Self Opening States Only
Question: Name the Horlacher's Penguin
Top Row: Only two Allentown Breweries survived into the self opening era.
Allentown Horlacher's Brewery
Horlacher - although they did produce soft drinks and distilled water during prohibition, Dutch Schultz received a friendly reception at Horlachers. Real beer was big business (money) during prohibition, the public wanted it and the rewards were huge. Federal Agents had to be careful not to be spotted by Schultz's men as this would be extremely dangerous. The fermenting room on the top floor had a hidden trap door which contained hoses loading to a secret axe proof cellar containing storage tanks that could be emptied in mere seconds during a raid. Charlie Lieberman, later brewmaster, claimed that a pipe line was in place that crossed the Delaware River into New Jersey thus creating a short hop into New York City on Shultz's trucks. Probihition ended in 1933 and Charlie Lieberman was hired as brewmaster in 1937. He re-created Perfection Beer which was aged for nine months instead of the industry standard of three to five weeks. Passsengers on Ocean Liners and top Rail Lines were delighted with it. Also better restaurant and night clubs in NYC and Chicago served it to their clientele.
A high Class Penquin with a cane and a top hat became their symbol. Shortages during World War II created problems for Horlacher and given the choice they sold back the supply to local Eastern Penna. restaurants, taverns, distributors, etc. and focused on New Jersey where their products were always popular (pipeline?)
Horlacher "It's A Case Of Flavor!"
As a side note: in 1972 Tropical Storm Agnes stalled over Eastern PA. Rain was steady and hard day and night for five straight days. Flooding of epic proportions was everywhere and people were in need of fresh drinking water. Horlacher filled unused flat sheets of Bonanza and Bel Air (possibility the zips) with water that was distributed by the National Guard to people in need.
I knocked my golf ball in the woods one day, a friend went looking for my errant T-shot and came back holding a beat up Hub flat top can instead, guess I should have gone dumping. Finally got this self-opening can in 2013, a 37 years wait.
This explains the following Horlacher products sold in:
New Jersey Liquor Stores
Bel Air Hub
Coburger Renaee Premium
Holburg GEX Weisbrod
Holburg LF (Liquor Fair) Wilco Premium
New Jersey Supermarkets
PB Class A (Parkard Bamberger)
Kappy's and Weistover also had New Jersey sales.
Second Row: Allentown
Horlacher's - first eight cans.
Allentown ; only two breweries survived into the self-opening era.
The Renaee Premium is my Holy grail can. The Horlacher Brewery Made 500 cases of Renaee in the morning and 500 cases of Rheinbeck in the afternoon on the same day in 1970. The Renaee cans were sold in a chain of Pharmaceutical stores in New Jersey. The Rheinbeck cans were sold in Pennsylvania. New Jersey must have had a better garbage collection system than PA. Only one dumper Renaee Preminum can has ever been found. A can collector was allowed to enter the Horlacher Brewery after it closed. He found a six pack of the Renaee’s still in the brewery. Talk about indoor dumping! In 2013, a single flat sheet was found and rolled into a can using the correct lid, identified via this can.
Neuweiler Brewing - Two cans on right are from Neuweiler Brewing "Nix Besser - none better"
Opened a new specialty designed brewery in 1913. When prohibition hit in 1920, the Neuweiler family kept the brewery open by producing near beers and soda. In 1929 Louis Neuweiler, the family patriarch died. His son Charles ran the brewery when Dutch Schultz (a.k.a. the Brooklyn Beer Baron) tried to purchase their brewery. Prohibition, the Depression , and one of New York cities toughest and most notorious gangsters sitting in your office making you a cash offer you can't refuse... interesting. The offer was refused however and Dutch was gunned down in 1935 by rival NYC gangsters. In the mid sixties they produced Hochberg, an upscale European style beer using only the finest ingredients available. It as brewed using a special process called "Dry Hopping" for added flavor and aroma. It wasn't enough as national competition forced their closure in 1968.
Sunshine Brewing - five cans on left. The Playmate Beer was sold by Ken White in the 1980 Garard Collection Sale. . There was some High Grade, very Rare zips in this collection.
Playmate Beer and ML: a few of the top executives at the Sunshine brewery in Reading traveled to a Brewer's convention being held in Chicago, at the time Hugh Heffner and his Playboy Empire was still centered there. Sunshine's people wanted to market a malt liquor as they accurately believed would become a best seller in the 60's. They agreed on the Playmate name (very popular at the time) and not wanting to be too risqué for the early 60's, they chose a simple but sultry looking face from a foreign magazine, to adorn their modern self opening cans. What could possibly go wrong? The ML cans with zip top lids were filled first and as the Playmate Beer cans with ring top lids were being filled, the Malt Liquor cans hit the store shelves. Heffner's legal team quickly threatened Sunshine with a million dollar lawsuit for infringement upon their Playmate name which was registered to them. Some of the ML cans had already been sold but Sunshine immediately recalled the rest. They claimed the "Beer" cans never left their building which could have been fabricated to minimize the lawsuit. Years later when the beer can collecting hobby became popular , both the ML and Beer cans were found under the brewery's loading dock. You will see 10 Malt Liquors for every Beer you see.
I was aware that Royal Farms was PA rarest zip but had never seen the can until an elderly St. Louis tabs specialist sold his entire collection to a dealer
Reading Brewing - five cans on right. The Reading can is from the "Old Reading" Brewery.