BEER LABELS
LABELOLOGY

The collecting and study of beer labels, has been referred to as labelology, by the late Bob Kay, who published US Beer Labels. Bob grouped labels into the following chronological categories:

 

  • Pre-Prohibition of "Pre-Pro" (Before 1920, but WWI limited Beer to 2.75% two years earlier). 

  • Prohibition (Mostly 1919-1932; Use of h & L permits with limited alcohol (<0.5 to 2%.)

  • U-Permits (Normally 1933 - 1935).

  • IRTP - Internal Revenue Tax Paid (1935 - 1950)

  • No IRTP shown. (March, 1950 - Present).

A Video Of

Part 1: Bavarian Brewing Co. Labels

Except for Prohibition, labels for all the categories mentioned above, most of Bavarian Brewing Co. labels, are displayed below. Bavarian had planned to bottle low alcoholic "near beer" and soft drinks during Prohibition. But it appears this never occurred.   Bob used several thousand labels in his collection for his publications.  Several scans of these, which  were in US Beer Labels Volume 2, were supplied by his family used in this presentation.

THE EARLIEST LABELS -
PRE-PROHIBITION

Because most beer up until the late 1800s was consumed from kegs, and the bottles were embossed with the name of the brewer and location, there wasn't a significant need to have labels.  (See Beer Bottles.) However, beginning in the late 1800's advances were made to make it more practical to bottle and distribute beer. (Also see Crowns.) Along with equipment that could more quickly bottle beer, the equipment also allowed labels to be affixed to bottles. So, beginning around the turn of the 20th Century, beer labels were used until Prohibition, i.e. until around 1919, and are therefore called Pre-Prohibition labels.  Many such labels are scarce and some are exceedingly rare.

 

 

These Pre-Prohibition labels for Bavarian Brewing Co. are from the early 1900s and have been obtained from different sources, as noted below.

 

If you have other Pre-Prohibition Bavarian Brewing Co. labels, please let us know. We believe the brewery also had labels for a Blue Ribbon Beer, a tonic and non-alcoholic beverages during Prohibition.  Should anyone have a copies of these or any other labels that are not displayed herein, we'd be very interested in obtaining copies or acquiring them.  (Please see Donate.)

LABELS AFTER PROHIBITION

1935-1937. The Bavarian Brewery was acquired and opened in mid-1935 after Prohibition by a group headed by Murray Voorhees, the husband of the Rosemary Riedlin, the granddaughter William Riedlin, the brewery's founder.  His ownership group evidently had difficulty securing adequate financing and the brewery apparently became under capitalized. They were unable to make the brewery profitable and it went into receivership in mid 1937. (See the Great Depression & A Reopening.)  For these first two years it appears the brewery may have distributed draft Bavarian entirely in kegs. It is  unclear what labels, if any, may have been used.  However, one of the first labels that may have been used, in 1937 or 1938, was the Riedlin's Select Beer as shown by the label below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

c. 1938 - 1940. After the Schott Brothers acquired the Bavarian Brewing Co. and began to operate it in early 1938, apparently Riedlin's Select Beer was used for a short time, possibly a year or less, and then discontinued. It appears that the Schott Brothers may have tried to have a few different brands of beer in their early years of operations. Another such brand, in recognition of the opening of Cincinnati's Union Terminal in 1933, was Cincinnati's Pride Brand Beer. It may have been a brand first used by the Old Munich Brewery, which operated for only a year around 1936. This brand was then probably acquired by the Schott Brothers. However, within a year or two of operations, it appears the Schott Brothers decided to limit their beer brands to two or three. The name Bavarian Beer was for draft, and Bavarian Master Brand Beer was for pasteurized bottle beer.  In addition, Schott Extra Pale Ale was introduced, probably around 1940 as the other noted beer brands were discontinued.

The  main labels that were used by the Schott Brothers beginning around 1938 were those shown below.