When Paper Still Mattered

Burkhardt's (Akron, OH), Acme (California), Blatz (Milwaukee, WI), Hamm's (St.Paul, MN).

Burkhardt's (Akron, OH), Acme (California), Blatz (Milwaukee, WI), Hamm's (St.Paul, MN).

I have spent a lot of space discussing metal and glass breweriana, but have been remiss not discussing paper advertising products.
Cheaper and more practical than metal or glass signage, paper had long been an advertising medium in the beer production business. Unfortunately due to changes in technology, media and social trends, paper advertising has become a thing of the past.
I have picked up a few items over the years but have been lazy in terms of presenting them as a part of my collection. The main reason is that unlike cans, bottles and trays; paper items usually take some extra work (framing and matting) in order to be displayed properly. I’m hoping this blog will get me off my ass and encourage me to do something with these handsome items.
With the creation of disposable lighters and a decline in smoking, paper matchbooks are not nearly as common as they used to be. In terms of advertising, I’m not sure if exotic dance clubs even use them anymore. However, back in the 1940s and 50s, they were commonplace in terms of an advertising medium. Much like other breweriana from the time, the graphics are eye-catching.
Some matchbooks would advertise a brand of beer on one side and an establishment that served it on the other. One can only imagine what the Roslyn Grill or Mile Away Tavern would have been like back in the day. I think that encouraging us to imagine how things were is one of the great things that antiques can do.
The first item I plan to get framed is an American college football contest sheet. It was produced by the Atlantic Company of Atlanta, Georgia; who manufactured Atlantic and Steinerbru Beer and Ale. Unlike the $5 I pay for my weekly football pool sheet, this one was free. The premise was simple (as it is today), circle the winner in each of the 25 games and the person who picks the most correct wins. Unlike the sheet I play, the weekly winner and runner-up won a case of beer and the person who had the best weekly average at the end of the year won a 1938 Packard Six Sedan automobile. Ah, the good old days!

Here is some interesting information about the history of brewing in the southern US. http://books.google.ca/books?id=wGKckcBCbm0C&pg=PA61&lpg=PA61&dq=atlantic+brewing+atlanta&source=bl&ots=qoNH1aw3-g&sig=fQ28MBcUCDU47q-EOXMbROyA8Hw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=cp6kUvjJL4XXqAHPjYGQCw&ved=0CF8Q6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=atlantic%20brewing%20atlanta&f=false

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Dave Didylowski

is a 45 year old freelance writer, born and raised in Ottawa, Canada who has been collecting breweriana for over 30 years. He is enrolled in the final year of Algonquin College’s Professional Writing Program.

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Modern Day Overkill

This post is a departure from my regular topic of breweriana and I hope you will find it equally enjoyable.

When I was young, I equated political correctness with common sense and good manners and for many years that was the role I saw it play.

There were words that one didn't say and mostly everyone knew what those words were. They were hateful words with negative connotations towards certain minorities. The goal of eradicating these words was to promote acceptance and equality, qualities that in turn would benefit Canada as a whole.

However, in recent years, these word changes have attempted to affect things that have no negative connotations at all. On this growing list are: Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Halloween.

So how has it come to this? I think that the powers that be concluded that all the political correctness in the world cannot stop some people from hating and decided to move on to another battlefield.

"Let's target holidays that certain groups do not celebrate and make them relatable to all. Then no one will feel left out or slighted," they theorized. That is, except those who celebrated the occasion in the first place.

At this point, political correctness has become less about protecting minority groups from harmful behaviour and more about making a vibrant, diverse society into an indivisible entity. We are not all the same, so why pretend we are?

I asked myself: "Who is responsible for this overzealousness?" The answer to this question has become apparent: government bureaucrats prodded and supported by special interest groups. In some cases, they're two of the same.

Secondly, "Are they actually representing the true views of the groups that they purportedly help?"

I have met a number of non-Christians during the "holiday season" who have not only been ok with being wished a "Merry Christmas" but have actually returned the same greeting. So who are these politicians and groups actually representing?

Ultimately, these misguided politicos are only representing themselves and posturing to attain votes from minority groups. They may appear to be dealing with pertinent, concrete issues but they are not.

By focusing on easy, traditional targets, they are merely achieving face-time and stirring the proverbial pot by promoting over-sensibility within society, and hoping in vain that votes will follow.

Food for thought: http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/05/22/texas-passes-bill-to-protect-merry-christmas-from-politically-correct-opposition/ and http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/11/25/lorne-gunter-stop-covering-up-merry-christmas-with-politically-correct-wallpaper/

Here's a clip from The Royal Canadian Air Farce that sums up how extreme things could get if we're not careful.

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Dave Didylowski

is a 45 year old freelance writer, born and raised in Ottawa, Canada who has been collecting breweriana for over 30 years. He is enrolled in the final year of Algonquin College’s Professional Writing Program.

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The Sport of Beer Can Collecting

With all the major sports in high gear, I thought it would be a good time to discuss one of my favorite beer can genres.

When I first started collecting breweriana in the early 1980s, small, regional breweries still existed in the United States and produced a number of commemorative cans. These could vary from the promotion of local businesses to the retirement of a brewery employee.  

By doing so, a link was established between the brewery and their customers in the region which they served. This level of personalization is no longer possible as the majority of breweries are run on a national or international level.

The most popular type of commemorative can had to do with sporting teams or events that took place in the breweries home town or state. Nothing goes together like beer and sports and the breweries were well aware of this.

1988 Cincinnati Bengals (Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing), 1982 Pittsburgh Penguins (Pittsburgh Brewing), 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers (Pittsburgh Brewing), 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates (Pittsburgh Brewing), 1975 Cincinnati Reds (Hudepohl Brewing)

1988 Cincinnati Bengals (Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing), 1982 Pittsburgh Penguins (Pittsburgh Brewing), 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers (Pittsburgh Brewing), 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates (Pittsburgh Brewing), 1975 Cincinnati Reds (Hudepohl Brewing)

Pittsburgh Brewing of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was the undisputed king in terms of producing cans of this nature. Be it at a college or professional level, if the team originated from the Pennsylvania area, a can would be produced to capture their moment of victory.

One of the first cans to grace my shelves celebrated the Pittsburgh Pirates 1979 World Series victory.  It was given to me by a friend of my uncle who was visiting in the area when the can was produced. When one is starting a collection, word of mouth is an excellent way to get it growing. 

The key to having your team enshrined on a can is winning (and having a brewery in the area that supports you). No team is represented more than the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. By winning championships in 1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979, it seemed like a yearly event for the team to be featured on a can.

Basketball (Suntory Beer, Japan), 1978 Preakness Horse Race (Carling Breweries, Baltimore, Maryland), Wilco (Colonial Brewing, New Jersey)

Basketball (Suntory Beer, Japan), 1978 Preakness Horse Race (Carling Breweries, Baltimore, Maryland), Wilco (Colonial Brewing, New Jersey)

Another common theme concerning sports cans was the celebration of annual events. One of my favorites is from Carling National Breweries of Baltimore, Maryland who produced a can to celebrate the 103rd running of the Preakness horse race in 1978 and past Triple Crown winners.

In terms of collecting, sports cans are very desirable as they celebrate a pastime, have a historical significance and display graphics that are pleasing to the eye. After 30 years, some of these cans are still my favorites and have a prominent position on my shelves.

http://www.pittsburghbrewing.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DrinkIronCityBeer

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Dave Didylowski

is a 45 year old freelance writer, born and raised in Ottawa, Canada who has been collecting breweriana for over 30 years. He is enrolled in the final year of Algonquin College’s Professional Writing Program.

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Then I Grew Up

Once I reached seventeen or so, the beer-can collecting I had begun at age 12 became less of a priority in my life. The cans were still on shelves in my room but were there more for the sake of decoration and nostalgia. I had moved on to other interests, like girls and music.

My family moved when I was twenty and the cans went into boxes and down to the basement. God love my parents. Many would have thrown them out during a spring cleaning over the years, but mine did not.

In 2000, my wife and I bought a townhome and I made the basement into my “man cave”. The first thing I did was retrieve my old cans from my parent’s basement and put them on display. They looked fine but the room seemed empty. I needed some stuff for the walls.

A few trays that I purchased on Ebay. The Labatt trays are from the early-1960s and the Standard tray in the middle is from the 1930s. 

A few trays that I purchased on Ebay. The Labatt trays are from the early-1960s and the Standard tray in the middle is from the 1930s. 

A perfect storm was brewing in respect to collecting breweriana.  I now had a space of my own to display a collection properly and I had a decent paying job to finance it. Most importantly, I had discovered the mother of all flea markets: Ebay.  (www.ebay.ca/sch/Brewiana-Beer-/562/i.html)

I couldn’t believe the variety of breweriana that was available for a price. I was so excited! I felt like I did when I went to the flea market as a kid.  My passion for collecting had been rekindled.

I started off with the best of intentions. I picked up a couple of old trays and had an old magazine ad framed to fill some wall space. Next was a lighted sign and clock to give the place some ambiance (and much needed light). Here is a link to a great tray site: www.trayman.net

Noticing that the shelves weren’t quite full, I picked up some cans that I had desired to fill the space.

Some of my favorite California cans. Balboa (Southern Brewing, Los Angeles, 1948), Eastside (Los Angeles Brewing, Los Angeles, 1950), Bullseye, Golden West, Oakland, 1939), Buffalo (Buffalo Brewing, Sacramento, 1939), Tahoe (Grace Brothers, Santa Rosa, 1959), Imperial (Southern Brewing, Los Angeles, 1957) 

Some of my favorite California cans. Balboa (Southern Brewing, Los Angeles, 1948), Eastside (Los Angeles Brewing, Los Angeles, 1950), Bullseye, Golden West, Oakland, 1939), Buffalo (Buffalo Brewing, Sacramento, 1939), Tahoe (Grace Brothers, Santa Rosa, 1959), Imperial (Southern Brewing, Los Angeles, 1957) 

 Everything looked fine but I was missing a “wow” factor. I thought specializing in cans from California would be the thing. I loved the graphics they used and thought no place was cooler than California in the 1950-60s.

The plan went well, and I assembled a nice collection of California cans that became the centerpiece of the larger collection. However, in my search, I also found non-can breweriana from California that I had to have. This included bottles, matchbooks and even an old menu from a restaurant from back in the day.

That’s the trouble with collecting. Even if you try to collect something specific, you are constantly tempted to go outside that realm and this leads to both monetary and space issues. For me, it’s tough to stay focused because if its old and beer related, it catches my eye.

 

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Dave Didylowski

is a 45 year old freelance writer, born and raised in Ottawa, Canada who has been collecting breweriana for over 30 years. He is enrolled in the final year of Algonquin College’s Professional Writing Program.

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Where and when it all began

I caught the collecting “bug” when I was 12 or so. It was 1980 and the hobby of collecting was gaining popularity. Every few Sundays, I would go to the Stittsville Flea Market just outside of town with a family from down the street.  Their oldest son collected comic books and I started looking for something of my own to collect.

The turning point was when my dad mentioned that a man that he worked with had a son who collected beer cans and had a couple hundred of them. Wow! I gathered my courage to knock on the door and introduce myself and hopefully see the “collection”.

He was in his early-20s and had them neatly displayed on shelves, next to prog-rock posters in his sometime-bedroom. The cans were fairly current, but from all over the United States. Brands and places I had never heard of. From that moment on, I was hooked. In addition, the fact that an “adult” collected them, gave it some credibility from my adolescent point of view.

Some foreign beers from the liquor store that I got my dad to buy: Tooth KB Lager (Australia), Cerveza Tecate (Mexico), Newcastle Brown Ale (England).

Some foreign beers from the liquor store that I got my dad to buy: Tooth KB Lager (Australia), Cerveza Tecate (Mexico), Newcastle Brown Ale (England).

With limited funds and resources (the only flea market in town), I plotted other ways to get cans for my collection. It began with getting my dad to buy and drink foreign beers from the liquor store. He would usually buy a case of Molson Golden or Blue every once in a while, and now I had him trying Newcastle Brown Ale! Bet he didn’t see that one coming.

Some cans from family vacations: Old Scotia Ale (Halifax, NS), D.G Yuengling and Son Premium Beer (Pottsville, PA), Brickskeller Saloon Style Beer (Pittsburgh, PA) 

Some cans from family vacations: Old Scotia Ale (Halifax, NS), D.G Yuengling and Son Premium Beer (Pottsville, PA), Brickskeller Saloon Style Beer (Pittsburgh, PA) 

Around this time, beer-can collecting became commonplace on our family vacations. On the way to Washington, DC in 1982, I got dad to drive miles out of the way to find America’s oldest, active brewery, Yuengling, in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. We found the building, but they had no tours or merchandise. It was just the brewery and it was 1982 after all.

Through some flea market finds and contributions by family and their friends, I began to amass a decent collection that rivaled the one of the fellow down the street.

That summer, I convinced my parents to correspond our bi-annual family visit in Southern Ontario with the Brewery Collectables Club of America (BCCA) “Canvention” in Buffalo, New York. I brought cans to trade and improved my collection substantially.

So that is where it all began. But like many collectors, I found it hard to stay specialized on beer cans. I will explain this further in my next post.

For a good overview of the hobby please check out: http://www.americanbreweriana.org/and https://www.facebook.com/groups/61661427168/ (Brewery Collectables Club of America)

 

 

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Dave Didylowski

is a 45 year old freelance writer, born and raised in Ottawa, Canada who has been collecting breweriana for over 30 years. He is enrolled in the final year of Algonquin College’s Professional Writing Program.

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