DRINKWARE (Foam Scrapers, Glasses, Mugs & Cups)
Any type of container for drinking beer provided a way brewers could promote and market their products. Examples of advertising used by Bavarian Brewing Co. for foam scrapers, glasses, mugs and cups are shown below.
Examples of Bavarian foam scrapers are below. The first two images are from the front and back of the same scrapper and dates from around the late 1930s. The next image has a unique handle and a plain back and that dates from the early 1940s. Following it is a scraper from the same period with the name of the brewery, not the beer. The last image below is probably from the late 1940s, after the name of the main brand was changed from Bavarian Beer to Bavarian's Old Style Beer in 1946. It also has a plain back.
Decades ago, the draft beer that was poured into glasses and mugs often had much more foam than most beers day. Years ago, draft beer drinkers enjoyed the increased aroma and the full head of foam on their beer. There may also have been an interest by establishments serving beer for it to have foam, as it reduced the amount of beer they dispensed. To deal with the excess foam that accompanied a serving of beer for some drinkers, there were foam scrapers, sometimes also known as beer combs, foam flippers or head cutters. As their name indicates, these items were used to scrape, comb, flip or cut the foam - or head - from beer. These scrappers were discontinued apparently due to sanitary reasons. Often bartenders just reused them by placing them in a glass of water with other scrapers, which became dirty. They were also usually made from celluloid, a plant based material, which made it more difficult to clean them thoroughly. Even though though they were later made from Bakelite, a type of plastic - also used for Beer Ball Knobs - cleanliness was still an issue. Another explanation why beer scrappers disappeared, often not mentioned, is that as beer had less foam, which could dissipate rather quickly, there was less need need for beer scrappers. Taps have even been engineered to reduce beer foam, in part to accommodate this preference for less foam, and to poor beer more quickly, such as at places that dispense large quantities of beer and at large events. However, for those beer drinkers that prefer a more frothy head of foam, some brewers today are using nitrogen to exclude most of the carbon dioxide in beers creating more foam, called Nitro beers. However, they can become flat fairly quickly and this can also subdue some of the beer flavor.
It was also common for brewers to provide glasses. Some of these were about 12 oz to contain a full bottle of beer. However, for drinkers sharing a pitcher, and for even some bottle beer drinkers, a smaller size glass of about 7 ounces was preferable so that the beer would stay cooler. There was also less of a wait for the foam to subside or less to be taken off with a foam scrapper from a smaller glass. In some parts of Germany it is common for beer to be served in these smaller glasses as it can be replenished before the beer becomes to warm. The image below left is an etched glass before Prohibition. The Bavarian's Old Style Beer glass to its right is from the early 1950s. Note that it has the same colors and print style as the paper cup on the left above.
Beer mugs were also provided by brewers, often as gifts to distributors and customers. A rather rare mug made for Bavarian by Rookwood Pottery below on the left made in 1947. A more common mug from Bavarian from an unknown maker is the mug on the right, which was made in the late 1940's or early 1950's.