Pacific Brg. & Mltg. letterhead, c.1904 - image
 

 Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. (1897-1915)
and its predecessor,

Puget Sound Brewery (1888-1897) 

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 1889 ad from the City Directory shows. The Puget Sound Brewery was located on So. 25th between C & Jefferson Sts.

Puget Sound Brewery ad 1889


Puget Sound Brewing Company

(1891-1897)

The Puget Sound Brewery was incorporated as the Puget Sound Brewing Company on 7 Aug. 1891, with a capital stock of $600,000. John D. Scholl was 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 remainedPuget Sound Brg. Lager Beer bottle - image unchanged for the next six years. Then in 1897 Huth took on a partner and formed a new brewing company through a merger with another Tacoma brewery.

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's Export White Label Beer
Pacific Brewing & Malting Company
(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 purchase of another Tacoma brewery - the recently built Donau Brewery², 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.

Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. logo

Just four years later, in 1909,  PB&M was one of the largest brewing companies in the Northwest - second only to Seattle Brewing & Malting, brewers of Rainier Beer. On Sept. 12, of that year, local newspapers reported that Pacific Brewing & Malting 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.

The spectacular success of the business was cut short by state-wide Prohibition, which went into effect in 1916 - four years before national Prohibition. But like Seattle Brewing & Malting, Pacific too chose to build a plant in San Francisco - certain that the country would not vote to go "dry."

Carlton Huth (Anton's son) was overseeing operations in San Francisco. Their brewmaster, and superintendent, was William Schick³ of Munich.

Anton Huth died in September of 1916 and never saw the total destruction of his business. When state-wide Prohibition took effect, many 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 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 San Francisco.

Virges left the Tacoma plant idle, but when national prohibition was passed in 1919, he converted the Tacoma plant to the making of soap. As late as 1930 the plant was still producing soap with the widow, Huth, serving as vice-president, and son, Carlton, secretary of the firm.

When Carlton Huth died on October 17, 1944, he left an estate of $650M to his two sisters and a niece.

The plant was later put to other uses but never again as a brewery. The old brick structure was named an historical landmark in 1978.

The San Francisco plant was sold to the Rainier Brewing Co. in 1925. Rainier then owned the "Pacific" and "Tacoma" brands and used them during and after Prohibition.

 

 

Pacific Breweriana

As mentioned above, the Pacific Brewery's two primary brands of beer were "Pacific" and "Tacoma." 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


Other Pacific Brewing & Malting collectibles

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

Pacific brewery 1912 calendar - image

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

Early Pacific etched beer glass - image

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

Pacific Beer, etched glass - image

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, P.A. Kalenborn established the Phoenix Brewery in Marysville, Kansas.

² The Donahu brewery was located at E. 26th and E. J Street, a few blocks east of the present day Tacoma Dome.

³ By 1933, William Schick had returned from California, 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.

 Article by


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!

Check out his neutral and negative feedback - Nine victims!
I've filed a complaint with eBay about this counterfeiter. Perhaps they will shut him down. I'll post an update which ever way it goes.

UPDATE: EBay ignored my complaint and a trusting buyer paid $1525 for a fake sign. Buyers beware, eBay only wants a piece of the action and doesn't care who gets screwed.



ANNOUNCEMENT:

A new Pacific Brewing & Malting has opened for business in downtown Tacoma. They’re located at the North End of Pacific Avenue at the Old City Hall Annex Building (610 Pacific Ave). It’s the very first building on your right when you enter Downtown from Schuster Parkway.



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  • Thanks to John E. Clay, Jr. for the image of his porcelain Pacific Beer sign.
     
  • And thanks to labelologist Bob Kay for the "Pacific Export White Label" - as seen in his publication, US Beer Labels, Vol. 1 - The Western States. For this, or other volumes, go to - BobKayBeerLabels.com 

 

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