer going to have it's storefront or catalog business, but is doing wholesale. This is a huge upset for our family as we loved their pies and candies, and roasted treats, all pecan. This is what happens though, change is the inevitable!
Oh man! Pecans, yum! Pralines, pie, cinnamon roasted, chocolate covered...I'm hungry! :-)
Here's Looking at you! R.
Jon: Right back at you!
Thanks for this great story from my hometown. My father used to buy Blatz because it was cheap but he really did prefer Miller.
Mary: Thanks for reading. I recently had a sip of Pabst and thought it was pretty good.