Puget Sound Brewery graphic
 Puget Sound Brewery (1888-1897)
succeded by
 Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. (1897-1919)
and
Tacoma Brewing & Malting Co.
of San Francisco (1916-1919)
succeded by
 Tacoma Brewing Co.
of SF (1919-1927)

The following is from "Tacoma Illustrated ...Her History, Growth & Resources - A Comprehensive Review of the City of Destiny" published by Baldwin, Calcutt & Co., 1889:

PUGET SOUND BREWERY

"When Messrs. Scholl & Huth established the Puget Sound Brewery just a year ago, they proved themselves enterprising and energetic business men. Previous to that time Tacoma was sadly in need of a first-class brewery that would be able to supply beer of a superior quality and in sufficient quantity to supply the ever increasing demand for this popular beverage. At the cost of many thousands dollars these gentlemen constructed a four-story building, 80 X 80 feet, at the junction of Jefferson Avenue and 25th Street, and later a wing has been added on the southeast corner that is of the same height, and 40 X 40 feet. The building erected, Messrs. Scholl & Huth spared no expense in fitting it up with machinery which is of the most approved pattern, and of the very best material. Two Corliss engines, one of ninety, and the other of sixty horse power, furnish the necessary propelling power, and they are in constant operation. A beer boiler, heated by steam, with a capacity of 4,300 gallons, is connected with a patent mashing machine that holds 6,500 gallons. The brewery also has a apparatus for the manufacture of their own ice for cooling the beer. With this machinery Messrs. Scholl & Huth are enabled to produce 260 barrels of beer per day. The Puget Sound Brewery has gained an enviable reputation for the manufacturing of the "Walhalla" and "Der Goetten Trank" beers, which are, as the name of the last implies, drink that is suitable for the gods. Before this brewery was started considerable beer was shipped to Tacoma from the largest and most popular breweries in the East, but now saloonkeepers are rapidly withdrawing their patronage from these Eastern houses, and supply the public with an excellent beverage made from Washington hops by a process that insures a drink equally as good, in fact, superior owing to its freshness and purity. The distance of the transportation of Eastern beer is said to have had a decidedly bad effect upon those drinking it, however, that may be, those who have drank the beer of this brewery enthusiastically concede its good effects.

Under the supervision of Mr. P. A. Kalenborn, who at one time owned a large brewery in Kansas¹, and who thoroughly understands his business, the Puget Sound Brewery is now on of the best paying and most prosperous business institutions in Tacoma."

The brewing plant described above was a Lager beer brewery, the plant being  designed expressly for this style of beer. The Bay View Brewery in Seattle was the first brewery in Puget Sound area to bottle Lager beer and now Tacoma too had its own lager - as this ad from the 1889 City Directory shows. The Puget Sound Brewery was located on So. 25th between C & Jefferson Sts. The ad touts the size of the brewery as the largest in the Territory, and in Novemebr of 1889, it woulld be the largest in the state.  

Scholl & Huth's Puget Sound Brewery
Puget Sound Brewery workers and draymen

West coast brewers schooled in the process of Lager beer brewing were few at this early date, so finding Fritz Sick² was a plus for the brewery. Sick had gained his Lager beer experience at California's first Lager beer brewery - the Boca Brewing Co.

Puget Sound Brewery ad 1889

The graphic at the top of the page may seem an odd choice for a brewery's logo. A man offering a woman a drink isn't anything remarkable, but a closer look might explain it.

The man is King Gambrinus, the patron saint of beer, and recognized as a symbol of the brewing industry. The woman is Columbia, or Lady Liberty, and is a symbol of America. So the scene represents America's acceptance of the gift of beer - specifically Lager beer.  


Puget Sound Brewing Company

(1891-1897)

The Puget Sound Brewery changed the company's legal name when they became a stock company, on Aug. 7, 1891. On that date they were incorporated as the Puget Sound Brewing Company, with a capital stock of $600,000. However, they continued to be referred to as the Puget Sound Brewery. John D. Scholl remained the firm's president, with Anton Huth, treasurer and Peter A. Kalenborn, secretary.

Just three years after the new business was formed, Anton Huth bought out his partner, John Scholl. Huth then assumed the position of pres. & treas., and Peter Kalenborn became vice-pres. & sec. The company's management remained unchanged for the next six years.

The following is an exerpt from an article published in the Tacoma Daily Ledger on January 1, 1897:

"The present brewery, at Twenty-fifth and Jefferson streets, suceeded a steam brewery conducted by I. Fuerst and later by John D. Scholl, the later joining Mr. Huth in founding the Puget Sound Brewery in 1888. Mr. Huth is the practical brewer. He came west from Louisville, Kentucky, years ago and remodeled the Weinhard brewery at Portland, changing it from a steam to a lager brewery, and in 1886 he remodeled the Star brewery at Vancouver, Wn., laying the foundation for the rapid success of both breweries. The same result has crowned his efforts in Tacoma, the Puget Sound brewery having made a phenomenal successs from the start. In 1891, when the Donau Brewing company³ failed, Scholl and Huth bought the plant, organized the Puget Sound Brewing company and operated both plants until the business depression caused them to concentrate their business at the Puget Sound brewery, where it has been conducted with continuing success.

The Puget Sound Brewing company's beer, both draught and bottled, is justly celebrated as the best on the market. Their bottled beer consists of the "Export" and "Nectar," which have the natural beer color characteristic of the pure malt and hop beers, and "Pilsener," a pale beer. The brewery has an extensive malt plant of the most modern construction, manufacturing the finest quality of malt. Only the finest hops are used, a portion of them being imported from the famous hop districts of Germany. There are only two malt plants of the same pattern in operation in the United States. The sales amount to over 30,000 barrels per year."

In August of 1897, Huth took on a partner, S.S. Loeb, and formed a new brewing company through a merger with another Tacoma brewery.Puget Sound Brg. Lager Beer bottle - image

Ex-partner, Scholl relocated to Chico, Calif. and purchased the 32 year old, Chico Brewery.

The quart size beer bottle, at right, would have been used during this six year time span (1891-1897).

 

Pacific Brewing & Malting

Pacific Brg. & Mltg. letterhead, c.1901
 Pacific Brewing & Malting Co.
(1897-1915)

On 30 August, 1897, Tacoma's Daily Ledger reported:

"The Milwaukee Brewing Company in Tacoma gave a warranty deed to the Puget Sound Brewing Company for its brewery and all property connected therewith for a consideration named in the deed of $1, and the Pacific Brewing & Malting Company filed articles of incorporation, with a capital stock of $500,000 to carry on the business of the two breweries. The trustees of the new company are William Virges of the Bonney Drug Company, treasurer; Anton Huth, president of the Puget Sound Brewing Company, president; S.S. Loeb, president of the Milwaukee Brewing Company, secretary."

Samuel S. Loeb agreed to merge his Milwaukee Brewery in forming a new corporation. They were equitably joined, and Loeb took the position of vice-president and secretary of the new Pacific Brewing & Malting Company (PB&M).

Extra Pale ad 15 Apr 1898
newspaper ad of 15 April, 1898

The Milwaukee plant remained in operation for two years, then with the 1899 buyback of the Donau Brewery, the nearby Milwaukee branch was closed. As a major shareholder, Loeb remained with the company, now as secretary.

They then undertook major expansion projects at the main PB&M plant, referred to as the Puget Sound branch, which cost half a million dollars. However, their expansion plans included more than enlarging their primary plant, but included the continued acquisition of additional breweries.

 Pacific. Brg. & Mltg. plant, ca.1900 - Tacoma
PB&M plant ca.1900


In October of 1899 the firm purchased property in the city of Everett for a proposed branch brewery there. The following Spring, another investment group was in production with the Washington Brewing Co.  So, PB&M bought an interest in this group with plans to build a new brewery on the purchased property and buy out the competition.

At the same time, a new brewery was planned for Tacoma, the Columbia Brewing Company. A major portion of the $50,000 capital was provided by PB&M through their agent, Wm. C. Kiltz - one of Columbia's incorporators. The Columbia plant operated independent of Pacific.

The following year, Kiltz assumed the role of proprietor and manager of the Washington Brewery in Everett.

In 1903, after operating it for only four years, Huth and Virges closed the twenty year old Donahue Brewery. By now, it was reported that the business extended throughout Washington and Alaska, to China, the Philippines, and the Caroline Islands.

By 1905, PB&M had completed their half million expansion plan, but shareholders weren't happy about the meager dividends that were otherwise underwriting the expansion. One minority stockholder, Samuel Loeb, brought suit requesting that PB&M sell its stake in Columbia and Everett in order to pay stockholders larger dividends. Loeb was now owner of the Independent Brewing Co. of Seattle, and had been the chief owner of the Milwaukee Brewery that was absorbed by PB&M eight years earlier.

PB&M Export Beer label

Just four years later, in 1909,  PB&M was one of the largest brewing companies in the Northwest - second only to Seattle Brewing & Malting(SB&M), brewers of Rainier Beer. On Sept. 12, of that year, local newspapers reported that PB&M had taken over the Everett Brewing Co. for the sum of $200,000. This would imply a controlling interest, rather than 100% ownership. However, this did take place on May 1st, 1913, when the remaining stockholders were bought out. 

Pacific Brewing & Malting drawing 1912
Newspaper drawing of Pacific Brewing & Malting in Jan. 1912

Also in April of 1909, the company introduced a malt tonic they named Tacomalt. They claimed it was "designed as a nerve tonic and tissue builder" and it is "a food, not a medicine." The product was bottled in the Tacoma plant, and was also shipped in casks to San Francisco to be bottled in their Tacoma Bottling Co.

Pacific Brewing & Malting's Tacomalt label c.1909

The spectacular success of the business was cut short by state-wide Prohibition, which went into effect in 1916 - four years before national Prohibition. Following SB&M's lead, Pacific also chose to build a plant in San Francisco - both certain that the country would not vote to go "dry."
Tacoma Bottling
Pacific Brewing & Malting had already established a presence in San Francisco when, eleven years earlier, they built a bottling works there. In April, 1905, they established the Tacoma Bottling Company, and by June they had completed construction of the bottling works and stables. In adition, they established bottling works in Sacramento, and Los Angeles. They continued bottling and distributing Pacific & Tacoma products until 1927. (see 1905 label below).
 

Tacoma Beer ad c.1914
 Tacoma Beer ad, 1914
Tacoma Bottling SF pint bottle
Tacoma Bottling Pint

Tacoma Beer ad, ca.1905
Tacoma Beer label, ca.1905

 

Tacoma Brewing & Malting Co. (1916-1919)
d.b.a. Pacific Brg. & Mltg.

Tacoma Extra Pale signCarlton Huth, son of Pacific Brewing & Malting's founder, was sent to oversee construction of their new brewery in San Francisco. Their brewmaster, and superintendent, was Wilhelm Schick³ of Munich. The brewery's location was 675/677 Treat Ave., and was organized as the Tacoma Brewing & Malting Co.(Calif. corp.), but continued doing business as the familiar, Pacific Brewing & Malting. The new brewery was designed by C.A. Darmer, the same architect who designed their Tacoma brewery. In Oct. 31, 1915, Pacific Wine, Brewing & Spirit Review reported:

"The brewery to be erected will be in two sections, one building to be four stories high and the other two stories. Renforced concrete will be the material used. An area of 77 by 72 feet will be covered by the structure. This plant will be an ornament to San Francisco from an architectural standpoint."
A new bottling department was included in the brewery's construction and the Tacoma Bottling Company moved to the Treat Ave. address.

When state-wide Prohibition took effect on Jan. 1, 1916, many Washington brewers chose to ride it out by making soft drinks and near-beer. The Columbia brewery took this tact in Tacoma, as did the Rainier Products Co. in Seattle. Pacific B&M gave it a try for a couple of years with a non-alcoholic beer called "Pacific Foam", but chose to concentrate on the still legal brewing in their new San Francisco plant. There they continued brewing Tacoma Beer, and in 1917, they introduced Tacoma Extra Pale.
Pacific Foam a PB&MCo. Prohibition label

Anton Huth died on Sept. 6, 1916, and never saw the total destruction of his business. His widow carried on as vice president, with his son, Carlton, as secretary, and  partner, William Virges, taking over as president. When war time Prohibition was passed in 1918, the company converted the Tacoma plant to soap manufacturing, and prepared to shutter the SF plant.

As late as 1930, the National Soap Co. was still producing Playmate Soap, and when Carlton Huth died, on October 17, 1944, he left an estate of $650M to his two sisters and a niece.

After its use as a soap factory, the old Pacific Brewing & Malting plant in Tacoma was put to other uses, but never again as a brewery. The old brick structure was named an historical landmark in 1978.



Tacoma Brewing Co.

With Pacific Brewing & Malting's Tacoma plant out of the brewing business, and legal brewing curtailed by war time Prohibition, rather than close the SF plant, Virges found a buyer in Charles H. Colpe, already a principal and minority owner in the company. PB&M's brewmaster, Whilhelm (William) Schick, elected to stay and run the brewery for Colpe.

Tacoma Brew ad c.1920On 1 Dec. 1919, Pacific Brewing & Malting's San Francisco brewery was reorganized as the Tacoma Brewing Co., and in early 1920 they introduced a near-beer called Tacoma Brew.

Unfortunately the company ran afoul of the Internal Revenue when agents discovered a shipment of beer that exceeded the legal alcohol limits. Their license was suspended and it took months to resolve the issue. Then later they were cited for selling brewer's wort, that was designed to enable home-brewers to easily brew their own beer, and again the brewery was shut down. Fortunately they were able to generate some income from the sales of their Tacoma Pale Ginger Ale.

In December of 1925, the company was so confident the next congress would repeal Prohibition that $200,000 was expended reconstructing the plant for large-scale beer manufacture. Obviously their hopes were not realized, and adding to these set-backs, sales of near beer wasn't all that good either, so in 1927, Colpe & company agreed to sell their San Francisco plant to the Rainier Brewing Co. (d.b.a. Pacific Products). Rainier then owned the Tacoma Brewing Co. and the rights to the "Pacific" and "Tacoma" brands. Colpe did not, however, sell the bottling companies in Sacramento, and Los Angeles.

However, five years later repeal of Prohibition was assured, and Colpe and his investment group was ready to re-enter the brewing busines. In 1932 they purchased the Fredricksburg Brewery in San Jose with plans to produce malt and prepare the plant to begin brewering legal beer upon Repeal. In Feburary of 1933, Cople was negotiating with Rainier to re-acquire the Tacoma brand for use by their newly incorporated, Pacific Brewing & Malting Company of San Francisco. Ultimately, negotiations failed, and Rainier decided to keep the Tacoma brand. 

With the purchase of the Tacoma Brewery, Rainier continued producing Tacoma Brew and added Tacoma Malt Syrup. They continued with these two products until Repeal in April, 1933. They then changed the name of Tacoma Brew to Tacoma Beer. They also added Tacoma Pale Beer, marketing both brands, plus Tacoma Malt under the name, Tacoma Brewing Co. The use of Tacoma BC was eventually dropped in favor of the Rainier Brewing Co., while adding Pacific Beer, Tacoma Ale, and Tacoma Bock to the line up. However, it took only a year for them to drop Tacoma Malt in favor of Rainier Malt.

Tacoma Pale Beer label 11 oz Tacoma Pale Beer label 22 oz
11 ounce label, c.1933 22 ounce label, c.1933

In July of '33, Rainier sold the Tacoma Brewery to a group establishing the Regal-Amber Brewing Co. there in San Francisco.

 

 

 

Pacific Breweriana

The Pacific Brewery's two primary brands of beer were "Pacific" and "Tacoma." Pacific Beer was their flagship brand and was a local favorite. Their Tacom Beer was their "export" beer and marketed heavily in California.

PB&M, like most of the larger breweries, distributed a great number of promotional items. Beer trays and glasses were an easy way to advertise the firm's name, and unlike many others, they used original rather than stock images for their trays. Below are a few examples of their more desirable trays - followed by other collectibles.
 

Pacific Beer, East Meets West - beer tray - image
East meets West

Pacific Beer - factory scene beer tray
Puget Sound Brewery, factory scene

Pacific Beer, Two Champions beer tray - image
Two Champions

Tacoma Beer, Katzenjammer beer tray - image
Katzenjammer

Tacoma Beer, yellow Mt. Tacoma beer tray - image
Mt. Tacoma - a.k.a. Mt. Rainier

Pacific Beer tray, ca.1914
Pacific tray wood-grain


Tacoma Brew TOC sign
Tacoma Brew sign, c.1924

Puget Sound Brg. Co. etched glass
etched glass, ca.1895

Pacific B&M, 1912 calendar - image Pacific Brewery calendar 1912

Tacoma Beer, etched glass - image
etched glass, ca.1910

Early Pacific etched beer glass - image
early Pacific etched glass

Pacific Brewing & Malting beer mug by Mettlach - image
beer stein by Mettlach, ca.1897

Pacific Beer, etched glass - image
Pacific Beer, etched glass

Pac. Brg. & Mltg. Co. litho, c.1917 - image
PB&MCo litho ca.1904 - painted by Carle J. Blenner

porcelain Pacific Beer sign
porcelain sign (see warning below)

 

FOOTNOTES:

¹ In 1874, Peter A. Kalenborn established the Phoenix Brewery in Marysville, Kansas.

²
Fritz Sick was German immigrant and son of a brewer, and father of Emil Sick. The father and son team established a brewing empire in western Canada, prior to the repeal of Prohibition. With Repeal in 1933 they entered the U.S. market first in Montana, then in Seattle with the purchase of what would become the Rainier Brewing Co.

³ The Donahu brewery was located at E. 26th and E. J Street, a few blocks east of the present day Tacoma Dome.

Wihlem "William" Schick, joined Huth & Scholl's Puget Sound Brewery, in 1892. He then worked in Loeb's Milwaukee Brewing Co., and then back with Huth & Scholl in 1897. In 1915 he went to San Francisco to establish PB&M's new (Tacoma)brewery. In 1920 the Tacoma Brewery and Schick stayed on as brewmaster. Then in 1923 the brewery violated Prohibition rules and Schick left for Germany. By 1930, Willam had returned to Washington, and took a position at the Horluck Brewing Co. in Seattle, followed by a return to Tacoma as asst. brewmaster at Columbia Breweries, Inc. He died in 1957.

 
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Pacific Breweriana for Sale

Pacific beer tray for salke Pacific beer tray - go to: TRAYS


red line


Fake Pacific Beer signWARNING:
 This porcelain sign, shown at right, is a fake. It is a reproduction of the sign shown above. Fortunately the counterfeiter couldn't make out the manufacturer's data on the white banner at the bottom of the sign, so they left it off.

EBay seller "rustyrelicsart" is selling this, and other porcelain signs, none of which are correctly listed as reproductions. They are meant to decieve.
I asked him if they were made in India, and why he didn't reveal that they were reproductions.  He didn't reply!



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  • Thanks to John E. Clay, Jr. for the image of his porcelain Pacific Beer sign.

  • Thanks to the Tumwater Foundation Archives for the Pacific Brewing & Malting letterhead.

  • And thanks to Rick Miller for the Puget Sound Brewery graphic at the top of the page.
     

 

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