8. The William C. SCHOTT FAMILY
& POST WORLD WAR II YEARS (1946 - 1952)
The Second World War was over in Europe on May 7, 1945, but the final ending of the war came when Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945. However, it took months before many enlisted men returned home and rations were eliminated. Because European industries were largely destroyed or in need of repair, the U.S. was in a position to help supply many global needs. Meanwhile, as men who had served in the military obtained jobs at home and started families, the generation of the Baby Boomers began. This period saw the beginning of a large economic expansion in America. It benefited nearly all industries - including breweries - and the increased national wealth led to a strong increase in the American demand for beer. These national changes echoed locally at the Bavarian Brewing Co.
As mentioned in the previous section, there was some reorganization of the Bavarian Brewing Co. management toward the end of WWII. The executives beginning in 1946 were: Lou Schott, President; Will Schott, Vice President and Bill Schott, Secretary/Treasurer. Joseph Vehr, the Office Manager/Comptroller, was a fourth Director. Therefore, two of the four Directors were father and son; Will and Bill. In addition, Ray Hoffman was hired as the General Manager in 1946. Hoffman had previously worked for the Consumers Brewing Co. in Newark, OH. Also in 1946, brewmaster Walter Gruner passed away and his son, Albert Gruner, succeeded him, with Henry Wetzel becoming the Assistant Brewmaster.
At the beginning of 1946, it seemed appropriate for Lou Schott to lead the brewery as President, as he was an older brother of Will's and they had a close relationship. Will even named his youngest son, Louis, after his brother Lou. It is interesting to note that even though Will Schott was married to Lucia Riedlin, the daughter of Wm. Riedlin who incorporated the brewery and is considered to be its founder, Will was never President of the brewery after Prohibition; always Vice President, from 1938 until 1959.
Walter Zannis, previously with Heidelberg, became Brewmaster of Plant No. 2 and Carl Moeller, also with Heidelberg, became Master Brewmaster of both plants in 1951. The brewery was also dependent upon other employees for its success. Key Bavarian managers in the late 1940s were: Arthur Helmering, Route Superintendent; George Theele, Bottle Shop Foreman; Joe Ponzer, Sales Manager; Larry Schrand and Courtney Schrand, Bottling Superintendents; John Collins, Shipping Superintendent; James Caldwell, Chief Engineer; and, Jack Shannon, Branch Manager. Some of these men, and other important employees at the Bavarian Brewing Co., are shown on the side in front of the brew kettle. Please select the picture for individual names.
c. 1950. Source: Behringer - Crawford Museum.
After WWII, brewery management and ownership shifted away from an equal-division arrangement between the three Schott Brothers (George, Lou and Will). When George resigned, he apparently sold his brewery interest to his brother Will. Therefore, the majority ownership—about two-thirds of the Bavarian Brewing Co.’s privately held common stock—became principally vested with the families of William C. (& Lucia Riedlin) Schott and their two sons. The remainder of the stock, and about one-third of the ownership interest, was vested with Will's brother Lou and his family.
Will's sons also became more active in the brewery. His oldest son Bill joined the company beginning around 1940 and became a Director when George resigned in 1945. Will's youngest son Louis L. Schott joined in 1948 after serving in WWII and graduating from Dartmouth College. Louis became the Cincinnati Branch Manager in 1949. ; By 1951 he was Assistant Secretary and Assistance Treasurer to his brother Bill. In 1952, Louis became Treasurer and Bill became Secretary. Around that same time, Ray Hoffman also became Vice President, in addition to acting as the General Manager.
A NEW BEER BRAND
In the spring of 1946 the brands for Bavarian Brewing Co. were modified to simplify beer production and advertising. The brewer had two beer brands, one for unpasteurized beer in kegs and in jug bottles known as Bavarian Beer, and another for pasteurized beer known as Bavarian Master Brand Beer. Instead, it was decided to consolidate these names into one: Bavarian's Old Style Beer. A patent for this name was received in 1947. Draft beer in bottles didn't immediately disappear, but would gradually be phased out. For the draft beer under the new name, the label simply said "Draft" with an indication to keep the beer cold or that it could spoil. The brewer also continued to market its Schott Extra Pale Ale. Seasonally, beginning in mid-March, Bavarian's Old Style Bock Beer was also offered.
The Directors of Bavarian Brewery in the photo on the side, from left to right, are Lou Schott, William R. Schott, and William C. Schott. The General Manger, Ray Hoffman, is on the far right. They are inspecting their brewery's new label and brand: Bavarian's Old Style Beer. In the center is a beer case that was used for their previous brand, Bavarian Beer. For the labels used by Bavarian in the later 1940s until the mid-1950s, please see the examples below. Note that the labels in green and blue were used on kegs. It is believed that these colors indicated different alcohol content for the keys and also corresponded with the color of the keg caps.
1946. Source: Schott Family Collection.
Before WWII, Bavarian used up to five brands of lager beer (including the two noted), though some were in use for a very short time. The decision to have one brand of beer was advantageous in reducing marketing costs. However, some other local brewers, and especially the national breweries, had at least one premium brand and another "off-brand" that they could sell for less. This allowed them to sell to different groups of beer consumers, some of whom were more price-conscious than others. Bavarian decided not to do this, which may have had limited their options and negatively affected their business several years later.
Bavarian's new beer brand was accompanied by a new marketing campaign, with the promotional slogan - "A Man's Beer." Sometimes the neck label for Bavarian's Beer displayed the slogan, as shown above. Research indicated about 90 percent of all beer at that time was consumed by men. Further, drinking beer was considered to be "manly." So, this slogan seemed appropriate in appealing to those most likely to drink Bavarian's beer. Although the phrase might be considered an awkward slogan today, it was successful for Bavarian's for several years.
Use of Different Mediums
After Prohibition, brewers had more options and mediums for advertising. These consisted of:
Print Ads: Newspapers had long been a popular method for business advertisements, even before Prohibition. However, the use of photos and slogans became more important afterward, and the ads became larger. Please visit Ads: 1946-1956.
Billboards / Outdoor Signs: This was another form of marketing used before Prohibition, but it was used more frequently afterwards. Bavarian had a large billboard at Crosley Field, the home of the Cincinnati Reds. They also had numerous outdoor signs on the sides of corner saloons, particularly near its brewery in Covington, KY.
Radio: Introduced in the 1920s, this was a new medium providing advertising that became particularly popular for brewers after Prohibition. Bavarian supported a number of different radio programs serving its Tri-State market area, including WCKY, WKRC and WSAI. They particularly focused on sports, but also "top hits," news, and even stories. They also created musical jingles for their radio ads. (See below.) Before records and disc jockeys took over the airwaves, radio stations often provided their own live music and productions. Shown to the right is a photo of Bavarian Brewery and radio executives at one of the stations in Cincinnati in 1947, believed to be WSAI, with a local celebrity, Ewell Blackwell, on the far right. He was the Reds ace pitcher who was a National League All Star. (See Sponsorships.)
c. Early 1950s. This record was used
to provide a Bavarian jingle at WKRC.
Television: Bavarian was an early adapter of an important new medium: television. TV programming started in Cincinnati on February 9th, 1948, on WLW-T, Channel 4, owned by Crosley Broadcasting. This was a regional station that served the eastern mid-west. Bavarian began to sponsor Midwestern Hayride about the time it began, on April 19, 1948. It was one of the network’s first and most successful programs, airing until 1972 and inspiring multiple similar shows. This program originated on WLW radio in the 1930's and was simulcasted with the radio broadcast when it went on TV. The show was originally called Boone County Jamboree, after a county adjoining Kenton County, Kentucky, which is where Bavarian was located. In addition to viewing the photos below, please visit Cincy TV/Radio Talents and Ads: 1946-1956 for pictures of the cast and featured performers.
c. Early 1950s. Midwestern Hayride. Shown far left is the shows cast, center is a party at the Bavarian Tap Room celebrating the show and Bavarian executive W. R. Schott celebrating a Birthdy with the show's Producer and Emcee, Bill Thall. Please select the arrow for more photos.
Paul Dixon (Song Shop) Show. Paul Dixon was the host of this 3-hour daily show from 1949 to 1954, featuring Wanda Lewis and Dotty Mack on WCPO-TV in Cincinnati, OH. They would often pantomime the current hit songs of the day. The photo on the right is on the stage of the show in about 1952. Wanda is standing on the right of Dixon and Dotty is on his left. Bavarian's Beer was an early advertiser on the show, and Dixon maintained advertising relationships with Bavarian for several years. Dotty Mack went on to briefly have her own show in New York in 1954, where she mingled with stars including Dick Van Dyke, Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio. Wanda joined her husband on his Uncle Al Show in 1956 and was known as "Windy" on the show. (Please see Turnaround Efforts and Recognizing Paul Dixon.) For an excerpt of one of his shows, click here.
Marketing Entertainment, Sales & Civic Meetings
The Bavarian Brewing Co., like many Cincinnati-area businesses, entertained their clients and distributors at various hotels and restaurants in Cincinnati. These included the Netherland Plaza, the Terrace Plaza, and the Sinton Hotel, as well as the large gambling and entertainment clubs in Northern Kentucky, such as the Lookout House in Covington and the Beverly Hills Supper (Country) Club in Newport, KY. Of course, Bavarian's Beer was also offered at these establishments. Additionally, Bavarian supported charitable events. Some functions would have programs, and it was common for dining establishments to have staff photographers who would take pictures of attendees before placing the photo in a "jacket" to protect it. A program and photo at an annual banquet that the brewery supported, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, along with examples of photo jackets and their accompanying photos at sale meetings, are shown below. In addition, there were times when Bavarian entertained clients or held gatherings with their employees at the brewery.
Above is a photo taken at the 80th annual banquet for the Friendly of Sons St. Patrick on March 17th, 1948. A program of the event the following year, attended by almost all of the same people, is on either side of the photo. The program can be viewed here. This charitable organization was originally founded in Philadelphia in 1771, and George Washington was one of its member. It was established in Cincinnati in 1868, and it is still operating.
First Row: This is a sales meeting, at the Netherland Plaza Hotel. Wm. R Schott is on the far left, Joe Ponzer is fourth from left and Vehr is on the far right.
Second Row: This is a sales meeting, believed to be at the Gibson Hotel. Will Schott is on the far left, Joe Ponzer is third from left and Lou Schott is second from right. The other men are unidentified.
Third Row: This is a photo of a banquet hosted at the Lookout House in Covington, KY. In the middle are the officers of the brewery and their wives, l. to r. Wm. R. Schott, Lou Schott and Wm. C. Schott. Please check the menu.
Fourth Row: This photo of a sales meeting was taken at the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Newport, KY, a city just east of Covington. Louis L. Schott, Manager of the Cincinnati Branch at the time, is second from the left.
c. 1950.Besides entertaining at hotels and clubs, Bavarian would also entertain guests at their main plant. Shown is a buffet at the brewery and a photo in front of the brew kettle.
THE BREWERY PROPERTIES
After WWII, the demand for beer increased as men returned home from the war. The brewery was soon producing as much beer as they could sell and was operating 24x7. However, as explained in the following, the main brewery was physically constrained. In order to meet the demand for its beer, Bavarian decided to acquire another plant in 1949, the Heidelberg Brewing Co. It was referred to as Plant No. 2. Bavarian's main plant, known as Plant No. 1, was located just several blocks south of this second plant. To understand the operation of the main Bavarian Brewery plant in the late 1940s and early 1950s, detailed descriptions and photos are provided below, followed by more information about Plant No. 2.
THE MAIN BREWERY COMPLEX (Plant No. 1)
The brewery site as it existed in the late 1940s is outlined in yellow in both the aerial photo and the site plan below. The main brewery property in the aerial photo is shaded in light yellow. As shown, the Bavarian Brewery complex was located between W. 12th and W. 11th / W. Pike Streets, and west of Main Street. An employee parking lot was situated in the northeast corner, but all the brewery buildings owned by Bavarian after Prohibition were located between W. 12th Street and Lehmar Avenue. The later road is not very visible on the photo below, but is viewable on the site plan. The executive offices for the brewery were located in the second floor of the Mill House, and its address was 528 W. 12th Street. Not included as part of the brewery site were several former buildings that had been sold before 1933, because they had become obsolete and were no longer needed for brewing purposes. This was briefly discussed within periods 5. Riedlin Co.'s. and R6. Reopening of the Brewery. However, with the growth of the brewery after WWII, it became evident that the land these buildings were constructed on would be needed to expand the brewery’s grounds. Consequently, arrangements had begun -possibly even before WWII - to acquire certain adjacent parcels. Two of these parcels acquired after WWII, Parcels A and B, are identified and discussed below.
c. 1949. The aerial photo on the left above shows the main brewery complex and two parcels, A and B, which were previously part of the brewery. These two parcels were acquired shortly after WWII. The site plan on the right above indicates the brewery property and the specific uses of the buildings in the late 1940s.
Parcel a was acquired in late 1947 for $13,000 and Parcel b was acquired simultaneously, or a little later. It is believed both parcels were acquired from George Rehkamp. It appears the buildings on Parcels A and B were not immediately removed after they were reacquired by the Bavarian Brewing Co. Before they were razed in 1956 to construct a warehouse, these buildings were rented to other businesses. A description of these two parcels acquired by Bavarian follows.
Parcel a. This parcel included the former Brew House and the Mechanical Building. The latter building fronted on Lehmar Avenue and was occupied by a home improvement company. Apparently, a portion of the Brew House was occupied by a neon sign works company, known as the Dixie Sign Co., and also at some point possibly by Lou's Signs. Some of their signage creations were made for the brewery; please see Signs: Neon, for some examples. Although these two buildings did not share a common wall, there was a roof canopy between them. However, the old Brew House shared a common wall with the Office Building to the north, requiring a careful demolition of the Brew House to keep this structure in place.
Parcel b. This site fronted on Lehmar Avenue and included the old Ice Plant (built in 1895). The site plan above indicates that this building was used for auto repairs and a tin shop. It may have also been used, at least in part, by the Kahnmann & Rehkamp Dairy. Some roof canopies extended between parcels a and b, which explains why the two appear to be connected in the aerial photo.
Additional former brewery buildings were located north of the aforesaid parcels that front on W. Pike Street; the former Office Building above or north of Parcel a was used for the offices of the Kahmann & Rehkmap Dairy north of Parcel B, the former Bottling Department - fronting partly on W. Pike St. and mostly on W. 11th Street - was used by another dairy company, the Hanneken Dairy. These two properties would remain separately owned in the future and would never form part of the brewery property again. The structure between Parcel b and the brewery parking, however, would later be reacquired.
(See Turnaround Efforts.)
Ground Level Views (Plant No. 1)
In addition to the aerial views above, ground view photos of the brewery property taken in the late 1940s are shown below. These photos are taken mostly from different angles on Lehmar Avenue, which laid between W. Pike and W. 12th Streets. The exceptions are the bottom right two photos, taken near W. 12th Street. Lehmar Avenue was the main point of access to the brewery property. The offices for the brewery were separated from the main activity on Lehmar because of their location off of W. 12th Street, shown in the bottom right photo.
1948 & 1949. The upper right photo was taken around 1946 and shows the Stock Houses. The first row of photos is taken along Lehmar Avenue and shows the Wash House and the shipping office. The bottom row shows the original Stock and Brew Houses on the left and the middle photo shows the Mill House and the foundation of the Ice House, which had access to Bavarian's Tunnel System. The far right photo is the entrance to Bavarian's offices, at 528 W. 12th Street. (Source: L. R. Schott.)
The Physical Capacity of the Brewery (Plant No. 1)
By the late 1940s, the main plant consisted of several structures described and depicted in the previous section; their capacities are described below. This information was taken from the History of Bavarian Brewing Co., prepared by C.B. Trousdale.
a brew kettle with a capacity of 350 barrels; the brew house with a capacity of 450 barrels and a lauter pump
a cereal cooker with 2,325 gallons capacity
a mash tub with a capacity of 235 barrels
two grinding mill scale hoppers with capacities of 455 bushels and 235 bushels each
an American Peerless malt mill
three hot water tanks, one with a capacity of 5,270 gallons; the others with a capacity of 412 barrels each
ten wood tanks with capacities of 200 barrels each, and four with 150 barrels each
ten steel tanks with capacities of 200 barrels each (4,600 barrels total.)
Eleven steel tanks with capacities of 310 barrels each and three with 390 barrels each. (4,580 barrels total.)
A) 32 tanks with 208 barrels each
B) 13 tanks with 535 barrels each and one with 375 barrels
C) 12 tanks with 222 barrels each
D) 13 tank with 470 barrels each
E) 12 tanks with 460 barrels each
All the tanks were made of steel and glass lined. (27,745 barrels total.)
Storage Bins for Malt:
Three with capacities of 95,000 pounds, 85,000 ponds and 55,000 pounds. (235,000 pounds total.)
Six beer filters
a Wash House with a filtered washing machine and a tank with a capacity of 150 barrels
a pitching barrel machine, a Filling Room capable of filling 70 barrels an hour
18 gas storage tanks with 250 pounds of pressure each
a beer cooler capable of cooling 160 barrels per hour
a wood tank and hops strainer holding 400 barrels
Five tanks with a capacity of 240 barrels each (1,200 barrel total)
John Collins was the agent in charge and federal taxes were assessed at $9 per barrel.
Inside the Brewery (Plant No. 1)
Numerous changes needed to be made to the brewery, even after improvements were made by the Vorhees group. Photos of the brewery operation shortly after the Schott Brothers acquired the brewery are shown below. From left to right, top down, the photos include; 1) a man adding ingredients into the brew kettle, 2) a chemist evaluating the ingredients for the beer, 3) fermentation tanks, 4) the process of skimming the fermentation tanks, 4) a man - possibly the brewmaster, Albert Gruner - inspecting the beer at the lauter tub, 5) the refrigeration equipment, 6) the coal fired steam boilers, 7) the panel controlling the flow of beer, 8) the Racking Room for filling kegs of beer and 9) the bottling department.
1940s. Most of these photos are from an album entitled Photographs of the Bavarian Brewery from the 1940s, which is part of the Schott Collection in the Behringer - Crawford museum.
Improvements (Plant No. 1)
In their efforts to be profitable and keep up with the demand for Bavarian's Old Style Beer, the brewery took various measures. Shortly after WWII, the company began a modernization program to purchase and install new equipment, increasing production capacity and making operations more efficient and economical. To achieve this, the Board approved expenditures of $150,000 in June of 1947 to replace the boilers and sundries brew house equipment. Below are photos of work being done in the Brew House, taken in November, 1947.
In December, 1947, approvals were made authorizing $75,000 for the purchase and installation of new fermenters, evaporator condensers, compressors and refrigeration equipment. And in November, 1948, approvals were provided to install new tanks, including those steel- and glass-lined storage tanks installed in the Bottling Department building depicted below. After the brewer acquired another brewery, described below, the main plant for Bavarian Brewing Co., was also referred to as Plant 1.
11-1-1947. Work being done in the Brew House in the Bavarian Brewery to improve the brewing process.
1948-1949. These photos above show the installation of at least four storage tanks at the Bavarian Brewery shown in front of the Brew House. The upper middle photo shows one of the tanks before being placed into the Bottling House on the right, and the upper right image shows a crane that was used in the process. Please note that the far left photo on the lower row depicts a Spent Grain Tank attached to the Brew House. This was used to dispose of the grain materials from the brew tank after the brewing process. Please click the images to enlarge. (Source: Schott Family Collection.)
PLANT NO. 2 (The Former Heidelberg Brewery)
In January of 1949, the Bavarian Directors approved the purchase of the Heidelberg Brewery for $400,000. It was located in Covington, KY, between 4th and 3rd Streets and Philadelphia and Bakewell Streets—just several blocks north of Bavarian's main plant (No. 1). Terms included a down payment of $100,000 and a 10-year note of $300,000 bearing interest at 4.5 percent. The purchase included all of the land, buildings, plant, fixtures, machinery and equipment, which also secured the loan. However, 15 trucks, all bottles and the cooperage were excluded from the loan. It was difficult for a brewery as small as Heidelberg to be profitable. They also were involved in some litigation and had some management conflicts, losing their brewmaster, Joseph Ruh in 1945, who had formerly worked at Bavarian with his father Anton. Consequently, when Heidelberg stockholders met in February, 1949, they accepted the terms offered by Bavarian. (Please see Plant No. 2 for more information about this brewery and about the Heidelberg Brewing Co. and its beers.)
Bavarian sold more beer in Cincinnati than in Northern Kentucky. Since the I-75 freeway did not exist until late 1963 (even though it is shown on the map) and access across the Ohio River from Covington was more circuitous, Bavarian needed a distribution facility in Cincinnati. A warehouse and garage for delivery trucks had been obtained in the 1940s, but it was rented and became outdated. (See A.) Beginning in 1949, Bavarian began a quest to obtain a new Cincinnati Branch, but had difficulties doing so over a couple of years. They tried to build a facility on Beekman Street, but were unable to obtain zoning. (See B.) They then acquired a former Cincinnati brewery, but it needed major renovations. (See C). Finally, they were able to obtain a facility on Streng Street that was suitable, requiring only moderate changes. (See D.) These properties are shown on the side map and the legend below, followed by descriptions.
A. Warehouse/Garage (At Tafel & McMicken Sts. - Late 1940s)
B. Beekman Street Site (At Fricke Road - 1949 & '50)
C. Former Bruckmann Brewery No. 2 (Spring Grove & Garrard '50)
D. Bavarian's Cincinnati Branch (1212 Streng St. - 1950)
Brewery Plants in Covington, KY:
1. Plant No. 1 (The Bavarian Brewery.).
2. Plant No. 2 (The former Heidelberg Brewery.)