Local History Index
Index to Wisconsin
Brewery and Related Articles
Index to Blatz
Brewing Company British Brewery Syndicate Letters
and Syndicate / Trust Newspaper News
by Michael R. Reilly, Editor, copyright March 18, 2013
Very little news about the British syndicate / trust negotiations was ever
released for public consumption in the local newspapers, including those in
THE BEER TRUST
Twenty Million in Gold for Milwaukee Breweries
Milwaukee, Wis., Jan 21 - Twenty millions of dollars of British gold was
represented in Milwaukee the last week by James Schneck, a New York capitalist
and agent. In return for this British gold, which had been furnished by British
capitalists, Mr. Schneck desired to gain control of all the big breweries of
Milwaukee. This was in furtherance of a scheme which has been on foot for some
time to form a gigantic trust by which an English syndicate would control all
the large breweries in the country. In his mission here Mr. Schneck was not
wholly successful, but he is expected back here in a few days. His proposition
to each of the Milwaukee brewers was to purchase a controlling interest in each
brewery, the present owners to retain the remaining interests and conduct
management as it is at present for five years. After that the syndicate is to
take hold and make the power of the trust felt. While here Mr. Schneck visited
all the big brewers, Capt. Pabst, Henry Uihlein, Val Blatz, and Frank Falk being
the gentlemen he was especially attentive to. None of them gave him any definite
answer to his proposition, which, by the way, were also rather indefinite. He
did offer extremely large sums for the controlling interests in the different
breweries, but the gentlemen who now run these mints were not inclined to sell
at any price. there is certainly no apparent reason why the men who control the
big breweries here should wish to dispose of their interests. They have all made
immense profits out of their business, and there was no exception to the general
rule last year.
Source: Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, January 21, 1889, page 1
Two men were badly burned by the explosion of a lamp in a big beer cask at
the Blatz brewery, Milwaukee.
Centralia Enterprise And Tribune February 22, 1890, page 9.
Te brewery deal has been consummated by the five Chicago breweries and the
Blatz Brewery, of Milwaukee, has been consolidated.
Centralia Enterprise And Tribune February 21, 1891, page 7
Patrick Rice, of Chicago, has sued the Val. Blatz company, Milwaukee, for
commission which he alleges to be due him for selling the brewery.
Centralia Enterprise And Tribune February 28, 1891, page 6
The suit of Patrick H. Rice, for $400,000 as commission for negotiating the
Blatz and Chicago brewery deals has been dismissed by mutual consent. It is
understood that Rice, in consideration of dropping the suit, was given a
The People's Theater, Milwaukee, will be opened by the Blatz Brewery Company.
Source: Milwaukee Weekly Wisconsin, March 21, 1891, page 4
C. H. Gezelschap Dead
The End Comes in Milwaukee After a Long Illness
Charles H. Gezelschap, , aged 61, died at Passawant hospital in Milwaukee
yesterday morning after an illness of five weeks. Several years ago Mr.
Gezelschap was general manager of the Blatz Brewing company, but recently he has
been engaged in the brewery business at Janesville. The funeral will take place
from 107 Lloyd street in Milwaukee Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock.
Janesville Gazette July 3, 1891, page 4
THE BIG NEW BREWERY
Company With a Million of Capital Will Build in the Spring
The Wisconsin of Tuesday evening contained the following in confirmation of
the various reports that have been in circulation for a year past.
"Vice-President Thome, of the Peter Hand Brewing Company, of Chicago, has
commissioned Architect Maritzen, the designer of the Blatz Brewing Company's new
building, to plan a brewery to be built in Waukesha. Mr. Thome is a member of
the syndicate that has been organized to brew beer in Waukesha, and he says the
plant will commence operations with a capacity of 100,000 barrels per annum. The
capital stock of the company is to be $1,000,000 and it will be called the
Waukesha Brewing, Malting and Distilling Company. Building operations are to be
commenced May 1."
Enquires about here fail to furnish any additional information respecting the
Waukesha Freeman November 24, 1892, page 1 (Editor's note: This
became the Waukesha Spring Brewing Company, read more by clicking the hyperlink)
Blatz Brewing Company Chronology
The Blatz Chronology that follows traces the development of
the brewing company and provides some context for understanding the records that
are 22 included in this collection. The information was collected primarily from
published secondary sources, newspaper accounts, and summaries of government
inspection reports. Some of the figures pertaining to the number of employees is
approximate, as are some of the production totals. For example, evidence
suggests that much of the work at the brewery was seasonal in nature and it is
not clear whether the employee totals represent the peak employment, the average
number of employees during a given year, or the number that were employed at the
time the information was gathered. Likewise, there is some question whether the
production figures represent the total production capacity of the brewery at
that time or the number of barrels actually produced during a given year. But
even with these limitations, the Chronology gives a good sense of the growth of
the Blatz Brewing Company during the period of time encompassed by the records
in this collection.
1840 Valentin Blatz begins an apprenticeship in his father's brewery at
Miltenberg am Main in Bavaria.
1844 Blatz embarks on a four-year tour of the celebrated breweries of Europe, at
which time he learns their methods and procedures.
1846 John Braun opens the Cedar Brewery in Milwaukee. The annual output is 80
1848 Blatz immigrates to the United States, settling in Buffalo where he finds
work at the Born Brewery.
1849 Blatz moves to Milwaukee and accepts a position as foreman at John Braun's
1851 Valentin Blatz opens a brewery, on half of a city lot, a short distance
away from Braun's Cedar Brewery. John Braun is killed in an accident in March.
Valentin Blatz takes over Braun's brewery, and merges it with his own. The
combined brewery, called City Brewery, and it has an annual output of 350-500
1861 Blatz's City Brewery reportedly produced 8,000 bottles of beer.
1868 Expansion of facilities begins at the City Brewery to include a new malt
house, malt-kiln building, and ice house. The annual output at this time is
reported to be 15,000 barrels.
1871 The Blatz brewery produced approximately 34,000 barrels of beer annually.
1873 American brewers begin to use pasteurization in the production of their
beer. This process allows the beer to be preserved for longer periods, adding to
the "shelf life" of the beer. Pasteurization also allows for beer to be
transported over longer distances.
1873 Valentin Blatz rebuilds. A fire heavily damages part of the brewery. The
brewery's annual output increases to 44,689 barrels.
1875 According to some accounts, Blatz's City Brewery opens the first bottling
plant in Milwaukee. The brewery's annual output is reported to be 64,000
1876 Valentin Blatz's beer is awarded the "highest premium" at the Centennial
Exposition in Philadelphia. 23 Milwaukee. The brewery's annual output is
reported to be 64,000 barrels.
1877 Blatz's City Brewery has a capital of $600,000 and employs 124 people in
Milwaukee. The company has established branches and depots in Chicago, IL;
Danville, IL; Muskegon, MI; New York City; Racine, WI; and St. Paul, MN.
1878 The management of Valentin Blatz's bottling plant is given over to a
Milwaukee company, Torchiani & Kremer, and is located one block away from the
Blatz brewery in Milwaukee.
1881 The Blatz City Brewery employs approximately 100 workers and has an annual
output of more than 100,000 barrels. The company has established new branches
and depots in Boston, MA; Charleston, SC; Memphis, TN; New Orleans, LA; and
1885 The Blatz City Brewery employs 300 workers and produced 155,000 barrels of
1886 Blatz's City Brewery employs 300 people in Milwaukee and ships products to
every state in the union.
1888 The Blatz City Brewery produces 200,000 barrels of beer during the year.
1889 On September 28, the Blatz City Brewery is incorporated as the Val. Blatz
Brewing Company. The company produces five types of beer: Tivoli, Imperial,
Wiener, Private Stock, and Muenchener.
1890 A new law permits beer to be produced and bottled in the same building.
Later that year, the Internal Revenue Act is changed to allow brewers to run
pipelines directly from their brewing tanks to a bottling plant. Prior to these
new laws, brewers sold their beer in wooden barrels to private bottlers or
directly to retail outlets, like taverns, and were taxed on each barrel that
1891 Val. Blatz Brewing Company is sold for $3 million to a London investment
group known as the "English Syndicate", doing business as the United States
Brewing Company. Valentin Blatz continues to run the brewery, which has an
annual output of between 250,000 and 300,000 barrels of beer.
1892 The crown cap is invented. This allows for a crown shaped metal cap to be
locked on top of the bottle to form a gas tight seal. One year after the crown
cap was invented, the Crown Cork and Seal Co. began production of an inexpensive
and reliable crown cap. Soon, this would become an industry standard.
1892 Val. Blatz Brewing Company employs 500 people in Milwaukee. Its annual
production capacity is reported to be 600,000 barrels of beer, although less
than that is actually produced.
1893 Blatz is the only beer on tap in the German restaurants at the Chicago
1893 Val. Blatz Brewing Company is run entirely on electricity. The actual
annual output of the brewery increases to approximately 365,000 barrels.
1894 On May 26, Valentin Blatz dies at the age of 68 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The
estimated value of his estate is $6 million at the time of his death. The new
management structure at the Val. Blatz Brewing Company includes Albert Blatz as
president, Valentin Blatz Jr. as vice president
1917 Milwaukee brewers begin to develop non-alcoholic beer.
1917 The Val. Blatz Brewing Co. produces a "near beer" called Brewette
1920 The Eighteenth Amendment goes into effect, outlawing the manufacturing and
sale of any beverage with more than .5% alcohol in it.
1920 The Val. Blatz Brewing Co. starts to rely on their non-alcoholic products
for their main source of income. These products include Brewette Temperance
Beer, Blatz Root Beer, Blatz Ginger Ale, and For-U Temperance Beer.
1933 Congress repeals the Eighteenth Amendment.
1933 The Val. Blatz Brewing Company is reopened by Edward Landsberg, Frank
Gabel, and August L. Klein. Later that year, they change the name to Blatz
1935 Blatz Brewing Co. begins selling beer in cans.
1958 Pabst purchases Blatz Brewing Co., but a federal court order prevents Pabst
from brewing beer at the Milwaukee facility.
1959 G. Heileman buys the Blatz label.