05 October 2009

Hamm's Beer and Brewery History

Hamm's Beer -- a name synonymous with the east side of St. Paul. The St. Paul Pioneer Press ran an article a couple days ago reminding me of the long history of this St. Paul institution. I don't think that I will ever get the song from the commercial out of my mind. I figured that I might find it on You Tube and here it is!

What's the genealogy connection? There is one. Years ago I was a subcontractor on a research project that involved the genealogy of the owner of a brewery in Brooklyn, New York. That was pre- online research days. I found that the beer collecting hobbyists have produced books to assist themselves and that much historical background is found in some of those. Books exist that tell about the history of beer cans, breweries, brewers, and even breweries in a given city or area. Visit Worldcat.org and type in terms such as "brewery history," been can collector," and similar search terms. Today a lot of that info is online but the books are generally better for genealogical purposes, especially those with source bibliographies.

A guide to beer cans, their provenance, and worth might detail the owners of a specific beer brand over the years. In the one I worked on, the books detailed the owners and even listed information from land tax records as to who owned the brewery.

If your ancestor wasn't the owner or brewer, your family history could still benefit from the history of a brewery where a family member worked.

Brewery Collectibles Club of America

Buffalo Brewery History

Roslyn Brewing Company (Washington State)

American Breweriana Association

A source for purchasing many such books: http://www.beerbooks.com


Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt said...

"Hamm's, the Beer Refreshing" is now stuck in my head, too!

Paula Stuart-Warren, CG said...

Good! That was always an awesome advertising campaign.

Now, how about "It's a Small World After All . . "