In a message dated Tue, 23 May 2000 4:55:52 PM Eastern Daylight Time, "Michael G. Leonard" [email protected] writes:
Mike, Here is more info on my great, great grandfather P.M. Ohmeis. This information is from an old pamphlet I have. I have also attached a picture of the pamphlet cover. If anyone has more info or has P.M. Ohmeis memorabilia they can contact me at [email protected] Thanks!
P.M. Ohmeis & Co.
Schlitz New York Bottler & Distributor
It is about 50 years ago that the first experiments in bottling beer were made in New York City. These experiments were eventually crowned with success and resulted in making beer the recognized household beverage of this country. For nearly fifty years Peter Ohmeis has been the sole agent in New York and the East for Schlitz Beer and in a great measure has helped to make famous "The Beer that made Milwaukee famous." Nearly fifty years Peter Ohmeis bottled beer. The story of how it came about should be interesting in view of the dimensions to which this industry has grown. Peter Ohmeis admits that he had no intention of embarking in the Bottling business. It happened this way: -
At his restaurant before the days of pressure appliances for drawing bee, the keg was set on the bar and beer was drawn direct from the wood. Should there be a fair quantity of beer left in the keg at closing time, it was drawn off in earthen seltzer jugs. These were corked and put on ice for early morning customers. Peter Ohmeis often would send to his home one or two of these jugs of beer. Friends and neighbors were delighted, when they visited him to be invited to have a glass of beer, and were surprised to find that beer could be had in a jug without having to buy a small keg or send a pitcher to the nearest saloon, as was the custom in those times.
His regular patrons, who included many of the well known men of this city, judges, statesmen, editors, and merchants, demanded their earthen jug of beer to be carried or sent to their homes. It was a common occurrence for the man of affairs of the times to carry in the evening one of the jugs of beer to his home. Maybe to an invalid or convalescent as Schlitz beer was being prescribed by Doctors even then as it is now. A porter carrying a long narrow wicker basket, holding a dozen of the earthen jugs will be remembered by old timers as the first picturesque method of delivering Schlitz beer in New York City. Contrast this early start with the immense bottling establishment, distribution depot, many horses, wagons and automobile trucks that are used in the distribution of Schlitz beer today. Peter Ohmeis has never had reason to change his opinion of the purity of Schlitz beer since he became its Eastern agent, nearly fifty years ago. He believed then, as he does now, that "Pure beer is not only good, but good for you. Impure beer is not only bad but unhealthy." The more people know about beer, the more people will use Schlitz beer. It is nourishing, healthful and invigorating. It is at once a beverage, tonic, a restorer and a food.
The bottling establishment of P.M. Ohmeis & Company is located at 534-540 Greenwich Street and 515-519 Washington Street. Here Schlitz beer is bottled in absolute cleanliness and every sanitary measure strictly enforced. The beer is drawn directly into sterilized bottles which are instantly hermetically sealed, as only purified air reaches the beer at any period. It is as fresh and uncontaminated when bottled as if immediately drawn from the brewery vat. All beer is pasteurized in the bottles hence will keep indefinitely. Peter Ohmeis was one of the first to recognize the necessity of pasteurizing beer, and is always on the lookout for any method or device that will further increase cleanliness and sanitation.
Schlitz beer is bottled only in Brown bottles, many other beers are put on the market with warning to keep the bottles away from the light or with an apology that the beer needs darkness to keep it fresh. Not so with Schlitz beer. The Brown bottles makes the warning or apology unnecessary. Light will not penetrate the Brown bottles so decomposition and deterioration are impossible.
Go to any civilized country - go to India, to China, to Africa, to Siberia, to the farthest points of the earth - and you will find at every point, Schlitz beer in Brown bottles, unimpaired by climate - Still Pure and Wholesome.
Peter Ohmeis was one of the first to use the Brown bottle. He daily gives the bottling department, as well as the restaurant at 140 Fulton Street, his personal inspection. He is now relieved from many of the actual cares of the business by his sons, whom he took into partnership some years ago under the firm name of P.M. Ohmeis & Co.
[Two Photograph of Views of the Ohmeis Restaurant, 140 Fulton Street] [Last Page of Pamphlet:] P.M. Ohmeis & Co. Sole Agents for Schlitz Milwaukee Beer. The beer that made Milwaukee famous. Dschorr Brau, Munchen Beer, The Purest of Imported Beers Anton Dreher's Michelob Bohemia, a famous imported brew and Kaiser-Water Wholesale Departments: 534-540 Greenwich Street, 515-519 Washington Street, 256-260 East 134th Street. Retail Department and Restaurant: 140 Fulton Street, New York.