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Wisconsin #2


The Milwaukee Extra is the steel variation, two known and the actual can shown in the back of the USBC book.



The Zing in the middle with the red at the top has only been photographed in the Unlimited Book as a tab.


The brown Weber and 3 Old Milwaukees are all book cans. The white Weber was a 2013 addition.

There are approximately six known of the Old Milwaukee with the saloon doors. 


Oconto Brewing Company

Their demise was somewhat unusual for a smaller 1960's Brewery. Restarting after

Prohibition ended in 1933 through hard work they survived the Great Depression

by producing an excellent beer which created a very loyal customer base and created

a popular brand locally. Labor problems in Milwaukee's Big Four Breweries in  the late

1950's enabled Oconto to sell their beer in southern Wisconsin markets previously

unavailable to them. They grew into an "around the clock" operation. Oconto began

advertising at their next door neighbors' Green Bay Packers football games during

the Vince Lombardi era of nation championship teams. They had record sales in 1966

which unfortunately became their downfall. Van Merrit Brewing of Chicago purchased

Oconto Brewing and within a years both Breweries where closed. Their self opening cans

where Oconto, Old Craft Brew, and 18-K.


Potosi Brewing Company

Adam Schumacher and his brothers (Nicholas and Henry) brought this brewery in 1906 and named it after the town of Potosi. Situated in the south western Wisconsin along the Mississippi River they sold their beers in many far away locations. With the creation of refridgerated trucks, better highways and the growth of television where larger breweries could afford to advertise they lost their advantage and were forced to close in 1972.


The American Breweriana Association chose this site to establish the National Brewery Museum in 2004




                                                                                               "Good Old Potosi"


When the Weber cans were pictured in the Unlimited Book, as Self Opening cans, I began a search for both the cans and any history I could find about them.    

Here's their story:Two weeks after the Waukesha Weber employees went on strike in 1958, a merger of the Weber Brewery and the Fox Head Brewing Company (also of Waukesha) was announced. Webers top management, took control at Fox Head while the Weber employees not only lost their jobs but also their pensions. Fox Head Brewing had rumors of being associated with the Chicago Underworld, In 1962 Heilman Brewing of La Crosse purchased the rights to the Weber/Fox Head labels and ended all brewing in Waukesha. Heilman Brewing purchased many breweries and continued to market those labels in their "home" areas. Fox Head labels had a much better reception in Waukesha than the Weber labels (probably a negative response to theloss of jobs and pensions) and the brand was quickly discontinued in 1963.


 Walter Brewing Company

  In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, five Walter Brothers emigrated from Germany to Wisconsin. A better life was found in America and a Brewing Dynasty was born.

  1. Jon (Johannes), Eau Claire, Wisconsin, graduated from the Siebol Brewing Institute (Chicago) where August Busch III was a classmate. After his first brewery burned, he re-located to Eau Claire by purchasing a struggling Dells Brewery from the Leinenfugel family. John died in 1932, a year before prohibition ended and his widow reluctantly sold the brewery to other members of the family. It was the last of the five Walter owned breweries to close (1989).

  2. George – Appleton, Wisconsin- purchased two adjacent breweries (one being the Star Brewery and the other being the Fries Brewery) combining them to form the brewery that bore his name. George died in 1899. The brewery closed in 1972. Adler(German for Eagle) Brau was one of their products.

Martin, Christian, Matthaus – Menosha Wisconsin. For a while the three brothers shared the operation of the Brewery

3.    Martin – Pueblo, Colorado. Martin, feeling crowded,  left his two brothers  to go west to Colorado. He successfully began brewing in Pueblo (closed 1975) and expanded his business to Trinidad, Colorado (closed in the 1940’s). The completion was less in Colorado and his two breweries thrived..

4.  Christian – Menasha, Wisconsin. Upon Martin’s departure, Christian owned this facility and brewed Gem and Gold Label. This operation was the first to close in 1956.

5. West Bend Lithia, Wisconsin. Closed in 1972. Old Timers, Black Pride. A Second generation of Walters (Martin F. and Charles W. sons of George Walter from Appleton) bought into this brewery in 1919.


Brewing in Oshkosh (Rahr's, Oshkosh, and Peoples)

  In the 1890's the small breweries in Oshkosh were feeling the pressure from the much larger breweries in Milwaukee. Three (the Brooklyn Brewery of Horn and Schwalm; the Union Brewery of John Glatz and Sons; and the Gambrinos Brewery of Lorenze Kuenzl) decided to join forces and thus the merger created the Oshkosh Brewing Company. The Charles Rahr Brewing company refused to join the others and opted to go it alone. In 1911 another brewing concern was started by local residents led by Joseph Nigl - they called it People's. Then there were three when Prohibition took effect in 1920. All three stayed open during the "Dry Years" by producing soft drinks and near beers. Exactly what the real story was - this much is known, in 1929 there was so much activity in the Oshkosh area with real beer the Bureau of Alcohol officially declared the whole area "Wet"! Prohibition didn't stop drinking, it just made it illegal. It is remarkable when so many breweries in other places nationwide failed to survive prohibition that all three Oshkosh Breweries managed to do so.

   Rahr's was the first to go in 1956 with Oshkosh acquiring their labels. In 1971 Oshkosh followed them into history with People's (now owned by Theodore Mack - the first African American to own a brewery) picking up all their labels. Mack gave it his best shot but in just over a year after the Oshkosh Brewery demise, in 1972 the Internal Revenue Service shutdown People's brewing for unpaid taxes. So in the end, the government finally stopped the brewing of beer in Oshkosh.



Rahr's    : Best Beer in any Case

Oshkosh: B'Gosh It's Good

People's: It Hits the Spot

Leinenkugel's: "Join Us Out Here"








Wisconsin #2

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