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.
The President of Bavarian in 1946, Lou, 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 and was President of the Riedlin Company during Prohibition, which included the brewery property, Will was never President of the brewery after Prohibition; always Vice President - from 1938 until 1959.
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. After the Heidelberg Brewery was acquired by Bavarian in 1949, Walter Zannis became Brewmaster of Plant No. 2. In 1951, Carl Moeller became Master Brewmaster of both plants.
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. (Bavarian) 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 Brewing Co. 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.
In 1946, 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.
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. Possibly because the Schott Brothers were unsuccessful with multiple beer brands shortly after they acquired Bavarian in the late 1930s, and the additional costs involved with marketing additional brands, Bavarian did not to have multiple beer brands. However, Bavarian they did produce Schott Ale. However, not having other beer brands, especially that could have easily been obtained when Bavarian acquired Heidelberg Brewing, may have limited the options for this brewer and negatively affected their business several years later.
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.