Self Opening States Only
Question: Hey Herman...Old German! Name Herman's girlfriend. Not all these questions are easy. Hint: think German
Three of the four Baltimore Breweries to can beer with Self-Opening Tops are shown here.
1. Top Row: American Brewing Company
The six cans shown are the only self opening cans produced at this brewery. When prohibition became "the Law of the Land" in 1920, previously successful Breweries were suddenly forced into making painful decisions. To stay open meant - Doing What? To close meant - layoffs, and paying taxes on land, buildings, and unused equipment. If you could find a buyer, any buyer, the smart move was to sell. Fred Bauerschmidt's American Brewery in Baltimore quickly found one in the American Malt Company who probably reasoned when (not if) prohibition ended we can be our own best customer. A third option was to wait - but for how long? You still must watch over unused buildings, equipment and those never ending taxes took a heavy toll. If only prohibition were repealed. The J.F. Weissner Brewery in Baltimore waited 11 years before finally cutting losses and sold out to the American Malt Company in 1931. They correctly anticipated Franklin D. Roosevelt's election as President and his immediate action to repeal the dreaded 18th Amendment and end prohibition. The American Malt Company chose to restart brewing operations in the magnificent J.F. Weissner Building in East Baltimore. Using their own fine malt and the knowledge of brewing operations of both the Bauerschmidt and Weissner bloodlines, they modernized the old Weissner facility and produced one of the finest brews "American Beer - the Modern Beer" found anywere in the nation. National competition forced them to close in 1973. The emerald green Hi Brau (third can from the right) is rare.
2. Globe Brewing Company
Arrow "It hits the Spot"
Arrow 77 The "Globes" Finest Beer
Globe Brewing held the title “America’s Oldest Brewery” when it closed in 1963. Yuengling then claimed the title and still holds it today.
3. Gunther Brewing Company "Gunther's Got It!" sold to Hamm's Brewing Company in 1959. Hamms stopped using the Gunther label in 1960 and sales fell off. In 1963 Hamms sold the Baltimore facility and the Gunther label to Schaeffer Brewing of New York City.
Schaeffer reintroduced the Gunther label back in Baltimore and sales quickly picked back up. The can shown is called the "Race Track" can for the red oval in the center of the can, a reference to the "Preakness" horse racing track (the Middle Jewel of Thorobred Horse Racing) located in Baltimore. Schaeffer closed the Gunther facility in 1976.
In 1958 Queen City (Old German) purchased Cumberland Brewing (Old Export and Gamecock). In early 1970's, Pittsburg Brewing purchased Queen City.
The 1950's found two breweries in Cumberland - Queen City (Old German) and Cumberland (Old Export and Gamecock). At the end of 1958 Queen City installed a new increased speed canning line in their brewery and their existing line was relocated to the Cumberland facility. Queen City sales were excellent and with the continual modernization and expansion of their site, all through the 1960's, they finally closed the Cumberland Brewery (1969). The Cumberland labels were altered slightly. The Old Export Premium Pilsener (Cumberland) changed to Old Export Premium (Queen City). They expanded markets south to Florida via the Railroad where their Fischer's beer and Ale were popular. In 1966, L.N. Duncan left Queen City to start his own brewery in Auburndale, Florida and was allowed to take the Fischer labels with him. Looking to expand to the North, Sweet Life was produced for Central Markets in Albany, New York. By the early 1970's Queen City felt the squeeze of the powerful National competition. The end came in 1974 when the Pittsburg Brewing Company bought them out. The Emerald Green Heibrau is extremely difficult to find. Sweet Life was sold in Albany, New York and only four self opening cans are known to exist.
The fourth Baltimore Brewery with Self Opening cans was National whose advertising and cans were adorned with the one-eyed "Mr. Boh" icon?
Baltimore citizens would ask, "Where's Mr. Boh's other eye?".... Gunthers Got It.